MK Geek Night

#35 Dec 10 2020

The Next MKGN will be held on Thursday 10th December. The Live Stream will commence at 19:30BST and should finish at approximately 22:30BST. We'll hold a live Q&A and the end, after all of the speakers have presented.

Topics, speakers & schedule

Timings are approximate

Jason Pamental

Getting Graphic: Real Editorial Design on the Web with Variable Fonts

Graphic designers have customized layouts and title pages in magazines for decades. But limited technology and efforts to ‘systematize’ design has meant we’ve missed out on much of what good graphic design has to offer. Now that web publishing systems have advanced and we have so many new capabilities in CSS and variable fonts, it’s time to refocus on the specifics. We can create compelling, unique design variations tailored for specific articles and stories rather than stay stuck in a single design for every piece of content. In this talk, Jason will look at powerful examples of publication and cover design, and show how many of those concepts can be incorporated in our own websites in compelling and sustainable ways.

About Jason

Jason Pamental is a designer, strategist, tinkerer, and typographer—and Invited Expert on the W3C Web Fonts Working Group. He writes, speaks, and works with teams and brand owners on how to set type better and improve performance on digital platforms. He has spoken with organizations like Adobe, Audible, Condé Nast, GoDaddy, IBM, the Wall Street Journal—and given presentations and workshops and presentations at conferences all over the world. He also publishes a newsletter on web typography, which you can find at

When not carrying on about improper quotation marks or slow font loading, he can usually be found walking the family dogs Tristan and Tillie around Turner Reservoir, riding his bike, or spending time with family.

Jason Pamental
Expert in Web Typography

Cyd Harrell

Tech for Government & Other Institutions

Cyd Harrell, the author of the new book A Civic Technologist's Practice Guide, likes to think of civic tech (the loosely integrated movement to bring the best of private-sector tech to government organizations) as a fifty-year project. It takes a long time, and more than just technology skills, to shift the practices of institutions that have existed for centuries. Moreover, government isn't the only institution that needs this. So how can everything we've learned as techies make these building blocks of societies better? What are the risks that instead we will make them worse? How can techies best collaborate with institutional partners? Cyd will talk through sets of questions that it behooves every civic technologist to engage with, and hopefully spark a lively discussion/Q&A to follow!

About Cyd

Cyd is well known in industry and government for her creative approach to UX research and service design. Since 2012, working with the Center for Civic Design, Code for America, and 18F, as well as independently, Cyd has helped multiple executive- and judicial-branch agencies in the US apply research techniques and user-centered practice to serving the public. Her new book, A Civic Technologist’s Practice Guide, is an onboarding guide and survival manual for tech people joining public sector work. When not at the office helping public servants use design for good, Cyd is a mentor for mid-senior UX practitioners. Her favorite tools are metaphor and (metaphorical) duct tape.

Cyd Harrell
User Researcher

Jack Lawton

A Taste of Graph Analytics in Water

Following a brief introduction to himself and Aiimi as our December Lead Partner, Jack will discuss the broad reaching opportunities presented by graph theory. He’ll be offering a taste of some powerful outcomes it has produced - such as for our customer, Anglian Water, in optimising their smart network monitoring programs - and opportunities it presents for the future.

About Jack

Jack Lawton is Data Science Principal at Aiimi. He's been working in the data and AI industry for the last five years, delivering diverse data science projects across a range of industries including insurance, government and utilities. Passionate about data science, Jack is no stranger to giving talks on making data science accessible and using it to enhance technology.

Jack Lawton
Data Science Principal

Yiying Lu

Bring the World Closer, One Emoji Design at a Time

From the Twitter Whale to the Dumpling emoji, the Fortune Cookie emoji to the newest Bubble Tea emoji, Yiying Lu has created iconic designs & brands which transcend linguistic barriers, delight worldwide audiences, and connect people as a global community. In this talk, Yiying will share the creative journey behind her iconic design above 🐳 🥟🥡🥠🥢, how she applied art and design to ultimately create community, solve problems, and tell cultural stories. She will share the story of creating the Twitter fail whale, breaking down her creative process for designing the official dumpling emoji, chopsticks, fortune cookie, take-out box, and the latest bubble tea emoji.

About Yiying

Yiying grew up in Shanghai, China, and was educated in Sydney, Australia, and London, UK. Currently based in San Francisco as the founder and creative director of her bilingual (English & Chinese) creative studio, specializing in cross-border branding, marketing, innovation talks, design workshops for corporations such as Apple, Adobe, Google and Salesforce. Yiying also speaks at conferences around the world on Cross-Cultural design and innovation, including TEDx Palo Alto, SXSW, Adobe MAX, Web Summit and so on.

Yiying Lu
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