beyond tellerrand 2023

On 11th September 2023 members from the geOps frontend team set out to Berlin to attend a very interesting and extraordinary event: beyond tellerrand conference.

beyond tellerrand is a single-track conference aimed at bringing creativity and technology together. The first edition dating back to 2011, the conference presently takes place in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Munich and attracts over 500 attendees from a broad spectrum of backgrounds.

beyond tellerrand Berlin took place in the Festsaal Kreuzberg. Originally an indoor vegetable market on the banks of the Spree river, it was repurposed to host all kinds of events, from rock concerts and techno parties to art galleries and tech conferences. The venue has a club-vibe to it (befitting Berlin’s notorious nightlife reputation) and features a really nice caffé and outdoor area for chatting and mingling.


Although the conference speakers came from various backgrounds, the presentations clearly had a red line, with a strong focus on artistic and creative fields and the technologies applied in them. Many of the talks told stories of the speakers’ unique paths to their present professional endeavours, with a focus on how out-of-the-box thinking boosted and fortified their creative processes.

As frontend web developers we were of course looking forward to the presentations about web development and web design. We were not disappointed, since there were multiple interesting topics for us on the menu.

It started with an interactive presentation called The 7 Traits of an Emotionally Fit Leader by Emily Anhalt. Those feeling initially a bit sleepy despite the DJ, became wide awake at the latest during exercises with seat neighbours and learned a lot about themselves, their neighbours and psychology in general. We were able to take away exciting suggestions for better mental fitness, which dealt with topics such as self-reflection, empathy, mindfulness, curiosity and communication.

Equally inspiring just more technical was the talk by Carlie Gerard, which was about alternative ways to interact with JavaScript applications. Using machine learning and standards such as WebUSB API, a wide variety of sensors were used to enable unusual interactions.

In her talk on accessibility, accessibility expert Piccia Neri spoke about her personal experiences as a vestibular disorder sufferer with extravagantly animated websites, describing how GIF loops literally make her nauseous. She also presented various examples of award-winning websites which, by almost fully neglecting website accessibility, excluded a large group of potential users. The main point Ms. Neri made was to avoid sacrificing accessibility for fancy animations and aesthetics.

In another eye-opening presentation on the psychology of web-performance, UX/UI performance expert and researcher Tammy Everts explained the extent of how response time impacts users’ perception and experience of websites. By making comparisons with every-day life examples, such as waiting for baggage reclaim at the airport or counting the minutes to get from point A to point B, the speaker emphasised on how waiting more than two seconds interrupts the “flow state”, breaking user’s concentration and deeply affecting productivity.

In summary, it was a very interesting event with great speakers, eye-opening presentations and familiar and friendly atmosphere. We are looking forward to updates on beyond tellerrand 2024.

written by Daniel Marsh-Hunn & Friedjoff Trautwein | 10/4/2023
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