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Photo from Adobe MAX keynote

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What Goes Into a Major Conference Keynote Demo

Ever wondered how much preparation goes into the demos you see during conferences like WWDC? Back in November 2017, Khoi Vinh, Principal Designer at Adobe, wrote “How to Demo Software for 11,000 People” to share what it was like to prep for a 10-minute demo at the Adobe MAX conference. He presented the official release of Adobe XD, the company’s new app prototyping and wireframing tool. Khoi spent 3–4 days per week for 2 months straight working on his demo. He ran through it 20-plus times per day, redoing the sample file with a designer in Germany, choreographing both his steps on stage and the mouse movements that accompanied his words, and much more. It’s a fascinating look behind the curtains, complete with what it’s like to suffer from an on-stage hardware failure.

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Comments About What Goes Into a Major Conference Keynote Demo

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  1. It’s interesting the hardware failure he mentions that happened during the keynote was the trackpad breaking down by not reacting to input anymore. I’ve had many different portable Macs and the one thing I have never experienced is the trackpad becoming unresponsive. It has locked up sure, but that’s because the entire system (or rather its GUI) locked up. But I cannot recall the trackpad hardware of one of my Macs ever failing. I’m sure it can happen. But so far never to me.

    (Although I guess now I jinxed it. Expect trackpad to fail in 3,2,1…)

  2. Yeah, I was surprised by that too, but it’s possible that it was something else entirely, and in the (incredibly stressful) moment, he interpreted the problem as being related to the trackpad. It could have been the entire Mac freezing too, not that that’s common either.

    Murphy’s Law!

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