Sessions at Web Directions South 2010 on Friday 15th October

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  • HTML5 Report Card

    by Michael[tm] Smith

    Remember how fun it was to do hands-​​on classroom projects together in kindergarten? Well, this interactive session is going to be like that, but just with bigger people.

    In the first part of the session, I’ll hand out blank report cards, and each of us will — individually and based on whatever criteria we personally want to use — use those report cards to assign A, B, C, D, and E letter grades to particular new features that are part of HTML5 and related specifications that are supported to some degree in browsers.

    Then I’ll collect those, and use the info to judge which HTML5 features to focus the discussion on during the second part of the session. During the second part of the session, we’ll make a handful of poster-​​side HTML5 Report Cards together, by taking a look at the HTML5 features we identified during the first part of the session, and then assigning A, B, C, D, and E letter grades to those together — based on the current quality of the features/​implementations, and on criteria such as if/​how well the features actually work as expected, as well as on some criteria such as “plays well with others”, “areas where improvement is needed”, etc.

    At 10:45am to 11:40am, Friday 15th October

  • JavaScript Sprachraum

    by Patrick Lee

    Despite being an option on web servers as early as 1995 with Netscape’s LiveWire, JavaScript has long been regarded as a language only of the browser.

    Approaching sweet sixteen JavaScript has evolved in the community and gained acceptance as a general purpose programming language.

    In this session Patrick will be looking at JavaScript outside of the browser, focusing on how to use it for web server applications. Starting with the old in Helma and progressing through various usages to the most new and exciting with node.js, Patrick will talk about why JavaScript on the server matters right now and show you how to get started using it.

    At 10:45am to 11:40am, Friday 15th October

  • Practicing Web Standards in the Large

    by Tatham Oddie

    Web standards might be second nature to all of us here, but they don’t always fly so easily in the enterprise. Obscure browsers and CIOs watching their bottom line can often leave a passionate development team feeling stifled. In this session we’ll look at how a number of large scale websites successfully adopted new standards and opened their content to more audiences and devices than ever before. We’ll explore techniques for deciding what client technologies to use on your projects, how to drive the adoption of newer techniques and how not to leave your audience behind. We’ll even talk about how to make all of this possible with Internet Explorer in the room.

    At 10:45am to 11:40am, Friday 15th October

  • Running effective remote studies

    by Juliette Melton

    Remote research can raise the quality and lower the costs of your user research efforts; using a combination of surveys, video, screensharing, and phone, you can connect with a much broader range of users than you could using traditional lab-​​based usability tests, while using resources more efficiently than you would doing contextual research. In this workshop-​​style talk, Juliette Melton will cover recruiting sources, technology tools, and caveats you might not have thought of, including managing time zones and participant distraction. We will also address pros and cons of increasingly popular non-​​scripted research services.

    At 10:45am to 11:40am, Friday 15th October

  • Location, location, geolocation

    by Max Wheeler

    Phones with GPS are now widely available and the growing support for the JavaScript geolocation API means location based services aren’t restricted to the realm of native applications. Now is the time to learn how to take advantage of this information and add provide your users with the best personal and contextual experience.

    This session will take you through building a location-​​based mobile app using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Including cross-​​platform techniques for figuring out where your users are, and providing graceful fallbacks options for devices that don’t have geolocation support (or users that don’t want to tell you exactly). You’ll learn about geocoding to a physical address (and the other way around) and look at how to build a mobile-​​friendly map with local points of interest.

    At 11:45am to 12:40pm, Friday 15th October

  • Setting standards-​​friendly web type

    by Simon Pascal Klein

    Web typography has in the past two years seen a resurgence in interest and many would agree only rightly so, with most of the content on the web still textual. However the range of technical options available for setting type on the web is quite broad—not to mention the range of stylistic choices available—and often confusing. This session aims to demystify the current techniques available to set type on the web by comparing and contrasting the various options at hand while offering a set of good defaults and safe advice for not only making it accessible but also pleasurable to read.

    At 11:45am to 12:40pm, Friday 15th October

  • The Age of Awareness

    by Lisa Herrod

    Inclusive design. It might sound like a rebranding exercise from the Web Accessibility Marketing Team, but it isn’t. For years inclusive design and research practices have been applied to a wide variety of disciplines from industrial design to the arts, the built environment and more.

    What can we learn from this? And how can we apply it to the digital environment in which we work?

    Social innovation, service design and even augmented reality are now presenting real and interesting opportunities for us as traditional web practitioners. Combined with inclusive design practices, this opens up a fantastic world of change for both us and the people for whom we design.

    So starting with the web, we’ll reinvig orate our passion for diversity and inclusion. Let’s declare this The Age of Awareness!

    At 11:45am to 12:40pm, Friday 15th October

    Coverage slide deck

  • 101 Things I Learned In Interaction Design School

    by Shane Morris

    When I first picked up Matthew Frederick’s book: “101 Things I Learned in Architecture School” I was struck by the number of principles of architecture that can be directly applied to interaction design, but also disillusioned by the fact that Interaction Designers generally do not have a similar body of knowledge to draw on. Sure we have lots of “process”, but relatively little “wisdom” of the sort found in this book.

    The field of Interaction Design isn’t very old — If we’re talking purely software interface design, then let’s say about 25 years old. No surprise, then, that we borrow heavily (and unashamedly) from a range of other, more established, disciplines. We try to compensate for our relative lack of a history, tradition or body of knowledge by leveraging others’. That’s entirely appropriate — but how far does it get us? Interaction Design is an essential component of the delivery of virtually any product or service today. Many of us may already be at the point where we interact with more digital products in a day than we do physical products, and many of the most important transactions in our lives are entirely virtual. Maybe Interaction Design needs to be taken a bit more seriously?

    In this talk I’d like to reflect on my almost 20 years as an interaction designer — the things I’ve learned along the way, and the things I wish I would have learned at Interaction Design School, if such a thing had existed back then. Along the way we’ll review some of the 101 things we all should have learned in Interaction Design School, sourced from ixd101​.com (the blog I share with Matt Morphett), and beyond.

    At 1:40pm to 2:35pm, Friday 15th October

  • Building mobile web apps

    by Myles Eftos

    There is no denying that the Apple App Store is huge, but who wants to have to deal with Objective-​​C? Thankfully, technologies like PhoneGap and Sencha allow web developers to work in languages they know (HTML/​CSS/​JavaScript) while still making them look native. PhoneGap also allows us to port our apps to other platforms, like Android.

    This session will look at the mobile web development lifecycle from building a prototype in the browser, integration with the phone, app submission and some basic marketing tricks.

    At 1:40pm to 2:35pm, Friday 15th October

  • Mark Nottingham — Browser Caching and You (A Love Story)

    by Mark Nottingham

    Over time, Web developers have feared, hated and loved Web caching, at times trying to kill it, at others professing undying love. Mark Nottingham (chair of the IETF HTTPbis Working Group and author of its revised Web Caching specification) will examine how browsers (mis)-treat your content today, as well as where your relationship with browser caching might go in the future.

    At 1:40pm to 2:35pm, Friday 15th October

  • Wrangling Time: The Form and Future of the Book

    by James Bridle

    The internet has been around long enough now that it has a proper history, and it has started to produce media and artefacts that live in and comment on that history. James will be talking about his work with writing, books and wikipedia that hopes to explain and illuminate this temporal depth.

    At 1:40pm to 2:35pm, Friday 15th October

  • Flogging design: best practices in online shop design

    by Matt Balara

    Considering how many businesses depend upon the web for their income, it’s shocking how poorly designed most shops are. Not only aesthetically, but also as far as ease of use, retail psychology and user experience are concerned. How can we design better shops? If customers enjoy shopping more, won’t our clients earn more? Can forms be fun? What’s the psychology behind online purchases? How can online and offline buying experiences be harmonised? Matt Balara will share some of his 15 years of experience designing web sites, the vast majority of which have sold something or other.

    At 2:40pm to 3:35pm, Friday 15th October

    Coverage audio clip