When “everyone is a designer,” what does it mean to be a web or UX designer? The rules of design engagement are changing. You may no longer be in control of the user’s visual experience. Succeeding in today’s web is more challenging than it has been in years. Yet challenges are opportunities, and today is the best time in over a decade to create websites and applications. Learn the skills and opportunities facing every designer today, from mobile and small screen strategy (and the difference between them) to the design principles of HTML5. Then put it all together with an approach to designing websites that puts the content (and the person who uses it) first.
Recent developments in web technologies like HTML5 and CSS3 have allowed us to build a richer web, full of advanced visual treatments like web fonts, animations, transformations, and drop-shadows. But have we got carried away with our new toys? Just because we can use a drop-shadow doesn’t mean we have to. In this new and often controversial talk, Elliot looks at solid design principles that will turn a good website into a great website, examines the scenarios where it’s better to stay away from unnecessary visual effects, and attempts to find the sweet spot in between the two extremes. “With great power comes great responsibility,” said Uncle Ben, and Spidey hadn’t even used border-radius!
by Jeremy Keith
All software is inherently political, reflecting the biases and beliefs of the people behind it. These beliefs can be made explicit through the publication of design principles: pragmatic rules of thumb that underpin a shared endeavour. Find out how important good design principles are to any project, whether it’s a website, a framework, or the World Wide Web itself.
Mobile dances to a different beat. Learn how to transition what you know about designing for the Web to Mobile and pick up a bunch of new moves along the way that’ll help you rock the mobile Web.
Good designs are useful, usable and desirable. But what is a good experience? While crafting the experience of her own startup, Foodspotting, Alexa Andrzejewski found answers in urban design. Asking the same question about urban experiences, Kevin Lynch, author of “Good Urban Form,” extracted a set of dimensions for evaluating experiences. By applying these principles to interactive experiences, you can identify what kind of experience you’re creating for users: Is it adaptable? Does it tell a story? Are there signs of life? You’ll leave with a set of guidelines that, unlike traditional heuristics, will enable you to evaluate the experiential qualities of your designs.
There’s been a lot of great discussion about responsive web design: merging media queries and flexible, grid-based layouts to create more adaptive, universal designs. But how does a responsive approach affect our design workflow? And when is responsive design right for your project? We’ll look at sites and strategies to try and answer these questions, and learn to become more responsive designers.
Off in a mostly unregarded corner of the CSS modularization effort, the Flexible Box (a.k.a. Flexbox) module has quietly charted a course into three of the four major browser rendering engines. In this practical, real-world session, Eric will take a tour of the surprising features and robustness of Flexbox and consider its place in our toolbox as well as ways to use it now without leaving older browsers grasping at shards.
For years, we have been suffering with the myth that if we just tried harder, our CSS would stay clean. Each time we start a new project, we valiantly follow best practices and commit ourselves to writing beautiful code, but the truth is that our best practices are killing us. In this talk, Nicole will walk through five best practices and show you exactly why they lead to bloated, unmanageable code. You’ll leave this talk armed with techniques to move from organic CSS with no particular architecture to something lighter, more logical, and easier to maintain.
When you’re working for the man, it’s hard to find time to make something fun for yourself. You’ve got ideas swimming around in your head for your next website or app, but translating abstract thoughts into a usable, successful interface is no easy task. Should you wireframe, prototype, or both? How do you know if your idea is even worth building? Aarron will share practical advice from the interface design school of hard knocks that will help you make your ideas a reality.
by Andy Clarke
Animation on the web has traditionally been low-fidelity and shares much common ground with the work of early animators. Web animations have always been the domain of Flash because equivalents couldn’t easily be created using open standards. That is until now, with ever increasing support for CSS3 Animations. Learn about the latest CSS animation techniques and how to create effective, accessible fallbacks for all browsers, including those with limited capabilities.
How to make a website: discover, define, design, develop, deploy. It’s a familiar framework for most of our project processes. Now along comes this content strategy thing. Sure, it sounds like a great idea, but how does it fit in with what we’re already doing? Kristina will walk us through a typical website project to demonstrate why, how, where, and when content strategy happens.
Links are the molecular bonds of our web sites, holding all the pages together. They are the essence of a web site. Yet, what do we really know about them? If you create great links, your users easily find everything they need on your site. If you do a poor job, your users will find your site impossible or frustrating. We never discuss what truly makes a good link good. Until now. Jared will show you the latest thinking behind the art and science of making great links. Join him for this entertaining and amusing look at the secret lives of our site’s links.
The mobile web is the biggest, fastest-growing strand of the World Wide Web. Mobile expert Luke Wroblewski will lead a full-day, in-depth exploration of designing for the mobile web—the different devices, the changed interaction patterns, the constraints and opportunities inherent in mobile design. If you’re even thinking of doing mobile web design—and you should be thinking of it—then you won’t want to miss a single minute of Luke’s insights and experience.
12th–14th December 2011