by Josh Clark
Discover the rules of thumb for finger-friendly design. Touch gestures are sweeping away buttons, menus and windows from mobile devices—and even from the next version of Windows. Find out why those familiar desktop widgets are weak replacements for manipulating content directly, and learn to craft touchscreen interfaces that effortlessly teach users new gesture vocabularies. The challenge: gestures are invisible, without the visual cues offered by buttons and menus. As your touchscreen app sheds buttons, how do people figure out how to use the damn thing? Learn to lead your audience by the hand (and fingers) with practical techniques that make invisible gestures obvious. Designer Josh Clark (author of O'Reilly books "Tapworthy" and "Best iPhone Apps") mines a variety of surprising sources for interface inspiration and design patterns. Along the way, discover the subtle power of animation, why you should be playing lots more video games, and why a toddler is your best beta tester.
1. How should UI layouts evolve to accommodate the ergonomics of fingers and thumbs?
2. Why are buttons a hack? Why aren't they as effective as more direct touch gestures?
3. How can users understand how to use apps that have no labeled menus or buttons?
4. What's the proper role of skeuomorphic design (realistic 3D metaphors) in teaching touch?
5. How can animation provide contextual help to teach gestures effortlessly? How does game design point the way here?
In 2009, a mild traumatic brain injury changed the way that game designer Jane McGonigal thought about everything -- literally. She spent a year recovering -- struggling to think clearly, be physically active, and find a new sense of purpose. Her journey back to health led her to invent a new form of game design, aimed at having a measurable positive impact on players' real lives, and fused with scientific research at every level. In this talk, you'll see the first results of that process: a game called SuperBetter. You'll hear about the game's first clinical trials, and get a crash course in getting SuperBetter yourself: Find out how to turn weak social ties into allies. Learn how to experience "gain without pain" (or what scientists call "post-ecstatic growth"). Discover the secrets of "Lazy Exercise" and "Ninja Weight Loss". Find out what a two-minute "Future Boost" is, and why it's the most important thing you can do each week for your physical and mental health. From the mind of a game designer comes a radically disruptive model for integrating breakthrough science into our daily lives.
by Andy Hume
In the early days of CSS the web industry cut its teeth on blogs and small personal sites. Much of the methodology still considered best-practise today originated from the experiences of developers working alone, often on a single small style sheet, with few of the constraints that come from working with large distributed teams on large continually changing web projects.
The mechanics of CSS are relatively simple. But creating large maintainable systems with it is still an unsolved problem. For larger sites, CSS is a difficult and complex component of the codebase to manage and maintain. It's difficult to document patterns, and it's difficult for developers unfamiliar with the code to contribute safely.
How can we do better? What are the CSS best practises that are letting us down and that we must shake off? How can we take a more precise, structured, engineering-driven approach to writing CSS to keep it bug-free, performant, and most importantly, maintainable?
9th–13th March 2012