Usability has come a long way since the dark days before "Designing with Web Standards". Now nearly all companies see the value of UX in their digital designs. But despite heightened focus on the user and a growing awareness of accessibility concerns, implementation of accessibility standards have often fallen victim to time pressures and obsolete design practices. Disabled users struggle through sites missing alt tags, keyboard inputs or text alternatives. Enter devices like the iPhone & Android … and the iPad.
With the proliferation of non-desktop devices and browsers like tablets and gestural smartphones, suddenly more people are finding that the web isn't as nice and clean as they remembered: broken formatting, too small text, hover functionality that doesn’t work, and entire swaths of the web rendered as Flash-based wastelands that millions can’t access.
We've now discovered that by solving for many of the issues that iOS and other mobile users face, we can also solve for the most prevalent accessibility issues. Using side-by-side examples and case studies, I'll show how we can make sites more accessible and more usable by mobile devices. Through combinations of better markup, HTML5 and CSS3 functionality and better scripting, we can serve two masters at once. Better yet, in some cases, we can take advantage of the accessibility capabilities built into newer mobile devices to make the digital experience even better than they would get on the 'old web'.
by Håkon Wium Lie
Haakon Wium Lie worked with Tim Berners-Lee at CERN when CSS was conceived in 1994. His last name does not build confidence, but CSS has – after a rough start during the first browser wars – become a cornerstone of the web. CSS3 introduces features that designers have been asking for and this presentation will go through parts of CSS3 that can be used in common browsers today. For example, Media Queries will adapt presentations to any device, Webfonts will change the face of the web, and multi-column layouts will make better use of wide screens. Also, this presentation will describe how it is possible to use CSS3 to create books and other paged presentations from common HTML content, both on screen and on paper.
The fastest-growing social media service in recent months is Pinterest, which describes itself as an online pinboard to organize and share things you love. Learn more about what the site is doing now, why it has grown popular in cities far away from silicon valley, and about the company's long-term goals in a conversation between Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann and entrepreneur/investor/blogger Chris Dixon.
by Ken Parks
As digital music consumption continues to increase, artists and consumers are finding new ways to engage within the digital landscape. Spotify, the leading digital music service, is helping to driving this digital conversation by providing a music discovery and sharing platform which caters to the modern, social consumer, supporting the artist as a engagement tool, and driving increasing revenues back into the music industry. In a fireside chat, Ken Parks, Spotify's Chief Content Officer & U.S. Managing Director and David Draiman, lead singer of Disturbed, will address the future of the music industry and where Spotify and the artist fit into this conversation.
by George Friedman
This solo presentation from the founder / CEO of the Austin-based company Stratfor (as well as the author of the best-selling books "The Next 100 Years," "The Next Decade" and "The Future of War") will cover "Pseudo-togetherness" caused by social media and the true lack of solidarity. Friedman's talk will cover our current transition to spending more time speaking to more people (but with less substance), plus future of the human race transcending technology. Using examples with online dating vs the old ways of meeting people, this brilliant thinker will also discuss what society loses in our continuing embrace technology in the context of how we lost body language with the telephone.
Radio has long been the principal pipeline connecting fans to artists. Even today it still accounts for 80% of the time Americans spend listening to music. But this medium is now undergoing a profound transformation driven by the arrival of ubiquitous internet connectivity. And this transformation has dramatic implications for musicians. Tim Westergren, founder and chief strategy officer of Pandora, will discuss his perspective on what it means for artists and the larger industry.
by Scott Snibbe
For twenty years, Scott Snibbe has advocated for a new form of interactive entertainment that moves beyond video games to treat interactivity as a full medium in its own right. He argues that interactivity has the same potential for emotional impact and engagement as cinema and music. In this talk, Snibbe will present two of his companies’ most powerful interactive experiences from last year, which point to the growing maturity of this medium: Björk’s Biophilia App, the world’s first App Album; and The James Cameron Avatar Experience, a fully immersive gestural interactive exhibition.
Scott Snibbe will discuss these two ends of the interactive spectrum, and the space between: from intimate apps beneath our fingertips, to fully immersive, social exhibitions spanning thousands of square feet. He will situate this work among selections of twenty years of his companies’ interactive exhibits, interactive art, and interactive music, as well as key examples from the last 30 years’ history of interactivity, and make a bold claim for the rise of this medium to rival movies. Snibbe will also discuss the educational, societal, and industry benefits of interactivity; and the joys, challenges, and research involved in the creation and distribution of these new forms of interactive media.
Many of us are racing to be first to market, or release something in time for a specific event. Running and gunning on the product design battlefield is a tremendous challenge because it takes time to design things that provide ~real value for people and fit into a brand’s ecosystem in a meaningful way. How can you create things that provide utility, joy, and value while you’re chasing a moving target on the battlefield of design? This talk will show you. Discover the essential art of design triage and explore techniques to provide solid user experience design (even when there’s no time), put mortally flawed projects out of their misery, and help deserving projects thrive. Design triage will help you shape things that serve people’s real needs and goals and give you tools to parachute into a fast moving situations so you can provide “nick of time” design that makes what your building truly helpful and delightful.
9th–13th March 2012