Speaker topics are now updated on the Web Design Day website. I think we did a good job this year of putting together a program that is of interest to all web developers. Let us know what you think in the comments.
“Hulkmania & Design”
Hulk Hogan is the greatest wrestler that has ever lived. He taught us more about being great designers than we might realize.
“Responsive Design vs Separate Mobile Sites: Presidential Smackdown Edition”
The US presidential race is heading into full swing, and the candidates will soon be intensely debating the country’s hot-button issues. The web design world is entrenched in its own debate about how to address the mobile web: should you create a separate mobile site or create a responsive experience instead? It just so happens that the two US presidential candidates have chosen different mobile web strategies for their official websites. In the red corner is Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s dedicated mobile site, while in the blue corner is incumbent president Barack Obama’s responsive website. Which will prevail? We’ll dissect the candidates’ sites to uncover best practices and common mobile web pitfalls.
“Useful, Usable & Desirable: Designing for People”
“It needs to be easy to use.” We’ve heard this many times before from stakeholders, clients, and colleagues. But how do you go about making a website—or any product or service—easy to use? While there are plenty of industry leaders, books, articles, and best practices to learn from, what matters is context. For whom are you designing? What is this person’s goals, motivations, and pain points? What is he or she trying to accomplish? Good design solves real problems. It doesn’t just decorate. How can you design to solve real problems for real people?
This session will explore the fundamentals of user experience. We’ll explore industry best practices and examples of websites that solve real problems for real people. There are many tools and disciplines within user experience, from content strategy to information architecture to user research. By understanding these tools and when to use them, and by understanding the context of each design problem we are faced with, we can begin to understand how to utilize design thinking and creating user experiences that are useful, usable, and desirable.
“It’s 2012 &I’m Still Writing “Should web designers know how to code?” On All My Checks”
For the last few years, three questions have, in one way or another, driven a disproportionate number of the web-related presentations I’ve either attended or seen online:
- Should web designers know how to code?
- How do I convince my boss that we should be building our [thing] responsively?
- How do we get clients to pay for [new thing du jour]?
On the surface, these are good and relevant questions. Ours is an industry in upheaval, and we’re all trying to figure out how to cope with revolutionary change and its implications. But a deeper examination of questions like these reveals a dangerous and shared Achilles heel: In the name of community, we have built around us a professional echo chamber so tight, it’s weakened our ability to do the very synthesis required to advance the causes that drove such questions in the first place. For forty minutes, we’ll focus on practical ways to wrestle ourselves and our profession from this straightjacket of regurgitative nonthinking, and stop creating needless Sisyphean drama where progress, play, and growth ought naturally to dwell instead.
“Becoming a Web Design Champion: How to Better Collaborate, Develop Your Style, and Get Designs Launched”
In the course of her career working solo, in a duo, with agencies, with corporations, and with a startup, Meagan’s learned a few valuable lessons (some the hard way) about how to grow as a designer. She’ll talk about how she got started, as well as insights on collaborating, evolving your style, and getting things launched. You’ll also hear about the design maxims she holds dear (and which ones she ignores), and the web development techniques that have strengthened her design skills. She hopes to leave you with some ideas for how to be a web design champion.
Kevin M. Hoffman
“Designing Meetings to Work For”
Great design doesn’t normally happen in business meetings; we expect it to happen on the sketchpad and the screen. Meetings are ragged speed bumps in our creative process: necessary evils we have in place to secure agreement without incurring excessive tire damage to our projects. But by treating them as a design problem, they can be so much more. With careful consideration of user goals and system constraints, time spent collaborating together can become a design tool even more powerful than your computer. Kevin will show you a selection of meeting interaction frameworks that get actionable results, and help course correct when meetings aren’t hitting the targets that they should (even if you aren’t in charge).
“Overcoming Collaboration Challenges”
Whether it’s with your client or your internal team, collaboration is a critical part of the design process. However, facilitating those discussions is not always an easy task. During this talk, I’ll take you behind the scenes of real collaboration sessions and discuss some of the solutions that I’ve utilized to overcome challenges.
“A Short Lintermission”
Ever made a typo? Forget to declare a variable? Ugh… bugs. What if I told you there is a code equivalent of a spell/grammar check? Oh yeah, that’s what a code linter does. Let’s chat about which linters are out there, what they can help you find, and how you can integrate them into your dev process.
“Large Format Playgrounds”
Interactive technologies are branching beyond our desktops and mobile devices to ever expanding screen sizes and formats. Virtually any surface can be a touch screen and projections can turn buildings into interactive playgrounds. Come and see what’s happening right here in Pittsburgh and view some demos of what’s possible with large format and touch technologies.
Haven’t got your ticket yet for Web Design Day? Register at our website!