Web Directions South 2011

The Australian Web Industry Conference
October 1114 2011, Sydney

Design Track

Everything a designer needs to sharpen their pencil: Relly Annett-Baker shows us all the small things; Hannah Donovan is designing without the browser; Greg Rewis is moving it with CSS3 transitions and animations; Aaron Weyenberg knows the perils of realistic UI design; Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis shows off the new blades and tools in the web’s Swiss Army Knife CSS3; Alex Young is going multi-role for multi-devices; and Paris Buttfield-Addison shows you how you’re already a game designer.

Move it! CSS3 Transitions and Animations

It’s all about the movement, baby!
Photo of Greg Rewis

Presenter: Greg Rewis

Since the early days of the web, the only reliable way to get movement on your site was through Flash, or more recently, Javascript. But now, with WebKit and Mozilla leading the way, transformations and transitions can be done with pure CSS, even on mobile devices. And for those in need of even more movement, CSS3 provides for keyframe-based animations. In this session, we’ll take a look at all of the possibilities and explore what works and where — from the simplest effects, to creative usability enhancements including the combination of CSS with mobile Javascript frameworks.

See the slides and hear the podcast

Designing without the browser

We are the makers of things
Photo of Hannah Donovan

Presenter: Hannah Donovan

Innovation is intensifying off the browser — the things we use everyday are increasingly controlled by touch, gesture and voice. And we, as interaction designers, are faced with a challenge that’s the opposite of our browser-​​based one-​​man-​​shop: there’s suddenly a gulf of production between our concept and the final product; the means of production is as tricky to navigate as a roster of Tolstoy characters; mistakes are expensive; and everyone speaks a different language. Sound dangerous? Sound exciting?

Donovan argues the processes for the future lie in our more material-​​based graphic designer pasts, and our cousin disciplines of industrial design and architecture. After a decade of honing our newfangled browser-​​based skills, learn how to dust off and sharpen the tools of our roots.

See the slides and hear the podcast

All The Small Things

Razor sharp copy for sites and applications
Photo of Relly Annett-Baker

Presenter: Relly Annett-Baker

Microcopy is the ninja of online content. Fast, furious and deadly, it has the power to make or break your online business, to kill or stay your foes. It’s a sentence, a confirmation, a few words. One word, even. It isn’t big or flashy. It doesn’t leave a calling card. If it does its job your customer may never notice it was there.

In this session, Relly will show you how you can bolster sales and reflect your company and client’s values through just a few well-chosen words. Designers? Do you get lumped with the interaction copy? Developers? Do you get left trying to make meaningful error messages? Ecommerce managers? Do you want an easy increase in sales? This session will help. It will be a lot of fun. You should definitely come.

See the slides and hear the podcast

CSS3-the web’s Swiss Army Knife updated and improved

Photo of Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis

Presenter: Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis

Throughout the years, the Swiss Army Knife has been the trusted companion of scouts and explorers alike, and for front-end developers, CSS has been a trusty, if sometimes frustrating, companion. And just as blades, scissors and sundry tools have been added to the Swiss Army Knife, with CSS3, we have new tools and implements of creativity, and some tried and true tools have been honed and sharpened. Of course the key to success is knowing which of the many tools to use and how to wield them in a given situation. Join Stephanie Rewis as she explores some shiny enhancements to favorite old tools like backgrounds and borders, as well as slices and dices with new tools like CSS masks and more!

Getting Real: Pros and Pitfalls of Realistic UI Design

Photo of Aaron Weyenberg

Presenter: Aaron Weyenberg

A new generation of touch devices have proven to be exciting playgrounds for app designers. And with every new product we create, we have the opportunity to offer the most clear and efficient experience for our users. Recent UI trends often lean to realistic, faithful representations of analog controls and features. These designs can offer advantages, but also come with their own set of hazards.

In this session Aaron will lead you on a tour of current trends and practices, examining the strengths and drawbacks that realism brings. We’ll talk about things like mental models, innovation and usability as they relate to lifelike UI. Finally, Aaron will share some pragmatic guidelines to keep in mind as you build the next wave of mobile and tablet apps.

See the slides and hear the podcast

You’re Already A Game Designer

Photo of Paris Buttfield-Addison

Presenter: Paris Buttfield-Addison

Gamification’s still the hot new thing, somehow, but it’s a term that’s poorly applied and even more poorly understood.

In this session, you’ll learn how gamification has been with us all along, how to design with your user’s emotions in mind, and how to go beyond badges, buttons and points.

Bring your sense of fun, and be prepared to learn how your product is already a game — you just need to point it out!

Multi-device, Multi-role

Photo of Alex Young

Presenter: Alex Young

No longer is being connected limited to the constraints of the traditional desktop environment. Devices, networks and the Web are maturing and evolving at a fast rate. Our expectations about what we want, how we want it and when we want it are more complex.

Designing experiences for web for the “desktop” environment is something many of us have been doing for a while. Toss in “mobile”, sprinkle that with some social integration, a native app or two and things suddenly start getting a bit more interesting. How do you approach designing experiences that span multiple platforms and devices, contexts and roles to meet the evolving needs of our audiences?

See the slides and hear the podcast

Designing for change and disruption

Photo of Scott Bryant Photo of Simon Wright

Presenters: Scott Bryant & Simon Wright

Change is never a smooth process. How do know when disruption is useful and how do you cope with the feedback on it? Recently news.com.au, a national news website with large numbers of daily visitors, underwent a major upgrade which tore down existing and perhaps “expected” ways of presenting news. At the heart of the redesign was a desire for change that motivated and challenged every aspect of the team’s design thinking and process. In this co-piloted session Simon and Scott will fly you over the territories of change they encountered on the project, ones common to many redesign projects. They’ll descend through the experiences that came out of the redesign: fundamentals like stakeholders, requirements and their process for user experience architect and designer working side by side. Sprinkled with some of the twitter and facebook feedback the project received, they’ll touch down on the sticky issues of dealing with feedback and how to suck it up and utilise passionate user and stakeholder feedback.

See the slides and hear the podcast