Future of Web Design Conference
The Brewery, deep in the financial district of London, was the chosen venue, and it was the perfect setting for a look into what is an exciting time in web design. With the buzz surrounding HTML5 and CSS3, and the rise in popularity of the mobile web, there was plenty of variety for the attendees to get to grips with.
The team from Carsonified, who organise the event, surpassed themselves by bringing together a great collection of industry recognised speakers to help make sense of these new developments, and give insight into how those working in the industry need to adapt to keep up with emerging technologies and best practises.
One of the more enlightening of these was delivered by Dan Cederholm, who gave good practical advice on the new techniques available with CSS3. Dan used a demo site he had created to display how simple lines of code can be used to create text-effects, smooth transitions and animations. The emphasis here was on progressive enhancement, ensuring that we are all designing for the best browsers and providing graceful degradation for those such as Internet Explorer that haven't quite caught up.
The other specification that is generating a lot of excitement is HTML5, which has been widely marked as the future of the web. Bruce Lawson from Opera chose to introduce this in a workshop, in which he coded a basic HTML5 website live on stage.This skimmed over the new semantic markup elements and gave some quick examples of video integration that is now native to the browser. HTML5 is a much wider topic, and Bruce encouraged those present to start experimenting with the new possibilities that it creates.
One of the criticisms that has been levelled at FOWD in the past has been the lack of talk about design, some feeling that it focuses too much on the coding side of the web design process. Two particular presentations that addressed this were Simon Collison's 'What will Web Design Look Like in Two Years?' and Sarah Parmenter's talk on how to design for iPhone interfaces, both which were insightful and informative. Other presentations covered subjects such as information architecture, jQuery, web analytics and the business aspects of working on the web, all working together to provide a wide viewpoint of the industry.
All of the presentations were recorded and will be available to purchase online soon. Keep an eye out on http://www.futureofwebdesign.com/ and http://twitter.com/fowd for more details.
Kev Charlton is Head of Innovation at full service digital agency fuse8. He manages a team of experts in digital marketing and website development. He works closely with his team on all online projects as well as collaborating with other areas of the business on a multitude of integrated projects.