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But that mixture of excitement and apprehension (with my kids we call this being 'anxited') never fades. You put everything into creating the best possible lineup, and then hope others agree! So, today we're anxited to be announcing the full lineup for our brand new conference Design! If you want to see who we've lined up, jump over to the site, and take a look at the full schedule. But if you're interested in learning a little bit more about why we are doing this event, and what it's all about, read on!

Why Design?

Our events have, since the beginning, focussed as much on design as development. But when we started, all digital design pretty much fell under the term "Web Design" (and perhaps "usability"). In the years since, the digital design field has increasingly specialised, team sizes have grown dramatically, and businesses and organizations, at least the more forward looking ones, have come to realise the strategic value of design for success, and even survival.

Digital Product and Service Design

And so, just as back in 2012 we took the developer-focussed track from our end of year event, and created a new, single track, Melbourne based conference, Code, in 2018 we're taking the same approach with design, and creating Design, a single track conference, in Melbourne, focussing on the breadth of digital product and service design.

Who's it for?

Whether you lead and manage design teams, or are relatively new in your role, whether you focus on research, interaction design, UX or strategy, Design features world leading experts, to stimulate, challenge, inform and engage you.

Curated themes

When we program our conferences, we think of the major themes that we feel are currently shaping our industry. Two key themes have emerged as we brought together the Design program.
The impact of design
If there is an overarching focus of the design profession now, it's the impact of design in the broadest sense–on the teams we work in, on the clients, businesses or organisations we work for, even on our society and culture. Design has sessions that address all these in depth.
  • Sara Wachter Boettcher, author of the just published Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech will consider how we can create less toxic, more inclusive products and services.
  • Hilary Cinis will present a UX Guide to Crafting Ethical AI Products and Services, something that they consider extensively at Data61 where she is UX Group Leader.
  • Nathan Kinch will consider how we can design for trust, one of the most precious and easily squandered commodities in government and industry today.
  • Kate Conrick will address how we can do good (through) design in government (lessons readily applicable to other large, at times bureaucratic organisations).
The impact of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Another theme that has emerged, something that has very deeply interested us over the last couple of years here at Web Directions–as it has the design profession as a whole–is the role of machine intelligence as a medium for design (through voice and bot interfaces, through the access to increasingly large amounts of data, often in realtime, about our users), and the potential impact of AI on the practice, even the profession of design. We have a number of sessions which address these issues directly, including
  • Darla Sharp, a voice interaction designer formerly on the Alexa team, now working on Google Voice, on lessons she's learned designing for these voice interfaces
  • Cory-Ann Joseph, UX Lead at ANZ (and serious poker player), on the potential impact of AI on the existence of design roles at all, and why a poker-playing AI should have designers looking for a new job
All this alongside sessions on design research from former senior Mailchimp and Telegraph UK design researcher Stephanie Troeth, content strategy for better UX from Sally Bagshaw, design systems at scale at Adobe with Sarah Federman, outsourcing design, and even blockchain for designers! 20 sensational sessions in total. See the whole schedule here. Early bird pricing is available on our three levels of ticket, priced for every budget, starting from $999.

Key Dates for Design and Design Leaders

  • 2 March Design and Design Leaders Early Bird Pricing Ends
  • 23 March Design and Design Leaders Middle Bird Pricing Ends
  • 11 April Design Leaders Conference
  • 12–13 April Design Conference
" ["post_title"]=> string(48) "Announcing the program for Web Directions Design" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(40) "announcing-program-web-directions-design" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2018-02-23 10:26:26" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-02-22 23:26:26" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8227" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1121 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8206) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-02-12 15:06:05" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-02-12 04:06:05" ["post_content"]=> string(2757) "We're excited to be able to announce the first speakers we have lined up for our brand-new conference, Design, in Melbourne in April. We'd already sold over 10% of the tickets before announcing any of the speakers, with an intimate setting, don't wait too long to register, and if you do so before February 23rd, you get the early bird pricing. Design focusses on the breadth of designing great digital services and products. From design strategy to IxD, UX to User Research, ideas and practice. Whatever your design role, and whatever your experience level, Design is for you. Here's the first of 20 speakers from around Australia and the World we've lined up for you.

Stephanie Troeth has over two decades of experience designing and developing for the Web. She has lead European Customer Research for MailChimp, co-creating MailChimp's famed customer personas, and has lead Design Research at the UK's Telegraph Media Group, and until very recently she was Head of Research at ClearLeft, the renowned UK Digital Agency.

Andy Polaine is the Design Director for Asia Pacific at Fjord, the co-author of Service Design: From Insight to Implementation, and has for nearly a quarter of a century worked with clients such as the BBC, the ABC, Tomato, The Science Museum and Levi’s at Razorfish, Animal Logic and elsewhere.

Hilary Cinis is Principal User Experience Designer and User Experience Group Leader at Data61. She has been the Creative Lead at the ABC's TV Multiplatform initiative, and spear headed other creative initiatives at the national broadcaster.

We'll have more speakers for you later this week, ahead of the full lineup in a week or so.

Start planning now, for a stellar lineup from around Australia and the world. And don't forget, register by February 23rd and get the early bird rate, starting from $999, for two incredible days." ["post_title"]=> string(55) "Announcing the first speakers for Web Directions Design" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(47) "announcing-first-speakers-web-directions-design" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2018-02-12 15:06:05" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-02-12 04:06:05" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8206" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#1120 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8199) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-01-04 11:54:22" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-01-04 00:54:22" ["post_content"]=> string(8024) "We started out with a single event, Web Directions, back in 2006. Over the intervening 12 years, we've branched out to different countries at times (and who knows maybe will again!) and added more focussed singe track events like Code in 2012 to our major event (now Web Directions Summit). We've experimented with taking events to multiple cities in a short time frame (the lesson we learned was this was really exhausting for all concerned), created "popup" events (some of which go on to becoming annual events, others remain one off), and continued to look to evolve our events, and their content as our industry continues to evolve. We've now finalised our 2018 program, a mixture of our trusted, long running conferences, including Code and Summit, with some new events as well. Read on for more on each event, or if you can't wait and want to see what's planned, head right on over to our events page.

the year at a glance

At a glance, there are three 'tent post' events. Design in Melbourne in April, Code in Melbourne in August and Summit in Sydney in November. Along side each these are related events–Design Leaders, Code Leaders, AI and Culture.

Respond becomes Design

The biggest change is the retirement of our Respond conference. But don't be too despondent, as it is really transforming into something even more relevant and valuable. Respond began life as a one day "popup" event in 2014, with a Web design focus–partly on technology, above all CSS, and partly on the design challenges of an increasingly multi-screen world. Over the following years, it became increasingly a broadly design focussed event, though its name continued to suggest topics closer to its original focus. Now after a lot of thought and many conversations with attendees of our events and folks we know in the industry, we've come to conclude that increasingly the division between the content at Code and that at Respond, particularly the technical content, is artificial. Not that many years ago, developers who worked with JavaScript were a subset of front end developers. This separation is increasingly rare. And so from 2018, all of the technical, front-end content, from CSS to HTML to JavaScript, will live at Code (and in the engineering track at our end of year Summit). If you work on the front end with any of these technologies these events are for you. But where does that leave Respond? Well, right from the beginning, and increasingly over its lifespan, Respond had a strong design focus. Last year over two thirds of the content was what you might broadly describe as design. So just as Code started life by us taking the developer focussed aspects of our end of year Sydney event and creating a new dedicated developer event, Respond will become Design, a single track event focussing on the challenges of designing great digital products and services. From user research to Interaction Design, Product Design to CX, we've created Design as the place for design professionals to gather, learn and connect. We're already lining up an incredible set of speakers (we can't wait to start announcing them in early February). So mark April 12 and 13 in Melbourne in your diaries.

And, Design Leaders

In a similar vein to our Code Leaders event, we're also running Design Leaders in Melbourne the day before Design. As design moves from nice-to-have to being increasingly appreciated as having key strategic value for companies and organisations, design teams are growing, often rapidly, and design professionals are playing increasingly important leadership roles. Design leaders is created for experienced design professionals in, or moving into these management and leadership roles.

The sell out Code returns

Code, running since 2012 in Melbourne, returns after selling out weeks in advance in 2017. It's of course again in Melbourne, August 2 and 3, at its long running home, the Arts Centre. If you work on the front end, then this is the event for you. We suggest starting to plan now, as last year a lot of people were disappointed to miss out. Alongside Code we're running Code Leaders once again. This one day event we started last year is tailored to more senior engineering professionals, and the particular challenges they face. Last year the content was more technical, but for this year, based on attendee's feedback, there'll be more of a focus on leadership, management and culture. Code Leaders takes place on August 1st.

Web Directions Summit

After experimenting with a single track format in 2016, we returned to the long established, much loved two track format with Web Directions Summit in Sydney in November. And that's how it will stay, with a track focussed on design, and a track focussed on development and engineering, alongside keynotes from highly engaging deep thinkers. Web Directions Summit 2018 takes place on November 8 & 9 in Sydney. It's our keystone event, and we're already lining up incredible speakers.

Culture

Last year we ran our first Culture event. Building on the success of and interest in Code Leaders, Culture focusses on the challenges of building great teams and organisational cultures that are diverse, inclusive and high performing. Culture returns in 2018 the day before Summit, and is created for design and engineering leaders, as well as HR and Culture professionals.

AI

New in 2017, one of our 'popup' events, AI sold out and generated a lot of great responses. In 2017 we'll again hold AI, this year running on the day before Summit, November 7, in Sydney. Whether your focus is design, engineering or decision making, AI provides you with a better capacity to incorporate machine learning and AI technology into your current products and services, as well as new products and services you may be working on.

Register now and save

We currently have great super early bird specials for all of our 2018 events–get a Gold ticket (conference, conference videos and speaker dinner) for just $999 for any of our main conferences.

Where did Transform go?

You may notice that our Transform event, which we've run the last couple of years is no longer part of our lineup. Both editions of Transform have been successful, but we've found the challenge of such a small team running so many events simply too depleting. A lot of the content we covered in Transform, which focussed on government digital transformation, is covered at other events of ours, and we've long had a strong contingent of government attendees at all our events.

Here's to a great 2018

All the best for 2018. We're looking forward to an amazing year of conferences, and other events so start planning now, and we look forward to seeing you." ["post_title"]=> string(29) "Web Directions Events in 2018" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(26) "web-directions-events-2018" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2018-01-04 11:54:22" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-01-04 00:54:22" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8199" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1119 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8187) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-11-03 15:28:56" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-11-03 04:28:56" ["post_content"]=> string(2085) "
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.” The Sun Also Rises: Ernest Hemingway, 1926
We tend to think of change as arriving suddenly, largely fully formed. The iPhone in 2007, Donald Trump in 2016. But, in reality, all change - whether social, cultural, political or technological - emerges over years or even decades, slowly at first, then gathering momentum, then seemingly inevitable. But, along the way, in large ways and small, we as individuals, and professions, and societies, make choices. We vote for political parties and their platforms. We work for particular companies and organisations on specific products or services. Caught up in the whirlwind of the 24 hour news cycle, and the day to day of life, we let small changes add up to big, until the future arrives, perhaps not the future we were imagining. We do what we do, personally and professionally, for the big, long term reasons. But the noise of the everyday, the professional and personal needs of things to just be done right now drowns out the music of the years and the decades. And so our lives can easily end up the sum of countless short term, crisis driven decisions, a life of Brownian motion, not gravity waves. So, where can you find the space and time to counterbalance the short term pressures, which are real and often genuinely can't be ignored? Some practice meditation and mindfulness. Some exercise. Some read a great deal. Some do all these things. Often, we feel ironically we don't have time for these things, there's the fire to put out, the child to be put to bed, the thousand things we won't likely give a shit about a day or a week and certainly not a year from now. Find the time to get a sense of the long term, and where things might be a month or a year or a decade from now. Because that time will pass, and we can either shape that future, or be shaped by it. " ["post_title"]=> string(35) "Shape the Future or be Shaped by it" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(302) "We tend to think of change as arriving suddenly, largely fully formed. The iPhone in 2007, Donald Trump in 2016. But, in reality, all change - whether social, cultural, political or technological - emerges over years or even decades, slowly at first, then gathering momentum, then seemingly inevitable." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(35) "shape-the-future-or-be-shaped-by-it" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-11-03 15:28:56" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-11-03 04:28:56" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8187" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#1118 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8184) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-11-03 13:36:55" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-11-03 02:36:55" ["post_content"]=> string(3495) "Lea VerouBack in 2012, Lea Verou made quite an impact when she presented More CSS Secrets at Web Directions. Her live coding on stage was truly a wonder to behold (plenty of experts I know refuse to do it - because it's hard!). Lea returned to be part of Code 17 earlier this year. In fact, she and her partner Chris Lilley both presented, which was a bit of a coup for us. We've made Lea's presentation our Video of the Week, not least because it is one of the first and clearest insights into Mavo, a new, approachable way to create web applications, using just HTML and CSS. Every now and then, someone comes up with a new tool or technique or approach that turns out to be a game changer: Responsive Web Design, Flexbox, Progressive Web Apps, CSS Grid Layout are recent examples. We believe Mavo is another, and one that builds on and extends the power of the web itself. Take a look (57 minutes).    

Got your ticket for Summit 17 yet?

Last year's Direction has morphed into this year's Summit - two days and two tracks of presentations crammed with ideas, challenges, techniques and breakthroughs in design, development and the overarching themes and concerns driving the breakneck evolution of our web and digital industry. It all takes place in Sydney on 9-10 November. Come and join us!  

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" ["post_title"]=> string(77) "Video of the Week: Mavo: HTML Re-imagined for the Era of Web Apps - Lea Verou" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(196) "At Web Directions, we like launching things at our conferences. At Code this year, Lea Verou gave one of the first deep dives into Mavo, a new way of creating web applications using HTML and CSS. " ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(55) "video-week-mavo-html-re-imagined-era-web-apps-lea-verou" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-11-03 13:36:55" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-11-03 02:36:55" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8184" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [5]=> object(WP_Post)#1117 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8167) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-11-01 13:07:44" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-11-01 02:07:44" ["post_content"]=> string(4548) "Mandy MichaelOne of the more pleasurable tasks in organising web tech conferences - although often a difficult one - is talent spotting: identifying people who not only have developed some particular technical facility, or some approach to skills development, or a fresh perspective on our digital futures, but can also articulate their point of view and then stand up in front of several hundred of their peers and expound on that topic. Being good at that doesn't suit everyone, so it's very pleasing to be able to spot people - some of whom may have never spoken in public before - and encourage and support them to be speakers at Web Directions events. Some go on to speak at overseas conferences and build themselves an international reputation. I bring this up because our Video Ristretto is of a talk from Respond 17 by Mandy Michael, Lead Front End Developer at Seven West Media in Perth. Mandy is by no means a beginner, and has even been a web tech conference organiser herself. But I think it's fair to say that during the past year or two, she has emerged as one of our local leading speakers on front end development and CSS in particular. I dare say many of our international visitors who've seen Mandy speak and chatted with her would expand that to "global". Mandy certainly demonstrates not only a mastery of CSS skills in this talk but an ability and desire to share her knowledge and inspire others. By the way, Mandy will be at Summit in Sydney next week (and if you're not, I hope you have a good reason - otherwise, register now!), where the list of speakers runs the full gamut of experience, from seasoned to fresh - all of them compelling. For now, give yourself 20 minutes or so to let Mandy show you some pretty cool and useful text effects with CSS.    

Got your ticket for Summit 17 yet?

Last year's Direction has morphed into this year's Summit - two days and two tracks of presentations crammed with ideas, challenges, techniques and breakthroughs in design, development and the overarching themes and concerns driving the breakneck evolution of our web and digital industry. It all takes place in Sydney on 9-10 November. Come and join us!  

Want more?

Like to see and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our weekly newsletter mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions, as well as regular bursts of links to relevant articles & resources curated by John Allsopp - and we can promise you some exclusive and substantial subscriber benefits.
" ["post_title"]=> string(77) "Video Ristretto: Sharpen Up Your Text with The Power of Three - Mandy Michael" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(269) "In a world where JS and SVG are taking over, it’s easy to forget the power of CSS. Luckily there are three powerful CSS items, each with a specific use, whose strengths are enhanced when used together. This is Mandy Michael's short but powerful talk from Respond 17. " ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(42) "video-ristretto-sharpen-text-mandy-michael" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-11-01 13:09:08" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-11-01 02:09:08" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8167" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#1116 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8146) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-10-27 16:12:54" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-27 05:12:54" ["post_content"]=> string(3165) "Rachel NaborsThis week's video opus comes from our Respond conference in May. We were extremely fortunate to have Rachel Nabors out here. Rachel went from award-winning cartoonist to front-end developer, a story we wrote about here. In this talk, Rachel looks at how animation helps people interact with touch screens, how those same principles apply to the web, where animation has been all this time, and where it's going. Set aside 50 minutes or so for one crackerjack keynote.    

Got your ticket for Summit 17 yet?

Last year's Direction has morphed into this year's Summit - two days and two tracks of presentations crammed with ideas, challenges, techniques and breakthroughs in design, development and the overarching themes and concerns driving the breakneck evolution of our web and digital industry. It all takes place in Sydney on 9-10 November. Come and join us!  

Want more?

Like to see and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our weekly newsletter mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions, as well as regular bursts of links to relevant articles & resources curated by John Allsopp - and we can promise you some exclusive and substantial subscriber benefits.
" ["post_title"]=> string(52) "Video of the Week: The Web In Motion - Rachel Nabors" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(185) "At Respond 17, Rachel Nabors looked at how animation helps people interact with touch screens and how those same principles apply to the web. Put aside 50 minutes for a great talk. " ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(35) "video-week-web-motion-rachel-nabors" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-10-27 16:12:54" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-27 05:12:54" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8146" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [7]=> object(WP_Post)#1115 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8138) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-10-25 10:55:34" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-24 23:55:34" ["post_content"]=> string(3979) "Warwick CoxAs we get ever closer to the web tech-fest that is our Summit 17 conference (two weeks from now, still some tickets, register here), I wanted to make a small but important point. We are Australian. Yes, our industry is by definition a global one but Australians inevitably bring to it some of their own style and flair - and that can have quite specific effects on our work. Which brings me to Warwick Cox and his presentation at Respond 17. It's hard not to like someone who happily tells us that his company's core value statement came from a slogan on a stubby holder at his wedding. Or whose major app idea came from his teenage daughter. Or who rattles through his 20 minute talk in 15 minutes. Warwick's style is undeniably Australian, but his point is equally undeniable - that he achieved success with an approach to online ordering that does the opposite of many rival models. Instead of presenting users with huge lists of competing products to select from, Warwick's company Crowd Delivery provides a text box and lets the user type in what they want to order. Simple and effective. There's a lot more to it, and Warwick's account not only entertains but might just inspire someone to develop their own idea. You'll certainly enjoy this short talk.    

Got your ticket for Summit 17 yet?

Last year's Direction has morphed into this year's Summit - two days and two tracks of presentations crammed with ideas, challenges, techniques and breakthroughs in design, development and the overarching themes and concerns driving the breakneck evolution of our web and digital industry. It all takes place in Sydney on 9-10 November. Come and join us!  

Want more?

Like to see and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our weekly newsletter mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions, as well as regular bursts of links to relevant articles & resources curated by John Allsopp - and we can promise you some exclusive and substantial subscriber benefits.
" ["post_title"]=> string(71) "Video Ristretto: Removing Everything and Having a Crap UI - Warwick Cox" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(258) "It's hard not to like someone who happily tells us that his company's core value statement came from a slogan on a stubby holder at his wedding. Or whose major app idea came from his teenage daughter. Or who rattles through his 20 minute talk in 15 minutes. " ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(55) "video-ristretto-removing-everything-crap-ui-warwick-cox" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-11-01 13:06:40" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-11-01 02:06:40" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8138" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [8]=> object(WP_Post)#1114 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8131) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-10-24 12:49:49" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-24 01:49:49" ["post_content"]=> string(4431) "conference attendeesFor many years, my primary focus was developing software. In the mid 90s, that morphed into developing software for web developers, in particular one of the very earliest CSS editors, Style Master. For a long time, I knew as much about CSS as almost anyone on earth (Eric Meyer and Bert Bos probably knew more than I did back then). I wrote parsers and editors for all of CSS2 (Pro tip, be very careful about supporting standards that aren't final - CSS2 was never finalised and supported features that ended up in other CSS modules often many years later), and I knew all the minutiae of CSS rules and properties and values. I developed a database of hundreds - possibly thousands - of browser CSS bugs, with suggested workarounds (like caniuse.com, but available in 1996). Fast forward 20 years and what I really know a lot about now is running great conferences. I say that with humility, and based on a lot of feedback that I believe has been honest and has often included ideas for improvement. And yet that's not something I've ever written about (which is unusual for me), despite having some very strong opinions about this (which is not at all unusual for me). So, given we have a big conference coming up in three weeks, I thought I'd write down a thought or two about conferences, in particular addressing the issue, "what is the point of attending a conference?" I actually remember when we ran our first conferences, around 2004, people asking in particular why anyone would come to a conference about the web, since they were all online and learning and connecting. I used to talk abut the value of connecting in person, either with someone new, or with people you meet maybe once a year at our conference. Back then, there were few if any meetups, and indeed not many people actually did this web thing, well at least not compared with today. It was a way to connect with, and share ideas with, and form friendships with people who did what you did. Face to face. While that need is, up to a point, met in other ways now, there is something about hundreds of people in the one place, being inspired and educated, caffeinated and connected that is special. But my focus is very much on the content, speakers and ideas. And this is what I think few people really think about in terms of the value of the content of a conference, or at least this is how I think about that value. When we attend a workshop on a specific topic like "Introductory React" or "Advanced CSS Animation", we think of ourselves at a certain level of knowledge (I know a fair bit about CSS and animation, I know nothing about React). We also have a sense of where we want to go over the course of  that day or the days of the class. It's about, in Donald Rumsfeld's famous, often ridiculed but I think valuable formulation, about known unknowns. It's about realising what we know we don't know, and filling that specific gap. That's not what conferences are for, even though workshops and conferences seemingly often take place hand in hand. Conferences are (at least in how I program them) about discovering what we don't know we don't know - and turning these unknown unknowns into the known unknowns we can then focus on (if we think that is warranted). Workshops are turn by turn instructions from point A to point B. A conference is perhaps a travel guide, pointing out the things we could do, the ideas we could explore, the places we could go. Using a conference in this way means we seek out what we don't know (time and again attendee feedback from our conferences is that it was the speaker who they hadn't heard of talking about something they didn't know about that was most valuable). To me it this serendipity, of the people you meet and the ideas you encounter, that is the  irreplaceable aspect of a conference. Yes, conferences require a real commitment of time and money. But I honestly feel they are unique and uniquely valuable. It's why I love running them, and talking at them, and attending them. Every conference I've ever attended has been of real value. And while that remains true I hope to keep doing them, and speaking at them and attending them." ["post_title"]=> string(43) "What is the point of going to a conference?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(206) ""I actually remember when we ran our first conferences, around 2004, people asking in particular why anyone would come to a conference about the web, since they were all online and learning and connecting."" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(22) "point-going-conference" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-10-24 12:49:49" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-24 01:49:49" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8131" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [9]=> object(WP_Post)#1113 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8126) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-10-20 12:14:31" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-20 01:14:31" ["post_content"]=> string(4713) "Mina MarkhamWe in web tech do not work in a vacuum. While it might be tempting - whether you're a designer, a front end developer, an engineer, an information architect or anything else - to think just in terms of technical expertise, specifications, skills and code, the real world does not consist of ones and zeroes. The technical products and services we devise not only change what we as human beings can do, but also how we relate to each other. We're seeing the truth of that every day, and more so, and that awareness underpins several of the keynote presentations at our Summit conference next month. Our Video of the Week is of one of our international keynote speakers at our Respond 17 design conference. Mina Markham is the US senior UI engineer who created and maintained the Pantsuit UI pattern library for the Hillary For America US presidential campaign in 2016. That alone is a great story, how Mina put together a suite of design elements for a campaign at such a huge level and with such massive implications. It's an incredibly complex project that Mina handled with aplomb and great desxterity. But there's another aspect to Mina's story and it does come out in this video. The campaign took place amid one of the most hotly contested (to put it mildy) elections in history, with an explosive result, the consequences of which continue to resound around the world. In that milieu, the experience of the African American woman who put together a design campaign to try to help get the first woman President of the USA elected was never going to be a comfortable one. And it's not. Some of what Mina relates in this video is very unsettling and upsetting. That doesn't mean you shouldn't see it. Mina always relates to her work, and there are great lessons in here on how to do that with dignity and self-confidence in the face of some confronting treatment. It is, in fact, an entirely inspiring 43 minutes.    

Got your ticket for Summit 17 yet?

Last year's Direction has morphed into this year's Summit - two days and two tracks of presentations crammed with ideas, challenges, techniques and breakthroughs in design, development and the overarching themes and concerns driving the breakneck evolution of our web and digital industry. It all takes place in Sydney on 9-10 November. Come and join us!  

Want more?

Like to see and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our weekly newsletter mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions, as well as regular bursts of links to relevant articles & resources curated by John Allsopp - and we can promise you some exclusive and substantial subscriber benefits.
" ["post_title"]=> string(84) "Video of the Week: Styling Hillary: A Design System for All Americans - Mina Markham" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(208) "Mina Markham created the Pantsuit pattern library for the Hillary For America US presidential campaign in 2016. She spoke in detail about the experience - technical, professional and personal - at Respond 17." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(63) "video-week-styling-hillary-design-system-americans-mina-markham" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-10-20 12:14:31" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-20 01:14:31" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8126" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [10]=> object(WP_Post)#1112 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8123) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-10-18 13:13:58" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-18 02:13:58" ["post_content"]=> string(3843) "Michael TarantoOne of the very exciting aspects of this year's Summit conference is going back to the two day, two-tracks format that is so popular with many of our attendees. What this does is allow multiple members of the same team working in different disciplines to attend the same event and see how all their efforts knit together. Summit really is a coming together of the web tech / digital tribes. Which is why our Video Ristretto today is particularly apt. At Respond 17, Michael Taranto from SEEK gave a compelling talk that focused on how components might be a way of ensuring that designers and engineers use the same language, to make sure their efforts work together and not against one another. It sounds a simple plan, and in some ways it really is. The great thing about Michael's talk is that it focuses on solutions, on how to do it, rather than just describing the problems and asking the questions. Definitely worth half an hour or so of your time. And then consider how much more like this you'll get at Summit this year.    

Got your ticket for Summit 17 yet?

Last year's Direction has morphed into this year's Summit - two days and two tracks of presentations crammed with ideas, challenges, techniques and breakthroughs in design, development and the overarching themes and concerns driving the breakneck evolution of our web and digital industry. It all takes place in Sydney on 9-10 November. Come and join us!  

Want more?

Like to see and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our weekly newsletter mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions, as well as regular bursts of links to relevant articles & resources curated by John Allsopp - and we can promise you some exclusive and substantial subscriber benefits.
" ["post_title"]=> string(88) "Video Ristretto: Building a ubiquitous design language with components - Michael Taranto" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(190) "At Respond 17, Michael Taranto from SEEK gave a compelling talk that focused on how components might be a way of ensuring that designers and engineers use the same effective design language." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(78) "video-ristretto-building-ubiquitous-design-language-components-michael-taranto" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-10-25 10:38:38" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-24 23:38:38" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8123" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [11]=> object(WP_Post)#1111 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8108) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-10-17 12:49:35" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-17 01:49:35" ["post_content"]=> string(3596) "Lauren LuccheseJudging by conversations I've been having with design and multidisciplinary agencies around Australia and beyond, if you run such an agency it's not unlikely you've started thinking about how to use chat interfaces, and "bot" (yeah, I hate that word too, but it's the one we have) approaches to customer service for your clients, and perhaps you've even started implementing these experiences. Or perhaps you - or your clients - think it's just all hype - we've seen it all before, and it'll go away soon. Or maybe you're adopting a wait-and-see approach. Well, as you might have noticed with our recent AI conference, we definitely think "there's a there, there" when it comes to chat, bots, voice and related user experiences. So much so that at Web Directions Summit in Sydney on 9-10 November we have a number of design, engineering and keynote sessions focusing on this whole issue. Plus there's two dozen other incredible sessions in two tracks over two days – one track digital design focused, the other with a front end engineering bent. Sounds valuable to you and your team? I hope so! And we have a special offer just for agencies. Use the code "agency" to save $200 off the full price of a Classic ticket, just $999. And, if you send four or more people, they each get a Silver ticket (that includes all the videos) and we'll feature your agency as an "agency partner", with your logo and link on our conference website, and your logo at the conference itself. We'll even give you onstage shout-outs. All for $999 per person. Just register four or more people from your agency with the code "agency", and we'll set that all up. We know people at any design agency will benefit professionally from attending Web Directions Summit, and we have a history of our attendees bringing genuine value back to their agencies.  With a cross-discipline event like this, the more people you send, the bigger benefit you get back. Hope to see you all at this year's Summit. " ["post_title"]=> string(19) "The Bots are Coming" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(351) "If you run a design agency in Australia, it's not unlikely you've started thinking about how to use chat interfaces, conversational UIs and bots in your approaches to customer service for your clients. Summit 17 could be just what your team needs to understand the issues across the design and engineering disciplines, and how they apply to your work." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(19) "the-bots-are-coming" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-10-17 12:57:28" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-17 01:57:28" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8108" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [12]=> object(WP_Post)#1110 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8104) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-10-13 10:16:53" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-12 23:16:53" ["post_content"]=> string(3549) "Elizabeth AllenFollowing on from our Video Ristretto on Wednesday with Vitaly Friedman, and leading nicely into several sessions at Summit 17 next month (!) on voice, chat and conversation on the web, our Video of the Week also comes from Respond 17 back in May. Dr Elizabeth Allen is a UX researcher and psychologist based in Toronto, Canada, who conducts research at the ecommerce platform Shopify to guide product teams in making strategic decisions about user experience. Her talk Adventures in Conversational Commerce focused on designing and improving messaging bots that can autonomously handle customer service interactions, online marketing campaigns, and even make sales. It's a fascinating area with huge potential benefits for both service operators and product vendors, and the people who buy the products and services. It's also fraught with potential pitfalls. Find 40 minutes to Elizabeth talk through some of what she's learned, so far.    

Got your ticket for Summit 17 yet?

Last year's Direction has morphed into this year's Summit - two days and two tracks of presentations crammed with ideas, challenges, techniques and breakthroughs in design, development and the overarching themes and concerns driving the breakneck evolution of our web and digital industry. It all takes place in Sydney on 9-10 November. Come and join us!  

Want more?

Like to see and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our weekly newsletter mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions, as well as regular bursts of links to relevant articles & resources curated by John Allsopp - and we can promise you some exclusive and substantial subscriber benefits.
" ["post_title"]=> string(74) "Video of the Week: Adventures in Conversational Commerce - Elizabeth Allen" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(286) "Give yourself a 40 minute break to take in Elizabeth Allen at Respond 17, talking about the potential benefits and pitfalls of conversational commerce. Without doubt, we will all soon be dealing with online bots. This is a great introduction to some of the key issues for designers." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(61) "video-week-adventures-conversational-commerce-elizabeth-allen" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-10-14 09:25:55" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-13 22:25:55" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8104" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [13]=> object(WP_Post)#1109 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8099) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-10-11 22:32:43" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-11 11:32:43" ["post_content"]=> string(3851) "Vitaly FriedmanOne thing you can be sure of with a Web Directions event - there will be surprises. That, of course, especially applies to our big Summit 17 conference in November - you're coming, I hope? Back at Respond this year, for example, one of our international keynote speakers, Vitaly Friedman (founder, editor and boss at Smashing Magazine), put on an extra, unscheduled session. The thing about Vitaly is that as well as running his Smashing empire of conferences, books and one of the most useful websites a web designer or developer could want to know, he's also still a working designer and developer himself. His presentation, our Video Ristretto this week, focuses on his work with an ecommerce company, including improving their Checkout UX. Vitaly is such an engaging speaker with clever ideas and approaches, you really should find half an hour for this video. And it's a great lead-in to some of the UX-focused sessions you'll see at Summit this year.    

Got your ticket for Summit 17 yet?

Last year's Direction has morphed into this year's Summit - two days and two tracks of presentations crammed with ideas, challenges, techniques and breakthroughs in design, development and the overarching themes and concerns driving the breakneck evolution of our web and digital industry. It all takes place in Sydney on 9-10 November. Come and join us!  

Want more?

Like to see and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our weekly newsletter mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions, as well as regular bursts of links to relevant articles & resources curated by John Allsopp - and we can promise you some exclusive and substantial subscriber benefits.
" ["post_title"]=> string(46) "Video Ristretto: Checkout UX - Vitaly Friedman" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(270) "Web Directions events are full of surprises, including this bonus talk from Respond 17 international keynote Vitaly Friedman. In half an hour, the Smashing Magazine head honcho explores his own work with an ecommerce client to improve their checkout user experience. " ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(43) "video-ristretto-checkout-ux-vitaly-friedman" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-10-11 22:32:43" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-11 11:32:43" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8099" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [14]=> object(WP_Post)#1435 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8090) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-09-29 14:20:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-29 04:20:18" ["post_content"]=> string(6273) "GopherSince the early 1980s, I've been privileged to witness several "revolutions" in computing. Looking backwards, now we've seen how they played out, each seems inevitable, although the real lesson of each is that how - and even whether - seeming technology revolutions play out is impossible to see at the time. The micro computer revolution of the late 1970s and early '80s saw computing personalised. Not initially something driven by large companies, either as providers or users of the technology, it was enthusiasts and hobbyists who created and bought the early Apple and other micro computers that long predated the IBM PC and MS-DOS that became the model for personal computers for the next 25 years or more. Desktop publishing, enabled in part by the GUI and WYSIWYG revolution, and the laser printer (along with PostScript, the foundation of Adobe's success) - all technologies that are essentially the result of research at XEROX's fabled PARC, even if largely commercialised elsewhere - is, as I've written before, an under appreciated stepping stone toward the Web. It created new marketplaces for digital content (ultimately printed on paper), an explosion in magazines, and increased the number of people capable of creating and designing content - writing, illustration, photography, and page layout – that set the scene for the Web, a few years later. Without this cohort of digital creators, would the Web have had content, and the creators of it - so vital for those early adopters to find value in? The Web itself seems inevitable now but was far from it in 1990, when already many commercial hypertext systems, and commercial internet or internet-like providers like AOL and CompuServe were successful, and - compared to the Web - were relatively sophisticated. The smartphone revolution, driven initially by the iPhone and then increasingly Android, also seems inevitable now. How could have it turned out any other way? But, as a recent in depth history of the iPhone made plain, within Apple the push for a phone that was essentially an extension of the iPod - not at all the powerful Web enabled computer in your pocket that the iPhone became - made it a very real contender for what Apple launched in 2007. If the University of Minnesota hadn't started charging licensing fees for Gopher servers in 1993, at the time Gopher was at least as well established and advanced as the Web - perhaps even more so - would Gopher have been the global interconnected network that the Web became? Things are never inevitable. Not in our individual lives, and not in broader cultural and societal trends. We have to make bets, based on hunches, because the alternative - doing nothing until the outcome is entirely clear - is, at least for many of us, no alternative at all. Yesterday, we held our first AI conference. In my opening remarks, I observed that I studied AI at university in the 1980s, and my enormous enthusiasm was somewhat diminished when it turned out it wasn't about Turing tests and Asimovian intelligent robots, but hill climbing algorithms. AI has, in many ways, been the "next big thing" for so many years, perhaps even since the 1950s. But, as you might be able to tell from my recent writing and presentations, the AI conference - and a good deal of the content at our Summit in November -  my hunch is that now is the time to really start thinking hard about the impact on our work, our businesses, and our products of these technologies. As someone observed yesterday at AI, "No-one knows anything about this stuff". But I remember when that was true of the Web, of the mobile Web, and even of personal computers. As I wrote a little cheekily last week, and repeated yesterday, if you do it today, you'll look like a genius. If you're not doing it in two years time you'll look like an idiot. A rare chance for me to come speak to your team If you are based in Australia, and keen for me to come and speak to your team - indeed, anyone in your company you think might value from these thoughts (and perhaps help you move your organisation toward adopting or further investing in these technologies and approaches) - then early next week we're announcing something that you'll be the first to hear about here. For teams of eight or more who attend Web Directions Summit, I'll come to your company, and deliver my new presentation, The Web in a post app world, which looks at the place the Web has in a world increasingly driven by AI, AR, and non screen based interfaces. Not only that, your whole team will get access to not just the videos from the Summit, but also from our two other major conferences in 2017, Respond and Code. And all that for the price of a Classic ticket. To get all this, and have me come speak (and do a Q&A session, as well), just register eight or more folks from your company, and we'll organise it all. These places are strictly limited, so if you're keen, start organising your team now. And if you have any questions, just drop me a line." ["post_title"]=> string(35) "On the Inevitability of Revolutions" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(205) "John Allsopp considers the revolutions he's seen, how they seem inevitable now (though maybe not at the time), and what's the next revolution we can expect that will later seem inevitable. Remember Gopher?" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(35) "on-the-inevitability-of-revolutions" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-09-29 14:20:18" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-29 04:20:18" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8090" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } } ["post_count"]=> int(15) ["current_post"]=> int(-1) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(false) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#1122 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8227) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2018-02-23 10:26:26" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-02-22 23:26:26" ["post_content"]=> string(5615) "Over the last decade or more here at Web Directions we've started our fair share of new events. But that mixture of excitement and apprehension (with my kids we call this being 'anxited') never fades. You put everything into creating the best possible lineup, and then hope others agree! So, today we're anxited to be announcing the full lineup for our brand new conference Design! If you want to see who we've lined up, jump over to the site, and take a look at the full schedule. But if you're interested in learning a little bit more about why we are doing this event, and what it's all about, read on!

Why Design?

Our events have, since the beginning, focussed as much on design as development. But when we started, all digital design pretty much fell under the term "Web Design" (and perhaps "usability"). In the years since, the digital design field has increasingly specialised, team sizes have grown dramatically, and businesses and organizations, at least the more forward looking ones, have come to realise the strategic value of design for success, and even survival.

Digital Product and Service Design

And so, just as back in 2012 we took the developer-focussed track from our end of year event, and created a new, single track, Melbourne based conference, Code, in 2018 we're taking the same approach with design, and creating Design, a single track conference, in Melbourne, focussing on the breadth of digital product and service design.

Who's it for?

Whether you lead and manage design teams, or are relatively new in your role, whether you focus on research, interaction design, UX or strategy, Design features world leading experts, to stimulate, challenge, inform and engage you.

Curated themes

When we program our conferences, we think of the major themes that we feel are currently shaping our industry. Two key themes have emerged as we brought together the Design program.
The impact of design
If there is an overarching focus of the design profession now, it's the impact of design in the broadest sense–on the teams we work in, on the clients, businesses or organisations we work for, even on our society and culture. Design has sessions that address all these in depth.
  • Sara Wachter Boettcher, author of the just published Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech will consider how we can create less toxic, more inclusive products and services.
  • Hilary Cinis will present a UX Guide to Crafting Ethical AI Products and Services, something that they consider extensively at Data61 where she is UX Group Leader.
  • Nathan Kinch will consider how we can design for trust, one of the most precious and easily squandered commodities in government and industry today.
  • Kate Conrick will address how we can do good (through) design in government (lessons readily applicable to other large, at times bureaucratic organisations).
The impact of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Another theme that has emerged, something that has very deeply interested us over the last couple of years here at Web Directions–as it has the design profession as a whole–is the role of machine intelligence as a medium for design (through voice and bot interfaces, through the access to increasingly large amounts of data, often in realtime, about our users), and the potential impact of AI on the practice, even the profession of design. We have a number of sessions which address these issues directly, including
  • Darla Sharp, a voice interaction designer formerly on the Alexa team, now working on Google Voice, on lessons she's learned designing for these voice interfaces
  • Cory-Ann Joseph, UX Lead at ANZ (and serious poker player), on the potential impact of AI on the existence of design roles at all, and why a poker-playing AI should have designers looking for a new job
All this alongside sessions on design research from former senior Mailchimp and Telegraph UK design researcher Stephanie Troeth, content strategy for better UX from Sally Bagshaw, design systems at scale at Adobe with Sarah Federman, outsourcing design, and even blockchain for designers! 20 sensational sessions in total. See the whole schedule here. Early bird pricing is available on our three levels of ticket, priced for every budget, starting from $999.

Key Dates for Design and Design Leaders

  • 2 March Design and Design Leaders Early Bird Pricing Ends
  • 23 March Design and Design Leaders Middle Bird Pricing Ends
  • 11 April Design Leaders Conference
  • 12–13 April Design Conference
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Posts by

Announcing the program for Web Directions Design

Over the last decade or more here at Web Directions we’ve started our fair share of new events. But that mixture of excitement and apprehension (with my kids we call this being ‘anxited’) never fades. You put everything into creating the best possible lineup, and then hope others agree!

So, today … Read more »

Announcing the first speakers for Web Directions Design

We’re excited to be able to announce the first speakers we have lined up for our brand-​new conference, Design, in Melbourne in April. We’d already sold over 10% of the tickets before announcing any of the speakers, with an intimate setting, don’t wait too long to register, and if … Read more »

Web Directions Events in 2018

We started out with a single event, Web Directions, back in 2006. Over the intervening 12 years, we’ve branched out to different countries at times (and who knows maybe will again!) and added more focussed singe track events like Code in 2012 to our major event (now Web Directions SummitRead more »

Shape the Future or be Shaped by it

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  • November 3, 2017
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We tend to think of change as arriving suddenly, largely fully formed. The iPhone in 2007, Donald Trump in 2016. But, in reality, all change — whether social, cultural, political or technological — emerges over years or even decades, slowly at first, then gathering momentum, then seemingly inevitable.

Video of the Week: Mavo: HTML Re-​imagined for the Era of Web Apps — Lea Verou

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  • November 3, 2017
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At Web Directions, we like launching things at our conferences. At Code this year, Lea Verou gave one of the first deep dives into Mavo, a new way of creating web applications using HTML and CSS.

Video Ristretto: Sharpen Up Your Text with The Power of Three — Mandy Michael

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  • November 1, 2017
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In a world where JS and SVG are taking over, it’s easy to forget the power of CSS. Luckily there are three powerful CSS items, each with a specific use, whose strengths are enhanced when used together. This is Mandy Michael’s short but powerful talk from Respond 17.

Video of the Week: The Web In Motion — Rachel Nabors

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  • October 27, 2017
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At Respond 17, Rachel Nabors looked at how animation helps people interact with touch screens and how those same principles apply to the web.

Put aside 50 minutes for a great talk.

Video Ristretto: Removing Everything and Having a Crap UI — Warwick Cox

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  • October 25, 2017
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It’s hard not to like someone who happily tells us that his company’s core value statement came from a slogan on a stubby holder at his wedding. Or whose major app idea came from his teenage daughter. Or who rattles through his 20 minute talk in 15 minutes.

What is the point of going to a conference?

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  • October 24, 2017
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I actually remember when we ran our first conferences, around 2004, people asking in particular why anyone would come to a conference about the web, since they were all online and learning and connecting.”

Video of the Week: Styling Hillary: A Design System for All Americans — Mina Markham

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  • October 20, 2017
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Mina Markham created the Pantsuit pattern library for the Hillary For America US presidential campaign in 2016. She spoke in detail about the experience — technical, professional and personal — at Respond 17.

Video Ristretto: Building a ubiquitous design language with components — Michael Taranto

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  • October 18, 2017
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At Respond 17, Michael Taranto from SEEK gave a compelling talk that focused on how components might be a way of ensuring that designers and engineers use the same effective design language.

The Bots are Coming

  • In: Blog
  • By:
  • October 17, 2017
  • Comments Off on The Bots are Coming

If you run a design agency in Australia, it’s not unlikely you’ve started thinking about how to use chat interfaces, conversational UIs and bots in your approaches to customer service for your clients. Summit 17 could be just what your team needs to understand the issues across the design and … Read more »

Video of the Week: Adventures in Conversational Commerce — Elizabeth Allen

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  • October 13, 2017
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Give yourself a 40 minute break to take in Elizabeth Allen at Respond 17, talking about the potential benefits and pitfalls of conversational commerce.

Without doubt, we will all soon be dealing with online bots. This is a great introduction to some of the key issues for designers.

Video Ristretto: Checkout UX — Vitaly Friedman

  • In: Blog
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  • October 11, 2017
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Web Directions events are full of surprises, including this bonus talk from Respond 17 international keynote Vitaly Friedman.

In half an hour, the Smashing Magazine head honcho explores his own work with an ecommerce client to improve their checkout user experience.

On the Inevitability of Revolutions

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  • September 29, 2017
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John Allsopp considers the revolutions he’s seen, how they seem inevitable now (though maybe not at the time), and what’s the next revolution we can expect that will later seem inevitable. Remember Gopher?