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We've taken our annual Sydney end-of-year conference back to the structure that's best known and loved: two huge days, with two big tracks - one focused on Engineering, the other on Products and Design, plus stellar over-arching opening and closing keynotes on each day from high profile industry leaders;  a format to suit your whole team, across disciplines. At the same time, we move forward. We renamed the conference Summit to distinguish it from other Web Directions events, and to characterise it as both a coming together of the different disciplines we practise, and a peak of our professional development year. If there's just a single web / tech / digital conference you go to each year, we want it to be Web Directions Summit. We've so far announced eight Summit speakers, all important figures of international stature. We still have a detail or two to finalise in the Product / Design Track, but we can't stand to wait any longer, so today we're going to share with you the full program for the Engineering Track of Summit 17. We'll launch the other track next week, and because of that, we're going to extend the Super Early Bird period by one week to Friday 22 September (the best ticket deals), and the second Early Bird to Friday 20 October (still good deals there). When you have a line-up this good, you can't keep it to yourself! And remember, you can register now to get your Super Early Bird discount, and pay later - even if that's after the Early Bird closes. Engineering Track, Day One
 Summit 17 - Chris Messina Lessons from the Death of the PC Chris Messina As the PC meets its slow demise, we stand on a precipice overlooking a broad shift in how technology is designed and serves people, with new hardware and embedded technologies that spell new paradigms for user experience, voice experience, and conversation experience.  
 
 Summit 17 - Iker Jamardo WebXR: Virtual and Augmented Reality on the Web Iker Jamardo A deep dive into the current state of the Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies on the web, with the most outstanding examples of VR/AR websites to date, cutting edge browser prototypes and an update on standards progress.  
 
 Summit 17 - Chris Eppstein Some Thoughts on CSS Architectures, Frameworks and Tooling Chris Eppstein Insights and thoughts about how and why styling components led us to CSS-in-JS (and, inevitably, JS-in-CSS) and how tooling can bridge the divide between what's best for the developer and what's best for the browser  
 
 Summit 17 - Kyle Simpson Keep Betting on JavaScript Kyle Simpson JavaScript is no longer trying to prove itself. It has arrived, it's now fully a first class citizen in the programming language ecosystem. So what's over the horizon for the world's most ubiquitous and popular (by usage, if not emotion!) language?  
 
 Mehdi Valikhani Meta Programming in JavaScript Mehdi Valikhani Meta whaaat?! Meta programming is a way to customise built-in features of a programming language. Say we have an array of multiple Beer objects, each of them has a field called 'name'. What if I tell you that you could fetch VB's data using 'beers['VB']'!  
 
 Summit 17 - Erwin van der Koogh Back-end Development for Front-end Developers Erwin van der Koogh With the release of AWS Lambda and similar "serverless" computing services, anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of JavaScript can write reliable and scalable back-ends. And front-end developers actually have a big advantage.  
 
 Summit 17 - Josh Duck Exploring Static Types: Writing Typesafe Code that Feels Like Real JavaScript Josh Duck Flow and TypeScript are changing the foundations of JavaScript. Far from turning code into an object oriented mess, static typing gives us JS code that's cleaner and more predictable. With typechecking, we end up with easier interfaces for humans, too.  
 
 Summit 17 - Dan Rubin A Life on the Web Dan Rubin Dan has lived a life curiously suited to the web, one that has eschewed the traditional linear career structure and more closely resembles the inter-connected, graph-like nature of the web itself. Find out what he's learned along the way.
I think you'll agree that is a pretty substantial Day One: five internationals and three locals, big picture and deep dive, a few perspectives on JS, some "now" and some "coming soon". Let's see what Day Two holds. Engineering Track, Day Two  
 Summit 17 - Genevieve Bell Artificial Intelligence: Making a Human Connection Genevieve Bell It's tempting to keep separate the art and science of the robot and the artificial intelligence that underpins it. However, there are reasons to thread them back together and understand how the story of AI is connected to the history of human culture.  
 
 Summit 17 - Amir Shevat Moving from Web & Mobile to Messaging - To Bot or Not to Bot Amir Shevat We're seeing a big move from web and mobile apps to conversational interfaces. The future of work doesn't include endless email chains, 30 open browser tabs, or siloed tools. Find out instead what bots and delightful UI can do for you.  
 
 Summit 17 - Jessica Edwards Workers of the Web Unite Jessica Edwards With increasing browser support for Service Workers, developers can now create websites that work offline, independent of network status, and with great flexibility. By understanding the Web Worker API, we can better understand Service Workers and how to use them.  
 
 Summit 17 - Tammy Everts Performance is About People, Not Metrics Tammy Everts A brief history of UX and web performance research, highlighting key studies that connect the dots between performance and user experience, with some educated guesses about new metrics just around the corner. Some day we’ll laugh at how little we actually knew.  
 
 Summit 17 - Hannah Malcolm Delivering a Web Experience in 10KB Hannah Malcolm Can you deliver a compelling web experience in less than 10KB, without the need for JavaScript? Learn about the challenges and breakthroughs in designing and building the Best Design winner of the 2016 A List Apart competition.  
 
 Summit 17 - Phil Nash 2FA, WTF? Phil Nash Everyone is hacking everything. Everything is vulnerable. Your site, your users, even you. Are you worried about security? You should be! Let's look at one time passwords, implementing 2FA in web applications and the only real life compelling use case for QR codes.  
 
 Summit 17 - Elle Meredith The Latest in Browser Developer Tools Elle Meredith The capability of tools like Firebug in our modern browsers has grown extraordinarily, but keeping up with them is hard work. Get up to speed with some of the more overlooked ways in which we can improve performance, code quality and more.  
 
 Summit 17 - Amélie Lamont Don’t Kill Them Softly: Fostering a Culture of Fearless Feedback Amélie Lamont Like opinions, harmful or useless feedback can kill your team by demoralisation. Design Anthropology can inform a framework that fosters a fearless feedback culture focusing on creating value, rather than pointing out flaws.
All up: nine international speakers, seven locals, four broad theme keynotes, and 12 tightly focused presentations on many of the fundamentally key topics and issues with which engineers are engaging, now and into the immediate future. And this is just the one track! Now, you should be aware that tickets are already selling fast (just as they did in Melbourne for Code, when we sold out before Early Bird even closed). In fact, as you'll see below, for Summit we've already sold out of Gold tickets. Register during the Primary Early Bird period up to and including Friday 22 September and get $200 off the regular cost.
  • • Classic Summit ticket (conference only) for just $999 (save $200)
  • • Silver Summit ticket (conference plus videos) for just $1,199(save $200)
  • • Gold Summit ticket - sorry, sold out!
NB Take a look at the add-on deals available by registering for a Three Day Pass to Culture or Reality conferences the day before Summit - outstanding value! You'll find much more info about the speakers and their presentations on the Summit 17 website. As someone who's been in the business for over a decade now, I can assure you that this is one of the strongest programs for a conference engineering track I have ever been privileged to curate. I'm very proud of it, and I know you'll love it. See you there." ["post_title"]=> string(41) "Summit 17 - Behold, the Engineering Track" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(302) "We've so far announced eight Summit speakers, all important figures of international stature. We still have a detail or two to finalise in the Product / Design Track, but we can't stand to wait any longer, so today we're going to share with you the full program for the Engineering Track of Summit 17." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(34) "summit-17-behold-engineering-track" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-09-13 11:29:51" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-13 01:29:51" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8000" ["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)#1116 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7997) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-09-08 15:00:35" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-08 05:00:35" ["post_content"]=> string(5660) "Pre-industrial economies did not favour large scale, oligopolistic or monopolistic economic structures (power structures are an entirely different matter). The rise of industrial, hand in hand with what we now call "Capitalist" economies (the word is an invention of the 19th Century) economies saw the rise of oligopolies – think of the "big three" US auto makers, or closer to home for Australians, our "big four" banks. But if we look at the largest companies in the world today, the top five of which now are all what we still (but will less and less) call technology companies (Apple, Alphabet/Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon) we can start to see a new pattern emerge. Between them, Google and Facebook in 2016 captured two thirds of total online advertising spend, and 99% of the increase in advertising spend for the year. In mobile devices, Apple is estimated to take as much as 91% of total profit. As more business categories are atomised and reconstituted by technology, and we move to a network economy, these "winner take all" models, with one or two big winners, and fewer and fewer hyper-niche players will appear in more and more parts of the economy. In networked economies, as Metcalfe, the inventor of ethernet, observed about physical networks (his initial observation had to do with networked printers), the value of a network is a polynomial function of the number of nodes. Which roughly translates to the idea that as the number of people, or devices, on a network (be that Facebook or the internet, or…) increases, the value of the network doesn't increase in step (twice the number of nodes, twice the value), but more or less as the square of the number of nodes (twice as many nodes means two squared the value, or 4 times the value). Which for small numbers doesn't seem all that important. But as those numbers increase (4 times the size, is 16 times the value, 8 times the size is 64 times the value). You get the picture. The lesson is most businesses must embrace network economics, and aim to reach as many customers as possible. And of course, the lowest marginal cost for doing so (coupled with the approach that yields the most data and greatest insights into your customers, collectively as much as individually) lies in using what a certain category of folks call "digital channels". This has meant, for many (particularly, but not exclusively) larger companies, one thing: Native Apps. But, in recent years, after the initial app goldrush, we see the power law distribution of network economics emerge once more.
  • the top 1 percent [of app publishers] accounted for 70 percent of all downloads.
  • Mobile Users Spend 80 Percent of Time in Just Five Apps
  • "Most smartphone users download zero apps per month”
  • a “staggering 42% of all app time spent on smartphones occurs on the individual’s single most used app,” comScore reports
  • “13 percent of smartphone owners accounting for more than half of all download activity in a given month”
  • 60% of apps have never been downloaded
  • 94% of U.S. App Store Revenue Comes from the Top 1% of Monetizing Publishers
In short, using native apps as a path to reaching a large number of potential customers and benefitting from crucial network effects is close to impossible. But, in the meantime, the Web has responded to the very significant impact that native apps had on user behaviour. Progressive Web Apps, the ability for web content to work offline, to be installed on the user's device and be treated as first class citizens, to hook into the native platform notification system (a critical aspect of maintaining ongoing engagement with users), and other device capabilities (cameras and microphones , among other things) are increasingly a reality, even on iOS (Service Worker is now under development in WebKit, WebRTC and sophisticated access to cameras and microphones is in iOS11, shipping in weeks). And, of course, as platforms fragment across operating system, device type, input modality, screen size and resolution, the underlying Web technologies and practices that have emerged around "Responsive Web Design" bring down the cost of reaching a far larger audience, something we've observed that is critical in a networked, winner takes all economy. Something that is both increasingly expensive to achieve via the path of native apps, and increasingly unlikely – if not impossible – following that path. In the "native is always better" mania of the past few years, we've focused so much on one aspect – our personal aesthetics, an obsession with janky scrolling, or buttery smooth animations – over many others. Now no-one is downloading new apps anyway, perhaps we can overlook these trivial concerns and embrace the opportunity the Web presents in a networked economy. SOURCES https://www.recode.net/2016/6/8/11883518/app-boom-over-snapchat-uber https://qz.com/253618/most-smartphone-users-download-zero-apps-per-month/ https://sensortower.com/blog/app-store-one-percent http://andrewchen.co/new-data-shows-why-losing-80-of-your-mobile-users-is-normal-and-that-the-best-apps-do-much-better/" ["post_title"]=> string(49) "A Progressive Web Approach to a Networked Economy" ["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(42) "progressive-web-approach-networked-economy" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-09-08 15:00:27" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-08 05:00:27" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7997" ["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)#1115 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7992) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-09-08 09:38:36" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-07 23:38:36" ["post_content"]=> string(3563) "Mark Pesce on WebVRYou've probably seen that we have just announced two new conferences to run alongside Summit 17 in Sydney this November. One of those conferences, Reality 17, focuses on virtual reality, augmented reality, and what the whole VR, AR, MR, XR scene means to designers and developers, especially on the web. All of that makes it pretty easy to pick as our Video of the Week the immensely entertaining - and sometimes gobsmacking - presentation by Mark Pesce from Direction 16, called WebVR - Building and Browsing Cyberspace. Just short of 50 minutes, and drawing on Mark's long (no, longer than that) experience with VR, this talk may well change the way you think about the technology and what it means to your work on the web. And then, of course, you should register for Reality 17!    

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(72) "Video of the Week: WebVR - Building and Browsing Cyberspace - Mark Pesce" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(236) "What better way to warm up for our new VR / AR conference in November than 50 minutes with Mark Pesce describing the evolution and implications of WebVR technology? Our Video of the Week comes from Direction 16 and points to Reality 17." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(56) "video-week-webvr-building-browsing-cyberspace-mark-pesce" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-09-08 09:42:32" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-07 23:42:32" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7992" ["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)#1114 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7978) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-09-07 16:28:52" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-07 06:28:52" ["post_content"]=> string(11458) "Summit 17 just got bigger. Web Directions Summit 2017 is already a two-day, two-track, multiple international keynote, cream of the local crop, can't miss conference extravaganza for Australian devs, designers and anyone working in web or digital. We made it bigger. We created two completely new one-day conferences that take place in Sydney on 8 November, the day before the main event starts. Take up one of our packages that bundle one of these with the main conference and you have yourself a THREE DAY PASS to a festival of exploration into web tech, while saving some serious dollars in the process. So, what are these new conferences? Web Directions Culture 17 Culture 17 Teamwork, leadership, recruitment, management, productivity, communication, feedback, diversity, inclusion - the elements that make up a workplace culture are simultaneously simple and complex, straightforward and convoluted. Culture 17 aims to help you build and nurture your design and engineering teams, and create a workplace culture that keeps your existing team members happy and productive while also attracting the best new talent. Who's involved?
 Aubrey Blanche Aubrey Blanche The day's opening keynote will be delivered by the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Atlassian, where Aubrey leads efforts to build and maintain a positive, diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
 
Elle Meredith Blackmill engineering practice consultancy co-founder, experienced developer, team builder, community organiser, trainer and speaker, Elle's passion is helping people learn to work better.  Elle Meredith
 
 Amelie Lamont Amélie Lamont A consulting designer and developer for ten years and currently a product design lead at The New York Times, Amélie is forging a path into the relatively new field of design anthropology.
 
Lachlan Hardy Extensive and wide-ranging experience as a developer, manager, strategist, mentor and organiser has given Blackmill co-founder Lachlan a clear perspective on recruitment and the web tech hiring process.    Lachlan Hardy
What happens? Culture 17 is not simply a day of talks. Three sessions address specific aspects of workplace culture and are structured to help you develop your understanding by listening, questioning, discussing, role-playing and sharing your experience with a table of your peers, learning from them and with them. We've deliberately limited numbers to ensure the greatest opportunity for participants to connect with one another and our invited experts. This is a day for minimum screen time, and maximum connection and communication. Who's it for? Culture 17 is for those who create and influence team and organisational culture: design and engineering leaders, HR and Culture professionals, Learning and Development Managers. Find out more now about Culture 17 Web Directions Reality 17 Reality 17 We know by now that Virtual Reality and  Augmented Reality are going to play a role in the ongoing evolution of the web. It's time for us to understand what those technologies are, what they can deliver, and how they will affect our work as developers and designers. Or rather, already are affecting our work. Reality 17 will bring you up to speed with the current state of the technology, and design practices around Web AR and VR. We won't just be discussing these concepts and technologies, though - you'll be workshopping to design and develop web VR and AR content, in sessions tailored for designers and developers. Who's involved?
 Iker Jamardo Iker Jamardo Senior Software Engineer and Tech Lead for Google's Daydream WebXR (Augmented and Virtual Reality) team, university professor and researcher into multimedia and video games, Iker can sum up the state of VR/AR.
 
Alex Young Involved in MR research and  development  for over 15 years and a regular speaker on UX, Alex is a co-founder of  awe.media, a way of creating and sharing Mixed Reality web experiences on multiple devices.    Alex Young
 
 Rob Manson Rob Manson An invited expert on the W3C POI (Points of Interest) Working Group and a co-founder of awe.media, Rob is a highly experienced developer and speaks around the world on Augmented Reality.
What happens? Reality 17 comprises two information rich presentation sessions:
  • The State of Web VR/AR Technologies
  • The Landscape of (Extended) Reality
and three 90 minute hands-on lab sessions (you choose two out of three) where you'll explore:
  • Using WebVR and AR browser APIs
  • Capturing & creating 360° experiences
  • Creating WebAR with Location, Image and Feature Tracking
At Reality 17, we won't just be discussing the concepts and technologies. You'll work hands on to design and develop Web VR and AR content, with workshops tailored to more design focused participants, and those with more developer-oriented skill sets. Who's it for? Reality 17 is for those who want to explore the already fertile opportunities provided by today's VR and AR technologies, particularly when delivered on the web: designers, product owners and managers, business decision makers, developers, researchers and more. Find out more now about Reality 17 Pricing Pricing works the same for both Culture 17 and Reality 17. You can attend either as stand alone events (but not both, as they're on the same day), but our pricing is set to encourage you to consider a Three Day Pass. Stand alone Culture 17 OR Reality 17
  • Super Early Bird (ends 15 Sep) for just $699 (save $200)
  • Early Bird (16 Sep-13 Oct) for just $799 (save $100)
  • Standard (14 Oct to 8 Nov) for just $899
Three Day Pass - Summit 17 + Culture 17 OR Reality 17
  • Super Early Bird (ends 15 Sep) for just $1599 (save $700)
  • Early Bird (16 Sep-13 Oct) for just $1699 (save $600)
  • Standard (14 Oct to 8 Nov) for just $1799(save $500)
To be clear, register for a Three Day Pass before 15 September and you will pay $700 less than if you bought separate standard tickets to each! Two important points First, please register for a Three Day Pass at the site of the event you want to add on to your Summit registration, either Reality 17 or Culture 17. You'll find all the options there. Second, if you have already registered for Summit 17 and you'd like to add on Reality 17 or Culture 17, we have you covered. You will receive an email soon (if not already) with a very special offer for you and a separate link to upgrade your registration. Frankly, I'm very excited by the addition of Reality 17 and Culture 17 to our schedule, especially as add-on options to our grand Summit conference (full program coming very soon). They each reflect areas that I think are of great importance to web professionals - in different contexts and for different reasons, but of comparable significance. I do hope you'll be able to join us this summer and remember that, whatever deal or combination you choose for our events, you're welcome to register now and pay later.  " ["post_title"]=> string(38) "Say Hello to Culture 17 and Reality 17" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(274) "Summit 17 just got bigger. Web Directions Summit 2017 is already a two-day, two-track, multiple international keynote, cream of the local crop, can’t miss conference extravaganza for Australian devs, designers and anyone working in web or digital. We made it bigger." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(31) "say-hello-culture-17-reality-17" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-09-07 16:28:52" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-07 06:28:52" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7978" ["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)#1113 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7277) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-09-02 10:00:34" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-02 00:00:34" ["post_content"]=> string(7762) "Sadly, I don't get the chance to work with JavaScript extensively day to day much anymore, but from time to time I do get the chance to explore a new idea and build something hopefully useful and interesting. In an age of single page app architectures, it's surprising what new, novel and interesting things you can build with a relatively small amount of plain old JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and little else. As terribly out of fashion as that might sound. But one downside of not working with the technologies every day is you forget ... well, just about everything. Exploring something at the weekend, I loaded a video element and there were no controls - before recalling dimly you need to set a boolean attribute controls for a video element to display controls. But that's not really the point of this piece. So, where do you go when you can't remember simple things like "How can I be sure that this element is currently visible in the user's window"? The internet! Which leads directly to the fountain of all programming wisdom, Stack Overflow. Yes, the parody is essentially real. parody book cover of O'Reilly book titled Copying and Pasting from Stack Overflow But answer after answer to this and similar questions about basic DOM APIs and common patterns lead to the response "well, in jQuery you …". And of course the questions end up being closed off at some point by moderators. The thing is, a few years ago, jQuery was such a ubiquitous part of a developer's toolkit that this seemed a perfectly reasonable approach. Who didn't use jQuery? And since it smoothed off so many bumpy surfaces in terms of browser differences, answers using jQuery could be more succinct and more immediately practically useful. A plain old vanilla JavaScript and DOM API answer might have required a bunch of additional code for edge cases, different browsers, and so on. But now? jQuery is a far less central technology, as much as it's still widely used. Its core value propositions, smoothing over the pain of browser inconsistencies, and providing higher order functionality, have largely gone away (browsers have become more consistent, the DOM API now supports features 'inspired' by jQuery like classList and querySelector). And so, for all but those using jQuery in ongoing application development, these answers (which due to StackOverflow's high pagerank dominate search results for related topics) are doubly useless. They are no longer cut and paste code that "just works", nor do they help us understand the underlying APIs and their workings. This speaks to an important software engineering principle (software engineering is a practice we on the web have frankly paid too little attention to, as I've been on the record arguing for many years): The Law (or rule, or principle) of least power. It's been formulated by Tim Berners-Lee, no less (so, you know, any of us who work on the web should perhaps pay at least a little attention to his thoughts, since he invented this whole damned thing), as "choosing the least powerful [computer] language suitable for a given purpose". Which, to many, may sound backwards. But it is at work here in jQuery based stack overflow answers. How does this work in the case of StackOverflow answers? If we choose the underlying DOM APIs, and then the simplest, plainest JavaScript to access them, this solution is essentially immortal. It will always work. People with foundation knowledge of web technologies will in decades hence understand. People who work with jQuery will understand. Angular, CoffeeScript, TypeScript, even React users (calm down) will understand. Because they all understand JavaScript, right? Right? Instead, we now have effectively useless answers, crowding out potentially good ones. To draw a slightly longer bow, the same principle applies to deeper architectural decisions. Right now, I see literally a mania for React. We've seen it (with less fervour) for many other DOM and CSS frameworks, tools and libraries, for variants on and supersets of JavaScript. jQuery, once utterly dominant, is increasingly a legacy technology. How many grid frameworks had their moment in the sun? Bootstrap, Angular, CoffeeScript, all had moments where they seemed to define best practice. Now even simple websites, the sort we used to build with tables and spacer gifs, then CSS, are now built with React. The ads that used to look for jQuery developers now look for React developers. We've been here before. I don't know. Perhaps we have reached the perfect (or at least good enough) architecture and toolset for building web stuff. But when a pattern keeps emerging time after time, I think it makes sense to consider whether there's something fundamental to that pattern. So what is that pattern? On the web we seem to have cycles that look like this: we start with something really simple, like the original HTML. No styling, no images even, just a few page elements (headings, paragraphs, a few inline styles) and links. Over time, features are added (for example, tables and images) and we uncover patterns that allow us to transcend what the platform imagined - hacking tables and gifs to create Killer Layouts (look it up). These patterns become increasingly complex and arcane, and require ever more specialisation. And then something newer and simpler arrives (for example, CSS in the mid 90s), that seems initially too trivial to allow us to do anything meaningful, too limited, that makes it too hard to do what we were doing easily before ("easily", because we'd built a body of practices and patterns and technologies over a period of years). A perfect example is Image Replacement (IR) Techniques. For the uninitiated, before web fonts and the likes of Typekit (you can thank me later for all this - No, seriously) we developed (well, I say "we", but I always thought they were a terrible idea) techniques that would allow us to render text as an image, then display this on a page, while maintaining accessibility by displaying the actual text of the element in a way that screen readers (and search engines) could read, but hid the text itself from sighted viewers. Just explaining what they did is exhausting and frustrating. But they did allow you to "display" fonts that weren't on the user's computer. And then web fonts came along. And, in a stroke, IR techniques were redundant. Of course, we now have a set of challenges around loading web fonts, and do we have the Flash of Unstyled Content, or Flash of No Content? You see how it goes? This has played out over and over on the web (and beyond, but more of that another day). A kind of Groundhog Day, where each recurring day is also a different one. But. Underneath all of these patterns and practices and frameworks and libraries are core technologies. And underlying principles. Some that pertain specifically to the web, some that predate the web (as I mentioned, that significantly overlooked field of software engineering). These are foundations - technological, and of practice - that we ignore, overlook, or flaunt at our peril. And a simple example of the consequences is that all those StackOverflow answers are now worse than useless.  " ["post_title"]=> string(56) "The Law of Least Power and Defunct StackOverflow Answers" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(394) "Answer after answer on StackOverflow to questions about basic DOM APIs and common patterns would lead to the response "Well, in jQuery, you …". And, of course, the questions end up being closed off at some point by moderators. The thing is, a few years ago, jQuery was such a ubiquitous part of a developer's toolkit that this seemed a perfectly reasonable approach. Who didn't use jQuery?" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(56) "the-law-of-least-power-and-defunct-stackoverflow-answers" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-09-02 10:32:17" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-02 00:32:17" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7277" ["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)#1112 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7966) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-09-01 10:14:57" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-01 00:14:57" ["post_content"]=> string(3624) "Jonathan ShariatOur Video of the Week this week goes back to Direction last year in Sydney, when US designer Jonathan Shariat gave a very thought-provoking talk on "The real cost of bad design & how to fix it". This ties in with what is currently a predominant theme among web and digital essay writers, conferences and podcasts: ethical design, eg the focus ethics received at our good friends' excellent UX Australia conference in Sydney just a couple of weeks ago. And that's a good thing! Another point to note here is that Jonathan's talk was based around research for a book he was co-authoring with Cynthia Savard Saucier. That book, Tragic Design, was published by O’Reilly in May this year. Very much worth getting a hold of. In the meantime, set aside 45 minutes for Jonathan's talk - we reckon you'll be glad you did.    

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(51) "Video of the Week: Tragic Design - Jonathan Shariat" ["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(48) "video-of-the-week-tragic-design-jonathan-shariat" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-09-01 10:14:57" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-01 00:14:57" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7966" ["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)#1111 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7960) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-08-30 12:06:05" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-08-30 02:06:05" ["post_content"]=> string(3377) "Jennifer WilsonToday being just two days until the close of the Early Bird discount for our new AI Conference, it seems appropriate to make a previous talk by one of the AI speakers our Video Ristretto this week. Jennifer Wilson will talk about voice driven chat interfaces - chatbots - at AI, but last year at Direction 16, she gave a fascinating talk on using gamification techniques to help app users to give up smoking (we ran the Wrap summary of this talk several weeks ago). Give yourself half an hour and take a look.    

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(51) "Video Ristretto: Change Your Game - Jennifer Wilson" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(409) "Today being just two days until the close of the Early Bird discount for our new AI Conference, it seems appropriate to make a previous talk by one of the AI speakers our Video Ristretto this week. Jennifer Wilson will talk about voice driven chat interfaces - chatbots - at AI, but last year at Direction 16, she gave a fascinating talk on using gamification techniques to help app users to give up smoking. " ["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-change-game-jennifer-wilson" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-08-30 12:06:05" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-08-30 02:06:05" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7960" ["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)#1110 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7955) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-08-29 17:07:09" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-08-29 07:07:09" ["post_content"]=> string(6073) "We're very grateful for the positive reaction so far to our new Web Directions AI conference in Sydney on 28 September, both in registrations (almost 50% sold out) and direct feedback. Clearly, many of you agree it's the right time to be looking at artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing and related areas from a design and development perspective. Now, before we go any further, let me just say:
  • • Standard ticket to AI = $699
  • • Register by 1 September (Friday), get $100 off = $599
There is also a pretty stunning offer to register by 1 September for AI plus our end of year Summit extravaganza for $1,399. That is $500 off the overall combined standard price. So, with that clear, let me tell you why you should go to AI. AI A couple of things to get straight AI is not future tech. It's right now, and a lot more coming. AI has been applied in various small ways for years but it thrives on data, and that is becoming available like never before. You, personally, don't have to be - or even have access to - a computer scientist to use AI. One word: APIs. Who should go to this? We've scheduled a day of presentations and discussions that will be useful and relevant for designers, developers, UX specialists, product managers, engineers, service designers, team leaders and a bunch of others working in the web and digital space. How does it work? It's a big day: nine sessions in all with presentations, round-table lightning discussions and speaker Q&As for each session, all within three broad themes - the Technology, the Design and the Business of AI. Technology The AI and Machine Learning Landscape Alasdair Hamilton, Remi AI The 5,000 ft view, to help us understand the foundations of the technologies we'll discuss throughout the day. The State of AI Language Platforms Justin Anderson, Ansarada Insights from recent research into the capabilities, strengths and challenges of some of the most widely available AI APIs. Off the Shelf or Build Your Own? An AI decision tree Andy Huang, Servian Those APIs - how do you know they'll work for you? And what if they don't? How do you even make decisions about that? Design A Headline Bot Generated This Talk Title, and You Won’t Believe What Happened Next Anna Harrison, Ephox Some insightful observations gleaned in creating a content generation tool that uses machine learning. The (Typically Terrible) UX of Chatbots Jennifer Wilson, Mobile Experience Voice driven interaction is obviously a rich field for AI. It's just talking, so that should be easy, right? Designing Chat Interfaces: You Don't Have to Pass the Turing Test Henry Cho, Upwire Even more than voice, text is a predominant form of human interaction. This looks at designing text-based chat interfaces. Business Building a Data Value Prop When It's Not Your Data Chris Bayley, Cover Genius Sure, AI is based on massive amounts of data, but where does that data come from, and how do you get it? Robochat: Navigating the Home Loan Journey with Australia's First Virtual Home Loan Agent Peter O'Malley, UBank Digital Ubank's Robochat works alongside its existing live chat interface, reducing loan application time for users. This is how they did it. NB There is one more session to be announced in the Business track - we're just waiting to confirm the speaker. So, that is a huge day focused on some key aspects of how we can and will work with AI in our jobs. We know this format can work really well (we had outstanding feedback when we used it for our Code Leaders conference a few weeks ago). All it takes is a room full of interested, engaged active participants. That's where you come in (literally)! We'd love to have you join us at this first Web Directions AI conference. And we're making it as easy as possible for you to be there. Pricing The Early Bird price for this new one-day conference is $599. After 1 September (which is this Friday), it goes up to $699. That's a great deal. As noted, there is also on offer another pretty amazing deal that combines registration for AI plus Summit (our big 2 day, 2 track conference in Sydney in November). Take up that deal before midnight on Friday and you can save $500 off the overall combined standard price. (If you've already registered for Summit and you'd like to come to AI, email us - we'll work it out.) Want to know more? Keen to register? The full program is at the AI conference site. Note that numbers are strictly limited, and we are 50% sold out now. If, like me, you are increasingly excited at the implications of AI for the digital and web tech industry - and especially for our work as designers and developers - you will not want to miss this significant new conference. Hope I see you there!" ["post_title"]=> string(42) "New AI Conference Early Bird Closes Friday" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(381) "We're very grateful for the positive reaction so far to our new Web Directions AI conference in Sydney on 28 September, both in registrations (almost 50% sold out) and direct feedback.  Clearly, many of you agree it's the right time to be looking at artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing and related areas from a design and development perspective." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(42) "new-ai-conference-early-bird-closes-friday" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-08-29 17:07:09" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-08-29 07:07:09" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7955" ["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)#1109 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7924) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-08-22 11:48:46" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-08-22 01:48:46" ["post_content"]=> string(8611) "With just four weeks remaining of the best ticket prices anyone will get, now is the time to lock in your place at Web Directions Summit 17. We've already told you about six of our keynote speakers for our major end of year event in Sydney on 9-10 November - we'll recap a bit further down, AND tell you about our latest two confirmed speakers - but, while you take that in, think of this:
  1. • The best ticket deals you're going to get are during this first Early Bird period ending on Friday 15 September.
  2.  
  3. • Our Code conference in Melbourne just a couple of weeks ago sold out completely BEFORE the Early Bird finished.
  4.  
  5. • The number of places we have available for Summit 17 is limited by both the size of the venue and our determination to ensure a comfortable experience for all attendees.
  6.  
  7. • Since we opened registration for Summit 17 in late June, 30% of tickets have already been sold - right now we're very close to the absolute limit for Gold tickets.
  With that understood, and noting that you - as a past attendee of a Web Directions event - have a particularly special Summit 17 deal available to you (see below), let's take a look at how our flagship event is shaping up.   Summit  

The Next Two Speakers

We can now confirm our next two speakers for Summit 17, and like the others, they are doozies: internationally acknowledged expert practitioners and thinkers at the top of their game and keen to share their thoughts with you.
 Amélie Lamont

Amélie Lamont

US designer, writer, thinker and speaker on design, tech, womanhood, anthropology, creativity, culture, and race. Product Design Lead, The New York Times.  

Chris Eppstein

US software architect, rubyist, Sass Core Developer, Compass stylesheet framework creator, writer, speaker, and open source advocate. Senior Staff Software Engineer, LinkedIn.
 Chris Eppstein
 

The First Six Speakers

 Genevieve Bell

Genevieve Bell

Internationally acclaimed Australian anthropologist and technologist, ex-Stanford, now ANU. Knows more than anyone about the intersection of data, people and design thinking.

Chris Messina

Visionary US analyst, writer, speaker and consultant to some of the biggest names in web and tech. Invented the Twitter hashtag, advises startups and thinks about the impact of tech on society.
 Chris Messina
 Dan Rubin

Dan Rubin

Highly experienced and respected US designer, photographer, artist, writer and creative director of a multi-disciplinary studio. Aims to literally improve the world through good design.

Tammy Everts

Canadian researcher, author, speaker and Chief Experience Officer of performance specialists Speedcurve. Acknowledged world expert in the technical interrelation of web performance, UX and business.
 Tammy Everts
 Lauren Lucchese

Lauren Lucchese

Head of AI Content at US financial giant Capital One, journalist, content strategist and user experience expert now leading a team focused on designing conversational user interfaces, including voice.

Kyle Simpson

US developer, writer, evangelist, teacher, mentor and speaker on the present and future of JavaScript.  Passionate advocate for the open web. Author of the You Don't Know JS series of books.
 Kyle Simpson
And this is not even anywhere near all our speakers. We still have plenty more to announce in coming weeks, including successful submissions from our local Call For Presentations. We'll be adding speakers to the website regularly, where you'll also find more info about all our speakers.

Pricing

Register during the Primary Early Bird period up to 15 September and get $200 off the regular cost.
  • • Classic Summit ticket (conference only) for just $999 (save $200)
  • • Silver Summit ticket (conference plus videos) for just $1,199 (save $200)
  • • Gold Summit ticket (conference, videos and speaker dinner) for just $1,299 (save $200)

AI Bonus Deal

Interest has also been very high in our new AI conference (on how AI and machine learning are influencing design and development right now), and our extra special Summit deal. Until 1 September (when the AI Early Bird closes), you can get a Silver ticket to Summit (usually $1,199) plus a ticket to AI (usually $599) for just $1,399. And even if you register for this deal after 1 September and before 28 September (when the AI conference is on), it'll still only cost you $1,499. Not only do we have much more to tell you about Summit 17 over the next few weeks, we'll also be announcing several smaller events we're holding between now and the end of the year. These will also have their own package deals with Summit.  Do also remember that, whatever deal or combination you choose for our events, if you can't allocate funds immediately, you're welcome to register now and pay later. I look forward to you joining us at one or more of our events soon." ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Two More Summit 17 Speakers Announced" ["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(37) "two-more-summit-17-speakers-announced" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-08-22 11:48:46" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-08-22 01:48:46" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7924" ["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)#1108 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7660) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-07-31 11:42:52" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-31 01:42:52" ["post_content"]=> string(8158) "A few weeks ago, we announced the first two of what will be 28 speakers in total for Summit 17, our end of year design and development conference in Sydney on 9-10 November. The response to the announcement of Chris (Mr Hashtag) Messina and returned Australian technologist Genevieve Bell has been genuinely overwhelming, with 20% of the available conference places already filled. Today, we're announcing our next four Summit speakers, again across the design and development tracks, all from overseas. Some you're very likely to have heard of before, others perhaps less so. All of them work in areas that are key to the way our industry is developing. I know you'll find them equally engaging. Summit The Next Four Speakers Dan Rubin, Tammy Everts Born in Miami Beach and now living in London, Dan Rubin is a designer, photographer, and founder / creative director of webgraph, a multi-disciplinary studio based in the US. He often leaks small chunks of his brain directly to Twitter, posts photos to Flickr, 500px, and Instagram, and on rare occasions uploads works-in-progress to Dribbble. A long time expert on web performance and dev ops, after stints at Soasta and Radware Tammy Everts is now Chief Experience Officer at SpeedCurve, a provider of developer performance tooling. Tammy is the author of the recent Time Is Money: The Business Value of Web Performance for O'Reilly, and is a co-chair of O'Reilly's Fluent and Velocity conferences. Kyle Simpson, Lauren Lucchese Kyle Simpson is an Open Web Evangelist from Austin, TX. He's passionate about JavaScript, HTML5, real-time/peer-to-peer communications, and web performance. Otherwise, he's probably bored by it. Kyle is the author of the You Don't Know JavaScript series, a workshop trainer, tech speaker, and avid OSS community member. With a background in journalism, UX research, design and strategy, Lauren Lucchese is now head of AI Content at one of the world's largest financial institutions, Capital One. There she leads a team of writers who shape trusted, likable conversational UIs, including voice. They're part of a larger Conversation Design team at Capital One, working together to bring humanity and clarity to every experience they design. These four highly regarded speakers from overseas join the two keynote speakers we've already announced - and this is not yet even the limit of the international contingent at Summit 17 Expect more announcements soon. Chris Messina, Genevieve Bell Chris Messina invented the use of the hashtag for Twitter, a convention now adopted across almost all social media. But Chris's contributions to the web go far beyond this one small, significant innovation, from co-working (he was one of its originators), Microformats and Web Standards, to deep thinking about the broader impact of technical advances on society, the economy and culture, and working with companies as diverse as Yahoo!, Firefox, Google and Uber. A renowned cultural anthropologist at Stanford University, Genevieve Bell moved to Intel in the late 1990s, eventually becoming Director of Intel's User Experience Research Group. Now back in her home country as a Professor at the Australian National University College of Engineering and Computer Science, Genevieve focuses on "how to bring together data science, design thinking and ethnography to drive new approaches in engineering" and explores the questions of what it means to be human in a data-driven economy and world. Program Summit 17 is going to be two very full days in November packed with inspiring, challenging, entertaining and thought-provoking presentations from our four keynote speakers plus over 30 Australian and international speakers addressing key topics relating to our role in the ongoing evolution of the web, digital technology, design and engineering. Some of those local speakers will include successful submissions to our Call For Presentations - which closes midnight tonight (AEST), Friday 28 July. Once we have reviewed all the submissions, we'll announce the successful speakers and release the full conference program. Pricing We always keep our prices as low as we can, and we have complete confidence in the quality and relevance of our speakers and their presentations, but we also know that a little incentive can sometimes make it easier to find room in a limited budget, especially if you have to convince someone else. First, we have our Early Bird discounts. Register during the Primary Early Bird period up to 15 September and get $200 off the regular cost.
  • • Classic Summit ticket (conference only) for just $999 (save $200)
  • • Silver Summit ticket (conference plus videos) for just $1,199 (save $200)
  • • Gold Summit ticket (conference, videos and speaker dinner) for just $1,299 (save $200)
AI Bonus Deal If you're also interested in attending our brand new AI conference (and, given it's about how AI and machine learning are influencing all our design and development work right now, why wouldn't you be?), we have an extra special deal for you. Until 1 September (when the AI Early Bird closes), you can get a Silver ticket to Summit (usually $1,199) plus a ticket to AI (usually $599) for just $1,399. And even if you register for this deal after 1 September and before 28 September (when the AI conference is on), it'll still only cost you $1,499. Do also remember that, whatever deal or combination you choose for our events, if you can't allocate funds immediately, you're welcome to register now and pay later. I hope you'll be able to join us." ["post_title"]=> string(42) "Four More Speakers Announced for Summit 17" ["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(33) "four-speakers-announced-summit-17" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-07-31 11:42:52" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-31 01:42:52" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7660" ["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)#1107 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7654) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-07-21 15:21:15" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-21 05:21:15" ["post_content"]=> string(5186) "Well, that's a fair question. Why are we even hosting this Web Directions AI event in Sydney on 28 September, given that our conferences typically focus on digital design and development, predominantly in a web-based context? Over the last 12 to 18 months, I've been become increasingly aware that adding even a little intelligence to our existing products and services can have surprisingly positive impacts on user experience - and on profitability. That's before we even talk about the new products and services that become possible, feasible and likely with the introduction of new levels of machine intelligence. Web Directions AI is about putting this all squarely in the context of what we currently do and will be doing in the near future. Let me explain. AI What do we mean by AI? When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, we typically think and talk in terms of science fiction, robots and the future. The same goes for the related concepts of Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing. There's a perception that is all future tech. Web Directions AI sets out to dispel this notion, and provide a real world context for what AI is now and will increasingly become. William Gibson came up with a now well-known quote that certainly applies to this: 'The future is already here — it's just not evenly distributed". "Real world"? Really? Like most people, you probably use predictive typing on your phone. Your device's ability to predict the rest of the word you're typing is driven by a form of artificial intelligence. Now imagine predictive typing being removed from your phone. Remove just a little intelligence from one small, but vital aspect of that device, and its usefulness plummets. The original iPhone shipped without even copy and paste functionality, but it did have predictive typing, a use of AI that has become expected and something we wouldn't want to lose. Right now, the role of AI in our digital products and services is limited. My prediction is that in a couple of years, though, designers, developers, UX and CX specialists, information architects, product managers and content strategists who don't embrace and master AI will find themselves left behind. So what's the conference about? Web Directions AI is about helping you to understand the capabilities of the technology today, and how straightforward and inexpensive it can be to add sophisticated AI capabilities to your work. It's about understanding the design opportunities of voice, chat and other "cognitive" technologies, and understanding the business opportunities, decisions and challenges of adopting anything from straightforward sentiment analysis, through triaging incoming support requests, to creating fully fledged intelligent chat interfaces. Web Directions AI uses a format of expert talks, case studies and practical examples along with Q&A discussion opportunities, drawing on the expertise and experience of people doing some amazing work in this area right now. Who should go to this? If you work in the web and digital industry, and you're already thinking about or working with AI technologies, we'll help you get a deeper understanding of the key pillars of the Technology, Business and Design of AI. And if you work in the web and digital industry and you're NOT thinking about AI, we'll show you why you should be, and how. What do I do now? Want to know more? Keen to register? The full program is at the AI conference site. Note that numbers are strictly limited, and we expect tickets to sell pretty quickly now that they are available as of today. The Early Bird price for this new one-day conference is $599. After 1 September, it goes up to $699. I'm really excited about this brand new Web Directions event, focused on an area of technology that I honestly believe will be as significant an opportunity for you, me and all our colleagues as the early days of the web itself. If you need a bit of extra perspective on why I think this becoming such an exciting area for us, I've posted a few current and topical reading suggestions on our website.  " ["post_title"]=> string(68) "Why is Web Directions Holding an Artificial Intelligence Conference?" ["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(57) "web-directions-holding-artificial-intelligence-conference" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-07-21 15:21:15" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-21 05:21:15" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7654" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "1" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [11]=> object(WP_Post)#1106 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7649) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-07-21 09:07:47" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-20 23:07:47" ["post_content"]=> string(3865) "As we get ready to fully launch our newest conference, Web Directions AI, I've pulled together some particularly interesting perspectives on AI for your reading pleasure. Watch out for an email today with all the details of the one-day conference in Sydney on 28 September. Cheating at AI Hopefully, it's clear by now that I think an area anyone - whether  more on the design, engineering or business sides of the Web/Digital/Technology area - should be focusing on involves what we broadly call AI. So much so that we're about to launch our brand new AI focused conference, taking place in Sydney in late September. If you want some quick overviews of the key ideas, Stefan Kojouharov has assembled a list of "cheatsheets" on machine learning, neural networks and more related topics. It's 1996 all over again Ever fewer of us in the field remember the website designs of 1996: the year "Killer Web Sites" dominated the web design conversation and the year of the first US Presidential election to take place in the consumer web era. For increasingly many, this is a lifetime ago. Dole/Kemp 96 website - no AI Putting today's sophisticated interactive web experiences up against this makes you wonder how even we got from there to here. But all technologies take small incremental steps from the realm of the early adopter to the mainstream, and today's hotness, chatbots (I prefer the broader idea of conversational interfaces), are very much in their infancy. Vittorio Banfi makes the argument that Chatbot design today is like web design in 1996, and who wouldn't want the opportunity to get in the time machine back to the start of web design and help shape that field? Well, maybe this is your chance. Machines versus abuse The sheer scale of modern social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, with hundreds of millions and even billions of active users a month, makes any sort of human powered curation and moderation laughably impossible. Perhaps this is why these platforms seem so often to be associated with negative human behaviours, from fake news to bullying and abuse. These behaviours can be difficult to detect and respond to. There's also the challenge of company valuations being a function of active user numbers, driving short term disincentives to removing users, even fake ones, from the network. Recently, Instagram has begun turning the potential of parent company Facebook's machine learning engine DeepText to the challenge of bullying and abusive behaviour on its platform. More at Web Directions AI If you're keen to learn more, keep an eye on Web Directions AI  taking place in Sydney at the end of September, with program announcements starting next week. From design to business and technology, if you have even the vaguest inkling that this stuff is going to be important in what you design and deliver, don't miss AI!" ["post_title"]=> string(23) "John's AI Reading Links" ["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(22) "johns-ai-reading-links" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-07-21 09:07:47" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-20 23:07:47" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7649" ["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)#1105 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7642) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-07-19 09:30:49" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-18 23:30:49" ["post_content"]=> string(3309) "Delivering a conference presentation about the commercial use of virtual reality technology is a pretty thankless task, a bit like trying to demonstrate colour on a black & white television set. Back at our end of year Direction conference in 2016, Aaron Spence took this on by having his fabulous assistant wear a VR headset as various experiences played out, the vision of which was then shown on the big screen - admittedly 2D but impressive all the same. It's also worth noting that quite possibly every person at the conference had a go at using a VR headset from the several made available by Aaron's company Panedia expressly for the purpose. The video of Aaron's talk is about half an hour long and really demonstrates how far VR has already penetrated into a range of commercial and other uses.    

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 once-a-fortnight 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(70) "Video Ristretto: Virtual Reality as Used in Our Reality - Aaron Spence" ["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(57) "video-ristretto-virtual-reality-used-reality-aaron-spence" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-08-30 11:22:27" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-08-30 01:22:27" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7642" ["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)#1104 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7630) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-07-18 09:30:01" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-17 23:30:01" ["post_content"]=> string(9734) "Back at Direction last year (that's the one that's evolving into Summit this year), Jennifer Wilson gave a compelling talk on using gamification to achieve behavioural change in health practices. One of the examples she used in her presentation was an app developed by her company The Project Factory for a government health agency, and Jennifer was kind enough to also write the following article for our Wrap magazine, which went into a bit more depth about My QuitBuddy. It's a pretty compelling case study and I think you won't have any trouble seeing where some of this leads.

Giving Up By Design

Jennifer Wilson, Director, The Project Factory

Jeniifer Wilson Five years ago, when we at The Project Factory built the Quit Now: My QuitBuddy app for the then Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA), I realised we had created one of the things I am most proud of in all my 30 years in this industry. We wanted to build something that would truly help people who wanted to quit smoking achieve their goal. Designing the app, we channelled smokers we knew, applied everything we’d learned from other projects about what created genuine engagement, and we trod very carefully through deep personalisation, behavioural dynamics and nudge theory to get the balance right. 700,000 downloads later, a clinical assessment has shown that QuitBuddy has the highest effectiveness rating of any quit smoking technique. I think we got it right. My QuitBuddy logo

Changing Behaviour

What we learned from QuitBuddy has influenced all the other work we’ve done, notably in the health field and specifically when addressing any form of behaviour change: • onboarding that allows the app to be tailored to the individual; • goal setting to aid in reinforcing intent; • personal growth feedback that enhances the intrinsic benefits of change; • gamified elements to encourage adherence and continued use; • permitted failure – where you can fail without major penalties; • and careful support through timed alerts, checkins and distractions. One thing that seems to really work is the ‘slip-up’ test. We ask those on the quitting journey if they are still smoke-free, or if they ‘slipped up’. If they do slip up, we then ask if it was ‘just a slip-up’  or if they need to restart their program. There’s no rebuke, no reprimand – just a suggestion they identify triggers to help stop this happening again. Interestingly, over two-thirds of people who say they slipped up do go on to restart their program – a fabulous level of personal honesty.

Vice Control

We’re now in a fascinating new space that really extends what we know. Smoking, like a few other negative behaviours (abuse, violence, bullying, etc) is binary: you either smoke or you don’t. While some claim to be social smokers, most of us recognise this as a black and white issue. But what about drinking? Or the odd recreational line of coke, tab of ecstasy or marijuana joint? Or the occasional night on the pokies? Or even that maxed out credit card, and those unworn dresses or shoes? I knew someone who so looked forward to their one glass of wine at the end of the day, they decided they had a real problem and so signed up to AA. Conversely, I’m sure we all know someone who thinks that a few bottles of wine a night or half a bottle of spirits isn’t adversely affecting them. Sure, they know it’s too much, but it isn’t having a negative impact on their life and they feel in control. Looking at behavioural change in this space is different. It is less about supporting someone on a journey to be free of a bad habit or vice, and more about helping them determine if they actually are in control of their behaviour, and whether they are really aware of its impact. The same elements we used for QuitBuddy do come into play, but need to be applied differently and some new tools need to be used. We need to set a baseline for behaviour, check in with the participant to assess how they feel about what they are doing, and get some understanding of their circumstances, moods, relationships, etc. This then forms a baseline we can track them against. Some, but not all, people will have goals  – and where they do, the process of defining a program to reach these goals becomes our primary task. This is more straightforward and similar to cessation goal setting: set the target; work out the steps, timeline and process to achieve this; motivate them along the way; support them where they fail; and encourage them to try again. My Quitbuddy

Making Honest Choices

We still need to make the experience as personal as possible – in many cases we are asking people to share what might be embarrassing or even illegal habits with us. Our feedback must then be honest, direct and targeted personally to them. We need, over time, to carefully repeat all those initial questions we asked in the beginning when we were setting a baseline. These need to be phrased differently, to come up at random times, to be appropriate questions to what they were looking at in the app – and definitely not feel intrusive. We can then report back to them on any impacts their behaviour appears to be having on their lives based on their own self-assessment. This might be increased mood swings, a worsening of a work or family situation, higher levels of anxiety, stress or financial concern, or an increase in recognised risk behaviour (eg unsafe sex). From here, the participant can choose their path. It might simply be seeking more information on the impacts of their activity – increasing their awareness and helping them make better decisions. Or it might be that they choose to take more control over their behaviour and work to reduce this to a point where they are more in control.

Regaining Control

It is this sense of control that is the key: whether it is to quit smoking, increase exercise, control our shopping instincts or even learn to deal with our anger. Digital offers uniquely personal and intimate support to help us be the governors of our actions. I believe that, as we explore this area, we can potentially develop a tool – a generic process – that can be applied to any behaviour where we need to  reassert our control over the activity. Which is just as well, as once we have our analogue habits under control, we may well need to apply this to our digital addictions! My QuitBuddy  

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 once-a-fortnight 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(56) "Direction 16 Wrap: Giving Up By Design - Jennifer Wilson" ["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(53) "direction-16-wrap-giving-up-by-design-jennifer-wilson" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-07-18 21:04:03" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-18 11:04:03" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7630" ["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)#1477 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7625) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-07-12 12:24:57" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-12 02:24:57" ["post_content"]=> string(1009) "Our Call For Proposals to present at Summit is now open. Yes, we curate the conference, but we like to leave room for outstanding, relevant talks from local speakers, experienced or not. Sessions are 20 minutes long, and open to Australian residents. If you're successful, we'll fly you to Sydney, put you up, and treat you like any other speaker. If you have already registered to attend the conference and you are selected to present, we will happily refund your registration fee. If it's your first time presenting, we'll also give you every assistance to hone your talk. Come on, come and join the big league! The Summit CFP is open until 31 July." ["post_title"]=> string(61) "Web Directions Summit 17 Call For Presentations: Be a Speaker" ["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(51) "web-directions-summit-17-call-presentations-speaker" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-07-12 12:24:57" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-07-12 02:24:57" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7625" ["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)#1117 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(8000) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-09-13 11:59:24" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-13 01:59:24" ["post_content"]=> string(13920) "Web Directions is back! We've taken our annual Sydney end-of-year conference back to the structure that's best known and loved: two huge days, with two big tracks - one focused on Engineering, the other on Products and Design, plus stellar over-arching opening and closing keynotes on each day from high profile industry leaders;  a format to suit your whole team, across disciplines. At the same time, we move forward. We renamed the conference Summit to distinguish it from other Web Directions events, and to characterise it as both a coming together of the different disciplines we practise, and a peak of our professional development year. If there's just a single web / tech / digital conference you go to each year, we want it to be Web Directions Summit. We've so far announced eight Summit speakers, all important figures of international stature. We still have a detail or two to finalise in the Product / Design Track, but we can't stand to wait any longer, so today we're going to share with you the full program for the Engineering Track of Summit 17. We'll launch the other track next week, and because of that, we're going to extend the Super Early Bird period by one week to Friday 22 September (the best ticket deals), and the second Early Bird to Friday 20 October (still good deals there). When you have a line-up this good, you can't keep it to yourself! And remember, you can register now to get your Super Early Bird discount, and pay later - even if that's after the Early Bird closes. Engineering Track, Day One
 Summit 17 - Chris Messina Lessons from the Death of the PC Chris Messina As the PC meets its slow demise, we stand on a precipice overlooking a broad shift in how technology is designed and serves people, with new hardware and embedded technologies that spell new paradigms for user experience, voice experience, and conversation experience.  
 
 Summit 17 - Iker Jamardo WebXR: Virtual and Augmented Reality on the Web Iker Jamardo A deep dive into the current state of the Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies on the web, with the most outstanding examples of VR/AR websites to date, cutting edge browser prototypes and an update on standards progress.  
 
 Summit 17 - Chris Eppstein Some Thoughts on CSS Architectures, Frameworks and Tooling Chris Eppstein Insights and thoughts about how and why styling components led us to CSS-in-JS (and, inevitably, JS-in-CSS) and how tooling can bridge the divide between what's best for the developer and what's best for the browser  
 
 Summit 17 - Kyle Simpson Keep Betting on JavaScript Kyle Simpson JavaScript is no longer trying to prove itself. It has arrived, it's now fully a first class citizen in the programming language ecosystem. So what's over the horizon for the world's most ubiquitous and popular (by usage, if not emotion!) language?  
 
 Mehdi Valikhani Meta Programming in JavaScript Mehdi Valikhani Meta whaaat?! Meta programming is a way to customise built-in features of a programming language. Say we have an array of multiple Beer objects, each of them has a field called 'name'. What if I tell you that you could fetch VB's data using 'beers['VB']'!  
 
 Summit 17 - Erwin van der Koogh Back-end Development for Front-end Developers Erwin van der Koogh With the release of AWS Lambda and similar "serverless" computing services, anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of JavaScript can write reliable and scalable back-ends. And front-end developers actually have a big advantage.  
 
 Summit 17 - Josh Duck Exploring Static Types: Writing Typesafe Code that Feels Like Real JavaScript Josh Duck Flow and TypeScript are changing the foundations of JavaScript. Far from turning code into an object oriented mess, static typing gives us JS code that's cleaner and more predictable. With typechecking, we end up with easier interfaces for humans, too.  
 
 Summit 17 - Dan Rubin A Life on the Web Dan Rubin Dan has lived a life curiously suited to the web, one that has eschewed the traditional linear career structure and more closely resembles the inter-connected, graph-like nature of the web itself. Find out what he's learned along the way.
I think you'll agree that is a pretty substantial Day One: five internationals and three locals, big picture and deep dive, a few perspectives on JS, some "now" and some "coming soon". Let's see what Day Two holds. Engineering Track, Day Two  
 Summit 17 - Genevieve Bell Artificial Intelligence: Making a Human Connection Genevieve Bell It's tempting to keep separate the art and science of the robot and the artificial intelligence that underpins it. However, there are reasons to thread them back together and understand how the story of AI is connected to the history of human culture.  
 
 Summit 17 - Amir Shevat Moving from Web & Mobile to Messaging - To Bot or Not to Bot Amir Shevat We're seeing a big move from web and mobile apps to conversational interfaces. The future of work doesn't include endless email chains, 30 open browser tabs, or siloed tools. Find out instead what bots and delightful UI can do for you.  
 
 Summit 17 - Jessica Edwards Workers of the Web Unite Jessica Edwards With increasing browser support for Service Workers, developers can now create websites that work offline, independent of network status, and with great flexibility. By understanding the Web Worker API, we can better understand Service Workers and how to use them.  
 
 Summit 17 - Tammy Everts Performance is About People, Not Metrics Tammy Everts A brief history of UX and web performance research, highlighting key studies that connect the dots between performance and user experience, with some educated guesses about new metrics just around the corner. Some day we’ll laugh at how little we actually knew.  
 
 Summit 17 - Hannah Malcolm Delivering a Web Experience in 10KB Hannah Malcolm Can you deliver a compelling web experience in less than 10KB, without the need for JavaScript? Learn about the challenges and breakthroughs in designing and building the Best Design winner of the 2016 A List Apart competition.  
 
 Summit 17 - Phil Nash 2FA, WTF? Phil Nash Everyone is hacking everything. Everything is vulnerable. Your site, your users, even you. Are you worried about security? You should be! Let's look at one time passwords, implementing 2FA in web applications and the only real life compelling use case for QR codes.  
 
 Summit 17 - Elle Meredith The Latest in Browser Developer Tools Elle Meredith The capability of tools like Firebug in our modern browsers has grown extraordinarily, but keeping up with them is hard work. Get up to speed with some of the more overlooked ways in which we can improve performance, code quality and more.  
 
 Summit 17 - Amélie Lamont Don’t Kill Them Softly: Fostering a Culture of Fearless Feedback Amélie Lamont Like opinions, harmful or useless feedback can kill your team by demoralisation. Design Anthropology can inform a framework that fosters a fearless feedback culture focusing on creating value, rather than pointing out flaws.
All up: nine international speakers, seven locals, four broad theme keynotes, and 12 tightly focused presentations on many of the fundamentally key topics and issues with which engineers are engaging, now and into the immediate future. And this is just the one track! Now, you should be aware that tickets are already selling fast (just as they did in Melbourne for Code, when we sold out before Early Bird even closed). In fact, as you'll see below, for Summit we've already sold out of Gold tickets. Register during the Primary Early Bird period up to and including Friday 22 September and get $200 off the regular cost.
  • • Classic Summit ticket (conference only) for just $999 (save $200)
  • • Silver Summit ticket (conference plus videos) for just $1,199(save $200)
  • • Gold Summit ticket - sorry, sold out!
NB Take a look at the add-on deals available by registering for a Three Day Pass to Culture or Reality conferences the day before Summit - outstanding value! You'll find much more info about the speakers and their presentations on the Summit 17 website. As someone who's been in the business for over a decade now, I can assure you that this is one of the strongest programs for a conference engineering track I have ever been privileged to curate. I'm very proud of it, and I know you'll love it. See you there." ["post_title"]=> string(41) "Summit 17 - Behold, the Engineering Track" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(302) "We've so far announced eight Summit speakers, all important figures of international stature. We still have a detail or two to finalise in the Product / Design Track, but we can't stand to wait any longer, so today we're going to share with you the full program for the Engineering Track of Summit 17." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(34) "summit-17-behold-engineering-track" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-09-13 11:29:51" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-13 01:29:51" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=8000" ["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" } ["comment_count"]=> int(0) ["current_comment"]=> int(-1) ["found_posts"]=> string(3) "792" ["max_num_pages"]=> float(53) ["max_num_comment_pages"]=> int(0) ["is_single"]=> bool(false) ["is_preview"]=> bool(false) ["is_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_archive"]=> bool(true) ["is_date"]=> bool(false) ["is_year"]=> bool(false) ["is_month"]=> bool(false) ["is_day"]=> bool(false) ["is_time"]=> bool(false) ["is_author"]=> bool(true) ["is_category"]=> bool(false) ["is_tag"]=> bool(false) ["is_tax"]=> bool(false) ["is_search"]=> bool(false) ["is_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_comment_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_trackback"]=> bool(false) ["is_home"]=> bool(false) ["is_404"]=> bool(false) ["is_embed"]=> bool(false) ["is_paged"]=> bool(true) ["is_admin"]=> bool(false) ["is_attachment"]=> bool(false) ["is_singular"]=> bool(false) ["is_robots"]=> bool(false) ["is_posts_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_post_type_archive"]=> bool(false) ["query_vars_hash":"WP_Query":private]=> string(32) "f67176c6ade6bbd189df1257d94d5592" ["query_vars_changed":"WP_Query":private]=> bool(false) ["thumbnails_cached"]=> bool(false) ["stopwords":"WP_Query":private]=> NULL ["compat_fields":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(15) "query_vars_hash" [1]=> string(18) "query_vars_changed" } ["compat_methods":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(16) "init_query_flags" [1]=> string(15) "parse_tax_query" } }

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Summit 17 — Behold, the Engineering Track

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  • September 13, 2017
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We’ve so far announced eight Summit speakers, all important figures of international stature. We still have a detail or two to finalise in the Product /​ Design Track, but we can’t stand to wait any longer, so today we’re going to share with you the full program for the Engineering Track … Read more »

A Progressive Web Approach to a Networked Economy

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  • September 8, 2017
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Pre-​industrial economies did not favour large scale, oligopolistic or monopolistic economic structures (power structures are an entirely different matter).

The rise of industrial, hand in hand with what we now call “Capitalist” economies (the word is an invention of the 19th Century) economies saw the rise of oligopolies – think of … Read more »

Video of the Week: WebVR — Building and Browsing Cyberspace — Mark Pesce

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  • September 8, 2017
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What better way to warm up for our new VR /​ AR conference in November than 50 minutes with Mark Pesce describing the evolution and implications of WebVR technology? Our Video of the Week comes from Direction 16 and points to Reality 17.

Say Hello to Culture 17 and Reality 17

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  • September 7, 2017
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Summit 17 just got bigger.

Web Directions Summit 2017 is already a two-​day, two-​track, multiple international keynote, cream of the local crop, can’t miss conference extravaganza for Australian devs, designers and anyone working in web or digital.

We made it bigger.

The Law of Least Power and Defunct StackOverflow Answers

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  • September 2, 2017
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Answer after answer on StackOverflow to questions about basic DOM APIs and common patterns would lead to the response “Well, in jQuery, you …”. And, of course, the questions end up being closed off at some point by moderators.

The thing is, a few years ago, jQuery was such a ubiquitous … Read more »

Video of the Week: Tragic Design — Jonathan Shariat

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  • September 1, 2017
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Jonathan ShariatOur Video of the Week this week goes back to Direction last year in Sydney, when US designer Jonathan Shariat gave a very thought-​provoking talk on “The real cost of bad design & how to fix it”.

This … Read more »

Video Ristretto: Change Your Game — Jennifer Wilson

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  • August 30, 2017
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Today being just two days until the close of the Early Bird discount for our new AI Conference, it seems appropriate to make a previous talk by one of the AI speakers our Video Ristretto this week. Jennifer Wilson will talk about voice driven chat interfaces — chatbots — at … Read more »

New AI Conference Early Bird Closes Friday

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  • August 29, 2017
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We’re very grateful for the positive reaction so far to our new Web Directions AI conference in Sydney on 28 September, both in registrations (almost 50% sold out) and direct feedback. 

Clearly, many of you agree it’s the right time to be looking at artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing and related areas from a … Read more »

Two More Summit 17 Speakers Announced

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  • August 22, 2017
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With just four weeks remaining of the best ticket prices anyone will get, now is the time to lock in your place at Web Directions Summit 17.

We’ve already told you about six of our keynote speakers for our major end of year event in Sydney on 9–10 November — we’ll … Read more »

Four More Speakers Announced for Summit 17

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  • July 31, 2017
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A few weeks ago, we announced the first two of what will be 28 speakers in total for Summit 17, our end of year design and development conference in Sydney on 9–10 November.

The response to the announcement of Chris (Mr Hashtag) Messina and returned Australian technologist Genevieve Bell has … Read more »

Why is Web Directions Holding an Artificial Intelligence Conference?

Well, that’s a fair question.

Why are we even hosting this Web Directions AI event in Sydney on 28 September, given that our conferences typically focus on digital design and development, predominantly in a web-​based context?

Over the last 12 to 18 months, I’ve been become increasingly aware that adding even a little intelligence to … Read more »

John’s AI Reading Links

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  • July 21, 2017
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As we get ready to fully launch our newest conference, Web Directions AI, I’ve pulled together some particularly interesting perspectives on AI for your reading pleasure.

Watch out for an email today with all the details of the one-​day conference in Sydney on 28 September.

Cheating at AI

Hopefully, it’s clear by … Read more »

Video Ristretto: Virtual Reality as Used in Our Reality — Aaron Spence

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  • July 19, 2017
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Delivering a conference presentation about the commercial use of virtual reality technology is a pretty thankless task, a bit like trying to demonstrate colour on a black & white television set.

Back at our end of year Direction conference in 2016, Aaron Spence took this on by having his fabulous … Read more »

Direction 16 Wrap: Giving Up By Design — Jennifer Wilson

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  • July 18, 2017
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Back at Direction last year (that’s the one that’s evolving into Summit this year), Jennifer Wilson gave a compelling talk on using gamification to achieve behavioural change in health practices.

One of the examples she used in her presentation was an app developed by her company The Project Factory … Read more »

Web Directions Summit 17 Call For Presentations: Be a Speaker

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  • July 12, 2017
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Our Call For Proposals to present at Summit is now open.

Yes, we curate the conference, but we like to leave room for outstanding, relevant talks from local speakers, experienced or not.

Sessions are 20 minutes long, and open to Australian residents. If you’re successful, we’ll fly you to Sydney, put you … Read more »