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Goodbyes are hard. I even need to avert my gaze when I walk through that departure gate at the international airport, where all the sad goodbyes take place, lest my eyes water. But they are also some of the few opportunities we get in life to really acknowledge the things that are important. So, here goes!

This next Web Directions, in just a couple of weeks time, will be my last in a hands-on capacity. It's been an amazing and rewarding ten year journey, and I'm so proud of all the things that we have contributed to in that time, in particular

  • those who have been inspired by our events to start businesses, form partnerships, change careers
  • so many speakers who have risen to the occasion of their first big presentation, on the Web Directions stage
  • the hundreds of hours of videos and podcasts we have been able to share with a worldwide audience, not just those who can come along to our events
  • our efforts to create events for people who work on the web that are inclusive, welcoming, inspirational and fun

I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to every one of the several hundred speakers who have given their time so generously, as well as to everyone who has ever supported us by attending our events, because without the enthusiasm of those two forces coming together, Web Directions would be a much more humble affair.

But the biggest thank you of all needs to go to my business partner through all these years, John Allsopp, whose passion for all things Web, and for the Australian Web industry in particular, knows no bounds and cannot be resisted. John's tireless work, and endless font of new ideas, is something unique and I really do believe we all owe him a debt of gratitude. It's so reassuring to know that a business I have put so much of myself into will be in the hands of a good shepherd like John.

What's next? Well, in the short term, a genuine stepping back is on the cards. I have this strong feeling that there may in fact be viable life far from the Web and the screen and would like to find out if this is in fact the case. Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll be reporting back from the wilderness soon :)

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Some new work music, the trailer for the upcoming Christopher Nolan movie, and a treasure trove of animated gifs. Just some of the 7 things that caught the eye of Jonny Mack this week. Jonny is a product designer at Google, who we are very much looking forward to hosting in the Product Track at Web Directions. Check them all out below, follow Jonny on Twitter, and don't miss his session at Web Directions!

#Ferguson

A powerful reminder of how important the internet is. Without it, I don't think Michael Brown's murder would have been much more than a byline in local media outlets.

ferguson

Siri’s Inventors Are Building a Radical New AI That Does Anything You Ask

Interesting to think about the role of design in a problem space like this.

viv

Design and Research

Old gold from Paul Graham on the relationship between design and research

paul-graham

Big Phone

I'm not really into electronic music, but I'm into this. It's an EP from one of the prototypers on the Android team in Seattle. Perfect work music.

bigphone

How the sun sees you

Immediate visual feedback makes a far more compelling case than a scolding from the doctor.

bukk.it

Ethan Marcotte's treasure trove of animated gifs. Invaluable for efficient work communication.

css

Intersteller

I'm a big Christopher Nolan fan and really hoping this is as awesome as it looks.

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No doubt about it, we've got an amazing collection of interesting and talented people on the Web Directions 2014 program! I got to thinking how they'd stumble upon some pretty interesting things in their travels around the Web, so I got in touch and asked "What's caught your eye this week?" Jonathon Colman, Content Strategist at Facebook, gets us off to a great start with his "Seven Things". Jonathon will be sharing his thoughts on "Building better products with content strategy" in the Product Track at Web Directions 2014, and judging by the following reading and watching list, it'll be a session not to miss!

Onboarding Teardowns

You've seen teardowns of the latest phone or other gadget, but what about virtual teardowns of software interfaces? This site delightfully dissects new user experiences and examines what makes them work (or fail!).

onboarding

Interface Writing: Code for Humans

My friend Nicole Fenton wrote a lovely piece on the challenges of writing for interfaces. These are problems I grapple with every day—it's hard (but fun!) to make things clear for 1B+ people all over the world. Here's a video of her presenting on the same topic.

Hanx Writer

Tom Hanks released an app. And it's a typewriter. And it's fun!

hanx

Turn Any YouTube Video Into A GIF By Just Adding “GIF” To The URL

This. Changes. EVERYTHING.

Designing E.T.’s Experience: Interview with UX Week Speaker Doug Vakoch of SETI Institute

I'm a sci-fi nut. And a hard-core "Doctor Who" fan (new series just started—squeee!). I did a talk recently about the communication challenges of SETI, so an interview with an actual SETI scientist that links together communications with technology with the capital-U "Unknown" really turns my crank.

seti

Why I Design at Facebook

My colleague Julie Zhuo talks about why she designs at Facebook, tells a story about Facebook's very first designer, and the traits that make designers successful.

julie-zhou

Six Habits of Highly Empathic People

This is an older (2012) resource that I just stumbled on. A lot of us talk about empathy as if it were a meme or fad. This article by the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley discusses the behaviours you need to practice to actually become more empathetic to the people around you. Fascinating and useful!

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Silos like Twitter and Facebook pose huge challenges for the longevity, integrity, and ultimately ownership of the content we create. If you care about these things, you need to checkout the IndieWeb.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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Some solutions for dealing with common Ajax related issues such as timeouts & loss of connectivity.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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Some common client-side security issues and how to avoid them.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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How you can use streams both for your benefit and for the benefit of your fellow developers.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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Web browser security nerds have been really busy lately, with a lot of proposals, extensions and experiments to TLS (a.k.a. SSL) happening.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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Introducing some of the new native data structures that are available in modern JavaScript

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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Node.js takes asynchronous programming to a new level and has tracked the rise of new approaches to managing complex program flows.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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Faster, more robust and more fun (web) apps.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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How to resurrect your content using Scalable Vector Graphics.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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We've entered the Ambient Computing Era and ECMAScript 6 is its dominant programming language.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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Let's take a tour through the jungle that is the Device API spec and go looking for some new, interesting features of the API.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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It's time to start talking about some of the established axioms of readability.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

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Goodbyes are hard. I even need to avert my gaze when I walk through that departure gate at the international airport, where all the sad goodbyes take place, lest my eyes water. But they are also some of the few opportunities we get in life to really acknowledge the things that are important. So, here goes!

This next Web Directions, in just a couple of weeks time, will be my last in a hands-on capacity. It's been an amazing and rewarding ten year journey, and I'm so proud of all the things that we have contributed to in that time, in particular

  • those who have been inspired by our events to start businesses, form partnerships, change careers
  • so many speakers who have risen to the occasion of their first big presentation, on the Web Directions stage
  • the hundreds of hours of videos and podcasts we have been able to share with a worldwide audience, not just those who can come along to our events
  • our efforts to create events for people who work on the web that are inclusive, welcoming, inspirational and fun

I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to every one of the several hundred speakers who have given their time so generously, as well as to everyone who has ever supported us by attending our events, because without the enthusiasm of those two forces coming together, Web Directions would be a much more humble affair.

But the biggest thank you of all needs to go to my business partner through all these years, John Allsopp, whose passion for all things Web, and for the Australian Web industry in particular, knows no bounds and cannot be resisted. John's tireless work, and endless font of new ideas, is something unique and I really do believe we all owe him a debt of gratitude. It's so reassuring to know that a business I have put so much of myself into will be in the hands of a good shepherd like John.

What's next? Well, in the short term, a genuine stepping back is on the cards. I have this strong feeling that there may in fact be viable life far from the Web and the screen and would like to find out if this is in fact the case. Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll be reporting back from the wilderness soon :)

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Posts by

Stepping back from Web Directions

Goodbyes are hard. I even need to avert my gaze when I walk through that departure gate at the international airport, where all the sad goodbyes take place, lest my eyes water. But they are also some of the few opportunities we get in life to really acknowledge the things … Read more »

Jonny Mack – Seven Things That Caught My Eye This Week

  • In: Blog
  • By:
  • August 28, 2014
  • Comments Off on Jonny Mack – Seven Things That Caught My Eye This Week

Some new work music, the trailer for the upcoming Christopher Nolan movie, and a treasure trove of animated gifs. Just some of the 7 things that caught the eye of Jonny Mack this week. Jonny is a product designer at Google, who we are very much looking forward to hosting … Read more »

Jonathon Colman – Seven Things That Caught My Eye This Week

  • In: Blog
  • By:
  • August 26, 2014
  • Comments Off on Jonathon Colman – Seven Things That Caught My Eye This Week

No doubt about it, we’ve got an amazing collection of interesting and talented people on the Web Directions 2014 program! I got to thinking how they’d stumble upon some pretty interesting things in their travels around the Web, so I got in touch and asked … Read more »

Tantek Çelik – The Once and Future IndieWeb

Silos like Twitter and Facebook pose huge challenges for the longevity, integrity, and ultimately ownership of the content we create. If you care about these things, you need to checkout the IndieWeb.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Alex Mackey – Harden Up Your Ajax

Some solutions for dealing with common Ajax related issues such as timeouts & loss of connectivity.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Paul Theriault – Taking Frontend Security Seriously

Some common client-side security issues and how to avoid them.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Damon Oehlman – Streaming the web (it’s not what you think)

How you can use streams both for your benefit and for the benefit of your fellow developers.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Mark Nottingham – What’s Happening in Transport Layer Security (TLS)?

Web browser security nerds have been really busy lately, with a lot of proposals, extensions and experiments to TLS (a.k.a. SSL) happening.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Ben Birch – JavaScript Generators

Introducing some of the new native data structures that are available in modern JavaScript

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Rod Vagg – Embrace the Asynchronous

Node.js takes asynchronous programming to a new level and has tracked the rise of new approaches to managing complex program flows.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Alex Feyerke – Offline First

Faster, more robust and more fun (web) apps.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Dmitry Baranovskiy – You Don’t Know SVG

How to resurrect your content using Scalable Vector Graphics.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Allen Wirfs-Brock – ECMAScript 6, a Better JavaScript for the Ambient Web Era

We’ve entered the Ambient Computing Era and ECMAScript 6 is its dominant programming language.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Andrew Fisher – A Device API Safari

Let’s take a tour through the jungle that is the Device API spec and go looking for some new, interesting features of the API.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »

Jared Wyles – On Readable Code

It’s time to start talking about some of the established axioms of readability.

And if this floats your boat, you need to get along to the Engineering Track at Web Directions 2014.

See the slides and hear the podcast »