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We've announced just two international keynote speakers (so far) and that's partly because we've deliberately left room for some presentations by up and coming local speakers. That could be you. At Web Directions, a core mission is to help the industry here in Australia - and professionals like you who ARE the industry -  to develop and grow. A key aspect for us is identifying potential speakers, helping them find their feet and extending their experience and capabilities. Code 16 speakers We're proud to say we've had literally hundreds of speakers take their first step, and then further develop their speaking skills, on a Web Directions stage. Now, we'd like to invite you to submit a proposal to present  at this year's Code conference. Our call for presentations closes 31 May, so there's still more than a week to submit a proposal (don't worry - in our experience, 80% of proposals arrive after 4:40pm on the day of the deadline). All the details are on our Call For Presentations page, including what we do to help you if your submission is accepted. We do also keep track of potential speakers from our CFPs for all sorts of things, so even if your talk's not quite right (yet) for Code, this is a great way to get on our radar. Do pay careful attention to what we're asking for – we're quite specific in the topics we aim to address at each of our events." ["post_title"]=> string(49) "Calling All Speakers for Web Directions Code 2017" ["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(41) "calling-speakers-web-directions-code-2017" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-23 11:27:50" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-23 01:27:50" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7491" ["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)#962 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7486) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-22 11:38:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-22 01:38:18" ["post_content"]=> string(7225) "Josh Duck is a Brisbane native and front-end engineer at Facebook. He's contributed to React, managed the open source effort behind Relay, and has helped build Facebook products like Profile and Search. Josh came to last year's Code conference to give a presentation that fascinated all of us as a case study of sorts - it's not often you get to glimpse inside the working processes of one of world's biggest online presences. As the name of the talk implies, Rediscovering the Server was about Facebook engineers finding the balance between client-side and server-side that would give users the best experience, particularly from a performance perspective. Here's our Wrap breakdown of the key points, takeaways and caveats from Josh's presentation.

Redsicovering the Server

Josh Duck, JavaScript, Facebook

Josh Duck

Key points

Facebook is a huge application with a lot of moving parts and, like everyone in the web industry, the people at Facebook think a lot about performance. The phones we carry are effectively supercomputers but their power is limited without a connection. The web, as a platform, is structured as a relationship between the browser and the server. The web was devised as a way to obtain information stored on different computers by different programs. Browser vendors create advanced pieces of software using very modern technologies, but they need a data source, and servers provide that source. Servers served up static HTML pages but then users want to interact by blogging and posting photos, so the servers had to learn to interact with users. Programming tools like Visual Basic didn’t work for the web because the application logic was on the server but the user interface logic was on the browser, often thousands of miles apart. URLs are the interface that lets browsers request, obtain and display content from web servers. Server-side rendering allowed users with a browser and a URL or domain to access content, but now we’re focusing on client-side rendering, because we are asking more of our applications.
"The performance of our applications is determined by how the web is structured."

Takeaways

When the iPhone came out about 10 years ago, it raised the bar for what we expected from our applications in terms of look and feel. To meet these expectations, there had to be a way of limiting the time that constant server-client round trips take – and that’s where JavaScript came in. Even then, we had an immature ecosystem based on an unpolished developer experience, until jQuery papered over the things that were hard to understand in JavaScript and allowed us to design apps for the browser. Once the logic was moved to the browser, it delivered a new problem to be solved – load time. Even using React to render the client experience – which was great for the developer experience – didn’t deliver what was required for users: performance. Now we have great JavaScript libraries tools that let us create great experiences with interactivity but we’re still figuring out how to make it fast. With native apps, releasing new versions and updates every two weeks was seen as fast, but web apps were being updated several times a day. That improves the product but doesn’t enhance the user experience if it takes too much time. Universal JavaScript uses isomorphic rendering to load client templates on the server in advance, which gets HTML to the client quickly and creates high perceived performance – but it really masks the problem as the functionality doesn’t arrive in time to meet user expectations. Moving the application logic from the server to the client-side JavaScript has taken away what made the web work well: the ability to incrementally load web pages and sites. What’s needed is to look at what the server is good at and what the client is good at and find a balance between the two. Routing can help achieve this and, while there are some great routing libraries out there, Facebook built its own called MatchRoute. Together with a build process that creates bundles for specific routes, this loads what is needed and ignores what is not, or defers it. Data fetching remained an issue, but Facebook came up with GraphQL, which helps to define data queries to only fetch what is needed, reducing the number of data fetching round trips. With this approach, Facebook separates the What (the data needed) and the How (how the data is fetched) and refine its approach to each. Facebook also introduced a framework called Relay, which delivers the benefits of routing, GraphQL and preloading. A lot of this can be expressed as defining the context and the relationships of the data and acting accordingly. React

Caveats

Building a good application is not just about raw computing power. It is the dependence on servers that lies at the root of many performance issues. There are criticisms that JavaScript is too slow, but Facebook used React in its native app to load JavaScript from the device and obtained good performance – it was the constraints of shipping code on the web that was the issue. One approach is to aggressively cache everything and preload it, in effect pretending to be a native app, but native apps can mean shipping huge amounts of code and caching doesn’t help if the user has to wait for things to load, even it is only for the first time. Caching also means reloading everything with every new release. The issue is not just JavaScript download time – it’s also parse time, completion time and execution time.
"Don't make it faster. "Just don't do it at all."

Resources

@joshduck slides website github Relay

Tweets

Code 16: Josh Duck Code 16: Josh Duck Code 16: Josh Duck " ["post_title"]=> string(45) "Code 16: Rediscovering the Server - Josh Duck" ["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(38) "code-16-rediscovering-server-josh-duck" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-31 21:15:47" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-31 11:15:47" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7486" ["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)#963 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7340) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-19 14:05:04" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-19 04:05:04" ["post_content"]=> string(4925) "OK. I know I'm not alone in finding memes like this one annoying, and mostly avoiding them. There is no spoon meme from the Matrix   For the younger folks in the audience, it's a scene from The Matrix. For the even younger folks in the audience, The Matrix was a turn of the millennium film phenomenon much loved by many in our industry, in no small part because of its foundation on the fantasy that a pasty-faced (if, admittedly, Keanu Reeves) hacker is actually the chosen one: a weapon wielding, kung fu mastering, zen style saviour of humanity. Who gets the girl. In one well known scene, Neo (Keanu Reeve's character) waits to hear from the Oracle whether he is, as the talismanic Morpheus believes, "The One".  Neo/One, geddit? Many others, mostly children, await the verdict of the Oracle as to whether they may be the one, including a buddha-like (white, obviously) child (there are many increasingly grating ethnic and other stereotypes, and less than felicitous analogies and tropes in the film), who observes to Neo about his (the child's) ability to bend a spoon with only his thoughts (no doubt a sly reference to Uri Geller, who convinced the CIA he could bend spoons with his mind) that the secret is "there is no spoon". Which brings me to Responsive Web Design. Or what I like to call Web Design. Hang on, what sort of segue is that? What is the connection between a scene in The Matrix and Ethan Marcotte's synthesis of ideas and techniques we all know so well? Well.   Based on the spoon boy men from the Matrix, my men which reads: Do not try to set device breakpoints, instead only try to realise the truth, there is no device.   Recently I read about a project that has been gaining some attention. Rightly so, for many reasons. But when it came to their concept of responsiveness, I was stopped in my tracks. To the folks working on this project, "responsiveness" means "having breakpoints for all major devices". While, of course, they aren't alone in conceiving of RWD in this way, it was jarring to see it put so bluntly. It made me realise that it probably is the approach most people think of and take to a multi-screen world. But it strikes me as oddly reactive, a never ending exercise in tail chasing as we live in a world of more and more devices for factors and resolutions and screen sizes and other capabilities - colour gamuts; is the device edge to edge; who knows what other future variables? That way, as King Lear (who knew a thing or two about it) said, madness lies. So how should we think about delivering our content, experience, app - whatever you call it, in a world of essentially limitless possible device configurations? This is where "spoon boy" (as aficionadi of The Matrix know him) comes in. When we imagine the device, we lose sight of the content. The content, designed well, adapts, or responds in Ethan's term, regardless of the device. Our role is to ensure that adaptation suits the needs of the user of the device. Which may mean a screen reader. Or a mobile device, of varying sizes. Or some not as yet developed AI-based summary-creating robot that finds articles you might be interested in based on your patterns of reading, summarises them, then reads them to you in a synthesised voice as you commute to work. In fact, it seems that Medium has just announced a feature not unlike this for their premium content (via Chris Messina)  Who knows where this leads? We do know that the more we imagine and tailor, the more we design for the device, the more complex and brittle our designs become. The more they need ongoing upkeep. But, if we imagine our content as something fluid, which flows into the places it is displayed (or more broadly, made accessible - now, where have I heard this idea before?), then it is infinitely adaptable. However our approaches to delivering content may evolve in the coming months or years, focusing on the content, not the container means it will always adapt, always respond. Always be accessible. Because it is the content that matters, not the container." ["post_title"]=> string(18) "There is No Device" ["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(18) "there-is-no-device" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-19 14:05:04" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-19 04:05:04" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7340" ["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)#964 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7478) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-19 13:17:44" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-19 03:17:44" ["post_content"]=> string(3264) "Alicia SedlockContinuing this week's broad theme of maintaining your code and making sure it does what it's supposed to do - preferably neither more nor less, our Video of the Week also comes from Code 16. Alicia Sedlock took us into the world of code testing: unit testing, acceptance testing, code linting, visual regression testing - the kind of work we know we should do but perhaps shy away from or skip over lightly sometimes, because it all seems too hard. The State of Front-End Testing pretty much dispels that myth, covering the breadth of testing strategies available and having the singular distinction of featuring a guest appearance from Alicia's hedgehog, Mabel - perhaps the cutest guest at a Web Directions talk ever.    

Got your ticket for 2017 yet?

For Code 17, we're putting together a truly remarkable two-day program of international and local speakers digging into front end engineering and development, coming to Melbourne (only) on 3-4 August. 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-week mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions. And you'll get a complimentary digital copy of Scroll magazine.
" ["post_title"]=> string(66) "Video of the Week: The State of Front-End Testing - Alicia Sedlock" ["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(49) "video-week-state-front-end-testing-alicia-sedlock" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-19 13:24:02" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-19 03:24:02" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7478" ["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)#965 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7463) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-18 16:11:48" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-18 06:11:48" ["post_content"]=> string(3526) "Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which takes place every year on 18 May, is now in its sixth year, and is growing every year as more people join in what is both a celebration of accessibility for people with disabilities and a confirmation that much work is still to be done in ensuring that our industry does everything it can to make web and digital life increasingly accessible. These days, there is actually more emphasis on not so much increasing accessibility as just getting rid of the obstacles to access in the first place. It may amount to the same end, but the way we get there can be very different. Perhaps the clearest example of this recently has been in Cordelia McGee Tubb's presentation at Respond 17: The Great Accessibility Bake-Off, which was all about baking in accessibility from the very beginning rather than trying to stuff it in afterwards. Cordelia at Respond 17 Probably the most prominent manifestation of GAAD in Australia is the series of events around the country that run under the banner of A11y Bytes, this year featuring events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. I've been fortunate and proud to be involved with A11y Bytes in several ways, including speaking at the Sydney event and also at the A11y Camp workshop, a two-day event this year held in Sydney in September that you should also check out. Last year, GAAD coincided with our Transform conference in Canberra on the digital transformation of government information and services. Web Directions hosted an evening of short talks at Old Parliament House where we were fortunate to have people like Dana Chisnell and Andrew Arch on hand to say a few words, plus some great talks from local accessibility advocates. There's a nifty Wrap summary of Transforming Accessibility you might like to read. But to really celebrate GAAD, we're going to post here again the video of Russ Weakley's presentation at Respond 16, Accessible Web Components Without Tears, a presentation that had a quite deep effect on many of those watching. It also involved the risk of being hit by flying chocolates but that's another story (you can see it in the video). Russ will be giving a lightning talk at the Sydney A11y Bytes tonight, so to warm you up for it, here's the Respond video.   " ["post_title"]=> string(39) "Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2017" ["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(39) "global-accessibility-awareness-day-2017" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-18 16:14:47" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-18 06:14:47" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7463" ["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)#966 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7476) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-17 10:00:32" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-17 00:00:32" ["post_content"]=> string(2865) "Fiona ChanAs we look forward to Web Directions Code 17 in Melbourne this August, our Video Ristretto this week harks back to last year's conference, where Fiona Chan delivered her presentation CSS: Code Smell Sanitation. Fiona has long been a stalwart supporter of Web Directions - she's one of our regular and indispensable production volunteers - and has also been a strong supporter of the community, as her involvement with SydCSS and CSSConf testifies. Less than 20 minutes long, her talk at Code 16 not only drew much admiration on the day, but has also been one of the most watched Web Directions videos ever since. My guess is that we all have concerns about how to clean up our own and others' code, but we're not always sure how to go about it - which is exactly what Fiona covers so well.    

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-week mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions. And you'll get a complimentary digital copy of Scroll magazine.
" ["post_title"]=> string(56) "Video Ristretto: CSS: Code Smell Sanitation - Fiona Chan" ["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(52) "video-ristretto-css-code-smell-sanitation-fiona-chan" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-19 12:27:59" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-19 02:27:59" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7476" ["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)#967 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7456) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-17 09:31:15" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-16 23:31:15" ["post_content"]=> string(7133) "We have just opened registrations for Web Directions Code 17! For those new to it, and to remind those who know it well, Code has evolved to be the premier conference in Australia focusing on JavaScript, front end HTML/CSS, devops, engineering, web-facing programming, security, performance ... in short, code. The last time we held Code solely in Melbourne in 2015 at the same venue, we sold out quite some way in advance. We've kept the prices at 2015's, so make sure you don't miss out, register your ticket today. Whether you call yourself a coder, a programmer, a developer or an engineer - if your job is to deliver robust, fast, secure, engaging web experiences, Web Directions Code in Melbourne from 3-4 August is for you. Here's why. Code The Speakers We have an extraordinary line-up of speakers planned for Code: people who can lift your professional expertise to new levels, familiarising you now with techniques and tools that will become commonplace in the near future. Right now, we can confirm two of our leading speakers, and they are, indeed, world leaders in their fields. Brian Terlson & Val Head Brian Terlson is the editor of the JavaScript specification, and a long standing member of TC39, the committee standardising JavaScript. He's also a key developer of the JavaScript engine in the Edge browser. Who better to help us see where JavaScript is today, and where the next few years will take us? Val Head is one of the foremost experts in animation and the web anywhere. She's written extensively on the subject, advised companies like Shopify and Automattic (creators of WordPress) and spoken all over the world. Val will survey the full spectrum of animation options from CSS to React Motion and show which are best suited for implementing state transitions, showing data, animating illustrations, or making animations responsive. The Presentations These are just two of about 20 amazing speakers from around the world covering everything from core JavaScript features to complex modern CSS and best practice performance. Everything you need to stay up to date in our fast changing field. What is this Code of which you speak? Skip it - just let me register! We Want You to Present Our Call For Proposals to present at Code 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 Melbourne, put you up, and treat you like any other speaker. The Code CFP is open until 31 May. OK, I'm interested in presenting Code Leaders We're also really excited to take the wraps off a brand new event, Code Leaders, a special day-long conference preceding Code. Code Leaders highlights the challenges being faced by a new generation of code-focused team leaders, project managers, CTOs and senior engineering professionals. Code Leaders The full-day conference draws on the skills and experience of some of our Code headliners as well as local expertise to explore issues of management and leadership in a code setting. You'll focus on technology, practice, leadership and cultural challenges in a collegial atmosphere with others facing challenges similar to your own. Take me to your Leaders Key Dates 31 May  Code 17 Call for Presentations ends. 30 June  End of Financial Year; Code and Code Leaders Early Bird ends. 2 August  Code Leaders Conference. 3-4 August Code Conference. 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. So, how about $200 off?  Register during the Early Bird period up to 30 June and get a massive $200 off the regular registration cost.
  • * Classic Code ticket (conference only) for just $999 (save $200)
  • * Silver Code ticket (conference plus videos) for just $1,099 (save $200)
  • * Gold Code ticket (conference, videos and speaker dinner) for just $1,199 (save $200)
  • * Code Leaders ticket for just $699(save $300 - not a typo)
  • * Or get both a Code Silver ticket and a Code Leaders ticket for just $1,499 (saving $800!)
Hot Tip: if you need to apply your registration to the new financial year but you still want to get the Early Bird discount and the alumnus bonus, register before 30 June but pay after 1 July Tell me more about Code 17 Embedded as a deeply Melbourne conference (and watch out soon for details of related Melbourne events), I feel this year's Web Directions Code offers an unmissable program, one of the real highlights of the Australian developer calendar. I look forward to telling you more in coming weeks, and I really hope to see you there. john john allsopp" ["post_title"]=> string(56) "Registrations Open for Code 17, First 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(51) "registrations-open-code-17-first-speakers-announced" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-17 09:27:35" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-16 23:27:35" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7456" ["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)#968 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7411) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-12 23:13:24" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-12 13:13:24" ["post_content"]=> string(9910) "A hectic week of Respond 17 - three days in Sydney, three days in Melbourne and one day in Brisbane - has wrapped up, and what an amazing event it was. Our great thanks to all the speakers, including our international visitors who understandably find it onerous to travel all the way here, especially in an often already crowded speaking schedule. I'm confident they are all glad they came, and they certainly all made a very strong impression on those who were there. So, many sincere thanks to Mina, Sarah, Vitaly, Elizabeth and Cordelia. You have all won many new fans here. And I'd like to thank just as much our local speakers, a real mix of experienced presenters, those with a few talks under their belt and novices giving their first actual conference talks: Rebecca, Michael, Adem, Mike R, Mandy, Brett, Wayne, Mike S, Shafik, Laura and Warwick. One of the hallmarks I look for in a successful Web Directions event is whether the speakers bond as a group - because if they do, the spirit of the conference soars to greater heights - and it's fair to say the Respond 17 speakers certainly did bond, with quite a few new personal and professional friendships formed. And that's true among the attendees, too. Great to see so many people being so social with each other in real life, face to face. Now, Ricky has already started work on the Wrap magazine for Respond 17, but if you need a quick summary right now, you won't find any better than Ben Buchanan's Big Stonking Post™. Here's a few happy snaps from the Sydney event. Web Directions Respond 17 - NMMA Web Directions Respond 17 - NMMA Web Directions Respond 17 - NMMA Web Directions Respond 17 - workshop Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 - John Allsopp Web Directions Respond 17 - Matt Web Directions Respond 17 - Vitaly Friedman Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17 Web Directions Respond 17" ["post_title"]=> string(28) "Respond 17 - Post 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(26) "respond-17-post-conference" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-12 23:13:24" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-12 13:13:24" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7411" ["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)#969 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7394) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-12 12:45:54" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-12 02:45:54" ["post_content"]=> string(7536) "I want to share with you our updated plans for the rest of 2017, and into 2018. Why are we changing the schedule? Well, as you may know, my sister Rosemary (who runs Web Directions with me) and I are dealing with some serious family health problems that require us to rethink how best we can deliver on our mission of helping the industry here in Australia grow. Consequently, we have revamped our events schedule to make the most of our available time and deliver the best possible events to further your professional development. That means scaling back some of our more ambitious plans, but also bringing forward some new smaller scale, specific-focus events. The first news is that Code will this year - and from now on - take place as a two-day single-track conference only in Melbourne, not also in Sydney and Brisbane. It will be the same mix of high profile international speakers, well known and respected locals and some new folks you've never heard of - the next generation. Web Directions Code will continue to be tailored to engineers, developers, coders, programmers and the people who work directly with them, focusing particularly - but not exclusively - on a front end context. Code This year marked the last appearance of the Respond conference in its current format. In 2018, Web Directions will host a new two-day conference called simply Design, focused not only on responsive web design, but also product design, service design and all the ways we design our users' and customers' online and offline experiences. Web Directions Design will also be held only in Melbourne. The exact dates are not yet completely confirmed, but the conference is slated for April 2018. Design   So, two big conferences each year in Melbourne. Where does that leave Sydney? The big news - the biggest, really - is that we are recasting the two-day single-track end-of-year Direction conference in Sydney into Web Directions Summit, a two-day DOUBLE-track end-of-year festival of web related development and design ideas, techniques, breakthroughs and possibilities; bringing together all your team members to address their individual, shared and collective areas of professional focus and expertise. Web Directions Summit will adopt the traditional Web Directions structure of one track of engineer-focused talks and another track more designer-focused; bookended on each day by keynote presentations from leading thinkers and practitioners in our fields from around the world. Summit   Web Directions Code and Web Directions Design in Melbourne, and Web Directions Summit in Sydney - a pretty fair balance. This year's Transform conference in Canberra will also be the last for a while, not because government-focused digital transformation is complete by any means, nor that there isn't clear support for the conference to continue and evolve. It's just the logistics that make this impractical for us in the immediate future. The same could be said for our plans to hold our conferences in Brisbane and to expand further afield, for that matter. For the time being, we'll put those plans on hold. But, rather than expand geographically, what we're going to do is broaden and deepen the topics and themes around which we structure our events. What that means is that we have three completely new events planned for the rest of 2017. First, in Melbourne, the day before Web Directions Code, we'll be holding a one day event called Web Directions Code Leaders, drawing on the expertise of visiting Code keynote speakers to provide professional guidance to local CTOs, code project managers, dev team leads, senior engineers - and anyone aspiring to that level of leadership. Code Leaders   Then in Sydney in September we launch Web Directions AI, a one-day conference on the technology, business and design of Artificial Intelligence. For our purposes, this incorporates and includes machine learning, cognitive computing, and a raft of related terms and technologies, centred around the application and implications of non-human "intelligence". AI   Sydney will also host our other new event for 2017, in October and in association with Spark Festival. Web Directions Careers fulfils a long held ambition to focus on both how to get started in our industry (call it Web and/or Digital, for now) and also how established practitioners can progress their careers. Careers   These three new events are all consistent with our stated aim to cover what comes next in our industry, to give you the tools to move forward. At the same time, we're confident tweaking our existing events will sharpen their focus and keep them forward looking and directly useful. There are two other things I want to mention. We will be holding What Do You Know sessions in various places to give aspiring speakers a chance to test material while simultaneously giving a warm supportive audience a preview of talks they may soon see in full. And, related to that, we will on Monday 15 May be issuing a Call For Proposals to present at Web Directions Code in Melbourne on 3-4 August. Thanks for your support, especially the people who have reached out directly, but also all of you who continue to show an interest in Web Directions. You can keep up with all our conferences and related events  on our Events page." ["post_title"]=> string(25) "The Big 2017 Events Reset" ["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(21) "big-2017-events-reset" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-12 12:53:35" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-12 02:53:35" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7394" ["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)#970 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7388) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-11 11:14:07" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-11 01:14:07" ["post_content"]=> string(1580) "Jonathan ShariatThose of you who attended our Direction conference in Sydney last year, will recall a great talk by Jonathan Shariat, Tragic Design: The real cost of bad design & how to fix it. Jonathan's presentation focused on how bad design can have very real costs outside of just lost revenue, causing physical and emotional harm, social harm, injustice and even death. He called on us as designers to rise to the challenge to avoid and fix these problems and put our design skills to use for good. The talk was based on his work co-authoring the book Tragic Design with Cynthia Savard Saucier - and that book has now been published by O'Reilly. Judging by the content of the talk, this is a must-read for anyone interested in making and keeping professional design ethical, thoughtful and purposeful - and that should be all of us. You can read more about the book and how to buy it at Tragic Design.   Tragic Design, by Jonathan Shariat and Cynthia Savard Saucier " ["post_title"]=> string(13) "Tragic Design" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(13) "tragic-design" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-11 11:16:52" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-11 01:16:52" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7388" ["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)#971 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7386) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-10 13:47:15" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-10 02:47:15" ["post_content"]=> string(2424) "Dina Gohil and Lucinda BurttNews outlets on the web have undergone both voluntary and forced evolutions in recent years, perhaps none more so than the focus of today's Video Ristretto: Fairfax. At Respond 16, Dina Gohil and Lucinda Burtt gave us a fascinating insight into a large scale redesign process, how mainstream media works on the web and the particular demands on news in a digital age. At 45 minutes, it's probably more than a ristretto but definitely worth the watching.    

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-week mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions. And you'll get a complimentary digital copy of Scroll magazine.
" ["post_title"]=> string(98) "Video Ristretto: How we learned to love iterative design at Fairfax - Dina Gohil and Lucinda Burtt" ["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(78) "video-ristretto-learned-love-iterative-design-fairfax-dina-gohil-lucinda-burtt" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-10 13:47:15" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-10 02:47:15" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7386" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [11]=> object(WP_Post)#972 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7378) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-08 10:30:02" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-07 23:30:02" ["post_content"]=> string(5373) "Our next extract from the Respond 17 Scroll magazine sheds some light not only on conference speaker Elizabeth Allen, but also the kind of experience user researchers occasionally run into.

Elizabeth Allen

Respond 17: Elizabeth Allen Before Elizabeth Allen PhD moved into UX she was an experimental psychologist, whose research focused on explaining why humans can differ so widely in their cognitive and perceptual experiences of the world. Which is to say that the move into User Experience really wasn’t much of a move at all. Elizabeth took her research skills and applied them to working with a range of clients over the last four years or so, focusing on user research and design in relation to commercial customers and business outcomes. For the past year, Elizabeth has been working with ecommerce provider Shopify, using her expertise to guide product and design strategy for the retail team. It’s a world where designing effective customer experiences is critical and the competition is intense to hone the processes that will help a customer buy a product or service. Which is why the focus of Elizabeth’s presentation at Respond 17 is Designing Conversational Commerce. Designing automated, autonomous, machine-based conversational interactions with prospective customers is one of the cutting edges in today’s (and tomorrow’s) ecommerce world. Elizabeth speaks at conferences all over the world and, at a recent conference in New York she related an anecdote that well illustrated some of the trials the hands-on UX researcher can face. As it happened, long time UX warrior Steve Portigal was at the same conference and documented it for his War Stories series, a long running feature on Steve’s website in which he records exactly these kinds of incidents and experiences, a series of stories so compelling that it has itself become the focus of a presentation Steve gives at conferences. Truly, pop will eat itself. Steve has kindly given us permission to re-publish Elizabeth’s anecdote in full for Scroll. It is revealing not only for the unusual circumstances in which researchers can find themselves but even more for the application and commitment of the researcher to fulfil their task. Respond 17: Steve Portigal's War Stories Elizabeth’s War Story: Ramping Up Elizabeth Allen is a UX Researcher at Shopify, an ecommerce platform based in Canada. She told this story live at the Interaction 17 conference. A few years ago, I was working at Centralis, a UX research and design consulting firm in the Chicago area. One of our clients was a public transportation agency, and our project involved testing the maps and signage within and between transit stations by accompanying participants as they completed realistic wayfinding scenarios to try to get from station to station and find their correct train or bus. As part of this testing, my research partner Kathi Kaiser and I included individuals with motor and visual disabilities to make sure they were able to navigate just as well as those who didn’t have these challenges. One participant, Susan, was in a motorized wheelchair, and we began our session with a scenario that had us traveling to a station and accessing an elevated platform where she would wait for a train. Chicago summers can be very hot and humid, and this was one of the hottest of the year. We were all sweating by the time we got to the station even though it was just a short walk from the coffee shop where we met to start the session. Now, this station had no elevator; instead, outside the station was a very long ramp to reach the platform. This was probably the longest ramp I’d ever seen at a transit station — it had two or three switchbacks just to reach the top! We started up the ramp, and when we were about halfway up, Susan’s wheelchair started slowing down. “Uh oh”, she said. “I think my battery is about to die. I totally forgot to charge it before I went out, and steep ramps like this always make it run out faster.” Sure enough, a few seconds later, the wheelchair slowed to a halt, completely dead.   That's the end of this excerpt from Scroll magazine. Elizabeth is now in Melbourne with the rest of the amazing line-up at Respond 17." ["post_title"]=> string(42) "Respond 17 Scroll Excerpt: Elizabeth Allen" ["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(41) "respond-17-scroll-excerpt-elizabeth-allen" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-09 01:48:53" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-08 14:48:53" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7378" ["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)#973 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7370) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-01 15:42:44" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-01 04:42:44" ["post_content"]=> string(4240) "A pretty strong theme emerged at our Respond 16 conference of reassessing what parts of CSS might be usable now that they have browser support (or don't) and then how they might best be used (or not). Craig Sharkie gave a short, sharp presentation on the state of play with regard to viewport units. In fact, a couple of other speakers referred to viewport units at Respond 16 and at subsequent events as well, but Craig gave us a detailed rundown. Here's our Wrap magazine summary.

vw + vh === vnice

Craig Sharkie, author & raconteur

Craig Sharkie

Key points

As legacy browsers are replaced by more modern versions, viewport units provide a way to manage the proportional scaling of web typography. Viewport units are length units representing viewport width (vw), height (vh), the smaller of the two (vmin), or the larger of the two (vmax). We know these units are “new” because we have had articles telling us about them just this year. And last year. And the year before ... in fact, back to 2012. We have just under-utilised them. vw equals 1/100th of the width of the viewport. vh equals 1/100th of the height of the viewport. vmin equals whichever of 1vw or 1vh is smaller. vmax equals whichever of 1vw or 1vh is larger. Browser support for viewport units is generally good but not all units are supported in all browsers. If you just use vw and vh, support is 100%.

Takeaways

A digression: contextomy is the word for taking something out of context, and thereby changing its meaning. An example is saying “Great minds think alike” (when two people think of the same clever thing) but leaving off “And fools rarely differ” (which implies maybe it’s not because the two people were particularly clever). We do the same with browsers. We say “it doesn’t have full browser support” but we neglect to add that that doesn’t stop us from using techniques where there is support. Maybe this is why we fail to make use of the many measurement units we have at our disposal. Relative units can be used to smoothly increase font size, eg font-size: calc(1em + .25vw). This gives a smoothly scaling display ideal for responsive web design. Viewport units can be used in the same way as em, rem and px to manage various page elements. Font resizing presents the strongest case for using viewport units, but experiment with cases such as having a child element react to viewport resizing while a parent element remains unaffected. Viewport units can be used to ensure websites fit in the browser, eg making a square design element look right in a rectangular viewport. Viewport units can be used create a thumbnail of a site by embedding the page as an iframe.

Caveats

In theory, viewport units will eventually render nothing when the screen reaches zero width or height. In reality things just get too big or small to be useful. Of the browsers in current common use, the IE group has the least support for viewport units. IE8 has no support at all, while IE9 supports “vm” rather than “vmin”. IE10, IE11 and Edge do not support “vmax”. Opera Mini does not support viewport units at all, and neither does Android 4.3, but viewport resizing on mobile devices is not very common, anyway. vnice is not actually a real viewport unit - chalk that one up to poetic licence.

Resources

@twalve slides " ["post_title"]=> string(45) "Respond 16: vw + vh === vnice - Craig Sharkie" ["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(36) "respond-16-vw-vh-vnice-craig-sharkie" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-01 15:48:11" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-01 04:48:11" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7370" ["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)#974 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7363) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-04-28 09:18:59" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-04-27 22:18:59" ["post_content"]=> string(3346) "Ethan MarcotteJust days away from the start of the 3-city week-long festival of design that is Respond 17 (you're booked in for Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, right?) seems an opportune moment to review the presentation delivered at Respond just a year ago by Ethan Marcotte. While this engaging and inspiring talk focuses - naturally - on responsive web design, the principle of what Ethan calls "laziness" can be applied to a whole range of activities. It's all about achieving more by doing less, what is sometimes referred to as "boxing clever". And with that, I'll hand you over to the father of RWD for an hour or so.    

Got your ticket for 2017 yet?

For Respond 17, we've put together a truly remarkable two-day program of international and local speakers digging into front end design and development, that we're taking in full to Sydney (4-5 May) and Melbourne (8-9 May), with a special trip to Brisbane as well (11 May). 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-week mailing list to keep up with everything happening at Web Directions. And you'll get a complimentary digital copy of Scroll magazine.
" ["post_title"]=> string(77) "Video of the Week: Laziness in the Time of Responsive Design - Ethan Marcotte" ["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-week-laziness-time-responsive-design-ethan-marcotte" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-04-28 10:23:01" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-04-27 23:23:01" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7363" ["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)#1338 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7353) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-04-27 13:13:15" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-04-27 02:13:15" ["post_content"]=> string(12400) "accessibilityIt staggers me that we are still - STILL - struggling with making our web and digital products and services universally accessible. In one sense, that is just a reflection of how poorly we understand and implement accessibility in the rest of the world around us. In another sense, it is both devastating and ridiculous that we can invent glorious new digital things that are simply not usable by people who may have one or more disabilities. You could say that the web actually deals with accessibility better than the rest of the world. We, or at least the W3C, have built a set of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that have evolved from a limited checklist (WCAG 1.0) to a highly detailed set of statements that define both the principles of accessibility and how they can be implemented (WCAG 2.0). Yet that's not enough. We still need speakers at web conferences to address accessibility directly, such as at Respond 17 where several talks are accessibility-specific, and we still have to push web professionals to take accessibility into account in all of their work. It stumps me how in five years or so Responsive Web Design went from being a good idea to so ingrained that we can just about stop using the word "responsive" because all web design simply must be responsive, while accessibility still struggles to be understood let alone implemented as a matter of course. Earlier this year, a working draft was released by the W3C of WCAG 2.1, which aims to take into account recent developments in the web world, and the way people access the web. We asked our Managing Editor, Ricky Onsman - whose work with people with disabilities goes back to the 80s when he managed a purpose-specific information service in Sydney - to prepare an article for Scroll magazine that gives us an idea of what WCAG 2.1 has in store.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1

By Ricky Onsman

On the last day of February this year, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released a First Public Working Draft of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. Reaction from accessibility advocates was immediate and clear.
WCAG 2.1 — It’s here! After much deliberation and fine-tuning, the highly-anticipated first draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 has been released for public comment.”

Intopia: https://medium.com/@intopia/wcag-2-1-its-here-70abeca88b2f

WCAG 2.0 was released in 2008. Since then, much has changed.
“The last time guidelines for accessible web content were published by the World Wide Web Consortium, many of our readers were likely using flip phones or early talking Nokia devices. The next version will address many of the advancements in technology which have been released over the past few years including mobile apps and touch screen devices.”

Blind Bargains: https://www.blindbargains.com/bargains.php?m=16937

The W3C said in a blog post that their Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG WG) had been
“Working very hard looking at how to improve WCAG 2.0! To successfully iterate such a broad and deep standard has not been easy. There has been extensive research, discussion and debate within the task forces and the wider working group in order to better understand the interconnectedness and relationships between diverse and sometimes competing user requirements as we develop new success criteria. This extensive work has resulted in the development of around 60 new success criteria, of which 28 are now included in this draft, to be used as measures of conformance to the standard.”

W3C blog: https://www.w3.org/blog/2017/02/wcag21-fpwd/

While 28 new Success Criteria have been included in the draft, the Web Accessibility Initiative of the W3C advised that
“This first draft includes 28 new Success Criteria, three of which have been formally accepted by the Working Group and the remainder included as proposals to provide an opportunity for early feedback.”

WAI: https://www.w3.org/WAI/

That feedback had to be submitted by 31 March, after which the Working Draft would undergo more discussion and revision
“In addition to refining the accepted and proposed Success Criteria included in the draft, the Working Group will continue to review additional proposals which could appear formally in a future version. Through the course of the year, the AG WG plans to process the remaining success criteria along with the input we gather from the public. The group will then produce a semi-final version towards the end of this year …“

W3C blog: https://www.w3.org/blog/2017/02/wcag21-fpwd/

The W3C is scheduled to formally adopt WCAG 2.1 as a recommended standard by mid-2018. The work will then be used as a basis to start determining the requirements for Project ‘Silver’ (a codename for the third iteration of accessibility guidelines).

Intopia: https://medium.com/@intopia/wcag-2-1-its-here-70abeca88b2f

“Silver”?
“At the CSUN 2017 conference, Shawn Lauriat of Google and I [ Jeanne Spellman ] presented on the work being done in the W3C WCAG task force working on this next major upgrade of WCAG – still to be named.  Provisionally we are calling it Silver, because Accessibility Guidelines = AG = Ag, the chemical symbol for Silver.”

The Paciello Group: https://www.paciellogroup.com/blog/2017/03/slides-csun17-what-comes-after-wcag-2-1/

So, that’s the process. But why do we need WCAG 2.1? And what are the new Success Criteria?
“The first paragraph of the WCAG 2.1 abstract answers the first question, and it’s very much in line with what has been called for in recent years – a greater inclusion of cognitive-related disability support and specific guidance on a range of devices including the specific naming of mobiles and tablets. To quote the abstract: “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and combinations of these. These guidelines address accessibility of web content on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general. The last point is a particularly good addition.  It’s often argued that accessibility is not just helpful to people with disabilities, but in fact helpful to everyone, and it’s great to see that point made in the draft.”

http://hollier.info/wcag21draft/

That was Dr Scott Hollier, one of Australia’s leading experts on digital accessibility, and he’s right to emphasise that last sentence. It is an increasing – albeit unnecessarily hard-won – understanding that making web content accessible is good for everybody. It’s good to see that in print, even conditionally. Let’s take a look at the three Success Criteria that have already been approved. Note that they can and may still be changed based on feedback and reviews. Dr Hollier again:
“There are currently three SC that have been approved by the AG WG.  They are: 1.4.11 Resize content (Level A): Content can be resized to 400% without loss of content or functionality, and without requiring two-dimensional scrolling except for parts of the content where fixed spatial layout is necessary to use or meaning 1.4.12 Graphics Contrast (Level AA): The visual presentation of graphical objects that are essential for understanding the content or functionality have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 against the adjacent color(s), except for the following:
  • Thicker
  • Sensory
  • Logotypes
  • Essential
2.2.8 Interruptions (minimum) (Level AA): There is an easily available mechanism to postpone and suppress interruptions and changes in content unless they are initiated by the user or involve an emergency. The first of these takes into account a common issue on mobiles whereby making content bigger has a habit of breaking the website as even now there’s an assumption that people are viewing websites on desktops with large screens.  With responsive design not being around much in 2008 it’s great to see an SC highlighting the need to ensure that if text is increased it won’t break things. It also addresses the presence of unwieldy scroll bars which become particularly challenging if you are using screen magnification tools on a mobile device. Graphics contrast is also a great addition, clarifying a long-standing issue with WCAG 2.0 in that the 4.5:1 Level AA contrast is quite clear, but how it specifically relates to graphics is not.  This is now addressed, along with important exceptions such as logos for images that have to have specific colours otherwise content is lost.  My only concern relates to the ‘essential’ point which could be a loophole for people to put anything they like on a website arguing the colours have to be that way, but perhaps this will be further clarified during the review process. The final point is one for which I cheer.  With ARIA support becoming more common and a greater ability for developers to take charge of assistive technologies, there’s a lot of ways the process of assistive technology such as a screen reader can be interrupted.  This SC is a logical progression of existing SC that relate to auto-updates and I hope this remains largely unchanged.”

http://hollier.info/wcag21draft/

That gives you a pretty good idea of the kinds of issues being addressed by the new Success Criteria. To sum up, here are a few key points about WCAG 2.1. 1. WCAG 2.1 does not replace WCAG 2.0. 2. There are no changes to existing Success Criteria. 3. WCAG 2.1 extends WCAG 2.0 it by proposing 28 new, additional Success Criteria for feedback and review. 4. Three of the new Success Criteria have been formally approved, but are still subject to change based on feedback and review. 5. The other 25 proposed Success Criteria will be reviewed during the course of 2017, resulting in possible approval and formal adoption by mid-2018. 6. The proposed new Success Criteria better acknowledge accessibility considerations:
  •      + associated with mobile devices, including small screens and touch interfaces
  •      + for people with cognitive or learning disabilities
  •      + for people with low vision
7. There are another 32 new Success Criteria being considered by various Working Group task forces but these do not yet meet requirements for public review. Full details of the W3C First Public Working Draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 can be found at https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/.    " ["post_title"]=> string(64) "Will WCAG 2.1 Make Accessibility More Accessible? - Ricky Onsman" ["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(31) "making-accessibility-accessible" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-04-27 13:14:08" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-04-27 02:14:08" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=7353" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "2" ["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)#961 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(7491) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-23 11:27:50" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-23 01:27:50" ["post_content"]=> string(2041) "Last week, we opened registrations for the latest Web Directions Code conference, taking place in Melbourne on 3-4 August. We've announced just two international keynote speakers (so far) and that's partly because we've deliberately left room for some presentations by up and coming local speakers. That could be you. At Web Directions, a core mission is to help the industry here in Australia - and professionals like you who ARE the industry -  to develop and grow. A key aspect for us is identifying potential speakers, helping them find their feet and extending their experience and capabilities. Code 16 speakers We're proud to say we've had literally hundreds of speakers take their first step, and then further develop their speaking skills, on a Web Directions stage. Now, we'd like to invite you to submit a proposal to present  at this year's Code conference. Our call for presentations closes 31 May, so there's still more than a week to submit a proposal (don't worry - in our experience, 80% of proposals arrive after 4:40pm on the day of the deadline). All the details are on our Call For Presentations page, including what we do to help you if your submission is accepted. We do also keep track of potential speakers from our CFPs for all sorts of things, so even if your talk's not quite right (yet) for Code, this is a great way to get on our radar. Do pay careful attention to what we're asking for – we're quite specific in the topics we aim to address at each of our events." 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Blog

Calling All Speakers for Web Directions Code 2017

Last week, we opened registrations for the latest Web Directions Code conference, taking place in Melbourne on 3-4 August.

We’ve announced just two international keynote speakers (so far) and that’s partly because we’ve deliberately left room for some presentations by up and coming local speakers.

That could be you.

At Web Directions, a … Read more »

Code 16: Rediscovering the Server – Josh Duck

Josh Duck is a Brisbane native and front-end engineer at Facebook. He’s contributed to React, managed the open source effort behind Relay, and has helped build Facebook products like Profile and Search.

Josh came to last year’s Code conference to give a presentation that fascinated all of us … Read more »

There is No Device

OK.

I know I’m not alone in finding memes like this one annoying, and mostly avoiding them.

There is no spoon meme from the Matrix

 

For the younger folks in the audience, it’s a scene from The Matrix.

For the even younger folks in the audience, … Read more »

Video of the Week: The State of Front-End Testing – Alicia Sedlock

Alicia SedlockContinuing this week’s broad theme of maintaining your code and making sure it does what it’s supposed to do – preferably neither more nor less, our Video of the Week also comes from Code 16.

Alicia Sedlock took us … Read more »

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2017

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which takes place every year on 18 May, is now in its sixth year, and is growing every year as more people join in what is both a celebration of accessibility for people with disabilities and a confirmation that much work … Read more »

Video Ristretto: CSS: Code Smell Sanitation – Fiona Chan

Fiona ChanAs we look forward to Web Directions Code 17 in Melbourne this August, our Video Ristretto this week harks back to last year’s conference, where Fiona Chan delivered her presentation CSS: Code Smell Sanitation.

Fiona has long been a … Read more »

Registrations Open for Code 17, First Speakers Announced

We have just opened registrations for Web Directions Code 17!

For those new to it, and to remind those who know it well, Code has evolved to be the premier conference in Australia focusing on JavaScript, front end HTML/CSS, devops, engineering, web-facing programming, security, performance … in short, code.

The last time … Read more »

Respond 17 – Post Conference

A hectic week of Respond 17 – three days in Sydney, three days in Melbourne and one day in Brisbane – has wrapped up, and what an amazing event it was.

Our great thanks to all the speakers, including our international visitors who understandably find it onerous to travel all … Read more »

The Big 2017 Events Reset

I want to share with you our updated plans for the rest of 2017, and into 2018.

Why are we changing the schedule?

Well, as you may know, my sister Rosemary (who runs Web Directions with me) and I are dealing with some serious family health problems that require us to rethink how best we … Read more »

Tragic Design

Jonathan ShariatThose of you who attended our Direction conference in Sydney last year, will recall a great talk by Jonathan Shariat, Tragic Design: The real cost of bad design & how to fix it.

Jonathan’s presentation focused on how bad design … Read more »

Video Ristretto: How we learned to love iterative design at Fairfax – Dina Gohil and Lucinda Burtt

Dina Gohil and Lucinda BurttNews outlets on the web have undergone both voluntary and forced evolutions in recent years, perhaps none more so than the focus of today’s Video Ristretto: Fairfax.

At Respond 16, Dina Gohil and Lucinda Burtt gave us a … Read more »

Respond 17 Scroll Excerpt: Elizabeth Allen

Our next extract from the Respond 17 Scroll magazine sheds some light not only on conference speaker Elizabeth Allen, but also the kind of experience user researchers occasionally run into.
Elizabeth Allen
Respond 17: Elizabeth Allen

Before Elizabeth Allen PhD moved into … Read more »

Respond 16: vw + vh === vnice – Craig Sharkie

A pretty strong theme emerged at our Respond 16 conference of reassessing what parts of CSS might be usable now that they have browser support (or don’t) and then how they might best be used (or not).

Craig Sharkie gave a short, sharp presentation on the state of play … Read more »

Video of the Week: Laziness in the Time of Responsive Design – Ethan Marcotte

Ethan MarcotteJust days away from the start of the 3-city week-long festival of design that is Respond 17 (you’re booked in for Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, right?) seems an opportune moment to review the presentation delivered at Respond just … Read more »

Will WCAG 2.1 Make Accessibility More Accessible? – Ricky Onsman

accessibilityIt staggers me that we are still – STILL – struggling with making our web and digital products and services universally accessible.

In one sense, that is just a reflection of how poorly we understand and implement accessibility in the rest of … Read more »