Web Directions Year round learning for web and digital professionals

Lynne d Johnson – Opening keynote: New media – new business

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 25 9.10am

Lynne D Johnson PortraitLynne will set the tone of the conference this year with insights into the future of media drawn from her wealth of experience in business, media and online communities as Senior Editor at Fast Company.

Mark Pesce – Closing keynote: This, that, and the other thing

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 4.05pm.

Mark Pesce PortraitThis is what it feels like to be hyperconnected: a new kind of community – pervasive, continuous, yet strangely tense and tenuous, like a balloon inflated to the point of bursting. The limits of the neocortex meeting the amplifier of the Human Network. That creates unique opportunities: we can come together at a word, self-organize around or against a blog post, a live-streamed video, an automated reply from a faceless, rent-seeking organization. Nothing can stop us. We can’t even stop ourselves. But what do we want? And the other thing? You’ll need to be at Web Directions South, for the closing keynote, if you want to find out.

David Peterson – Semantic web for distributed social networks

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 2.40pm.

David Peterson PortraitHear how Drupal, Semantic MediaWiki and other bleeding edge tech were enlisted along with pixie dust, FOAF, RDF, OWL, SPARQL, Linked Data (basically all the Semantic Web stuff) to build a distributed social network. The focus will be not on evangelism (I don’t really care about that) but how disparate open source platforms can talk and work together. This stuff actually works and makes development more fluid. These technologies make local development easier, but when it is time to broaden your scope, classic search is still king. How can you leverage this? Newcomers such as Yahoo Searchmonkey can play an important role in the creation of a truly distributed information system.

Ruth Ellison – Integrating accessibility into design

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 2.40pm.

Ruth Ellison PortraitWhen developing websites or web applications, we often follow the principles of web standards, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and other accessibility guidelines. But is this enough? In this session, Ruth will look at how we can develop accessible web products by taking a holistic approach to web accessibility. She will look at different ways of incorporating accessibility into the design process to produce accessible and useful user experiences. This presentation will focus on the user experience design process by drawing on examples and learnings from Ruth’s work in Government.

Douglas Crockford – Ajax security

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 2.40pm.

Douglas Crockford PortraitSecurity design is an important, but often neglected, component of system design. In this session, Douglas Crockford, creator of Javascript Object Notation, will outline the security issues that must be considered in the architecture of Ajax applications.
The design of the browser did not anticipate the needs of multiparty applications. The browser’s security model frustrates useful activities and allows some very dangerous activities. This talk will look at the small set of options before us that will determine the future of the Web.
During this session, attendees will:

  • Learn why effective security is an inherent feature of good design;
  • Experience a real-time demo of a Ajax client/server system based on sound security principles
  • See how to apply secure design to rich web applications.

Myles Byrne – Internationalization – a guide to dealing with the web’s favorite 20-letter word

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 1.40pm.

Myles Byrne PortraitSo, you’ve decided to tap into a whole new world of business oppportunities by stepping outside the anglocentric world. That’s great! But the process of internationalisaton can be a genuine minefield for the unitiated, so take a few tips from someone who’s been there before. In this talk Myles will cover what internationalization is, when to do it, and how to implement it. Topics include: localization, organising your content for translation, finding and managing translators, and dealing with the unexpected technical issues that inevitably arise.

Myles Eftos – Web APIs, Oauth and OpenID: A developer’s guide

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 1.40pm.

Myles Eftos PortraitOnline web applications are big business, with many people relying on the cloud for data storage and workflow. These days, an API is an essential part of any online system, but this presents authentication and authorisation issues for the humble web developer. Learn how to create Web APIs, how OpenID and Oauth works and what you need to do to implement them.

Daniel Burka – Changing successfully: Adapting your interface over time

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 1.40pm.

Daniel Burka PortraitUser interface design is an iterative process — the design of Digg and Pownce have been a study in evolution and adaptation. This talk will inspect the why and how of these iterations by looking at specific case studies from the two projects as well as previous client work Daniel has tackled.

The case studies will examine specific user interface challenges that have arisen and will chop them up into their various bits. How do I identify a challenge? What is the best approach for getting started? How do I solve the problem conceptually and technically? How will I know if I solved the challenge successfully? Case studies have been selected that are especially pertinent outside of their specific contexts to help you in your everyday UI design.

The presentation will focus on design inspiration, decision-making processes, technical solutions, and learning from missteps as part of a designer’s iterative process.

Diana Mounter – Custom V CMS – don’t take sides

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 11.45am.

Diana Mounter PortraitWhen I was introduced into the role of managing web projects, I naively believed a Content Management System would solve all my problems. Growing my little empire of content authors I had little idea of what was to come- before I knew it I had created a monster.
I went searching for a white knight to slay this monster and was tempted by the delights of custom builds, agile development, and ruby on rails. And off I went following the trail of breadcrumbs into the forest eating them as I went, but then oh, how do I get back to my old friend CMS? Hmmm.
This session will help you know how to make the choice between the sweet delights of custom builds and the faithful workhorse CMS. How to get them to play nice, grow gracefully, and present together as a seamless front-end user experience.

Michael ™ Smith – A jungle cruise through the wild regions of HTML5 and surrounding territories

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 11.45am.

Michael(tm) Smith  PortraitYou’re invited to join a narrated exploration into the exotic regions of HTML5 and surrounding territories. Your journey will begin with a preparatory briefing about what to expect from HTML5 – what’s different, what’s new, what to look forward to, what to watch out for. During the cruise, we’ll make some short excursions into surrounding territories adjoining HTML5, and you’ll learn a bit about their history and relationship to HTML5.

Laurel Papworth – The business of being social

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 10.45am.

Laurel Paprworth PortraitIt’s not true that there are no proven monetisation models for online communities; in fact, there are distinct revenue streams that have been successful over many years. This session looks at the soft returns on investment for engaging with user generated content, communication and collaboration with the consumer and then moves into how social networks earn money for their investors and developers.
The aim of this session is to limit the slapping of banner ads on every niche community online – you might be surprised to learn that the least profitable revenue model is… Advertising! Come, spend an hour on the Dark Side, and find out which social networks are making money, how much and by what means and learn about the business models in this growth industry.

Panel – Choosing the right web application framework

The new era of web applications has introduced to us a number of frameworks designed to aid in rapid development. But, no matter what your preferred language, finding a suitable framework is not usually an easy task.
In this intensive 2 hour session you’ll hear from several developers who’ll discuss which frameworks they chose, why they love them; why they hate them, and gain valuable insights to help you choose the right tools for your job. We will focus primarily on Rails (Ruby), Joomla! (PHP), Struts/Spring (Java) and Django (Python).

Jina Bolton – Creating sexy stylesheets

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 10.45am.

Jina Bolton PortraitBeing a CSS expert is about more than just memorizing selectors. It’s also about working to improve the maintainability and efficiency of your style sheets, planning for the future, and mastering your workflow. This session will look at pushing the limits of CSS to create stunning interfaces using clean, meaningful markup. We’ll also look at CSS 3 and at what the future of Web design could look like when CSS 3 finally becomes mainstream.

Jeffrey Veen – Designing our way through data

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 26 9.10am.

Jeffrey Veen PortraitThe hype around Web 2.0 continues to increase to the point of absurdity. We hear all about a rich web of data, but what can we learn from these trends to actually apply to our designs? You’ll take a tour through the past, present, and future of the web to answer these questions and more:

  • What can we learn from the rich history of data visualization to inform our designs today?
  • How can we do amazing work while battle the constant constraints we find ourselves up against?
  • How do we really incorporate users into our practice of user experience?

August de los Reyes – Predicting the past

Web Directions South 2008, Sydney Convention Centre, September 25 4.05pm.

August de los Reyes PortraitA new inflection point in human-computer interaction is upon us. Along with other technologies, Microsoft Surface marks a departure from graphical user interface or GUI into the world of Natural User Interface or NUI. This talk begins with discussion of emotional design and its importance in the future of society. The lens shifts to how one design team is thinking about designing for a new era in which emotional intent and intuitive interaction are the imperative. Using theoretical models drawn from a mix of history, science, philosophy, and even video game design, this presentation reveals principles behind experience design for Microsoft Surface and beyond.

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[Web Directions] is a delicious mix of things educational, social and mind-blowing. It’s time out from the hurly-burly to step back, get some perspective, and develop new ways forward, fortified with a whole lot of new stuff in your head.

Chris Stephens Technology Director, Mozo