Year round learning for product, design and engineering professionals

Dave Greiner and Ben Richardson – The story of Campaign Monitor

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 28 2006.

Dave Greiner and Ben Richardson Portrait

Campaign Monitor is a great home grown web app success story. Dave and Ben will share their experiences of taking an idea they believed in, working like mad to implement it, and getting it to market. Along the way you’ll hear about how the idea was born, deciding what to build, pricing, building the product, getting the word out, handling support from Sydney, and all those things you’ll never know till you try.

Gian Sampson-Wild – Managing accessibility compliance for the Commonwealth Games

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 28 2006.

Melbourne recently hosted the 18th Commonwealth Games. Gian Sampson-Wild worked as the accessibility specialist for the Games for over two years, responsible for a variety of issues including the accessibility compliance of the web site and training of on-site and off-site developers such as Ticketmaster7 and Microsoft. Management at the Commonwealth Games were particularly cognisant of the precedent set by SOCOG and therefore made accessibility a priority. Gian will talk about the accessibility issues relevant to such a major event, such as creating accessible versions of venue maps and ensuring HTML fragments provided by third parties did not contravene accessibility requirements.

Jeremy Keith – Hijax

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 29 2006.

Jeremy Keith Portrait

Hijax is all about applying progressive enhancement to Ajax. In the Hijax model, JavaScript isn’t used for advanced intensive processing. Instead, the XMLHttpRequest object acts like a dumb waiter, passing information backwards and forwards between the client and the server. By hijacking the regular functionality and replacing it with an enhanced Ajax version, you can be assured that your website will work with or without Ajax.

Derek Featherstone – Accessibility 2.0

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 28 2006.

Derek Featherstone Portrait

Using the current state of web accessibility as our launch point, Derek will explore some of the fundamental issues that are holding us back from an accessible web that truly makes a difference to people with disabilities.

Kelly Goto – The Iterative App

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 29 2006.

Kelly Goto Portrait

Between the diverse demands of clients, bosses, engineers, and designers, Web application design has reached a new level of frenzy and discord. You know what we mean, and so does Kelly Goto, who has refined Web process and project management to an art form. In this session, she takes you through the application development process. Learn the behind-the-scenes techniques behind rapid prototyping, and see how to enhance your current process to include iterative usability testing cycles. You’ll also discover how to verify development requirements before you code by employing PDF prototypes and HTML click-throughs. With a collaborative mindset and the proper process in place, design and engineering teams can work together and launch the “iterative app” successfully.

Thomas Vander Wal – IA for the “Come to Me Web”

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 29 2006.

Thomas Vander Wal Portrait

In this specialised session Thomas gets us up to speed with his "Come to Me Web" framework for structuring information and web sites. This framework includes the "Model of Attraction", Personal InfoCloud, and Folksonomy. This ads the focus of designing and developing for information use across devices and context. With this framework we can consider mobile, broadband, web storage and personal off-line storage of information and its implications as we structure our information and sites.

Kelly Goto – Designing for Lifestyle

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 28 2006.

Kelly Goto Portrait

Interaction design is no longer limited to the web. The concept of user experience is being redefined as multiple delivery methods of social and business interaction merge into our lifestyles. As design migrates from the web to mobile devices we carry and interact with on a daily basis, our approach must also shift into cycles of design and research centered around the way people actually live. In this enlightening session, design ethnographer and web veteran Kelly Goto discusses the evolution of Web, handheld, and product interfaces and their cultural impact. Learn how companies are utilizing ethnographic-based research to conduct rapid, immersive studies of people and their lifestyles to inform the usefulness and viability of interfaces both online and offline.

Cameron Adams and Kevin Yank – JavaScript APIs & Mashups

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 29 2006.

Cameron Adams PortraitKevin Yank  PortraitAdding JavaScript to your portfolio used to mean more work. Thanks to the wide range of APIs springing up from the likes of Google (Mail, Maps, Ads, Calendar, Search, etc.), Yahoo! (Flickr, Maps, Search, etc.) and Microsoft (Virtual Earth), JavaScript can actually save you a lot of work these days. JavaScript veterans Cameron Adams (The Man In Blue) and Kevin Yank (SitePoint) will take a whirlwind (and somewhat irreverant) tour of the "free stuff" you get from JavaScript today, and the creative things people are doing with it.

Derek Featherstone – Designing for Accessibility

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 29 2006.

Derek Featherstone Portrait

A combination of practical "how-to" examples alongside several "how-not-to" cases from real accessibilty assessments and testing sessions.

Jeremy Keith – Explaining Ajax

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 28 2006.

Jeremy Keith Portrait

Apart from being the buzzword de jour, what is this Ajax stuff that everyone is talking about? Take a look at some implementations out there and start thinking about how Ajax can add value to your site.

Cheryl Lead and Ben Buchanan – Moving your organisation to web standards

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 29 2006.

Cheryl Lead PortraitBen Buchanan PortraitThis was one of our most loved sessions last year, so much so that we decided to do it again this year, with some new faces, some new experiences. With speakers from both government/education as well as the private sector, get advice from those who’ve already been there on dealing with recalcitrant management, teams members and agencies, building by stealth and making incremental change.

Donna Maurer – IA: a “how to”

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 29 2006.

Donna Maurer Portrait

There are 2 aspects to making IA work in a project – an understanding of the key principles of information architecture and a knowledge of activities to put them into practice. This presentation will examine the “how to’s” of information architecture. We’ll look at how to take a content inventory, analyse content, conduct card sorting, analyse user research, choose the right structure, create an information architecture and test it. These activities drive an informed design process so you can be confident in your decisions and communicate them to other people.

Thomas Vander Wal – IA for Web Developers

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 28 2006.

Thomas Vander Wal Portrait

Thomas will provide an overview of information architecture for web designers and developers. He will cover the what and why, with a sprinkling of how. Knowing how to work with an information architect or how to build the skills into your role will be covered.

John Allsopp – Microformats

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 28 2006.

John Allsop Portrait

The problem of bringing richer semantics to the world wide web has been challenging standards bodies and developers for several years. Approaches like “The Semantic Web” promise much, but require us to throw away the accumulated efforts, skills and tools of more than a decade. Over the last year or two, an evolutionary approach to richer semantics for today’s web, based on HTML, current developer practices, and tools, called Microformats, has been spreading like wildfire among tool developers, and web publishers large and small.

In this presentation John Allsopp looks at why microformats are necessary, what organisations like Yahoo! are doing with them, and how your organisation can benefit from them right now.

Mark Pesce – Youbiquity

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 29 2006.

Mark Pesce Portrait

The collection of social and information technologies informally known as Web2.0 have created a rich universe of applications – but a scattershot one. We plug lots of our information into websites everywhere – MySpace and Digg, Friendster and Yahoo!, and everywhere, Google, Google, Google. Yet it’s as if we’re spending all of our time building information silos; piles of data which are essentially unconnected. It’s getting dull. How many times do I need to list my friends, or my contact information, or my favorite bands?

We know why it’s happening: commercial interests are overruling the natural pooling and sharing of information that would actually bring some utility to this mountain of data we’re generating about ourselves. Yet the pressure to share is building up: the recent explosive emergence of mash-ups, which juxtapose two or three or more services in unique and valuable ways shows us that the hybrid always trumps the thoroughbred. And that’s just on internet services. Very few of us control the mountain of data we generate as we pass through this world – everyone wants it (for their own purposes), yet we – who are creating it – never have access to it.

It’s time to revisit the entire philosophy of interaction design on the Web, time to move the focus away from the site-as-resource, toward an idea of the site-as-personal-enabler. What we each bring to a website – or rather, what we should bring to a website – is a wealth of information about ourselves. This is the real resource of Web2.0, and the next place the Web is going. The exuberance around social networks shows us that people want to connect – it’s time for designers to build the tools which will truly enable that connection.

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