Year round learning for product, design and engineering professionals

The end of social media, and naive optimism

Way back in 2008 or 2009 (maybe even earlier) we first started using Twitter in association with our conferences. We’d encourage folks to tweet with associated hashtags, and had big tweet walls, built our own aggregators–and were a globally trending tag a couple of times. Hundreds of people would tweet thousands of times collectively at […]

Years of transformation: 1993 and Mosaic

Mosaic wasn’t the first GUI web browser–the very first browser, Tim Berners-Lee’s NeXT based WorldWideWeb browser (a web based recreation of the UX of which I was involved with at CERN a few years back–you can try that here) was. NeXT, for those under the age of about 50, was the company Steve Jobs founded […]

Our 2023 Summit Keynotes

🙈 As builders of digital products it’s easy to forget the impact of your work. It’s the little things, like the lazy, sloppy interface choices on a banking app that make a user’s day just that little bit more annoying. 😭 And it’s the big things – grab the tissues and check the latest Apple […]

get ready for Web Directions Summit

Attending Web Directions is super exciting & packed with opportunities to learn & connect. ❤️ But those two days in October can be gone in a heartbeat! ⚙️ A bit of preparation ahead of time can go a long way  🆘 We’re here to help: here’s a simple 4 Step Guide so you can make the most of your […]

Of the Berlin Wall and the Web

This week in my ongoing years of transformation series, I looked at the start of the Web–whether you want to call that 1989, 1990 or early 1991 (all have a claim to make as I discussed). But 1989 was among the more momentous years in the 20th century due to an event which was far […]

Years of transformation: 1989? 1990? 1991? and the birth of the Web

Just exactly when do we choose to decide the Web began? Perhaps 1989 and publication of “Information Management: A Proposal” by Tim Berners-Lee, a proposal by for a distributed hypertext system (a document I’ve held in my hand, with it’s ‘vague but exciting’ annotation by Mike Sendall hand written in red pen at the top). […]

Code Leaders returns, Sydney, October 25th

🗽 What are the must-have skills of a great engineering leader?🏆 How do you build a world class culture amongst engineers building digital products? That’s what Code Leaders is all about! Leading a team of engineers and product people can be daunting when it’s first thrust upon you. It’s not an easy thing to get […]

Vale Molly Holzschlag

In recent weeks I’ve been posting on landmark years in the history of personal computing–today it’s, sadly, a landmark person. Sadly, because Molly Holzschlag passed away this week. People of a certain generation associated with the Web will have vivid memories of Molly, whether from her writing, speaking, or if really privileged, knowing her in […]

Years of transformation: 1985, Desktop Publishing

Typesetting and page layout had long been a laborious, physical process. ‘Cut and paste’ started life not as a metaphor but actual things type setters did. By the 1980s, the process was increasingly digital, with phototypesetters, but these were typically very expensive devices, and required expert operators. But just a year after the 1984 launch […]

Product Design at Web Directions Summit

Design has always been a core focus at Web Directions–and 2023 is no exception. Here’s what we’ve got lined up in the Product Design track of Web Directions Summit 2023! ✏️ Microaggressions and Microaffirmations in Product Design – Laura Kerrison🔍 Dear Designer… Sincerely, the Development Team – Jo Minney🛠️ Annotating Designs for Accessibility – Sam Hobson and Claire Webber✏️ Conversational […]

Years of transformation: 1984 and the Mac

Last time it was 1981, and the birth of the PC. Today, it’s not long after, 1984 and the birth of the Macintosh and the GUI. Apple had been a dominant player in the late 1970s early microcomputer days, with the Apple II first released in 1977 (the earlier Apple I was a strictly a […]

product and growth marketing at Web Directions Summit

It might seem a little outside our usual area of focus, but let’s see how our brand new product and growth marketing track fits into the big picture of Web Directions Summit. When we started nearly 20 years ago, if you worked on the Web, you probably did just about everything yourself. From the code […]

Years of transformation: 1981, The IBM PC

I didn’t know it in my early teens, but something was shifting in the nature of computing, which would shape the coming decades in ways few if any could really imagine at the time. Computers had until relatively recently been large extremely expensive capital investments requiring teams of expert operators. They processed, even by today’s […]

Showing our design systems friends some love

In keeping with our goal of creating the most comprehensive, in-depth conference for product professionals in the world, there’s a brand new track at Web Directions Summit this year! Your own design system track Design Systems: 2 days of all things design systems, designops and design engineering, covering everything you need to build a the […]

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Three days of talks, two of them in the engineering room. Web Directions you have broken my brain.

Cheryl Gledhill Product Manager, BlueChilli