Web Directions South, Day One – Seedy Morning


Sadly No We Are Not

Yesterday was day two of workshops, time for Aaron Gustafson and Progressive enhancement with JavaScript a after trying breakfast at the Pen, not Concrete (got to check them both out). A review of these two cafe is coming, stay tuned.

Aaron went through the standard progressive enhancement spiel on starting from the base content and adding base http requests and then moving up to through the addition of the functionality and the hijax of the ajax components.

But the main show in today. The event we have been waiting for. As per the previous web directions conference, there is a social networking application – Meet Weaver, developed and designed by Tim Lucas and Cameron Adams.

Rashmi Sinha – The perils of popularity

Rashmi Sinha discussed the models of social networks, the second generation of SNS allowed for sharing of user experience with friends, this allows people to replicate a real life like experience. This makes them very popular.

Social applications are made up of the graph, the place, the objects. However SNS must allow for people to be able to browse within friends of friends for like interests.

The use of various metrics, and how the most viewed aspect can be adverse, for example prOn etc on public share sites suchs as SlideShare.

The use of SNS, reality brings to the fore front for the manipulation of the social aspect of the information flow and popularity of the information.

Use of tools to allow for subjective culture filtering and viral throttling, changing the metric to a single metric.

Andy Clarke – Think like a Mountain

Andy Clarke mitigated the visual medium of comics from the usual representation from influences on movies to fine arts to web sites. He asks can we use comic books for influence on the web. He discussed the use of the filler space between the panels, this can be used within web page design.

He also examines the use of panels and the rhythm of the design, the layout of the panels and the content to focus on the content flow over the page. This can be directly replicated onto web site design. Allowing a even or uneven time for content viewing on a page.

Consideration of “help the reader sections” for people that are new to the reader.

We think people flow from page to page, but in fact they stab from page to page via stabbing at the links. The tiling the rhythm of the speech balloon in comics allows for the consistent flow over the design. In web design we tend to flow within a design via the image flow. Minor rotation, can focus the content and engage the viewer. Making it distinctive outside the grid, breaking the grid, focusing down to breakout area off the grid. The use of colour is also important, but still colour can used in supple ways with addition with washed world of minor colour, this can still be strong.

CSS Eleven

Finally Andy discussed CSS3 and the process of the working group. Supporting the process of CSS in general. But he asks why aren’t designers deciding what will be put into CSS3. Why is it just the bigger companies dictating the CSS directions. He announced CSS Eleven, an international group of visual designers and developers who are committed to helping the W3C’s CSS working group to better deliver the tools that are need to design tools for tomorrows web.

Cameron Adams – The future of web based interfaces

Cameron Adams looked at Dynamic and flexible interfaces and requirements of the type web site qnd the usage of the site. Looking at the user customisation, or the analysis of the interface based on user feedback and testing, this tends to be centralisitic approach. He asked why are we present the interfaces with a single point of use, as compared to a multiple interface approach.

Customisation must be easy, it must not involve technical requirements like MySpace. But its shouldn’t be too static (cookie cutter) like Flickr. Then usage of say a photoshop interface with a drag-able interface like NetVibes or iGoogle, but even these are restrictive to a box grid. He then looked at Yahoo Alpha, being able to move the content around beyond the grid pattern. But still your can’t apply your own mental model, Alpha uses a two stage process. This needs to happen in one location. With the use of Ajax this should be possible to drag the interface around. He demonstrated customising Flickr with Ajax.

Explored Apple Canvas, looking at the application of this with Yahoo Pipes. Cameron as you would expect had to show of an SVG application, Globualla. Considers the Iphone with Canvas, is this the way of the future without plugins like Flash. But if you want to use a complete range of interfaces you do have to use JavaScript.

Consideration should be given to different designs and layouts for different resolutions (min-width for CSS3) via use of resolution detection via javascript. BBC using learning from the user experience and click on events.

Word of warning control the basics first before using these types of interface.

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