Web Directions

Web Directions Day 2

Andy Clarke's presentation was a great way to kick of WD Day 2 - he talked about Creating Inspired Design, really pushing creativity for all members of a team, even code developers. How can we use design to convey a deeper meaning about the website? And how can we start to think outside the square of web design into the level of creativity that you see in strong Flash designs? These days the tools are no longer a hurdle, our imagination is the limit (although I think he may have been thinking ahead a bit to IE7's release ;) ). One idea I especially liked is the collecting of anything that inspires you creatively - like keeping a scrapbook. It has been a long time since I have done this, and after his presentation I took a little crappy disposable camera and took shots of everything! The highlight of the day was meeting up with Andy over morning tea. We had a quick wee talk about stuff, but I can't believe it - he remembered me from leaving this comment on my blog!! Then after that he editted the connection thingee to say crush and cute lady! Cheeky!

Laurel Papworth's presentation on the business of online communities was great, there were some really good stats there that I shared with the others; such as 9 times more visits that last for 5 times as long when you have a genuine online community on your website.

Jeremy Keith did a presentation of implementing unobtrusive Javascript practices with AJAX (aka HiJAX). I found this really valuable as I have spent so long teaching myself the best practices with CSS and seeing the major advantages that come of seperating presentation and strucutre, I would love us to apply these theories to the Javascript too. I just wish that Damian was there to see this presentation, cause I don't think he believed Kirti and I LOL! ;)

Poor Kelly Goto was loosing her voice by this stage!! However she powered on and gave a brilliant presentation on using the SCRUM practices alongside her Workflow practices. I first saw Kelly a year ago at the Web Essentials conference, and since then we have changed the way we approach our projects entirely. So it was very interesting to hear her developments, and I'm really looking forward to getting some time to look further into the SCRUM stuff. This is where you break your projects into three week blocks and at the end of each block there is a working functional result. She also gave a few more pointers on how to implement this succesfully.

What an awesome conference!! We didn't want to leave...! :( Kirti and I were too late to the after party though :( because we kinda got distracted by the shopping en route *blush* but I bought a really cool top for $10! *blushes more*

Web Directions Day 1

Day one of Web Directions conference was awesome! There was a lot of focus on microformats, accessibility and workflow; but here are my favourite points: Kelly Goto kicked off with a great keynote focussing on understanding your audience and the possibilities of the future (what about one personal avatar and setting across all apps, all hardware you own so you only have to update it once if you want to change).

Jeremy Keith did an awesome intro to AJAX. For a designer like me who is not into programming it was very useful. It was also nice to see that our using AJAX so far in Go Fetch is appropriate - not too much, but enough to make it easier to use (although we still have more to implement). Always ask yourself why an I using this - why is it useful? why does it make a good difference?

The Campaign Monitor guys talked thro what they had found developing their apps. A lot of this was directly tanible to us developing our apps and in particular Go Fetch - a small team building an app on the side for a specific use.

Unfortunately the catering and venue isn't as good as last year IMHO, as the whole thing is quite spread out on the UTS campus. But the reception tonight was good an it was really cool to meet more faces over some good nibbles and drinks!

Now it's time to hit the late night shopping ;)

Sydney day 1

We caught the first flight to Syndey, landing at 8.05am. After an hour through customs, we got to our awesome hotel (highly recommended!) and hit the town. The weather here is amazing, it feels like our NZ summer, not too hot not cold. I decided to check out the Rocks, Circular Quay area and Botanical Gardens cause the last two times I've been to Sydney I really wanted to visit these but didn't make it.

I saw an awesome exhibition at the M.C.A. - a collection of young aussie artists. There were a number of pieces that stood out - grafetti art, a scene made inticately from polystyrene balls, and a map of Sydney overlayed with Paris. One collaborative piece of Bart Simpson drawings drew me. The piece is the artists' comments about Evolution vs Intelligent Design theories and even though both have just as much merit as each other, we are taught Evolution as fact because we live in a materialisitic society. The Bart Simpsons had been drawn from memory, which was a comment on mass media - even though they were wonky everyone could still instantly tell they were Bart Simpson because of media. And then there were LCD screens hung up showing a spa pool bubbling away - which was the artists' way of telling everyone to just relax about these big issues. I love it! To me this is a brilliant piece of art - one that comments on something important, but is still fairly accessible to the people viewing it.

The Botanical Gardens were breathtaking, it was a lovely relaxing area. I especially liked the herbal area - it was so informative about all herbs: culinary, dyes, medicines, etc. and I learnt so much there.