Tag Archives: Web

FOWD Day 2

Molly on CSS spec :)Yikes, almost 2 weeks gone since FOWD day 2 – been a crazy time since then but here’s my highlights from day 2 at the Future of Web Design London.

Molly Holzschlag –  Progressive CSS3 Design

Quite a start to day 2 with Molly starting off with a call to action for all designers to have more input in the W3C Working Group. She presented a pretty matter-of-fact state of the web and where we are with CSS spec. The spec for CSS 2.1 isn’t finished and browser vendors and developers are already ploughing ahead with using the far from finished CSS 3 properties. It’s a all getting a bit crazy!

Posing the question of whether we should be going with a ‘progressive enhancement’ or ‘graceful degradation’ approach she recommended a ‘bridge building’ approach that somehow traverses the 2. Each project should be assessed individually for what kind of browser support you have to take into account but while you shouldn’t ignore older browsers and the problems they pose you need to get on top of what’s coming down the line.

Simon Collison – What Will Web Design Look Like in 2 Years?

An interesting musing on where the web and the web from a design perspective is headed. From questioning how the design process might change (should we design for mobile first and then desktop?) to the potential problem of the adoption of web fonts leading to widespread inappropriate use of typography on the web. Do designers understand grid systems properly and should they really be using them? How much web design in the next while is going to be purely experimental given the changes that lie ahead for HTML and CSS? His stunningly gorgeous website has more.

Aral Balkan – The Art of Emotional Design: A Story of Pleasure, Joy and Delight

One of my favourite sessions of the whole conference, partly because he spoke a whole lot of sense and partly because of his clear passion for what he does. He presented the question “why do we pay more for one thing over another?” Answer = UX. There’s a world of MP3 players available in the world yet the iPod still outsells them all despite not being one of the cheapest available. People like using them and are willing to spend a bit more for it.

For the second or third time at FOWD design and user experience is likened to our experiences with food. Essentially, to say that something is usable is like saying something is edible. Edible is fine but we want more than just edible. We go to a restaurant for more than edible food so let’s take that slant and apply it to user experience on the web. This idea I love.

And I loved his talk so much I’m going to have to give it some blog space all of it’s own. Seems I’m not the only one who gave him the thumbs up!

Bruce Lawson of Opera – How to build a HTML 5 Website (live demo)

As it says on the tin, a rapid how to for newbies on how to approach building a web page using HTML 5 markup and what the heck it’s all about and why we should care about it. Good overview and some useful tips on handling fallbacks for video formats in particular. Very much looking forward to getting stuck into the book that himself and Remy Sharp are writing on HTML 5 and its more advanced features.

Brett Welch of Adobe – Rethink Your Job (And Earn More Money)

Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting much from a sponsor slot but hats off to Bretty for making some really interesting and valid points about the business side of the design and development process. Some of the main points from his talk:

  • Web designers need to think of themselves as web consultants (and consultant isn’t always a bad word!)
  • Don’t expect a website to be a success without a strategy
  • Set your goals
  • Measure the results
  • Don’t launch a website and leave it there – try a more iterative approach, agile development works on the web!

John Hicks – Icon Design

John Hicks of Hicksdesign is a well-known graphic, logo and icon designer who has produced some truly gorgeous work for well-know brands such as MailChimp and Opera. After a brisk step through of the history of icons and the concept of icon design he gave us some pointers and suggestions on how to approach the workflow for icon design including:

  • Is an icon appropriate in this scenario?
  • Choose the right metaphor
    • Realistic
    • Abstract
    • Aribitary/Symbolic
    • Application
    • A logo is not an icon!
  • Is there an existing convention?
  • Can you base it on familiar objects?
  • Avoid too much detail and decoration
  • Design on a grid
  • If you’re designing more than one icon design them together to maintain context and coherence

Check out his work and his blog here.

Dolly Mix 04.05.10 – HTML5, Absolut Gay Theatre, Solsbury Hill etc

DrupalCamp takes place at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare on May 15th and 16th. See www.drupalwest.com/ for info.

The Absolut Gay Theatre Festival Dublin is on until May 16th. I saw an amazing production last night at The New Theatre called Whore Works which runs until the 8th. Check out the programme here.

Innocent Drinks Consumer Cam.

iPhone and Android app builder and CMS that integrates with YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter in one neat looking package – MobileRoadie.

Jeremy Keith’s HTML5 for Web Designers looks tasty.

Solsbury Hill gets the Scala treatment in Cork:

Dolly Mix 02.04.10 – Trim Balloon Fiesta, Business Boot Camp & pretty things

My mug by Allan Cavanagh

The Trim Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is on over the Easter bank holiday. I just love it, particularly the ‘special shape balloons’ and the ‘Night Glow’ event on Saturday night. Fingers crossed the weather improves for all involved!

The supremely talented Sabrina Dent is offering a Business Boot Camp service that sounds excellent and is ridiculously good value. Get booking.

So Dublin City Council are going ahead with the idea of renaming Archbishop Ryan Park (that’s Merrion Square to you and I). Panti has the info on how to get involved and an excellent suggestion on her blog.

Snaps for Stu who shared a link to a gorgeous wee font called Brownstone earlier. I’m also loving Boucle this week.

The name Pat Butcher has a whole new meaning for me today on Pat Phelan’s blog.

Thank you to Allan Cavanagh for the cool caricatures.

Oddest newsletter ever or just spam?

I’m on the mailing list for a local off-license that specialises in wine. The newsletters are often quite long-winded and text-only but during lunch today this fell into my inbox and I still don’t know what to make of it…

Greetings dear friend,

My name is Dr. Abu Ali Summons-Walsh. I am a corrupt banker in the Central Bank of Burkina Faso. I chose you from the list of esteemed customers of Sweeney’s Wine Merchants to receive a business proposition. (Yes, only you, nobody else on the list) An American customer died in a nuclear explosion leaving the sum of ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX GAZILLION AMERICAN DOLLARS in a dormant account. Fortunately, everybody in his family, and also anyone that ever knew him, also died in the accident. Now, as I am so high up in the Central Bank of Burkina Fasoe to have access to this account, but so ignorant of how the banking system works to transfer money across accounts (I am but a humble banker), I wish to transfer all this money into your bank account. I know we have never met, but I trust you. Please trust me back. I will give you half of the ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX GAZILLION AMERICAN DOLLARS if you give me access to your bank account. I will transfer the money into your account. [Note to self -Ooops - already said I don't know how to do this - remember to edit this note out]

So for untold wealth just send me your details :-

  • Bank Account number
  • Name
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Credit Card number
  • Expiry Date
  • Those three little numbers on the back
  • Any Pin numbers you have and what they are used for
  • Email passwords

And, dear friend, as I am trusting you with ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX GAZILLION AMERICAN DOLLARS I need a sign of trust from you. Please send all your cash to my Irish bank account no 12345324123346282184645728 . I remain your humble servant. Abu Ali Summons-Walsh

Afternoon, all,

Two tings. Firstly a heads up for the tasting next week – the wines of Argentina. An interesting selection, mostly reds, but not all Malbec. So bring your steaks on Thursday 4th March (how time flies). Secondly, for the fine winos, Finian has done a deal with a large importer (the company, not the guy). Sweeney’s now have a special deal on sets of four wines. These are Jaboulet AC Hermitage La Chapelle 01; Trimbach Frederic Emile Riesling 04; Latour AC Chassagne-Monrachet 1er Cru 05; and Chateau Laforge St. Emilion Grand Cru 05. Here’s Robert Parker’s notes :-

Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage’ La Chapelle’ 2001 Parker Points 90 -92

The 2001 Hermitage La Chapelle looks to be a strong effort, perhaps the finest since 1997. This is welcome news as this can be one of the world’s greatest wines. After an extremely severe selection (something that may have been lacking in previous vintages), the 2001 boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as a sweet nose of creme de cassis intermixed with licorice and earth. Full-bodied, sweet, rich, and moderately tannic, it should merit a score in the low nineties, a good sign after a succession of uninspiring efforts. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.

Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling 2004 Parker Points 92

Grapefruit zest, chalk dust, truffle, sassafras { Kevin’s note – what the heck is this? } and must inform the nose of the 2004 Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile. Overtly chalky and palpably extract-rich, with illusive floral inner-mouth aromas, this penetrates with almost severe intensity, leaving the palate saturated with citrus and minerals and, frankly, a bit wrung-out. Don’t look for this wine to rebound for another couple of years –in fact, don’t look for it at all until 2009, when it will be released.

Louis Latour Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru 2005 Parker hasn’t reviewed it since 92

Chateau Laforge Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2005 Parker Points 95

Tasting far superior than it did from cask, the bottled 2005 Laforge is fabulous. Moreover, there are 2,500 cases of this offering from the brilliant Englishman, Jonathan Malthus, who has proven he can turn quite a qualitative trick in both Bordeaux and Australia’s Barossa Valley. This dense purple-hued St.-Emilion offers up a glorious nose of graphite, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, licorice, and a whiff of acacia flowers. Full-bodied, thick, and juicy, this blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc possesses terrific purity, an extravagantly rich mouthfeel, and wonderful precision. The result is a provocative, compelling wine that should be drinkable between 2013-2028.

Now the catch is you have to buy one bottle of each – a set of all four usually costs €220; to you, and you only, €150. Save €70. Only 24 sets available. Rush in now and make Lynda do some work for a change.

BTW, just met the nicest man. He gave me his email address, and said he would send on this message to you all to save me the bother. Hope this gets to you OK.


Future of Web Design (FOWD) London 2010 is go

FOWD London launched a (beautiful) new website yesterday with details of the conference and workshops coming up at the event in May and tickets are on sale right now.

“Super-duper early bird” tickets were fantastic value starting at £235 but have been snapped up faster than you can say “jQuery”.

There’s still some “early bird” offers available starting at £470 (saving you about £200) so if you’re into it, get booking.

There’s a really great line-up across two different “tracks” including presentations and workshops from Dan Cederholm (Simple Bits),  Brendan Dawes (Magnetic North), Web Standardistas and Molly Holzschlag (Molly.com).

Topics to be covered include HTML5, CSS3 (implementation, graceful degradation, design), jQuery (essentials and advanced), Google Analytics, UX and usability, how to run a successful web design business and lots more in between.

Check the full details here, fingers crossed I might see you there in May.