I attended Smashing Conference, an event for web designers and developers. Here’s a roundup with tools, tweets, quotes, links and slides.
Marked with #mustwatch are the talks that have been of the most interest for me personally. The videos of these talks should be available soon enough, and I will update this post with the links when they are released.
My early morning in Oxfordshire (got up at 4am to get there by 7:30 from London).
Read a lot to write better.
Crowdfunding and flexible pricing for publishers.
Users will use your app “wrong”, use the tools to see how.
Dispel your mistaken assumptions.
Solve real human problems.
Do the hard work to make it simple.
Use srcset for optimisation and picture element for art direction.
Web or native — try hybrid apps.
Everyone should have a different favourite browser, because web standards.
Debug HTTP and SSL with the tools.
Use flexbox in production right now — progressive enhancement (watch this video to learn how).
Make web apps work offline. Service workers!
Links & Tools
silverbackapp.com — usability testing
fullstory.com — collect data about how users interact with your site
uie.com – usability materials
webpagetest.org — detailed page speed testing
luckymarmot.com/paw — REST API analysis for Mac, starting at $29.99
getpostman.com — API debugging
restclient.net — a debugger for RESTful web services
telerik.com/fiddler —web debugging proxy for any browser, system or platform
ngrok.com – a simple command line tool for allowing outside access to your local-environment
charlesproxy.com – enables a developer to view all of the HTTP and SSL / HTTPS traffic between their machine and the Internet
nwjs.io — framework for building hybrid apps (desktop applications in node.js)
keynotopia.com — Keynote and PowerPoint UI design templates for everyone, not just designers
popapp.in — Useful for pen and paper wire-framing
jakearchibald.github.io/svgomg/ – edit and optimise SVG’s, example for talk on service workers
- How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (A Touchstone book)
- The Myths of Innovation
- Managing Oneself (Harvard Business Review Classics)
- Practical Empathy by Indi Young
- Design Is a Job by Mike Monteiro
Christopher Murphy — “A Good Writer Is a Good Thinker”
How to read better. Enhance your writing by improving your reading skills and developing a richer mind.
Meagan Fisher — “Getting Personal: The Why and How of Designing for People”
Seeing things with your users’ eyes (and all the other means of perception) as a natural part of your workflow.
- Ask questions to understand context.
- Listen for unmet needs and goals.
- Observe frustrations and successes.
- Dispel your mistaken assumptions.
Richard Rutter “Don’t give them what they want, give them what they need”
Great talk from perspective of designers and developers who worked on re-structuring and re-designing (i.e. making simpler and faster) the website of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (rbkc.gov.uk)
Btw, do you know why Chelsea mansions are sooo expensive? :) Partly because of this:
The tips are:
- Continually design with data, anticipate needs.
- Do the hard work to make it simple.
- Reduce, reduce, reduce again.
- Be consistent.
- User task is first, our message is last.
- Don’t repeat effort.
Yoav Weiss “Responsive images are here”
@yoavweiss | browser tinkerer, WebPerf freak, RICG implementer
Hilarious, educational talk about responsive images, picture element and srcset. And previous version of this talk (from Smashing Conf 2014 Whistler) is already on vimeo.
Peter Bilak “Rethinking publishing”
New approaches to publishing.
Natalie Yadrentseva “Visualisation that takes us beyond the numbers”
Data visualisation is a whole world. I had to miss part of this talk, but it surely was thorough. Reminded me of this :)
— Stefanie Posavec (@stefpos) March 11, 2015
Tom Giannattasio — “Beyond the browser with hybrid apps”
Bruce Lawson “Is Blink the new IE6?”
@brucel | Opera Software. UK Web standards lovegod. Co-wrote Introducing HTML5.
And the best slide of the conference goes to
Chris Heilmann “Welcome to Planet Fintlewoodlewix”
@codepo8 | developer evangelist – all things open web
The most enjoyable mystery speaker! Great talk, slides and the followup discussion.
Zoe M. Gillenwater “Enhancing Responsiveness with Flexbox”
@zomigi | Author of books Stunning CSS3 & Flexible Web Design. UX Designer at Booking.com
Deep flexbox talk with production code examples. Enjoyed it. There’s a great followup blog post in Zoe’s blog: http://zomigi.com/blog/leveling-up-with-flexbox/
Video of the talk:
Lorna Mitchell — “Debugging HTTP”
This was interesting. Lorna introduced many useful tools have been mentioned (HTTP related links in the beginning of the post).
Stages of debugging – Denial – Frustration – Disbelief – Testing (curious stage) – Gotcha
Paul Lewis — “Making a Silky Smooth Web”
http://www.aerotwist.com/ | Googler who noodles with code and design, helps people fix performance, UX and UI issues.
Slides: https://speakerdeck.com/paullewis/making-a-silky-smooth-web Website: http://aerotwist.com/
Great talk on performance. Also, check out this super smooth website: aerotwist.com
Polle de Maagt — “Crafting for #WORLDDOMINATION”
@polledemaagt | Changes companies like IKEA and KLM to be less about ads and more about acts
Slides: (to be updated)
Rachel Ilan Simpson — “User reach for designers & engineers”
@rilan | UX Designer on @googlechrome #MakeMunich cofounder & Head of http://www.designj.am
Slides: (to be updated) “User research is going to change what you make and how you make it.”
– What users are thinking?
– What is this?
– Do I trust you?
– What are you offering me?
– How do I get it?
Didn’t expect another talk on user research to be so engaging. Lots of user research tools mentioned. And this awesome animation.
Jake Archibald — “The UX of offline-first”
@jaffathecake | Developer advocate at Google.
Slides: (to be updated)
Great talk and the followup discussion. Will update this post with a video link as soon as it’s available. Check back in a couple of weeks maybe.
Photos from Smashing Conf Oxford 2015 gallery by Marc Thiele:
Smashing sketches by Elisabeth Irgens:
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