WebVisions 2013 in review: Part two

Thursday, May 23, 2013

WebVisions 2013 This is a continuation of WebVisions 2013 in review: Part one.

On Wednesday through Friday, May 22-24, I attended the WebVisions Portland 2013 conference at the Oregon Convention Center. Below is a quick overview of all sessions I attended on Thursday, with links. See Twitter updates using #wvpdx.

The Future of the Web is Video – Leslie Bradshaw
(9:15 am to 10:00 am | session details)

By 2014, Cisco estimates that 56 percent of all Internet traffic will come from viewing Internet video and Internet video-to-TV. This makes sense considering that people prefer video content to text content at a rate of 2-to-1. As the demand for video continues to surge online, there is another video-centric platform that will have a resurgence in the next few years: the television. With over 500 million people predicted to have Smart TVs by 2015 according to Display Search, there is an impending “appification” of the TV that presents an enormous opportunity for brands, content creators and media companies alike.

And yet in the face of these trends, only a small percentage of what is being written by major publishers and individual bloggers everyday includes video or is optimized for video-based consumption. While the equipment and publishing software are easy to get ahold of, quality video production is still specialized and costly; creating compelling, captivating content requires skilled labor on and off camera. What’s more, chances are that few in the audience have thought through the necessary steps and logistics to optimize their static content for video and for TV-consumption, not to mention the corollary monetization models.

Throughout her career, Leslie has helped media brands navigate opportunities brought on by technological advances: from the web to social media to mobile. In her talk, she will again take the reins and guide the audience through a new frontier: the proliferation of online video and the smart television. Together, they will examine a realistic view of what’s to come, where the opportunities are and what will be needed to succeed.

  • Twitter: @LeslieBradshaw
  • Video is not going to be tethered to a single device
  • Widespread video on a platform marks technological maturity. Video is the future of the Web
  • Smart TVs will account for 55 percent of the market by 2015. Their computing power will to increased to match smartphones
  • You’re more likely to get struck by lightning than have someone click on a banner ad
  • Social media: All media at some level will eventually be social
  • Flipboard, Pinterest, Guide and other apps are letting viewers curate their news

Death to Pixel Perfect Design! Prototyping for the Real World – Jason Cranford Teague
(10:15 am to 11:00 am | session details)

Designers often begin their work with a sketch. A sketch is the best way to begin planning a design; it’s a quick way to see the visual challenges being faced. But there is a disconnect between what you can imagine in a static image and the actual design capabilities of the Web.

UX Designers spend hours iterating around visual comps created in applications designed for print production, trying to create high fidelity visual prototypes, but for the wrong medium. Instead of drawing prototypes, we need to start working in HTML and CSS as quickly as possible to realize our visions in the medium for which it will be produced.

What you will learn: How to design dynamic prototypes. Working with responsive design from the ground-up. How to reduce the number of misfires between design and development.

  • Twitter: @JasonSpeaking
  • Agile and Lean UX
  • “Protoypes are different from mockups.” – Jared Spool quote
  • Static, dynamic or interactive prototypes
  • Dynamic prototyping will be the UX skill of the future.
  • Tool: Proty browser plugin for Firefox
  • Bootstrap + Angular JS
  • JetStrap
  • Tool: Adobe Edge Reflow
  • Tool: UX Pin
  • What makes a good tool? Structure, visual, responsive, interactive, core web technologies, reusable code (as much as possible), cost.
  • Web prototyping tools: Axure ($$), Balsalmiq ($$$), Proty (free), Proto.io ($$$), JetStrap ($), UX Pin ($$$), Adobe Edge Reflow (free w/Cloud account), Adobe Edge Animate (free w/Cloud account).

Doors, Walls and Old Trees: Prioritizing to Get Simple – Jason Ulaszek
(11:15 am to 12:00 pm | session details)

We live in a world of increasing complexity, time challenges and utter distractions. As designers, we’re routinely called upon to create digital experiences that help reduce perceived complexity, remove unnecessary “noise” and potential frustration for our users. It’s an attempt to create a bit less stress, ease decision making and perhaps even instill a bit of surprise and delight.

So what happens when you experience the same sort of chaos in your own personal life as a designer? A perspective, or a framework, is born to tackle it. And, of course, it’s then applied to how you approach the things you create.

This session will share in the personal discovery that derived a framework for identifying the strategy, purpose and evaluation technique for simplifying the experiences we create.

  • Twitter: @ux4good
  • Slides: Doors, Walls and Old Trees: Prioritizing to Get Simple
  • 1. Set Strategy. Set and articulate the vision for where you want to be.
    • 10 Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda. “Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. It’s about living live with more enjoyment and less pain.” – John Maeda
    • Simple and Usable by Giles Colborne. Remove, hide, organize and displace features.
    • Strategy: “A planned doable sequence of actions designed to achieve a distinct, measurable goal.” – Howell J. Malham Jr., I Have a Strategy (No, You Don’t)
    • The strategic recipe: purpose; plan; sequence of actions or tactics; distinct, measurable goal … wrapped in a story that tells it.
  • 2. Assess and Evaluate. Determine the fate of “stuff”and align with your strategy.
  • 3. Enlist support. Build support and advocacy within your team/company.
    • Know what you value and why
    • Be prepared and willing to move aside less valuable things
    • Understand the risk of not doing what you’ve pushed aside
    • Tell a great story to get buy-in
    • “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

American Comics: History, Technology, Culture – Richard Bruning
(1:30 pm to 2:15 pm | session details)

Although one of those rare original American creations, like Jazz and the Hula Hoop, comics have had a challenging and difficult history in this country. Born more of a result for utilizing excess newsprint, the medium has evolved awkwardly with the times, both in content and delivery mechanisms, plus ancillary (though more prominent) offshoots, such as film. One of the last commercial art forms to go digital, graphic storytelling is still aggressively evolving and digital presentation offers it an even more transformative experience than most creative mediums.

Here we’ll review the form and fashion in which this new medium exploded on the scene pre-WWII and what digital tools have driven most of the recent and evolving incarnations. We’ll also discuss the fact that comics are just cool… and yes, secrets will be revealed!

What’s America’s problem with comic books? How can they survive post-paper? Do kids read comics anymore? Do they care? Do you? Are digital graphic novels where it’s at?

  • Twitter: @rbruning
  • 75 years of graphic storytelling
  • Read Habibi by Craig Thompson

The Future of Making – Mark Frauenfelder, Tori Nguyen, Cathy Zwicker, and Susan Beal
(2:30 pm to 3:15 pm | session details)

From handmade to micro-manufacturing, the Maker Revolution is using digital design and rapid prototyping to push the boundaries of Making to new and exciting territories. Open source software, 3D printing, Maker spaces (like Portland’s own ADX), and communities that offer ideas, advice and support are getting tinkerers out of the garage and on to the front lines of a new industrial revolution. Join MAKE magazine’s Mark Frauenfelder, Susan Beal (author of The World of Geekcraft), and Crafty Wonderland’s Cathy Pitters and Torie Nguyen for a lively discussion on the bright future of Making.

Creating Animated Music Videos with CSS3 and HTML5 – Rachel Nabors
(3:30 pm to 4:15 pm | session details)

Rachel Nabors will show you how to make a browser-based music video using the HTML5 audio, JavaScript and CSS3 animations. Load assets, loop music, and fire events using JavaScript. Animate images and backgrounds with CSS3.

This talk is an excellent introduction to CSS3’s shiniest features and HTML5’s audio API. Even if you never need to make a music video, you’re sure to come away with a head full of ideas.

Making Makers: New Tools and Ideas that are Fueling a Movement – Mark Frauenfelder
(4:30 pm to 5:15 pm | session details)

Starting with a brief but colorful history of 19th and 20th century making, I’ll present the new tools and technologies that are driving innovation and giving individuals and small groups the ability to create amazing things that would’ve been out of their reach a few years ago. I will present new, inexpensive, and effective ways to conduct research and development, design prototypes, and set up manufacturing on the desktop or in the garage.

  • Twitter: @boingboing
  • The Dark Ages of Making. Decline of DIY in mainstream culture between 1970 and 2000 due to cheap technology and less need to repair failing products. It’s easier and cheaper to buy a new one.
  • Boing Boing started as a zine in 1988. DIY media.
  • 2000-2013: Modern Maker Movement
  • People making cool things for themselves, followed by people making cool tools to help other people make things.
  • MAKE magazine
  • The End of Organizational Advantage
    • R&D
    • Design
    • Materials (e.g., Alibaba.com)
    • Prototyping (e.g., 3D printing, arduino)
    • Funding (e.g., crowdsourcing)
    • Manufacturing (e.g., laser cutting)
    • Sales & Distribution (e.g., 3D Robotics, Adafruit, QTechKnow)

Continue to WebVisions 2013 in review: Part three »

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