Last Friday I went to the most nerdy conference I ever attended. It was also one of the conferences I enjoyed most. On a nice sunny day in Amsterdam, eight top nerds talked about eight different CSS modules on CSS Day 2013. There were talks about the future, but there were also talks about things that most of us didn’t know about the modules we use every day.Sounds good!
(This column was published in edition #57 of the Dutch, paper version of Web Designer Magazine. It’s in Dutch). Vorige week was ik op het fantastische Mobilism congres. Ik ben weer helemaal geïnspireerd en blij om te zien dat mijn visie op het web niet zo heel veel afwijkt van de visie van de sprekers — niet de minsten. Het thema vorig jaar was erg deprimerend: veel sprekers vonden toen dat het web de concurrentie aan moest gaan met native, een strijd die niet te winnen is natuurlijk. Dit jaar was het een veel positiever congres. Het ging vooral in op de kwaliteiten van het web: wat is het, wat maakt het uniek, wat kan er mee, wat zijn de beperkingen en wie zijn de mensen die het gebruiken.Klinkt tof
Is the web the first truly flexible medium? I tried to come up with other fields that need to design things for a flexible canvas, in the hope of finding inspiration there. The only media types I could come up with was the art of balloon printing and the art of tattooing. But even though they both work with a highly flexible canvas, I don’t think we will learn very much there. Maybe we have to look elsewhere, or maybe, probably, we are really pioneering.Are we really?
People, and especially web designers and web developers are full of the so called retina revolution. Displays get higher density and some displays that Apple sells have 4 device pixels per pixel (yes, that’s weird). This means that vector graphics look great, and pixel graphics look like shit. The natural reaction is of course to start optimising our pixel graphics for these fantastic new high end devices. But should we really?Why not?
Yesterday I changed the layout of the homepage of this blog. The reason why is explained in this post called This site goes to eleven. On bigger resolutions, the first two or three posts are styled differently. Selecting the first post of a series is easy with CSS. You just use the
:first-of-type pseudo-selector and you’re done. But how do you select the first two, or the first three items of a list with one single selector?
Today Stuart Langridge tweeted that he hated me. He doesn’t know me personally, but he hated me because clicking on the headline of the first blogpost on my blog homepage showed no visual change at all. He is right. I hate this pattern too. So I changed the way posts are displayed on the homepage. The first step was to change the number of posts, displayed on the homepage from a randomly chosen ten to a more webby eleven. On the responsive web, eleven is a nice, even number.That’s weird, go on…
On the amazing Beyond Tellerrand conference, there was a little known second stage, where people gave twenty minute talks. I was one of those people. In this talk I tried, unsuccessfully, to answer the question if we miss the influence of artists on the web, and if we actually need that influence.
You can view my slides online, but as always, it won’t be clear what I was talking about. And be warned, there are some pretty big images in there! So here’s a summary.I’ll skip the slides, go on!
Tell me more!
Photoshop, you damn liar! Josh Brewer realised his talk had too much overlap with the talk that Meagan Fisher gave a few hours earlier, so he decided to sing his talk. Yes. Sing it. For 45 minutes. And it was pretty good! The chorus, quoted above, was one of the recurring theme’s of the conference. The web requires a different approach than our old workflow, and Photoshop does not have a big role in it anymore. This has been common knowledge for years, of course, but the urgency has never been this big before. But it goes beyond ditching Photoshop.
Today I attended a small conference for students in the beautiful city of Leeuwarden. Unfortunately I had to leave early, but I did get a chance to listen to a very inspiring talk by Jan-Jaap Severs, a game developer. The audience consisted of mainly web development students, so Jan-Jaap’s talk was not about game development. Instead he tried to find a subject to talk about that would be of use to this audience. He found it. His talk was about things he learned form making rapid prototypes. There were tips about teams, about workflow, about skill set and about designing a product. The similarities between the issues we have in the web world were striking.Sounds very interesting!
Yesterday I wrote a little post about the exact definition of the terms responsive and adaptive, in which I asked for comments. And I got some comments, and all of them were excellent. It’s clear that my hypothesis at the end of my post —
it could be that I haven’t thought about it long enough — turned out to be true.