A few follow-ups from the panels I was involved in at SxSW 2005.
Another great year of South by Southwest has come and gone. More great people, more great conversations, and more great barbecue.
“More Hi-Fi Design with CSS” was the first panel I was involved with. Christopher Schmitt, Molly Holzschlag, Dan Cederholm, Douglas Bowman and myself spent an hour talking about the sort of things you’d expect us to talk about. (It has been documented elsewhere, I should add.) Chris kicked the panel off with the introductions, and then turned it over to the rest of us.
Molly was a new addition to last year’s similar lineup, and started things nicely with a foundation talk about the basics of structure and semantics, and how that sets the stage for our Hi Fi stylin’.
Dan continued with a look at what he calls “Bulletproof CSS”, which consists of making sure your design continues to work under circumstances like missing images, missing CSS, and different font sizes.
My own portion of the presentation was a look at how CSS fits into the typical designer’s workflow. Things like the disparity between code and GUI, browser bugs, and a few final pointers for design concepts to further study.
Doug then examined the technique he never got around to presenting at last year’s SxSW, and concluded with a story from the Wired News redesign feedback a few years ago.
What was particularly interesting about the panel this year was what happened despite the lack of collaboration ahead of time. With only basic outlines of what each other was planning on discussing, there was some nice synergy happening between sub-points in all of our presentations.
Now, for what those of you who were there are likely hoping I’d get to — the slides I used. I need to load this link with a couple of disclaimers. The presentation was built for a controlled environment, so instead of tailoring it for the general web audience, it is much more effective within that controlled environment. The download is large because the files are large. It may be slow because it’s meant to run on my computer. It won’t render in anything but top-notch browsers. It’s meant to be contained within a 1024x768 window, no shorter or wider. It’s too slow in Firefox on a Powerbook, it had to be presented in Safari. (This may not hold true for a Pentium 4, but I have no way of knowing).
So, with that out of the way, here it is. There’s also a 1.3MB ZIP file of the entire thing. Please link to this article, instead of directly to either the slideshow or the ZIP file — it’s important to have the context of the disclaimers before viewing in any old web browser. (not to mention the bandwidth issue).
To move back and forth between slides, use Accesskeys z and x. Or, move the mouse down toward the bottom of the center of the window for a pop-up menu. I’ll let you figure out what’s going on there, the source tells all. I just want to send a big thanks to Jeremy Keith for building the initial script that I modified to pull this one together.
The second panel, “Web Design 2010”, was more of a group conversation than a presentation. John Allsopp played the role of power moderator (eschewing the puny on-stage mics for a wireless that let him get down and gesticulate at the same level as the audience, demonstrating what Doug and Joe and I knew from our experience at WE04: he’s one of the most entertaining speakers in the industry). The rest of the panel consisted of myself, Jon Hicks, Eris Free, and the omnipresent Mr. Bowman.
We tackled six questions, discussing amongst ourselves and the audience (and disagreeing with each other quite often too). Our pre-discussion for this panel was largely conducted on a WordPress weblog I set up for the purpose, which was opened to the audience for questions and is now open to everyone for reading and continued discussion. (The URI is now permanent, so link away).
In all, the two panels I participated in were just the tiniest slice of a fraction of the entire event. It was that good. Maybe I’ll get a chance to write up the rest of the event. Maybe.