Design Track

Daniel Burka designs the first 15 minutes; Brian Suda is visualizing data; Hannah Donovan designs without the browser; Relly Annett– Baker knows what people want from mobile content; Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis is moving it; Brian Fling has six rules for designing mobile apps; Lea Verou explores the outer reaches of CSS3; and Stephen P. Anderson sustains passionate users.

Sustaining Passionate Users

Keep them there, long after the thrill is gone
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Presenter: Stephen P Anderson

Yes, business applications can be made fun and gamelike. No, points, levels and badges are not the way to create sustained interest.

While many sites have added superficial gaming elements to make interactions more engaging, the companies that “get it” have a better understanding of the psychology behind motivation. They know how to design sites that keep people coming back again and again.

So what are the secrets? What actually motivates people online? How do you create sustained interest in your product or service? Speaker Stephen P. Anderson will share common patterns from game design, learning theories, and neuroscience to reveal what motivates—and demotivates—people over the long haul.

Designing the First Fifteen Minutes

User Interface to entice people right out of the gate
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Presenter: Daniel Burka

That user who just signed up is about to bail. And a thousand other people just stopped in but didn’t even bother to register. Your product is great, but your users don’t stay long enough to find that out. The first fifteen minutes of your product are the most important and they’re so often squandered. But! We’re starting to figure out what works and what does not. There’s no longer any excuse to give your visitors a poor initial experience. Learn how great user interfaces entice people right out of the gate, then help newcomers get people over the threshold. Then! Great interfaces delightfully provide new users to learn complex systems and become engaged, passionate contributors. Onwards and upwards, friends.

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Visualising Data

See the big picture
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Presenter: Brian Suda

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is estimated to produce 15 petabytes of data per year. This is difficult to store let alone understand!

With connected devices quickly out numbering connected people, we are soon going to be swamped with data. Visualising the constant stream of information we are collecting so that it can be better understood is going to be a critical task.

In this presentation, I’ll walk you through a quick overview of some basic chart and graph design, then look at how easy it is to write some quick scripts in your favourite language to produce beautiful graphics. SVG is an under-​​rated technology, but it can be created programmatically and quickly to visualise data.

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Move it! CSS3 Transitions and Animations

It’s all about the movement, baby!
Photo of Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis

Presenter: Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis

Since the early days of the web, the only reliable way to get movement on your site was through Flash, or more recently, Javascript. But now, with WebKit and Mozilla leading the way, transformations and transitions can be done with pure CSS, even on mobile devices. And for those in need of even more movement, CSS3 provides for keyframe-​​based animations. In this session, we’ll take a look at all of the possibilities and explore what works and where — from the simplest effects, to creative usability enhancements including the combination of CSS with mobile Javascript frameworks.

What people want from mobile content

The Rollercoaster Vaudeville Tour of Content Through The Ages!
Photo of Relly Annett-Baker

Presenter: Relly Annett-​​Baker

Ladies and gentlemen for your enjoyment, education and edification, may I present “The Rollercoaster Vaudeville Tour of Content Through The Ages!” Why should you join my session you ask? Because how we have treated content in the past is the key to understanding what people want from mobile content now. Mobile content has been a trending topic since 3150BC, you know.

Come on a whirlwind tour of the story and see what we can learn about the future of content from the ancient wisdom of ages past, manuscripts that represent a life’s work, the power of a printing press, banned books and penny dreadfuls. I defy any of you to walk away thinking that no-​​one likes to read stuff on the web.

Six rules to designing amazing mobile apps

The path to creating memorable mobile experiences
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Presenter: Brian Fling

Building a mobile app isn’t easy. Regardless of chosen platform or technology creating a memorable mobile experience has some pretty intense challenges throughout. However if you can get it right it can have some incredible rewards and propel your brand in more ways than one. After spending ten years building mobile apps for some of the biggest companies in the world, author and mobile designer Brian Fling shares his six rules for building amazing apps that will either you get you started or improve upon your next release.

See the slides and hear the podcast.


A lunchtime presentation
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Presenter: Paul Annett

Alpha​.gov​.uk is an experimental prototype of a new, single website for UK Government, developed in line with the recommendations of Martha Lane Fox’s review of UK Government online. When the site is finished, it is anticipated to save 50% of the £128 million per year that the Government currently spends on web publishing. If it can tempt more people into doing just one of their (typical) 4 or 5 monthly Government transactions online, then that would save the Government — and hence taxpayers — about £1 billion each year. The site’s been built in three months by a small team of contractors working at the Cabinet Office.

Designing without the browser

We are the makers of things
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Presenter: Hannah Donovan

Innovation is intensifying off the browser — the things we use everyday are increasingly controlled by touch, gesture and voice. And we, as interaction designers, are faced with a challenge that’s the opposite of our browser-​​based one-​​man-​​shop: there’s suddenly a gulf of production between our concept and the final product; the means of production is as tricky to navigate as a roster of Tolstoy characters; mistakes are expensive; and everyone speaks a different language. Sound dangerous? Sound exciting?

Donovan argues the processes for the future lie in our more material-​​based graphic designer pasts, and our cousin disciplines of industrial design and architecture. After a decade of honing our newfangled browser-​​based skills, learn how to dust off and sharpen the tools of our roots.

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Mastering CSS3 gradients

Beyond rounded corners and drop shadows
Photo of Lea Verou

Presenter: Lea Verou

With most browsers adding increasing support, and the simplicity of providing fallbacks for those that don’t, CSS3 gradients are something we can start to use right now. They benefit our users with faster websites and ourselves with more time in our hands to spend in other things, since they are easy to create, edit and update. A very powerful feature that can also be utilized for a surprising number of design effects, even ones that don’t resemble gradients at all. In this talk, Lea will explore CSS3 gradients in great depth and it’s almost guaranteed that no matter your expertise level, you will walk out having learned new things.

See the slides and hear the podcast.