Each day at Web Directions begins and ends with a session that will get you thinking about the big picture. The inimitable Tom Coates will kick off the show with a new network; and then on Thursday afternoon Jeremy Keith asks the hard questions of the famous @media panel; on Friday morning we’ll all wake up with Andy Clarke; and then Sebastian Deterding closes the show with a warning — don’t play games!

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Andy Clarke, author, Hardboiled Web Design
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Presenter: Andy Clarke

Animation on the web has traditionally been low-​​fidelity and shares much common ground with the work of early animators. Web animations have always been the domain of Flash because equivalents couldn’t easily be created using open standards. That is until now, with ever increasing support for CSS3 Animations. Learn about the latest CSS animation techniques and how to create effective, accessible fallbacks for all browsers, including those with limited capabilities.

A New Network

The Planet itself is our canvas
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Presenter: Tom Coates

The work we’re collectively doing—opening up gradually all of human information and media, making it recombinable, helping people create and share their work—is a huge unspoken, sexy, world-​​redefining mission.

It’s a mission that many of us have become blasé about, almost unaware of. It’s a project so large that it’s hard to get a grasp on. And the next few years are going to get even more interesting as the network pervades physical objects and environments, sensing and manifesting information in the real world.

It’s time to recognise the scale of the project we have in front of us, the breadth of the material we have to work with, and the possibilities of design within it. All of human knowledge, creativity—even the planet itself—is our canvas.

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Don’t Play Games With Me

Promises and pitfalls of gameful design
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Presenter: Sebastian Deterding

In 1960, Milton Bradley published “The Game of Life”: a capitalist wet dream of a board game, won by the lucky one who retired richest. Today, “gamification” vendors still take Milton Bradley seriously. From losing weight to saving Africa, from watching TV to matching DNA sequences: there’s nothing that couldn’t be made more fun by adding points, badges, and other elements from video games. At least that’s the selling proposition.

Yet the debate on gamification is deeply split. On the one hand, marketers dream of customer mind control, on the other game designers warn of digital snake oil sellers and shallow ‘pointsification’. How to design a playful experience that is truly meaningful to users – instead of just creating shallow novelty effects? Which lessons do games really hold for other products and services? What criticism is valid? And how can designers interested in “gameifying” an application steer clear of the worst pitfalls?

See the slides and hear the podcast.

Jeremy Keith’s Hot Topics

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Presenter: Jeremy Keith

A popular @media tradition, hosted by Jeremy Keith, the final session for day one will feature a selection of speakers discussing questions posed by conference attendees. A lively conversation and some passionate debate will occur, so bring along your questions and enjoy the robust discussion. As Ghandi once said “honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress”.