Future of Web Design London 2012 : Day 2 thoughts and summary - Fabric Digital

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Future of Web Design London 2012 : Day 2 thoughts and summary Fabric

Future of Web Design London 2012 : Day 2 thoughts and summary

17th May // 2012 - This post is archived and may no longer be relevant

Following on from my post about day one of FOWD, i've put together this quick post which hopefully summarises my thoughts from day two and the event as a whole.

Once again, there were two tracks of seminars on the day, all of which were filmed so none of the attendees should miss out when they are made available in the next few weeks. Here's the path I took:

  •  - You are a Channel (The Standardistas)

  • - A Responsive Process (Steve Fisher)

  • - Code Literacy for Designers (Jonathan Berger)

  • - Designing for Flexible Web (Laura Kalbag)

  • - The Future of Beautiful iOS Design (Sarah Parmenter)

  • - HTML5 and Human Interaction (Martin Beeby)

  • - Failing and Doing it Well (Mark Boulton)

The keynote of the day being the Standardista's 'You are a Channel' which focussed on the way we as Designers deal with the research and development stage of design, with some interesting tips on how we absorb information and digest it.

The highlight for me however was the final talk of the day - Failing and Doing it Well by Mark Boulton. Mark runs a small design agency in South Wales and works clients such as ESPN, BBC, Warner Brothers and Drupal. Mark took us through a couple of case studies such as the redesign process of drupal.org which highlighted how little time was actually spent in Photoshop but rather pen and paper prototyping.

Moreso than day one, the topic of responsive web design was prominent which was of particular interest to me, being that responsive web design is now an integral part of the web design process that we offer our own clients. The main issue that was demonstrated was the process by which we design for multiple devices. Designing for multiple breakpoints of a web page can be hugely time consuming and although we are passionate about having the sites we make being responsive, we don't necessarily want to spend all of our time in Photoshop designing dozens of iterations of templates, and you can bet your bottom dollar the client won't want to pay for it.

We therefore need to come up with an efficient process by which we can design and obviously develop our sites by swaying our focus to style guides rather than static visuals that will ultimately help the designers and developers to work collaboratively. Because as any developer will tell you, as nice as a visual concept may look, it may not always work that way in the browser.

It was extremely humbling to see that the very first page that existed on the world wide web was indeed responsive, so where the idea of fixed width web pages has come from is anybody's guess. Simply put, the web is not fixed width and with the multitude of devices that are available today (and i'm not just talking iPhones and iPads) we must think about how content can best be served for the end user, whatever device they may be viewing it on.

Overall, FOWD was certainly eye-opening for me. It's easy to get yourself into routines of doing certain things which may not always be for the best. I've had the chance to speak to some incredibly accomplished people in the industry, heard of ways I, as a designer can improve the way I work and how Fabric as a company can grow.

Watch this space for more posts about some of the stuff i've learnt when I have chance to fully absorb the mass of information i've consumed over the last two days, not to mention the massive caffeine come-down i'm likely to experience in the next 24 hours or so.

Penned by Jack Carpenter