In a highly-anticipated return to SXSW, an all-star lineup of designers, coders, and entrepreneurs compete to pitch their worst business ideas in short lightning rounds. Winner gets funded by a real VC.
Tagged with “sxswi” (46)
Bruce Sterling’s closing remarks at South by Southwest 2011.
Some of the most important design decisions happen in code. In 2009, I gave a talk at the Build conference in Belfast with what I thought was a fairly uncontroversial premise: web designers should write code. Since then, the subject has sparked more than a few debates, including a particular heated pile-on when Elliot Jay Stocks tweeted that he was "shocked that in 2010 I’m still coming across ‘web designers’ who can’t code their own designs. No excuse." In a recent interview, Jonathan Ive said "It’s very hard to learn about materials academically, by reading about them or watching videos about them; the only way you truly understand a material is by making things with it." He’s talking about product design, but the principle is just as relevant to the Web (if not more so). "The best design explicitly acknowledges that you cannot disconnect the form from the material—the material informs the form…. Because when an object’s materials, the materials’ processes and the form are all perfectly aligned…. People recognize that object as authentic and real in a very particular way." As our industry grows and roles get more specialized, it’s possible to become a "web designer" without more than a cursory understanding of the fundamental building materials of the Web: the code. Is this just the price of progress? Are the days of the web craftsman soon to be in the past? Or is a hybrid approach to web design and development something worth preserve?
- Jenn Lukas
- Ethan Marcotte
- Ryan Sims
- Wilson Miner
The future of web typography is as uncertain as any other aspect of the medium, but one thing is for sure: it’s got momentum. At no other time has typography been taken so seriously by so many involved in the web, and that means there’s an awful lot of change and innovation to keep up with if you want to stay on the cutting edge of online type. In as much depth as 60 minutes will allow, this presentation will cover recent proposals and additions to CSS 3, from ligatures to hyphenation, synthesis to capitalisation, and much in between. It will cover the reasoning behind the new aspects of CSS 3, and reintroduce older properties which only now are becoming implemented and useful (and thus browser support will not be ignored either). No session on web typography would be complete without discussion of webfonts. There is still much learn in this field, both in what CSS can provide, and the technical implementation within browsers. But web typography is not just about CSS, or even good type setting. The bit that touches us most closely is the medium through which most of us read: text rendering and screens, and this presentation will discuss and demonstrate the cutting edge of both. Web typography is a hugely exciting part of web design, and the field that is moving most quickly. This presentation will give you everything you need to know to keep right on the spur of the serif, the apex of the ascender, and the edge of the curve.
While both music and design have theoretical underpinnings, they also share a certain ineffability. A musical masterpiece and an exceptionally crafted experience demand more than the simple application of theory. They also demand virtuosity. Designers must skilfully bring together clicks and gestures — the building blocks of interaction design — to form a meaningful experience. Although it’s simple to describe these components, we often resort to vague shorthands like ‘look & feel’ to explain what happens at the experiential layer. Similarly, composers rely on formalised technique to write music; yet ask what makes a piece remarkable and the answer will be similarly nebulous. In this session, we will examine parallels between music and interaction design, including harmony, genre, rhythm, fashion and emotion. Along the way, we will learn how that which defies easy definition can elevate digital and musical works from good to miraculous.
- James Box
- Cennydd Bowles
Now that web designers suddenly face the challenge (and delight) of choosing fonts from an ever-growing selection, we thought it’s a good time to recommend some basic principles for making wise type choices.
- Stephen Coles
- Jason Santa Maria
- Tiffany Wardle
- Frank Chimero
This week’s Guardian technology podcast comes to you from the South by Southwest interactive festival in Austin, Texas.
Every year, the geeks descend on this university town in central Texas, and now, on its 18th anniversary, the SXSW event is far bigger than ever. There are 20,000 people here for this show alone, with 25 tracks of content taking place in venues throughout the city, tackling topics as varied as the invisible game layer, the future of journalism, how to take code to the next level, and how to create a personal cult. Mostly, it seems to be about being "awesome" and "how to rock" things, if you go by the titles on the schedule.
In this programme Jemima Kiss meets some of the many Brits in town here for business. We find out what really is unique about the web, and we’ll get designer, performer and digital joy-maker Ze Frank’s views on how SXSW has evolved over the years.
Tim Wu reflects on previous revolutions in communications, such as the telephone and radio, and offers some thoughts on the future of the internet and net neutrality.
Typography can make or break a design, but there are big differences between what makes jaw-dropping type offline from what makes great type online? In this presentation, Samantha will evaluate interesting offline lettering and discuss how you can translate those principles and leverage CSS3, @font-face, and new font-as-service web apps to create engaging online typographic experiences.
Even though technology evolved at a crazy pace the last 100 years, the humble button has stayed at the center of it all. What is its past, its future? Why is it important? What does it say about the interaction between humans and technology? Pictures, stories, revelations, maybe movies.
We all know web design tricks to getting people to do what you want - make buttons bigger, use accent colors, etc. There are other strategies, however, that rely on the more proven tools of psychology; this session will explore reciprocity, scarcity, and more, and see how effective they can be.