What what! Last week, I was able to go to the An Event Apart conference in Washington DC. As other web designers / developers know, A List Apart has been a premier presence in the blogosphere on web design for years. So when it worked out that I could go to one of their conferences this year for the first time, I was thrilled!
I heard twelve speakers over two days speak on all topics ranging from responsive images and the up-and-coming CSS grid to accessibility, responsive web apps and more. It was nice getting to hang and learn with other fellow nerds from around the country.
One of the quotes that has most stuck in my mind since the conference was from Derek Featherstone, who spoke about accessibility. He said, “better, not perfect” in reference to how we feel like accessibility on the web is insurmountable. I was very encouraged by that concept in general, as web design is a field that constantly changes and, therefore, it’s impossible to achieve perfection in anything! But I can definitely be working hard to improve my skillset and to offer better and better service to my clients. :-)
Another topic that was fascinating to me was the discussion on usability testing and testing the website / app out with real, normal humans before releasing it into the wild. As designers (with intimate understanding of the project we’ve been working on), it’s easy to forget that something that makes sense to us about the functionality of the site may not make sense to someone else. Usability testing can help with that. If you’re interested in usability testing for your website, please contact me.
It was also interesting to watch part of the film, What Comes Next is the Future. This film chronicled the albeit brief history of the internet and was encouraging to me because it reinforced the fact that web design is still an emerging field. Instead of being overwhelmed every time technologies change, I can be excited because I have the unique privilege of being at the forefront of a field that will greatly impact future generations. It really is pretty cool!
Anyway, my goal is to synthesize the information learned from the conference over the coming weeks and to roll out some updates and an exciting new feature to the TJ Design website soon. Hope your summer is going well!