All posts tagged: aeaaus

Notes From An Event Apart Austin: Lara Hogan

And now more notes from An Event Apart Austin… Lara Hogan, Senior Engineering Manager of Performance at Etsy (my fav!), presented “Designing for Performance,” and she’s just plain great. (I mean, she celebrates career achievements with donuts.) She got big laughs for her “four and horse stars” story of the time Etsy accidentally replaced their half-star with little horse head emojis (because it wasn’t document properly) and users starting writing in to ask what was going on. (As someone who works in support, I can very easily imagine how ridiculous/hilarious this would be.) On designing for performance: “Perception of how fast your page loads is more important than how fast it actually loads.”  “Make performance part of everyone’s workflow.”  Don’t have performance cops or janitors. Make performance a part of everyone’s job throughout the project.  “Performance is everyone’s job, or you’ll be fighting an endless, uphill battle. You need to create a performance culture.”  Tips on designing for performance: Consider image edits to improve performance: Blurring background a bit & cropping out busy areas in a jpeg reduces size.  …

Notes From An Event Apart Austin: Ethan Marcotte

More notes from An Event Apart Austin… Ethan Marcotte (@beep) presented “Laziness in the Time of Responsive Design” and full disclosure: It wasn’t about being lazy overall, but was all about getting things setup now up front to let you be lazy later. Definitely good sense! On laziness: “Embrace laziness in responsive design” through layout, navigation, & animation.  Frameworks are vocabularies. They are philosophical conditions, not rigid systems of repetition.  “Design the transaction, not the interface.” Then, layer in complexity.  On using max-width: We’ve used “max-width:100%” for images, objects, & videos. But what about height? Examples to check out: fivethirtyeight.com — Great example of responsive navigation. When screen size reduces, navigation menu switches to hamburger & only top-level links remain. BBC News — Watch how some navigation links are under a “more” link depending on size of screen. It shifts seamlessly and keeps the menu from being overwhelming. Note: The Twitter bird icons link to the corresponding tweet for each piece. Thanks to @mor10 & @sbeatty for live-tweeting the talk along with me on #aeaaus. 🙂 Notes on some sessions linked on this …

Notes From An Event Apart Austin: Karen McGrane

I’m home and (sort of) recovered from Automattic‘s Grand Meetup (#a8cgm), so back to my notes from An Event Apart Austin… Karen McGrane presented “Content in a Zombie Apocalypse” and dropped some knowledge on us about WYSIWYG and the ridiculousness of web-paper (PDFs). On WYSIWYG: “I’m kind of like the President of the WYSIWYG Haters Club.” This was an interesting story! — WYSIWYG came from XEROX so that they could sell laser printers. On Web-Paper aka PDFs: “The blobiest blob that we have ever blobbed onto the web… the PDF!” Please, allow me to make one thing clear before I go on: Nobody is reading your PDF. The World Bank recently did a study in which they looked from 2008 to 2012 at all of the PDFs that they have put online and what they found was 33 percent of them, a third of them, never downloaded at all. What’s worse: 40 percent of them were downloaded fewer than 100 times. Nobody is reading your PDF, because: not digital not responsive not accessible So why do …

Notes from An Event Apart Austin: Jen Simmons

Next up at An Event Apart Austin (October 5) was Jen Simmons, designer and host of the weekly podcast, The Web Ahead, with: Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts. All I can really say about her presentation is: Wow! I learned so much and have so many things I want to try out now. I looooove looking at beautiful print layouts and magazine spreads, so seeing those connected to web design was just plain great. And good news! You can watch it online on Thursday, October 15 right here. (10/10 – Highly recommend!) Notes I took/tweeted and some of my favorite live-tweets by others during her presentation follow. She says we’re stuck in a rut. (And she shared several prominent examples that looked exactly like the image above, but with content plugged in. The rut is real.) “Panes are the new page.” She says consider how your brain recognizes a PDF & expects to scroll down. (Site example: Apple Watch page.)  On what’s next: “We’re about to see a renaissance in design on the web.” – @jensimmons excited about …

Notes from An Event Apart Austin: Yesenia Perez-Cruz

Next in line at An Event Apart Austin (October 5) came Yesenia Perez-Cruz, a Philadelphia-based designer, with: Design Decisions Through the Lens of Performance. Notes I took/tweeted and some of my favorite live-tweets by others during her presentation follow. On starting a new project: She says don’t forget to focus on performance. One example of why it’s important: Amazon observed a 1% decrease in revenue for every 100ms added to page load. Always set a performance budget right from the start: “A performance budget (for web design) is like your spending budget.” Spend more in one column, reduce in another. “Quality is stability, performance, and reliability.” She reminds us that performance is a design feature, not a technical concern. Pages should weigh no more than 400-600kb, and make no more than 15 requests. Consider limiting fonts to 100kb.  Evaluate typography on performance + personality. Find a balance that works for both. “Don’t add a style you don’t need.” On comparison & keeping things in check:  She says check your sites on webpagetest.org. Also check your competitors so you make sure your …

Notes from An Event Apart Austin: Jeffrey Zeldman

Jeffrey Zeldman, co-founder of An Event Apart, kicked off An Event Apart Austin (on October 5) with: The Fault, Dear Brutus (or: Career Advice From a Cranky Old Man). Notes I took/tweeted and some of my favorite live-tweets by others during his presentation follow. On getting into work on the web: “I was excited about the web because it was democratic and anyone could do it.” On working with clients:  His advice on showing a client your site design: “Never talk about the aesthetics. Talk about the business problems you’re solving.” On navigating the workplace: On how “politics trumps work” at big companies: “Attitude trumps work in most companies. Great work + bad attitude = fired.”  Bad attitudes are toxic and good attitudes are essential to good work in big and small companies.  Also: first impressions last! He says switch jobs or divisions within a company when you think you should be promoted but haven’t been. Once people see you as a certain thing (like an assistant), they might struggle to re-imagine you as a person with …

Home from Austin & An Event Apart

I had a great two days at An Event Apart Austin. It was the rare event where you can handle your booth duties and still attend all of the sessions (since it’s one-track and everyone was in one room during session time, rather than wandering around). I’ll post my notes on the sessions here later this week. I learned a lot.