The Smashing Conference in Oxford was an absolutely great event. Perfectly organized at a beautiful location, top speakers, inspiring and intense. Thanks!
But… It’s impossible to summarize every of the 16 talks, so I narrowed down this post to a collection of my personal highlights based on the overall coverage on Lanyrd and added few “further reading” recommendations from my Pocket list. Have fun watching the nice sketchnotes from Elisabeth Irgens, click through the slides and follow the links…
First just watch this video by Seb Lee-Delisle. It shows in a great way what the conference was mainly about: Creating beautiful experiences based on creative coding.
More fun: Audience-controlled laser flappy birds
Now off to the talks…
Engineering color on the web (Lea Verou)
Watch the slides! You’ll learn a lot:
- Great overview of the different color models and how to use them in CSS
- You might gain intereset in reading the CSS color level 4 specification as there’ll be lots of enhancements planned for working with colors more easy than today
- Tips how to create your own color helper functions in JS or SASS
- Storify Coverage
- Talk notes
- Cool tools:
— Tuukka Uskali (@tuskali) 18. März 2014
Real life responsive design (David Rupert)
Unfortunately no slides until now. Beside the valid point that we as web developers and designers should have embraced the fluidity of the web in the past far more often than we really did, basically Dave confirmed what I experience in my current projects: Waterfall projects, seperate teams and designers and developers who don’t talk to each other don’t work anymore. In my experience, Scrum still might not be the holy grail to this, but it’s the best environment I know to solve these problems.
— Theo Paraskevopoulos (@theotron) 18. März 2014
— Smashing Magazine (@smashingmag) 18. März 2014
— Marko Dugonjić (@markodugonjic) 18. März 2014
Putting our images on a diet (Guy Podjarny)
My squeezed notes
- Apart from the usual images formats there’s a huge need for new images compression solutions like WebP, JPEG XR 4 and JPEG 2000
- Detect browser support and conditionally load, possibly accept encoding header. Use a different format per URL or same URL for different responses but be aware of caching.
- Where possible prefer JPEG to PNG, if you don’t need transparency
Icon Design Process (Jon Hicks)
Can’t remember all the details… “Mystery speaker” Jon Hicks took us on an entertaining ride about the challenges to create meaningful and scalable icons. Have a look at the slides!
- Bulletproof Accessible Icon Fonts
- Font icons like a boss with Sass & Font Custom
- Ten reasons we switched from an icon font to SVG
Levelling up with flexbox (Zoe Mickley Gillenwater)
An absolute must-watch:
- The best overview of the Flexbox layout model I’ve seen so far
- Zoe focused on how we can use flexbox today by going through a lot of real world situations
- It is easy to provide fallbacks for old browsers, so hopefully you’ll get motivated to use flexbox in your next projects, too
Other interesting talks
- An outstanding article. A manifest. A must-read. “A Modern Designer’s Canvas” (Andrew Clarke)
- “Responsive Web Typography” (Marko Dugonjić)
- “Mind the gap – designing the spaces between” (Josh Clark)
Finally… Oxford is wonderful!
Here are some photos from my short sightseeing tour: