Monday, March 11, 2013

SXSW Monday: Kids ... drama and games

I had to catch up with some stuff at work, so no 9:30 a.m. panel for me. My first was at 11 with a talk on responsive design. Dave Rupert cracks me up.

WYSIWYS: What you see is what you spec

A talk on responsive design by developers from The Times (of London), Paravel and Code & Theory. The panel mainly talked about their approach to the challenge and they all touched on creating modules that you could reuse.

Dan Gardner of Code & Theory broke their approach to responsive design this way:
  • Purpose
    • Will the content focus more on text, commerce or image. Having that perspective can help in what are the most important parts to tackle in responsive design.
  • Platform
    • Will you be native or not? Same design with a different wrapper per device?
    • consider the technology (cms) drives content and fucntionality. Will you have three headlines depending on devices.headlines for devices). Is there functionality you can add to add value, gestures and such.
  • Prioritization
    • It's not mobile first; it's all platforms at once.
    • Tackle from the ends and work toward the middle ... the big layouts and the small modules
    • Prioritize your mid-points and breakpoints. Consider time to market, longevity of experience (a sxsw app for only a week?), resources, target device, complexity of behavior.
  • Process
    • Code & Theory is constantly refining their design and development process, even after many RD sites.
    • Argue early and often. Prototype early and often.
    • They use Indesign and Keynote for most of their UX/prototyping
    • Design is not done until it is developed. And even then it isn't done.
Alex Breuer, The Guardian actually talked more about his work at The Times, where they created a special responsive design. Their tablet experience is a responsive design experience that they were able to adapt to a new kindle in hours instead of weeks. They created a very complicated javascript layout engine to decide how to display the content. It makes decisions based on the number and quality of photos, fills whitespace with fillers like pull quotes and such. It is the strength of their app/RD experience.

And then there is Dave Rupert. What a loon ... I love him. He really focused on the modules approach. In a site design like Mashable, they took those pieces that they spent so much work on for the home page and resused those modules at the article level so that great design isn't wasted, since many users get directly to the article level from social sharing.

A couple of mentions:
  • http://smacss.com/
  • http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/
He talked about websites being a brand identity system much like a logo-to-lifestyle like Westinghouse. He talked about building a pyramid, with the base on the bottom. (So read this bottom to top.)
  • Theme
  • State (:hover)
  • Module (.module)
  • Layouts (grid and structure)
  • Base (reset & type default)


That's where bootstrap came in. It's a way to get there (though not always THE way.)

Digital Drama: Growing up in the age of Facebook

This panel was about self-preservation. I have two high school-age boys who live in this world and I can use all the help I can get. Though, to be honest, the panel was mostly dominated by a fast-talking researcher and about-to-be author (Danah Boyd) who spoke just a smidge above my head (and probably others) and a Slate reporter (Emily Bazelon) who has written extensively about Phoebe Prince, a teen who committed suicide. Then there was Bill Keller (NYT ... has a 16-year-old daughter) and Jason Rzepka of MTV, which has an app that helps teens figure out the thin line between innocent and inappropriate.

Here's the snippet:
  • What most adults think of bullying, kids think of as drama.
  • Boyd thinks media has blown up the cyberbullying thing so much that caused lots of laws and rules that educators and parents focus on instead of the real issues of help young people negotiate their relationships.
  • Keller says society has seen a general increase in meanness, aggress and polarization, but he doesn't blame the Internet, because Rush Limbaugh doesn't need the Internet to be a son-of-a-bitch.

Keynote: Julie Uhrman of OUYA game console

Uhrman has a lot of energy and I think the open developer system will be really interesting for the TV/Set-top box game system, but I'm going to leave discussion of that to a much better source in Omar Gallaga, because he is awesome and a gamer. I'm not.

Up tonight: Statesman Social Media Awards

Heading tonight to the TxState Taco party and the Statesman Social Media Awards.



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