7 Must-See Web Design Videos and Presentations
By Louis Lazaris
Not many of us will have the opportunity to attend or participate in a live web-related event, conference, or presentation. But that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from the information exchanged at such events. Many of the sites associated with those events provide supplementary information, summaries, presentation slides, plus audio and video footage from the presentations given.
In this article I’ve assembled a short but diverse list of presentations related to design and development that I think everyone will find both informative and entertaining. I’ve included a brief description of each presentation, along with some notable quotes and related links. The final presentation in this list is a tongue-in-cheek performance that is a must-see for anyone involved in web development for the past 5 or 6 years.
CSS Frameworks: Make the Right Choice
Speaker: Kevin Yank
This presentation was recorded on October 9, 2009, at Web Directions South in Sydney, Australia.
Kevin Yank of SitePoint discusses what CSS frameworks do, how to choose a CSS framework, along with some of the pros and cons of four types of CSS frameworks: CSS resets, grid-based frameworks, “pre-fab” frameworks, and frameworks that use CSS abstraction.
“By the end of this session, you might just decide that the right framework for you is no framework at all.”
Speaker: Douglas Crockford
This talk took place on February 27, 2009 as part of the Google Tech Talks Web Exponents series.
Search User Interfaces
Speaker: Professor Marti Hearst
This talk took place on November 23, 2009 as part of the Google Tech Talks series, and is based on Professor Hearst’s book Search User Interfaces.
The discussion covers specific chapters in the book and presents “the state of the art of search interface design, based on both academic research and deployment in commercial systems.”
“The paradox of web search: Why is designing a search interface difficult? Why is it easy?”
Speaker: Fabio Sasso
Sasso discusses his personal sources of design inspiration and includes some interesting comments on the challenges facing Brazilian designers in today’s market.
“For me, the only way to come up with a good design is to try.”
Panel Discussion from FOWD Conference
Speakers: Andy Clarke, Josh Williams & Jeffrey Zeldman
An older presentation from Future of Web Design 2007.
A very funny, and thought-provoking panel discussion covering a number of topics including the recent trend of developers working more on personal projects, plus some thoughts on web standards, web design education, dealing with clients, and more.
“If you say you’re going to talk about web design, reporters aren’t interested. It’s web, so it’s kind of bad design, isn’t it? My kid can do it.”
“We have bad clients who say ‘Is that three pixels wide? Shouldn’t it be four pixels wide?’ They’re clients, so ‘Where did you go to art school?’ is not an approriate answer. So you say ‘That’s interesting, four pixels. We hadn’t thought about that.’
A More Tangled Web
Speaker: Eric Meyer
Meyer discusses universal uses for HTML and CSS, the death of the browser plugin, and shares an interesting viewpoint on the proposed completion date of 2022 for HTML 5.
“The advancement of CSS is really a lot like a marathon, complete with the staggering dehydrated people at the end of the 26 miles, that you just want the medics to pull them off the course, and they keep waving them off, and it’s really sort of sad and pathetic. This is kind of what CSS development is like now.”
“The really big shift that is happening… is the shift to the web becoming a client-side computing platform.” (Tim Berners-Lee)
How to Bluff Your Way in Web 2.0
Speakers: Andy Budd & Jeremy Keith
This presentation took place in March 2007 at SXSW Interactive.
This is an absolutely hilarious and well-prepared presentation by two of the most notable names in web development. A must-see video covering web 2.0 buzzwords, design, fonts, web 2.0 bingo, and more. The hour closes with a serious summary of the impact of web 2.0, what it really means, and what direction it should go in.
“Web 2.0 is a state of mind. It’s a zen thing. The sound of one hand clapping.”
“In this design, what’s important are the reflections; lots and lots of reflections. Everything’s wet in web 2.0 — wet floor, wet ceiling. So this is a great example of the web 2.0 design style.”
“And remember, Ajax is more than sliding, moving, and fading stuff. It’s an acronym, and that acronym stands for Accessibility Just Ain’t Xciting.”
“It’s all about community. Because none of us are as dumb as all of us.”
- Voices That Matter Conference Podcasts
- Google Tech Talks YouTube Channel
- Web Conferences Roundup: Events From Around the Globe
- Front-End Design Conference ’09 Wrap-up
About the Author
Louis Lazaris is a writer and freelance web developer based in Toronto, Canada. He has 9 years of experience in the web development industry and posts articles and tutorials on his blog, Impressive Webs. You can follow Louis on Twitter or contact him through his website.