Hybrid Design and the Beauty of Standards
My speaking commitments at the Web 2.0 Expo have been fulfilled.
The panel I gatecrashed on Monday morning—The New Hybrid Designer—was a lot of fun. Richard deftly moderated the discussion and Chris, Kelly and I were only too eager to share our thoughts. Unfortunately Emily wasn’t able to make it. It may have been slightly confusing for people showing up to the panel which had Emily’s name listed but not mine; I can imagine that some of the audience were looking at me and thinking, “wow, Emily has really let herself go.”
I mentioned a few resources for developers looking to expand their design vocabulary to take in typography and grids:
- Oh Yeeaahh! by Khoi Vinh
- Five Simple Steps to designing grid systems and Five Simple Steps to better typography by Mark Boulton
- The Elements of Typographic Style applied to the Web
Tuesday was the big day for me. I gave a solo presentation called The Beauty in Standards and Accessibility. My original intention was to give a crash course in web standards and accessibility but I realised that the real challenge would be to discuss the beauty part.
I reached back through history to find references and quotations to bolster my ramblings:
- Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats
- Auguries of Innocence by William Blake
- Easter, 1916 by W.B. Yeats
- Micrographia by Robert Hooke
- De revolutionibus orbium coelestium by Nicolaus Copernicus
- The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
One of the tangents on which I veered off was Joseph Whitworth’s work with Charles Babbage. If you’re interested in following this up I highly recommend reading a book by Doron Swade called The Difference Engine: Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer—originally released under the title The Cogwheel Brain in the UK
I really enjoyed giving this presentation and from the reaction of the people in the room, a lot of people enjoyed listening to it too. I was just happy that they indulged me in my esoteric wanderings.
On the morning of the presentation I schlepped a box full of copies of Bulletproof Ajax from my hotel to the conference centre so that I could give them away as prizes during Q and A. My talk was in the afternoon so I left the box in the speakers’ lounge for safe keeping. Once my talk was done and I had time for some questions, I said “I have some book… oh.” They were still in the speakers’ lounge.
Thus began our merry trek through the halls of the conference centre. I continued fielding questions from the enthusiastic crowd of followers eager to get their hands on a copy of my book. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer audience. I was only too happy to reward them with tokens of my appreciation in dead-tree form.