Monday, October 26th, 2015
Monday, September 28th, 2015
I spoke at Responsive Field Day here in Portland on Friday. It was an excellent event. All the talks were top notch.
The day flew by, with each talk clocking in at just 20 minutes, in batches of three followed by a quick panel discussion. It was a great format …but I knew it would be. See, Responsive Field Day was basically Responsive Day Out relocated to Portland.
Jason told me last year how inspired he was by the podcast recordings from Responsive Day Out and how much he and Lyza wanted to do a Responsive Day Out in Portland. I said “Go for it!” although I advised changing to the name to something a bit more American (having a “day out” at the seaside feels very British—a “field day” works perfectly as the US equivalent). Well, Jason, Lyza, and everyone at Cloud Four should feel very proud of their Responsive Field Day—it was wonderful.
As the day unfolded on Friday, I found myself being quite moved. It was genuinely touching to see my conference template replicated not only in format, but also in spirit. It was affordable (“Every expense spared!” was my motto), inclusive, diverse, and fast-paced. It was a lovely, lovely feeling to think that I had, in some small way, provided some inspiration for such a great event.
Jessica pointed out that isn’t the first time I’ve set up an event template for others to follow. When I organised the first Science Hack Day in London a few years ago, I never could have predicted how amazingly far Ariel would take the event. Fifty Science Hack Days in multiple countries—fifty! I am in awe of Ariel’s dedication. And every time I see pictures or video from a Science Hack Day in some far-flung location I’ve never been to, and I see the logo festooning the venue …I get such a warm fuzzy glow.
Y’know, when you’re making something—whether it’s an event, a website, a book, or anything else—it’s hard to imagine what kind of lifespan it might have. It’s probably just as well. I think it would be paralysing and overwhelming to even contemplate in advance. But in retrospect …it sure feels nice.
Monday, August 10th, 2015
Rosa has written an account of the third and final Responsive Day Out for the Codebar blog (I gave free passes to Codebar students).
As codebar is an event aimed at encouraging diversity in tech we were pleased that there were so many inspiring female speakers on the bill. To us it signifies women holding strong presence in this industry. It is encouraging for other women either starting out or further into careers, when it is actively projected that women should be present, seen, heard and their knowledge shared.
Friday, July 31st, 2015
Hey, remember Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint? Remember all those great talks?
Perhaps your memory needs refreshing.
- Alice Bartlett
- Rachel Shillcock
- Alla Kholmatova
- Peter Gasston
- Jason Grigsby
- Heydon Pickering
- Jake Archibald
- Ruth John
- Zoe Mickley Gillenwater
- Rosie Campbell
- Lyza Gardner
- Aaron Gustafson
Thanks to Craig and Amie from Five Simple Steps for coming to Brighton to record the videos—really appreciate it. And thanks to Shopify for sponsoring the videos; covering the cost of the videos meant that we could keep the ticket price low.
Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
This is a lovely report not just on the most recent Responsive Day Out, but on all three years:
The final outing delivered a diverse range of topics to reveal the state of responsive web design in 2015 and complete a hat-trick of superb conferences.
Saturday, June 27th, 2015
Another great in-depth round-up of the third and final Responsive Day Out, this time from Katja Durrani.
It’s rare for me to visit a conference and come away thinking that everyone gave a great presentation. This was that conference. Nice one.
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
The full text of Aaron’s magnificent closing keynote from Responsive Day Out.
Monday, June 22nd, 2015
A great round-up of Responsive Day Out 3:
The conference only lasted one day but came packed with the insane number of 12 speakers in total. There was only one speaker track, so you got to see all of them during the day — no hard choices to make. It was highly compressed, almost overwhelming knowledge hammering into my brain, in a density that I had rarely experienced before. It was awesome!
What a day out! What a lovely responsive day out!
The third and final Responsive Day Out is done and dusted. In short, it was fantastic. Every single talk was superb. Statistically that seems highly unlikely, but it’s true.
I was quite overcome by the outpouring of warmth and all the positive feedback I got from the attendees. That made me feel really good, if a little guilty. Guilty because the truth is that I don’t really consider the attendees when I’m putting the line-up together. Instead I take much greedier approach: I ask “who do I want to hear speak?” Still, it’s nice to know that there’s so much overlap in our collective opinion.
Keep thinking what a weekend, and it’s not even the weekend.Fantastic day at #responsiveconf, too much to tweet, hopefully in longform soon— Katja Durrani (@kdurrani) June 19, 2015
Had a brilliant day at Responsive Day Out 3 - The Final Breakpoint! Thank you to @clearleft for such an interesting & inspiring day— codebar Brighton (@CodebarBrighton) June 19, 2015
Responsive day out was a really inspiring conference with some great talks. Big focus on accessibility and people. The essence of the web.— Rob Mills (@robjmills) June 20, 2015
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the day, I had a couple of complaints myself, and they’re both related to the venue. My issues were with:
- the seats and
- the temperature.
The tiered seating in the Corn Exchange is great for giving everyone in the audience a good view, but the seats are awfully close together. That leaves taller people with some sore knees.
And the problem with having a conference in the middle of June is that, if the weather is good—which I’m glad it was—the Corn Exchange can get awfully hot and sweaty in the latter half of the day.
Both those issues would be solved by using a more salubrious venue, like the main Brighton Dome itself, but then that would also mean a doubling of the cost per ticket (hence why dConstruct and Responsive Day Out are in different price ranges). And one of the big attractions of Responsive Day Out is its ludicrously cheap ticket price. That meant sacrificing a lot of comforts—I just wish that comfortable seats and air temperature weren’t amongst them.
Still. Listen to me moaning about the things I didn’t like when in fact the day was really, really wonderful.
Guess what? The audio from all the talks is already online. As always, Drew did an amazing job. You can subscribe to the RSS feed in your podcatching software of choice. Videos will be available after a while, but for now you’ll have to make do with the audio.
Oh, and speaking of audio, if you liked the music that was playing in the breaks, here’s the playlist. My thanks to all the artists for licensing their work under a Creative Commons license so that I could dodge one more expense that would otherwise have to be passed on to the ticket price.
Now. The number one question that people were asking me at the pub afterwards was “why is this the last one?” I really should’ve addressed that during my closing remarks.
But here’s the thing: the first Responsive Day Out was intended as a one-off. So really the question should be: why were there three? To which I have no good answer other than to say it felt about right. With three of them, it gave just about everyone a chance to get to at least one. If you didn’t make it to any of the responsive days out, well …you’ve only got yourself to blame.
In the end, I’m glad that I ended up doing three events. Now I can see the arc of all the events as one. Listening back to all the talks from all three years you can hear the trajectory from “ARGH! This responsive design stuff is really scary! How will we cope‽” to “Hey, this responsive design stuff is the way we do things now.” There are still many, many challenges of course, but the question is no longer if responsive design is the way to go. Instead we can talk about how we can help one other do it well.
At the end of the third and final Responsive Day Out, I thanked all the speakers from all three events. It’s quite a roll-call. And it was immensely gratifying to see so many of the names from previous years in the audience at the final event.
I am sincerely grateful to:
- Sarah Parmenter,
- David Bushell,
- Tom Maslen,
- Richard Rutter,
- Josh Emerson,
- Laura Kalbag,
- Elliot Jay Stocks,
- Anna Debenham,
- Andy Hume,
- Bruce Lawson,
- Owen Gregory,
- Paul Lloyd,
- Mark Boulton,
- Stephen Hay,
- Sally Jenkinson,
- Ida Aalen,
- Rachel Andrew,
- Dan Donald,
- Inayaili de León Persson,
- Oliver Reichenstein,
- Kirsty Burgoine,
- Stephanie Rieger,
- Ethan Marcotte,
- Alice Bartlett,
- Rachel Shillcock,
- Alla Kholmatova,
- Peter Gasston,
- Jason Grigsby,
- Heydon Pickering,
- Jake Archibald,
- Ruth John,
- Zoe Mickley Gillenwater,
- Rosie Campbell,
- Lyza Gardner, and
- Aaron Gustafson.
Many thanks also to everyone who came along to the events, especially the hat-trickers who made it to all three.
I’ve organised a total of six conferences now and I’m extremely proud of all of them:
- dConstruct 2012: Playing With The Future,
- the first Responsive Day Out,
- dConstruct 2013: Communicating With Machines,
- Responsive Day Out 2: The Squishening,
- dConstruct 2014: Living With The Network, and
- Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.
…but they’ve also been a lot of work. dConstruct in particular took a lot out of me last year. That’s why I’m not involved with this year’s event—Andy has taken the reins instead. By comparison, Responsive Day Out is a much more low-key affair; not nearly as stressful to put together. Still, three in a row is plenty. It’s time to end it on a hell of a high note.
That’s not to say I won’t be organising some other event sometime in the future. Maybe I’ll even revive the format of Responsive Day Out—three back-to-back 20 minute talks makes for an unbeatable firehose of knowledge. But for now, I’m going to take a little break from event-organising.
Besides, it’s not as though Responsive Day Out is really gone. Its spirit lives on in its US equivalent, Responsive Field Day in Portland in September.
If you were at Responsive Day Out on Friday and you liked the music that was playing during the breaks, here’s the track listing. Creative Commons licensed.
Sunday, June 21st, 2015
A fantastically-detailed write up of the whole day out. Each talk is described, and then the threads are tied together at the end. Great stuff!
As may have become clear from my notes above, Responsive Day Out 3 was a day full of variety. I had the feeling it could have easily been called Web Day Out, and I guess that makes sense, as responsive web design has naturally grown to be a pleonasm in the past few years.
Saturday, June 20th, 2015
Orde liveblogged every single talk from Responsive Day Out 3!
Friday, June 19th, 2015
100 words 089
Today was quite special. The third and final Responsive Day Out was a splendid event. Every single speaker was superb. I know that sounds like a statistical unlikelihood considering there were twelve of them, but it’s true.
The day flew past. It was over before I knew it. Then it was time to stand out in the summer sun, have some pints, and chat about responsive design, accessibility, progressive enhancement, CSS, and all the other topics that were raised during the day.
During the post-conference wind-down, I was presented with two different cards, signed by attendees, thanking me. I’m verklempt.
Thursday, June 18th, 2015
100 words 088
Tomorrow is the big day—Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.
All the speakers are in town, safely ensconced in their hotel. To welcome them to Brighton and to get them relaxed for tomorrow, we all went out for a magnificent meal this evening. I hired out the pop-up restaurant Isaac At. What better way to welcome people to Sussex than to sample local seasonal food (and drinks) prepared by an immensely talented team. It was really great—great food, great company; just right.
Now I will attempt to get a night’s sleep before tomorrow’s overload of responsive brilliance.
Monday, June 15th, 2015
100 words 085
I’m back in Brighton after a thoroughly lovely weekend in Ireland. I must remember to visit Cobh more often in the summertime when there’s quite a lot of fun things to do.
But it’s nice to be back in Brighton too. This is the time of year when a seaside town really comes alive. And this is a particularly good week to be in Brighton—in just a few more days it’ll be time for third and final Responsive Day Out. I know it’s going to be an excellent event, packed with great talks. I’m really looking forward to it.
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Schedule
There’s just a few more weeks to go until the third and final Responsive Day Out and I can’t wait! It’s going to be unmissable so, like, don’t miss it. If you haven’t already got your ticket, it’s not too late. And remember: it’s a measly £80.
On June 19th, follow the trail of eager geeks to the Corn Exchange at the Brighton Dome, a short walk from the train station. We’ll be using the main Dome entrance on Church Street and registration starts at 9am, with the first talk at 10am.
I’ve already talked about the topics that will be covered on the day. Here’s what I’m planning for the day’s schedule (subject to change):
|09:00 - 10:00||Registration|
|10:00 - 10:20||Alice|
|10:20 - 10:40||Rachel|
|10:40 - 11:00||Alla|
|11:00 - 11:15||Chat with Alice, Rachel, and Alla|
|11:15 - 11:45||Break|
|11:45 - 12:05||Zoe|
|12:05 - 12:25||Jason|
|12:25 - 12:45||Heydon|
|12:45 - 13:00||Chat with Zoe, Jason, and Heydon|
|13:00 - 14:30||Lunch|
|14:30 - 14:50||Jake|
|14:50 - 15:10||Ruth|
|15:10 - 15:30||Peter|
|15:30 - 15:45||Chat with Jake, Ruth, and Peter|
|15:45 - 16:15||Break|
|16:15 - 16:35||Rosie|
|16:35 - 16:55||Lyza|
|16:55 - 17:15||Aaron|
|17:15 - 17:30||Chat with Rosie, Lyza, and Aaron|
|17:30 - ??:??||Pub!|
Now, what with it being a measly £80, don’t expect much in the way of swag. In fact, don’t expect anything in the way of swag. You won’t even get a lanyard; just a sticker. There won’t be any after-party; we can all just wander off to the nearby pubs and cafés instead. And lunch won’t be provided. But that’s okay, because Street Diner will be happening just up the road that day, and I’ve already confirmed that The Troll’s Pantry will be present—best burgers in Brighton (or anywhere else for that matter).
It’s going to be such a great day! Like I said …unmissable.
Monday, April 27th, 2015
The shape of Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint
It’s less than two months now until Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint. Fortunately there are still some tickets available so if you haven’t got yours yet, it’s not too late. Remember: it’s cheap as chips—just £80+VAT for a day jam-packed with knowledge bombs from twelve(!) fantastic speakers. You’d be crazy to miss it.
If you’ve already got your ticket, you might be wondering what awaits you. Well, if you’ve been to either of the previous days out, you’ll know what to expect: a medley of topics covering all areas of responsive design, from process and workflow through to visual design and code.
The day will be broken up into four segments. Each segment will feature three thematically-related 20 minute talks, back to back. Then those three speakers will join me for a joint chat, where we can take questions from the audience. Check out the videos from the first Responsive Day Out to get feel for the pace or have a listen to the podcast recordings from previous years.
Here’s my rough plan for the four segments this year…
- The day will start with some big picture thinking around workflows. There’ll be an emphasis on accessibility—something that can’t just be tagged on to the end of a project. There’s also be a case study of one of the hottest topics in the web designers’ workflow today; style guides and pattern libraries. And importantly, we want to make sure that the role of creativity isn’t forgotten in our new responsive world.
- The second segment will be like a mini conference on front-end technologies. There’ll be some deep diving into the latest in CSS techniques, including flexbox, as well as that thorny topic of responsive images. It’s hard to believe, but that’s a topic that hasn’t been covered in previous Responsive Days Out. Time to change that.
- After lunch, we’ll start to look beyond today and to the future of responsive design. That’ll begin with a segment on cutting-edge browser technologies. You can expect to be wowed with demos of the latest browser APIs and get your head around the much-hyped world of web components. We won’t shy away from asking how the web can compete with native experiences, like making our sites work offline.
- Finally, we’ll end the day—and indeed, the conference series—by taking a high level view of what the future might bring. There’ll be an examination of the skill sets that designers and developers should equip themselves with, and we’ll look beyond the screen to a future of new inputs and outputs.
So the day will have a bell-curved shape to it, starting out with a relatively high-level view, swooping down in the middle to get really stuck in with the technologies of today, before ascending at the end to look into the future.
Friday, June 19th—put that date in your diary. Registration is from 9-10am. There’ll be an hour and a half for lunch (and Street Diner will be on that day!) and everything will wrap up by 5:30pm. It’s going to be an action-packed day—bam! bam! bam!
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
Complete line-up for Responsive Day Out 3
The circle is now complete. The line-up for the third and final Responsive Day Out is all set.
I’ve been scheming behind the scenes to get one of my favourite speakers added to the roster, and now my dastardly scheme has paid off. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Lyza Danger Gardner will be speaking at Responsive Day Out 3: The Final Breakpoint.
That means we’ve got a double-whammy from the trailblazers at Cloud Four with both Jason and Lyza speaking. With Jason diving deep into responsive images, that leaves Lyza free to zoom out and look at some of the big-picture implications of the work we do on the web.
To say that I’m excited to hear what she has to say would be an exercise in understatement. I am ridiculously excited about the whole day—seriously, in my emails to the speakers, I find myself using far more exclamation points than is healthy. Why, I might even have included an emoticon or two; that’s how psyched I am.
If you’ve already got your ticket for a Responsive Day Out, well done you. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Tickets are just £80+VAT—a bargain!
Get your ticket now and I’ll see in Brighton on June 19th for a most excellent day of design, development, UX, performance, process, and everything else responsive-related.