Future-Focused Web: Standards Based Design and Development

Kevin O’Brien@kevinobrien | John Standish@jdstand | Drew Covi@drewcovi | Eric Hanson@eghanson | Micah Spieler@micahspieler
Clockwork Active Media Systems

In a presentation geared toward both designers and front end developers, we’ll explore the increasing role of future-focused solutions, like HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, in websites and mobile experiences. As a group, we will view live-demos, discuss design considerations, and rebuild a future-focused website with guidance from the Clockwork team. Participants will gain first-hand experience writing and analyzing code and walk away with self-crafted resources that consider desktop, mobile experiences, and future-focused code.

Attendees will gain:

  • Better understanding of the roles of HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, and mobile within design production.
  • Understanding of a future-focused process and how it impacts client expectations, design, implementation, and team communication.
  • All code written during the session is yours to take home, along with resources provided by Clockwork Active Media.

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Hello jQuery!

Kim Doberstein
University of Minnesota

Prerequisite knowledge/skills: Working knowledge of HTML and CSS, introduction to JavaScript helpful but not required, no fear of trying out a new language.

Does the thought of writing JavaScript make you cringe? Need to add some interaction or even (gasp) an AJAX call to your website? Have no fear, jQuery is here! jQuery makes writing JavaScript straight forward, fast, and almost fun. And yes, it works in all browsers.

In this hands-on workshop, we will work on real-world tasks so you will be able to immediately apply what you learned. Participants will learn how to select HTML objects and apply CSS; add event handlers like click, hover, and focus; add, manipulate and remove HTML objects and CSS “on the fly”; make an AJAX call and display the data; and add a few nice UI effects.

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Defining User Research Methodologies: A Pragmatic Approach

Dave Jones: @Dave_L_Jones | Zack Naylor: @zacknaylor
The Nerdery

Prerequisite knowledge/skills: At least some working knowledge of research methods. We will define many of these methods, both in writing and during discussion, to help those less familiar.

Portrait: Dave Jones. In the last decade, user-centered design has adopted research methods such as user interviews, on-site observation, contextual inquiry, and usability testing. All of these methods are now often at the heart of informing many design practices that focus on fulfilling the needs and requirements of users. However, we must also ask how and why we should use these methods within the contexts of a project, and how we should design research methods in order to maximize user-centered design methods. Pursuing effective research requires a well-considered methodology. If a research method is how we conduct a study to learn about technology users, then the methodology defines why we conduct research in the ways that we do. Methodologies are underlying principles or criteria that provide a justification for methods.

Portrait: Zack Naylor. This workshop focuses on ways to build solid, practical research methodologies. This means not only determining which methods are appropriate for a project, but also developing a rationale for those methods that helps us structure our research questions, data collection activities, and data analysis. By developing richer methodologies, we provide a strong underlying rationale that streamlines research efforts and helps research teams collect data in well-structured ways. Examining methodologies also opens a wider discussion among user researchers concerning and how and why we use these methods. Not only can we better justify our work to others, but we can also better improve and enhance our research efforts by critically evaluating why and how we perform research.

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Web Accessibility: Issues and Techniques

Phil Kragnes
Computer Accommodations Program, University of Minnesota

Prerequisite knowledge/skills: Basic HTML Editing

Portrait: Philip Kragnes. Attendees will receive an overview of common Web accessibility issues, training in the basic use of the JAWS screen reader, and exploration, identification, and correction of accessibility issues on pages the participant manages. Attendees will gain an increased awareness of accessibility issues and their impact, basic screen reader knowledge, and techniques for addressing accessibility issues.

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Ending the Web vs. Native Debate

Kevin Whinnery: @kevinwhinnery
Appcelerator Inc.

Portrait: Kevin Whinnery. The web browser is an increasingly powerful platform for delivering amazing cross-platform mobile applications. However, many applications can benefit from escaping the browser, integrating deeply into the mobile platform’s OS and taking advantage of native APIs. Build native? You’re shackling yourself to a proprietary technology or platform. Build for the web? You’re sacrificing features and deep platform integration that benefit your users.

Titanium Mobile, the cross-platform development tool for building mobile apps in JavaScript, is set on ending this debate with deep platform support for Android, iOS, and the mobile web – all from a single codebase. But we’re not talking about cramming a web page into a thin native shell – Titanium provides a unified JavaScript API which is translated directly to native platform APIs for user interface, data access, and more.

Kevin will briefly examine how Titanium Mobile works at a high level and solves the cross-platform problem differently, then walk developers through a real Titanium codebase which produces not only a feature-rich mobile web application, but also a production-quality native iPad, native iPhone, native Android and native e-reader (NOOK and Kindle Fire) application. Developers will gain knowledge of how JavaScript code is structured and re-used in Titanium to deliver a great experience on multiple mobile platforms. Titanium experience is not required, but a good working knowledge of JavaScript is helpful to grasp the code in the project walkthrough.

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Discovering the E-World of People Who Live with Disabilities (PANEL)

Lynn Wehrman | Ken Rodgers | Bill Libberton | Nina Phouthasack

Portrait: Lynn Wehrman. A view inside the world of people living with disabilities, focusing on how they use computers and access the Internet. We will discuss the challenges and advantages of assistive computer technologies and demonstrate how the most commonly used devices interact with software programs and the Internet. These include: screen readers, voice recognition software, non-handheld pointer devices and modified keyboards. Highlighted will be how these technologies interact with online forms and applications and how visually and hearing impaired people access video and audio communication online. This will be a panel discussion with an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

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Intro to PHP Security

Michael Stowe: @mikegstowe

Portrait: Michael Stowe. View Slides

The most important aspect of any application is security. Any application that isn’t secure opens up your server and business to irreparable harm. Fortunately, there are a lot of security tips on the web, and unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions. In this session we are going to cover some of the most dangerous security risks and common misconceptions, and show you how to correctly sanitize data to ensure that your application remains “hole” free.

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Social Media: The “Hostess with the Mostest” for Your Digital Strategy

Jennifer Kane: @JenKaneCo | Kary Delaria: @karyd
Kane Consulting

Portrait: Jennifer Kane. Running a Facebook Fan page, tweeting up a storm, and Google Plus-ing yourself silly are all fine ways to spend your time. But, in the end, those are just social media parlor tricks. It’s when you integrate social media into a larger digital strategy that you really start to see the magic happen. That’s when social becomes your digital, “hostess with the mostest” – that key element that can get the party started, keep the conversation moving and make everyone want to come back for more. In this session, we’ll discuss how to transition social media into that role, from determining goals and objectives to developing the content. Portrait: Kary Delaria. We’ll also talk through the logistical challenges of pulling all of the pieces of your strategy together using social media, especially when those various digital channels are owned or managed by different teams.

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Standing Out and Moving Up in Web Design

Abbey Tosic: @AbbeyNormal

Portrait: Abbey Tosic. A lot of what makes us successful in the web design field doesn’t always have to do with our actual skill set or what we learn in any class. In this presentation, Abbey Tosic, a Senior User Experience Designer, breaks it down into 3 key aspects that can help you stand out and move up in your career. You’ll get tips on how to incorporate this winning recipe into your own routine that you can start using your first day back in the office or for your new career.

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Building HTML5 Apps for iPad and Android Tablets

Mike Bollinger: @mikebollinger | Sam Kirchmeier: @skirchmeier

Portrait: Mike Bollinger. Tablets are an increasingly important and ubiquitous platform, and nearly every organization is either implementing, or trying to understand, their mobile strategy. Tablets are an inspiring medium on which to build applications given their incredible computing power, screen size, and portability. Most applications built for tablets are native apps (using platform-specific code) which means development can be costly and redundant. While there always will be a place for native apps, there has been a lot of interest of late in building cross-platform applications using HTML5.

Portrait: Sam Kirchmeier. In this presentation we’ll demonstrate the capabilities of HTML5 and show when and how it can replace a native tablet app. We’ll provide high-level strategy and context and dive into the details by walking through how to build a cross-platform HTML5 app for iOS and Android.

(The presentation will be geared towards people who have a working knowledge of front-end development.)

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