JOSH BREWER – Redesigning Twitter

We are in a moment in time when we can rarely design for one screen/device anymore. More and more people are accessing the web and content via numerous devices. We must strike a balance between consistency and appropriateness. We must approach design as a system of connected components, not as pages (legacy thinking). From July to December 2011 the Twitter Design team undertook a daunting challenge: baseline and redesign Twitter across 5 clients and create new embedded tweets display as well.

We faced many challenges (I will talk about a lot of these). We did some really great things, we did some really stupid things (I will talk about these too). We learned a ton and evolved a process that allowed ~12 designers to work in tandem and build a design language and system—a solid foundation for us to iterate upon.

In the end, I want to tell the story of how we pulled off this crazy project, what we learned from it (both what to do and what not to do) and how that can inform the design process and approach to designing for our multi-device future.

RASIKA KRISHNA – Cross-Cultural UX

We often hear that when you design for ‘everyone’ you are designing for ‘no one’. Though this can be true, the future of the web has to take a more flexible and adaptive approach to ensure digital media isn’t necessarily one-size fits all, but can be adapted and adjusted to fit all. This talk will share stories, theories, strategies, and tactics for building an internationally-minded, web for the future.

NOAH STOKES – $50’000 Mistakes

I’ll be sharing my experiences of how I went from being an Engineer at Apple to running a web design/development studio. There were many steps along the road, and I’ve made $50,000 mistakes, but there are several key things that have kept my business running, and I’d like to share those things with others looking to go out on their own, or start their own studio.

HARRY ROBERTS – Architecting Scalable CSS

Starting a new (particularly big) project is daunting, or at least it should be if you’re doing it right. However, there are a few things you can do in order to guarantee smoother developement, easier maintenance and more natural scalability.

In this talk I’ll show you the optimal CSS architecture for building big sites, some handy naming techniques to make code easier to read and work with, some tips and best practices, and other bits and pieces I have picked up in my work at Sky and in building inuit.css.


The landscape of interactive design is one characterised by constant flux; it’s changing and evolving at a rate we have never experienced before. Few industries reinvent themselves yearly, monthly, weekly…. In the face of this relentless change, our industry faces a challenge to find passionate creatives with the complex skillsets required to thrive and flourish and underpin our rapidly growing sector, but how do we create these people?

Many argue that education is broken, that a better route towards excellence is to eschew formal education altogether in favour of hands-on experience. I believe that’s an over-simplified and short-sighted view and that education – and educators – must play a critical role in the growth of our sector, helping to shape it and define it. I believe we can move forward faster, together, if we rethink education and the opportunities it offers our industry.

Education can take many forms – formal and directed, informal and self-directed – both have their place in a richer, reimagined learning environment. It’s never been a more exciting time to learn: to learn from others and to learn ourselves.

We can all play a part in the development of our industry ­and we all should­ we need to rally together to shape our future. We are navigators. We are shaping what comes next, mapping pathways that others follow; let’s embrace the opportunities and make a difference. This is our industry. This is our responsibility.

RACHEL ANDREW - ”All of a sudden … No luck!” Things we have learned while supporting Perch.

Perch is a PHP and MySQL content management system. Customers install the software on their own local development servers and live hosting, often as the very first time they have installed something like this. When we describe this to other developers the first thing they will say is, “support must be a nightmare!”

In this presentation I will share some of the things we have learned in almost four years of supporting the product. Names have been changed to protect the baffled, however in these tales from the trenches are useful tips for all of us.

If you need support, how can you write a request that will get you help fast? What things might your web host be doing that should cause you to run away fast? What should you know to make using third party code easier?

For those who have a product or service for which they offer support, how can you set up processes that make support easier? How can you reduce support issues by identifying the pain points and designing them out? How can you make the support you offer your best marketing and market research tool?

ASHLEY BAXTER - Changing a Stagnant Industry

Finding myself in the sudden position of running an established business at the age of 18, with no prior experience or knowledge of the industry – nor a mentor to learn from – I share my roller coaster experience of teaching myself the necessary skills to run a web based business, shaping the business into my own, and trying to steer it in a new direction altogether. In an industry like insurance that is stuck in prehistoric times, doing things a little differently via the web is challenging, but sometimes working in a slow moving industry isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Note: Talk titles are subject to change (The content won’t).