Upcoming Events

Conferences for Thinkers, Explorers, and Pioneers of the Web



Adapting to Responsive Design

Matt Gibson is a designer and Production Director at Cyber-Duck, a full service digital agency based in Elstree in Hertfordshire UK. At Cyber-Duck, Matt oversees all design work from the early research and planning stages, to sketching and designing interfaces, right through to helping deliver HTML/CSS code for clients such as Cancer Research, European Commission and Arsenal FC.

In February this year, Matt joined us at the London Web Meet-up to discuss his experiences and how you as a company can adapt to responsive design. As Matt explained in his session description:

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Eric Suzanne on CSS, Building Tools and Working on Compass

Eric is a multimedia artist, developer, and UI designer — a generalist with a deep focus in cutting-edge HTML and CSS, using Sass. Eric is a core developer on the Compass project, creator of tools like Susy (for layouts) and True (for unit tests). The rest of Eric's time is spent on writing, music, and performance. 


He is a big part of a Future Insights Live line-up that is full of exciting speakers who can't wait to share their knowledge and experience. Eric will take to the stage in our Front End dev track; his talk for us at FILive is called Sass Map Magic.


We asked Eric a few questions on his work, specifically Susy:


Future Insights: Hi Eric! can you tell us a little more about what inspired you to create Susy, and how it came into being?


Eric Suzanne: In 2008 Natalie Downe gave a talk called CSS Systems at an event in London. I wasn't there, but Natalie was a front-end hero of mine, so I read through those slides many times. They're full of great advice, but her layout ideas were really new to me.


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The Future of Web Design is Coming to San Francisco & NYC!

After nine years and countless conferences and events, the Future Insights team are heading west to California, and the fabulous city of San Francisco!

That's right - we're bringing you the FIRST EVER Future of Web Design, SF (October 28 - 30, 2015), and we couldn't be more excited!  

A 3-day event for designers and front-end developers, #FOWD is the perfect conference for people working to make the web amazing. With a choice of three full-day, hands-on workshops and two days jam-packed full of inspirational sessions across two tracks, this is the event for anyone in the industry who wants to be on top of their game and learn from the some of the best in the biz!

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UX Design for Retail and E-Commerce: Mixing Clicks and Bricks with Blueleaf

Blueleaf is an agency based in the UK that focuses on helping retailers succeed online with e-commerce through great UX design. 

We are absolutely delighted that Rob Smith and Chris Jones of Blueleaf will be joining us at Future of Web Design, London in April. We recently caught up with them to find out what they are all about.

V: Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about Blueleaf…

Rob: I’m Rob Smith, Managing Director at Blueleaf. I look after all the normal things you would expect from a Managing Director, juggling all the different areas of the business to ensure we're running a slick operation, producing great work, whilst also keeping an eye on how we need to change (as everyone does!) to the market's direction and opportunities.

Chris is UX Director; he leads the UX and design team that create the experiences. Chris is a passionate cross between loving analytics and loving creativity and innovation. The fusion of these things leads to great work!

At Blueleaf, we help our clients achieve fantastic results from their e-commerce and in-store digital whilst producing work we're all proud of. As a result, we concentrate mainly in four areas: commerce strategy, creating experiences, delivering platforms and commerce optimisation. Our purpose is to inspire great retail!

V: Blueleaf is about creating experiences for the customer; is there a difference between the needs of the mobile user versus the desktop user?

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TBT: Why the Web Doesn't Need Another CSS Zen Garden From FI Live 2013

Time: we are fascinated by this subject of indefinite progress here at Future Insights HQ! We are like Time Lords of Tech (copyright pending)! Of course, we mainly pontificate on the future because that's the most exciting bit. But we also like to be nostalgic on occasion, and visit the past by looking back at some of our events of old.

In 2013 CSS Zen Garden had turned ten years old. Its creator, Dave Shea, joined us at Future Insights Live in Vegas to take a look back at what the Web was like at the time and how much it has changed over the years. Equal parts nostalgia and warm fuzzy feelings about the future, he shared his theory about why the site struck a chord, what valuable lessons have come out of it, and why the web doesn't need a repeat.

Future Insights Live will be back in Vegas this June (1-4), with more amazing content. Super Early Bird Tickets are now on sale but end tomorrow (Friday Feb 27), so get booking and join us for a front row seat and learn about the future of the web! 

Check out the latest on our exciting speaker line-up on our Website and follow us on Twitter @Future_insights for updates. 


Designing and Building the New Future Insights Websites

Sketching plays an important part in realising the content for our redesign.

We’re at the start of a great adventure here at Future Insights: We’re beginning the process of designing and developing our new website. I hesitate to call it a ‘website’, as what we’re really building is a platform: Not just one website, but several interconnected sites that will overall form the best part of our web presence, not only helping us as a company to engage with our audience but helping designers and developers connect with each other.

We know that the web community loves sharing – it’s part of the reason I love working in this industry. In that spirit, I wanted to share our journey as we work towards fulfilling these aims. I’ll be blogging (hopefully!) regularly and honestly about our experiences, the struggles and the triumphs as we progress. I hope someone might find it interesting and useful to learn how a small team goes about the process of a big redesign but, if nothing else, I hope that we’ll be able to look back on our documented process down the line and take away some valuable lessons for the next time.

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Meet A FOWD Rising Star: Jonathan Fielding

Jonathan Fielding | @JonthanFielding

We’ve been chatting to our Rising Stars of Future of Web Design, London so that you can get a chance to know them. They are our up-and-coming stars doing amazing things on the Web and we are extremely thrilled to be introducing them to you!

We caught up with Jonathan Fielding this week. Jonathan is a web developer at Beamly. He has written "Beginning Responsive Design with HTML5 and CSS3" and has worked on many open source projects including SimpleStateManager, Echo.js, ResponsiveJavascript.com and Doccy. Aside from development he also has an awesome collection of geeky t-shirts!

VC: Why do you do what you do?

JF: My lifelong ambition has been to make a real difference to society, to do something that not only benefits us in the short term but also has lasting impact on humanity as a whole. Having been brought up with technology I understand how it has already substantially changed our lives; it has brought about revolutions in many areas, prominently business, shopping and education.

I think we have barely touched the surface of what technology can do to better our lives and by working as a software engineer I get to be part of an industry which is pushing boundaries, changing societies and defining how we live.

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The Future of Work is Freelance. But for Different Reasons Than Most People Think.

Editor's note: This is a guest blog post by Shib Mathew, the CEO of YunoJuno, a new platform to connect freelancers and employers. This is not a sponsored post; we just think it's cool.  

Shib Mathew of YunoJunoFor the good part of my working career, freelancing was a dirty word. A freelancer walking the corridors of a creative (or tech) studio would be met with suspicious eyes reserved for the politically unreliable in a black and white Cold War film.

Freelancers were a studio’s lone wolf mercenary called in because either: a) a studio’s favourite people were working on other projects; or b) a project was due for delivery in three days and the only way out of a client shakedown was multiple freelance bodies working around the clock. Before anyone had time to read the email about leftover food in the boardroom, the project team had doubled and there are no more spare coffee mugs in the kitchen.

But this is no longer the case. These days freelancers ARE the favourite people. They’ve become the favourites because they’ve learnt to be many things wrapped up in the one person, like the polytheistic deity or a complex dim sum.

And because their talents are so multi-faceted, they are increasingly seen at the start of a project rather than a Hail Mary pass at the end.

Here are my reasons why the modern freelancer is worth their weight (and day rate) in gold:

1. The modern freelancer is an entrepreneur.

Today the word entrepreneurship evokes images of Silicon Valley, venture capitalists and branded hoodies. But the modern freelancer does many of the same tasks a startup entrepreneur would do in order to build traction in their own ‘minimum viable product:’ themselves.

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Making Ourselves Responsive: Meaning Should Drive Responsive Design

Editor's note: This blog is by Jason Pamental; author, UX strategist and host of the March 21 WebCoffee Workshop on Responsive Design and Typography in Boston. 

Responsive Design has been the biggest topic on the web for the past few years, but the tools to make sites responsive are not our biggest challenge. The most important part of the design process that needs to be made responsive is ourselves!

In order for our designs to be successful that have to work wherever they’re viewed, no matter how big or small the screen. Let’s take a look at how we can stop thinking in pixel dimensions and start designing for meaning and hierarchy.

Designing for mobile and other screens has the same principles as web design, it is the constraints that are different. Here is a snippet of my talk from Future of Web Design NYC in 2013 explaining the different barriers presented by smaller screens. 

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Meet A FOWD Rising Star: Den Odell

Den Odell | @denodell

We’ve been chatting to our Rising Stars of Future of Web Design, London so that you can get a chance to know them. They are our up-and-coming stars doing amazing things on the web and we are extremely thrilled to be introducing them to you! This week we’ve been talking to Den Odell.

Den is Head of Web Development at ideas and innovation agency AKQA, where his skill and passion for user interface development has led to the launch of some of the web’s most impressive web sites and apps for clients such as Nike, Audi and Barclays. He is also an avid author and public speaker, writing two books for Apress alongside numerous articles for technology publications.

VC: Why do you do, what you do?

DO: As well as a love of technology and constant change, I think behind it all lies a desire to simplify complicated systems and to make user interfaces accessible to the largest number of people. Through AKQA, I’m able to do that working alongside clients whose brands I deeply admire.

VC: What or who in the tech industry do you see as the next big thing?

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