Upcoming Events

Conferences for Thinkers, Explorers, and Pioneers of the Web



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.

Click to read more ...


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?

Click to read more ...


Meet A FOWD Rising Star: Lisa Gringl

Lisa Gringl | @kringal

Based in Vienna, Lisa is the Lead Designer for the start up Herculess. Her addiction for web design began in 2008. She loves to create designs that achieve a unique user experience and bring interaction concepts to life with front-end coding (HTML5, CSS3, Sass and Compass). Lisa is currently enrolled in the masters program in Digital Media Technology with a focus on Mobile Internet at the University of Applied Science in St.Pölten.

We managed to catch up with Lisa for a little chat. Here is our interview:

VC: Why do you do, what you do?

LG: When I created my first static website with CSS and HTML in a plain text editor, 9 years ago, I was fascinated by the magic of seeing my code come to life. Of course, looking back it looked pretty awful - but everybody has to start somewhere. I started more on the technical side of things and did a lot of PHP related programming, but soon I refocused on how my websites and applications look like. It wasn’t long until I realised that the most important aspect of design is not how pretty something is, but how people feel when they are using the product. The users should be able to find the information they are looking for, and in the best case have a pleasant experience while doing so. So, to summarise, one could say that I do what I do in order to provide people with enjoyable user interfaces.

And the best part is, I love my job, it’s not really work for me, it’s also my hobby.

Click to read more ...


We Love the Web! #FILove Winner Announced! 

We ran a Valentine competition last week and asked you all what you love most about the web and what a fabulous reponse we got!

Thank you all who entered and had fun coming up with wonderful reasons why you love the web. We wanted to showcase just a few of the great responses we got and announce the winner. 

Its lovely to see how much passion our community has for the web, and we thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your tweets!

So who's the winner? Congratulations Prerak Patel @im_prerak who will be receiving 2 free tickets to Future Insights Live 2015 !!


Click to read more ...


Planning For Failure: Progressive Enhancement for Responsive Typography

Nothing ever goes perfectly, especially on the Web. So when you’re trying to bring some style and polish to your site with a fabulous web font, you’re going to end up getting the dreaded FOUT: flash of unstyled text.

Armed with this certainty, you can do one of two things. You can:

  1. Freak out.

  2. Control the experience as best you can with the tools available to you.

It is occasionally satisfying to take the first option, but significantly more profitable to take the second—so we’ll focus on that.

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Meet A FOWD Rising Star: Chiara Aliotta

Chiara Aliotta | @ChiaraAliotta

Chiara is the Founder and Creative Director of Until Sunday and Brand Manager at Joomla. She has created innovative designs for brands like Vodafone, Nivea and Persol. Her work is extremely creative, emotionally involving, detail-obsessed and rich with colourful illustrations that come from her imaginary world. When she’s not busy designing, she’s chasing the sun or snuggling with her cat, Kissa.

We managed to wrestle her away from her cat to ask her the following:

VC: Why do you do what you do?

CA: I have been working as a designer since I was 8 years old. No joke.

When I was a child, I would “redesign” my own TV guide  with coloured pencils because I didn’t like the one my mum was buying. Believe it or not, mine was easier and more intuitive to use! Ask my parents!

At that time, I couldn’t have known that I would end up being a designer. I didn’t know that my love of reinventing and creating new things would change other people’s lives and the way they interact with things.

I love being a designer because it is so aligned with my natural way of thinking. It reflects who I am and how I live.

I like functionality in design, but I do also love when it is surrounded by beauty, colour, typography and details.

In design, you need to think laterally if you want to solve a problem, and you must always be one step ahead if you want to be relevant. If you think about it, those are the same principles that make life more playful and delicious.

With time, I came to understand that there is something that I absolutely love about my work: seeing people enjoy what I design for them, whatever it is, from a website to a brochure.

This is why I wake up every morning!

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