This month we were joined at the London Web meetup by Melinda Seckington. Melinda is a Rails developer at FutureLearn, a social learning platform, backed by the Open University, offering free courses from a wide range of university partners and cultural institutions. She loves attending and hacking at Hackdays, BarCamps and other tech meet ups, and since 2009 has been organising them at Geeks of London, including HACKED at the O2 last year. She also runs MissGeeky.com, a blog about all things geeky and girly.
Conferences for the Designers and Developers of the Web, Mobile, and Internet of Things
Editor's note: this is a guest blog by John Siebert, president and CEO of Tranquil Blue - Web Design Tampa.
In an app-centric decade sites that carefully plan their mobility will succeed. Notable rulers of this decade are those players that devised their mobile strategy on time and with precision.
According to research by Gartner, a majority of mobile users will be using tablets by 2017. Mobile enabled business tasks will be a trend of the coming times. More and more business processes will go mobile. And the demand of mobile app developers will be on an all-time high.
Mobile workers already use a host of cloud services like Office 365 & Salesforce 1 through their mobile devices. As of now these services are consumer-grade and are emerging to achieve the enterprise-grade status. Enterprise cloud services are next step. SAP has already realized this potency and has made available ample mobile apps which people are not even aware of.
Simplification of the app designs - along with provision of advanced file sync and storage features - is necessary for development of enterprise-grade applications, and all this has to drive past the device space constraints. But don’t stress; innovations take place under such deterrent circumstances. 45% of enterprises focus on custom app development for wider market capture.
A lot of things go behind devising a mobile app design like gestures, ergonomics, etc.
Development of every mobile app is based on two principles of user experience.
1) Anticipate the just what the app will be used for – and by whom- before designing it, and
2) Ensure your designs are easy to recreate and build upon.
There are a few basic design patterns to consider when developing for the enterprise application market, which are:
1. Mobile App Navigation Pattern
Navigation is one of the most crucial aspects of mobile apps. A good navigation produces good user experience and will make use of your app a habit and not a chore. Below are some mobile app design navigation patterns that have been successful:
Editor's note: This is a guest blog post from Flurin Egger and Adrian Egger. We loved their talk at Future of Web Design earlier this year in London so much we asked them to elaborate further in print.
We spoke about designing in the browser at Future of Web Design in London in April 2015. Since then, we’ve noticed a lot of rumblings about designing in the browser — or rather, designing in code.
Does it mean designers need to be as good at coding as developers? Does it mean developers are redundant now? Does it mean designers are redundant now? Does it mean unicorns will die every time I open Photoshop?
It‘s a polarising issue. Much of the discussion revolves around code being just “yet another design tool.” That’s missing the point: designing in code not just a design tool, it’s a part of a workflow. And as a part of a workflow, it’s a way for designers to become better collaborators. Just like anything in design and development, it’s an iterative process.
When designing in code is part of your workflow, it’s important to involve every team member from the very start of any project (especially developers!). This approach makes the most of everyone’s strengths, allows for cross-pollination of ideas, and detects issues early. For this, we need a common language. Sketching is the most accessible solution — simply because it’s a low-threshold, fat-free medium. There’s no room for territorialism here: everyone gets to play. We’re not doing each other's jobs — we’re filling the gaps between the specialties.
Editor's note: this is a guest post by Catt Small, who is speaking at Future of Web Design NYC this November. All artwork is also hers!
It’s a great time to work in technology. More people than ever believe in the potential of code. But in a world seemingly obsessed with commits and pull requests, how can we highlight the creativity and artistry in programming?
It’s no secret we’re in a historic tech boom, and people are flooding the tech world to find high-paying, high quality jobs. Groups such as Black Girls Code, Girl Develop it, Women Who Code, and tons more encourage marginalized people to grab programming jobs by the horns and pull in great salaries, free food, gym memberships, standing desks, and whatever else they need to keep pushing code.
The tech scene is slowly getting more diverse, and with diversity will come new and different viewpoints. People from all backgrounds tune in to watch tech product announcements and line up at stores for new technology. More marginalized people are utilizing technology to solve common problems in their communities and providing much-needed diversity of thought at high-powered companies that reach millions of users per day.
Unfortunately many still think programming is not creative. I have heard programmers say they’re not the “creative type” despite solving problems using code every day. I have also met artists who use code to express their ideas yet do not identify as programmers. Why does this happen? Let’s examine two important factors when it comes to how we think about programming: education and culture.
Programming education can be rigid. Many say tech is a meritocracy, but people often don’t have equal access to resources. Young people in many communities don’t have access to computers until they become part of the curriculum at school. Women are encouraged to learn to code but often don’t receive enough support or mentorship.
Getting a computer science degree at college is an option for some, but many programming classes are structured as lectures and don’t cater to different learning styles. Working my way through school, I often lagged behind when professors didn't allow students to practice during class.
People who dislike common teaching methods or can't afford classes resort to tutorials, but these aren’t for everyone either. Some people resort to learning by hacking apart more experienced programmers' projects and googling until things start to make sense. However, like me, many of those people never seem to feel like real “educated” programmers.
Shay Howe is always pushing to make his process for front end web design and development better. Frankly, it must be exhausting. He was an early proponent of modular HTML and CSS, implementing a building block process into his work as director of product at Belly to keep code reusable, predictable and maintainable.
Now, taking a page from his server side developer friends, he's thinking of CSS in terms of microservice architectures. By making one change to his stylesheet and pushing it to the many pages and applications Belly creates, he's ensuring a consistent look and style.
Shay is giving a session at Future of Web Design in New York City in November, but he's recorded a podcast with me to give a preview into exactly how his thinking about CSS as a Service evolved and what it takes to make it work.
Can you believe it!? Future of Web Apps is 10 years old! The web has really moved forward in the last 10 years and we are looking forward to leading the charge with our latest line-up of amazing speakers!
But lets take a flashback moment and look at some awesome speakers we have had over our last 10 years. We have had hundred of awesome spekars, but these guys really stuck in our memory banks – some very familiar names and faces in this lot!
- Mark Zuckerburg Facebook Founder and CEO. joined us for FOWA London 2008, for our ‘Fireside chat with special guest’
- Ben Huh CEO: I Can Has Cheez burger. ‘How to Take your Community to the Next Level’ FOWA London 2008
- Michelle You Co Founder of Songkick 'Product Discovery: How do you know you're making the right thing?' FOWA London 2013
- Cal Henderson – Flickr + Slack. 'Web App Scaffolding' FOWA London 2010
- Matt Mullenweg WordPress ‘The Future of Web Apps‘ San Francisco 2006
- Rasmus Lerdorf 'Increasing PHP Performance’ FOWA London 2007
- Jennifer Pahlka Code for America Founder 'The Next Disruption: the Opportunity for Civic Startups' FOWA Vegas 2011
- Christian Heilmann Mozilla ‘Get Excited and Build Things!’ FOWA London 2011
- John Resig Creator of jQuery ‘Introduction to JQuery' FOWA Miami 2010
- Zach Holman Github FOWA London 2014, "Move Fast and Break Nothing."
Early Bird Ticket sales end at Midnight on Friday June 19th - so get your tickets now to see the big names, experts and next set of history making speakers take to the FOWA stage.
Editor's Note: This is a guest blog post by the indefatigable speaker, writer and devleoper Thijs Feryn, who is speaking at Future of Web Apps London in October.
Working at a hosting company, I deal with performance issues and optimizations on an almost daily basis. Apparently there’s still a big gap between code and infrastructure and developers still have a hard time making their code work fast on the required infrastructure.
Usually I’ll focus on performance improvements from a server perspective: making sure HTTP requests get dealt with as quickly as possible without causing too much server load. A common strategy is to use caching: use pre-computed values rather than re-compute the same output over and over again.
A tool I love to use for this is Varnish. Last year I did a talk on Varnish at Future Insights Live and I have a 10 minute demo I did for the Future Insights blog.
This tale of server-side browser optimisation starts a few years ago.
The year is 2012 and I’m in London for the Varnish User Group Meeting. And all of the sudden a guy named Ilya Grigorik walks up to me and tells me about PageSpeed, a tool he is working on at Google. It caught my attention and had a look at the website. But it didn’t occur to me what this tool was capable of at the time.
Fast-forward a couple of years and I’m still neck-deep in performance tuning other people’s code on our hosting infrastructure. In most cases results are really good, but every now and then clients complain about the end result which left me confused: how can I site be slow if every individual depending HTTP resource is blazing fast?
PageSpeed is a set of tools designed to analyse and optimize your web performance. I’d like to focus on the optimization part and there’s a module for both Apache and Nginx. You install it, you configure it and boom … profit.
The PageSpeed module essentially does browser optimization at the server side.
The hottest trend in fashion is the wearable. If your whole world is online, why not your accessories? With Google Glass, Apple’s Watch and FitBit dominating the wearable headlines, the discussion is much more about the consumer viability of these gadgets and much less about the pink elephant. With all in the connected world of the Internet of Things and smart cities, that pink elephant is security and privacy.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave recently, you can’t have failed to notice that web design world is going flexbox crazy. Flexbox, or Flexible Box Layout Module (to give it its full name), is a CSS specification that provides a way of stacking content horizontally or vertically on your webpage. In short, it means no longer having to rely on floats for your layout (which were never designed to be used this way). Flexbox gives us a more logical, flexible method of positioning that is much better suited to the needs of the responsive web.
Although flexbox has been around for a little while, the reason it has captured increased attention in recent months is that it’s now supported in almost all current browsers – meaning you can start using it right now! I’m pretty excited about the new layouts that we’re going to see being built with flexbox in the near future.
Of course, with a multitude of new CSS properties to remember, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a lot to wrap your head around (pun intended!). So here are some great resources to help you get started with flexbox and build the layouts of the future.
This flexbox guide by Sara Soueidan is thorough, well-explained and straight to the point. I’m always referring back to her CSS Reference whenever I need prompting about a particular CSS property, and this is a handy add-on for flexbox.
In May of this year, we were joined by Dean Hume at our monthly free London Web Meet-up. Dean is an author and blogger and is passionate about web performance. He regularly writes articles on all things software development on his blog at deanhume.com and his previous speaking engagements include conferences such as Velocity Conference, Apps World, and Tech Insight.
Dean joined us with his session, Faster Mobile Websites. As he explained:
"As mobile device usage continues to grow, developers need to ensure that their mobile websites are fast and offer a high quality experience for all users. A fast mobile website can be the difference between winning or losing a customer. Developers understand the need for fast, smooth websites - but how do you apply this to a mobile website and the vast amount of mobile devices out there?"
This talk will cover free tools that developers can use to test and profile the performance of their mobile websites. It will also go over a variety of performance related issues specifically aimed at mobile websites and the techniques that developers can use to overcome them.
Why not take an hour, sit back and enjoy this session and discussion from Dean.
If you want to hear more about this kind of content you should join us at the Future of Web Apps London, taking place this October. Early Birds are now on sale, ending on Friday 19th June.