Even though the Future of Web Design conference had inherited it's forward-looking moniker from Carsonified's brand, it still had a lot to live up to. Last year's Future of Web Apps conference was one of the year's best. And I was wondering; what new web design techniques are coming about?
I've uploaded a set of photos here.
It lived up to the billing, just about. The morning sessions were more suited to a conference called 'An Introduction to Web Design', as Steve Pearce (Poke) and Andy Budd (Clearleft), among others, spelled out the basics. I considered myself pretty fortunate, having worked at LBi and seen much best practice being adopted first hand, but I agreed with most of what was being said.
The afternoon sessions were considerably more useful. Elliott Jay Stocks put web design into context, with reference to print design and the art world in general. Jon Hicks gave an excellent (and highly entertaining) tutorial on how to design and build a standards compliant, cross-browser tested website from scratch. And Daniel Burka (of Digg and Pownce fame) wrapped things with a common sense approach to designing maintainable websites - this slide reflected the general mood.
So where does the future of web design lie? No-one specifically answered this question. But my feeling is that the future lies with best practice becoming standard practice amongst web developers. With the proliferation of cheap or free tools making the building of web sites easier and easier (such as Django, Ruby-on-Rails, and cloud computing), the need increases for best practice to be shared and understood by those outside the design community. For that reason alone, I'm sure that there were many people at the conference today who got more out of it than I ever could.