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Future of Web Design 2015 Participation Report

November 20, 2015

Yuna Kimura
Designer / Mark-up Engineer, Team Four

I attended the Future of Web Design conference held in New York City on 3 and 4 November 2015, together with Kazuhito Kidachi, President and CTO of Mitsue-Links, and Mayumi Endo, a Mitsue-Links Art Director.

The main conference hall

The Future of Web Design series of conferences, hosted in New York on this occasion, has been held in other cities including London, San Francisco and Chicago in the past. During the two days, I was able to attend a number of sessions rich in variety. In addition to the content related to web technologies, such as design and coding, I also attended presentations on concepts and notions, workflow, and motivation.

I feel that at this gathering there were many sessions related to the themes of user experience and accessibility. Below, I introduce some of the sessions which made a lasting impression.

Collection of images from the sessions

Responsible data visualization

In this session, in order to support responsive web design, the focus was on coding graphs and charts with HTML and CSS rather than using images. Furthermore, coding the content ensures that graphs and charts are accessible.

Design for a 24-Hour Experience

This seminar discussed the reality that increased adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices has witnessed the relationship between our daily lives and technology become increasingly intertwined, thus allowing us have access to information anytime, anywhere. On the morning commute, during the day, in the evening - the devices used to access the internet are different as are the purposes of our being online. The speaker Jon Setzen introduced much data about use patterns. I felt that in the future, it will be possible to successfully anticipated users' needs and wants and provide web design to match various user scenes 24 hours a day.

UX insights from a drunk guy

Unlike more conventional user testing, this session detailed the unexpected results from a drunk subject participating in a user test.

The inebriated male reviewed designs from a different perspective and provided truer and more honest user feedback. This offered facilitators the opportunity to gain fresh insights.

Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts

The talk began by noting that recent website layout tends to follow a similar pattern.

Although design on websites cannot be identical design layout on paper, the speaker Jen Simmons noted that with new CSS3 properties, for example shapes modules and multi-column layout, we may be about to see a change in design layout patterns. This means that it will be possible to take design inspiration from the publishing industry, with its long history, to produce beautiful online designs.

Based on our learning from this conference, Kazuhito Kidachi and Mayumi Endo plan to hold Web Design Trends 2016 Seminar (please note that seminars will be held in Japanese). The first was held in early December; however we are still accepting applications for the event to be held on Friday 15 January 2016.

We look forward to your participation.