In one of our previous articles, I put together a list of 7 must-see videos related to web design. Since then, I’ve come across a number of other videos from conferences and events, and I thought I would share some of those here.
The list includes a brief description of each video, some notable quotes from the presentations, and related links. So, sit back, take your time and enjoy some great technical insights and design principles from some well-known web designers, developers, and conference speakers.
The Influence of Print Design
Speaker: Jason Santa Maria
Part of the MFA in Interaction Design program, this is a candid and personal discussion of how print design and the technique of “storytelling” have affected the designs of the speaker in his professional career as a web designer.
“Over time I started looking at the way that publications look, and the way that web designs look, and I didn’t see that same connection, and I wondered why. So I want to go over some of the stuff I’ve discovered, and why web design looks the way that it does.”
Speaker: David Pogue
Although not specifically about web design, this is an enlightening and entertaining TED Talk by New York Times columnist David Pogue. Pogue, who has authored many technology books, takes aim at technology’s worst interface-design offenders, and provides encouraging examples of products that get it right. To keep things interesting, he even occasionally breaks into song.
“I know one guy who spent $4,000 just on Photoshop over the years. Software companies make 35% of their revenue from just these software upgrades. I call it the software upgrade paradox, which is, if you improve a piece of software enough times, you eventually ruin it.”
Six Things Every jQuery Developer Must Know
Speaker: Elijah Manor
This somewhat technically-heavy talk from the Mix Conference provides an overview of several in-depth concepts that developers need to learn to bring their jQuery development to the next level. The discussion covers six things: “What Is ‘This’?”, “Am I Referencing the jQuery Object or a DOM Element?”, “Understanding Selectors”, “Combine and Minify Your Scripts”, “Different Ways of Storing Data”, and “The Dos and Don’ts of Events”.
“Whether you are a beginner or intermediate jQuery developer, if you don’t have a good understanding of the
this statement then you’ll most likely find yourself stumbling along.”
Why Designers Fail and What to do About It
Speaker: Scott Berkun
Taken from the “From Business to Buttons” Conference, Scott Berkun talks about design failure and its causes. Sometimes it’s problems in our design process or how we carry it out that cause failure. But in many cases, it’s the other stuff, the non-design stuff, the business stuff that causes failure. Scott argues the need to consider these other aspects — pitching ideas, learning to talk the language of business, and so on — as design problems too.
“Studying the perfect cases doesn’t inform as much as the fail cases do.”
Great Designers Steal
Speaker: Jeff Veen
A very inspiring and informative talk based on a classic quote from Picasso (which he evidently “stole” from T.S. Eliot), “Good artists copy. Great artists steal”.
“Every so often, there’s a product that works so well, that gets technology so right, that it appears almost to be like magic, and almost immediately, competitors do these superficial… knock-offs of the features that they see, hoping that they too can cash in on that success.”
“The key here is to be intentional with what we steal, to look at what the principles are behind the things that are successful, and steal those, rather than just a superficial copy.”
Using jQuery to Extend CSS
Speaker: Chris Coyier
At the 2009 Front-End Design Conference, Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks fame entertains the audience and discusses the many benefits of using jQuery with CSS development, demonstrating how jQuery resolves many typical CSS issues, and even helps extend CSS in ways that CSS alone probably never will.
“[Choosing jQuery] is like choosing the guitar. If you’re going to pick an instrument to play, the guitar’s a cool one to choose, because there’s so much information about it out there. There’s a lot more [Google] results for ‘guitar tabs’ and ‘jQuery tutorials’ than there are for ‘banjo tabs’ and ‘MooTools tutorials’.”
Speaker: Andy Budd
Andy Budd, at Build Conference 2009, thinks looks and first impressions do matter, especially in design, and he shows how such principles can be applied to “seducing” users through design.
“Often [seduction] is seen as a negative thing, it’s seen as bad. People think of it as leading people astray. However, I actually think that seduction can be a good thing, it can be a fun thing.”