User Experience

One of the key facets of Ajax and rich Web technologies is to deliver a substantial improvement in user experience over traditional Web applications.  This track focuses on technologies and techniques for building more compelling user experiences, which includes design, performance, and the “wow” needed to draw users into your application and keep them coming back.

User Experience Sessions:

More Related Sessions:


ARIA – Pushing Accessibility Even Further and How to Get Your Boss to Join In

Joe McCann, Senior Technologist, frog design

The WAI-ARIA spec is almost complete, yet very few developers are implementing it. With accessibility quickly becoming a hot legal topic (see Target lawsuit), it is high time developers start the dialogue arguing for accessible design in the infancy of the development process, but more importantly, start implementing the spec in their sites and applications.

This session provides you with tools to engage project managers and business analysts to include accessibility at the onset of a project and to make it a staple in the design process. You'll see concrete examples of dynamic widgets and Ajax-related content and how to incorporate ARIA so screen readers will pick up the changes to the DOM.

Topics covered in this session include:

  • An introduction to Accessibility and the WAI-ARIA specification;
  • How to address the issues of accessibility and convey that to management;
  • How to convey to clients, in a non-tech fashion, why accessibility is important and should be implemented in the initial design process;
  • How to resolve issues you are having implementing ARIA and experience first-hand how screen readers interpret properly written ARIA-capable JavaScript.

Building a Web Application with Atlas, Start to Finish

Ross Boucher, Co-founder, 280 North

Learn how to build a complete Cappuccino application using Atlas, a new web development environment by 280 North. Ross Boucher of 280 North demonstrates how to build an application interface visually, connect to popular web services, and deploy an application with as little code as possible using Atlas.

Atlas includes a powerful visual interface design tool that makes it easy to create beautiful interfaces without needing to write code. Cappuccino was built with Atlas in mind, and together these two technologies make a powerful combination.

Attend and learn how to:

  • Create a new Cappuccino application;
  • Design an application interface visually;
  • Interact with popular web services;
  • Deploy an application with Atlas.

Designing for Interesting Moments

Bill Scott, Director of User Interface Engineering, Netflix

Did you know that there are at least 16 different moments of interaction during drag and drop? And that there are at least half-a-dozen elements on the page that conspire with these points in time to form a drag and drop interaction? With almost all user interactions there are lots of interesting moments that you can use to enhance the user experience - or worse to create confusion in the user's mind.

In this session, Bill slows down time and puts dozens of interactions under the microscope to study what works and what doesn't work when creating interactive applications. Nuances from 80+ examples illustrate both what should be emulated (design patterns and best practice tips) as well as what should be avoided (design anti-patterns).

These are conveniently summarized in six over-arching design principles:

  • Input where you output;
  • Require a light footprint;
  • Maintain flow;
  • Invite interaction;
  • Show transitions;
  • Be reactive.

This session provides you with dozens of clear take-aways for designing rich interactions on the web.

Object Oriented CSS: for Scalable, Fast, and Beautiful Web Applications

Nicole Sullivan, Founder, Object Oriented CSS, Co-creator, Smush it and Gonzalo Cordero, Front-End Engineer, Yahoo! Flex Force Team

How do you scale CSS for millions of visitors or thousands of pages? What happens to the size of your CSS file as more pages and modules are added? The answer, for most sites, is that it grows out of control and becomes an unmaintainable tangle of spaghetti code. Perhaps more importantly, our sites are too brittle and require guru-level abilities to make even simple changes.

CSS is a powerful, beautiful, and expressive language, but deeply misunderstood and often poorly written. Now is exactly the right moment for it to get a dose of software engineering best practices. Object Oriented CSS allows you to write fast, maintainable, standards-based front-end code. It adds much needed predictability to CSS so that even beginners can create beautiful websites. OOCSS is not a framework or a tool (though in this session Nicole demos both), it is a better, saner way to write and maintain style sheets. This session shows you how to build templates, grids, modules, and other objects and concludes with a real-world example from the w3c redesign.

After attending you'll be able to:

  • Apply object oriented programming techniques to style sheets;
  • Extend CSS objects to create unique skins;
  • Calculate 0(n), use mixins, and avoid singletons (Yup, all CSS);
  • Model design patterns in UML;
  • Take advantage of the cascade (rather than letting it take advantage of you!);
  • Attach behaviors and integrate OOCSS with popular JS libraries such as JQuery, Prototype, and YUI.

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