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Responsive Day Out in Brighton

Posted in on 3 March 2013

Last week, I attended Responsive Day Out. It was a full day, great value conference that was organised by Clearleft – and Jeremy Keith in particular. All the speakers gave presentations about Responsive Web Design (RWD). So, here are a few of my thoughts about the day.

The format

  • The conference had 13 speakers, each talking for approx. 20 minutes, with a Q and A and on-stage discussion after each group of three (four) speakers. This format worked really well I thought and it meant that the day just skipped by.
  • Some of the speakers were well-known on the ‘conference scene’ and others were new to public speaking. You wouldn’t have known which were which though because they all showed a high level of confidence and presentation skills. Overall, about half the speakers were new to me.

Rather than go through each speaker’s presentation, I just want to highlight a few things that I took from the day.

Some take-home points

  • It was surprising and refreshingly honest to hear Sarah Parmenter (in particular) saying that she was ‘winging it’ with RWD. Also interesting to hear how she has had to adapt her web design process – although perhaps not too surprising if coming from a (mainly) design/Photoshop background.
  • Fluid first is best. I definitely agree with that and wish I had done more fluid-based sites before I started moving to that approach a few years ago.
  • Responsive patterns and navigation are things I need to test and experiment with more. This Responsive Patterns page page was mentioned.
  • Icon fonts and asset fonts seem like a very good idea. I remain to be convinced by web fonts but Richard Rutter has persuaded me that I need to do more with that.
  • Eliott Jay Stocks made the point in his presentation that “RWD doesn’t need to take more time and therefore doesn’t need to cost your clients more money”. Whilst I agree that it doesn’t need to, I won’t be charging my clients the same if their site is responsive since it does take me more time – and, therefore, my responsive sites will be priced higher. My projects/clients are much, much smaller though so don’t know if the comparison is valid.
  • RWDKISS principle applies more than ever.

A slightly indirect thought that I had during the day that applies to me.

  • Spend more time on personal stuff and testing outside of day-to-day client work.

Personal things on the day

  • The free coffee queue was very long.
  • The seats weren’t very comfortable.
  • I managed to have a couple of beers at lunchtime and avoid post-lunch snoozing.
  • Brighton has some good pubs (see previous point).
  • Should have made more effort to go to the after party (felt exhausted, didn’t go, my bad).

Would I go again?

Yes! It was a great day and I liked the slightly ‘unconference’ feel to the event (no name badges, no Wi-Fi). I thought the speakers were honest and direct and the conference was a lot more practical and thought-provoking for me than some other conferences I’ve been to.

More Info: Lots of details about the conference and speakers on Lanyrd.

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Comments

  1. Jeremy Keith

    Glad you enjoyed the day. Sorry that the seats and the queue for the free coffee weren’t to your satisfaction.

  2. Clive Walker (Author)

    @Jeremy Seats and coffee only minor things. Great conference! Hope you can do something similar again. Like this style of conference.

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