An Event Apart Seattle, our first three-day show, was our best yet. Not only was every speaker engaging and every topic relevant, but there was a thematic unity between presentations as leading-edge topics came to the fore. What came out at AEA Seattle 2010 will be the best practices of 2012. Fortunately, this year’s next four shows will feature many of the same speakers and topics.
- CSS3 media queries are the new hotness. They were explained and demonstrated to brilliant effect by Eric Meyer, Andy Clarke, and Ethan Marcotte. (More on this soon at A List Apart.)
- Luke Wroblewski’s extraordinary “Mobile First” presentation changed the way I think about web design. Luke showed how the mobile versions of many sites are strong, smart, and absurdly easy to use, while the “desktop” versions of these same sites suck. For instance, the mobile version of as well-known travel site gives me, the customer, a few big buttons making it easy for me to check in, check the status of my flight, and do one or two other things I actually want to do. By contrast, the desktop version is a confusing hodgepodge of ads, clutter, and Flash, with seemingly dozens of competing navigation aids, none of which offers me the opportunity to do what I need to do on the site. It isn’t that a different team is designing the mobile versions; it’s that the discipline of mobile forces any team to create lean, user-focused interfaces. Conceiving the mobile version first gives us the opportunity to create powerful sites that never lose sight of the person they’re designed for.