Respond 2014

Last week, I attended Respond 2014 in Sydney.

This one-day conference was organised by the super-awesome folks from Web Directions and was described as “a festival of Responsive Web Design for designers and developers of the multi-device Web”. It featured a number of prominent folks from the RWD community from Australia and overseas, including Ethan Marcotte and Jason Grigsby.

Left-to-Right: Jason Grigsby, Ethan Marcotte, John Allsopp

Left-to-Right: Jason Grigsby, Ethan Marcotte, John Allsopp

Even though I have a vast experience with RWD, I felt like somewhat of an imposter. It had been a while since I had hacked against media queries, fumbled with grids, or dabbled with responsive images. Compounding this problem was the fact that this was my first time attending a conference dedicated entirely to RWD.

Despite all of this, I felt right at home at this conference. The speakers did an amazing job bringing folks along with the materials and concepts presented. Furthermore, I learned quite a number of new things along the way.

Jason Grigsby (@grigs) at Respond 2014 Photo credit: https://twitter.com/StamfordUX/status/430835933487693824

Jason Grigsby (@grigs) at Respond 2014

Photo credit: https://twitter.com/StamfordUX/status/430835933487693824

One of my favourite presentations was by Jason Grigsby who spoke about responsive mobile-first design.

I think Jason provided a lot of solid advice when it comes to tackling responsive mobile-first design. Of particular interest to me was his insights on the state of responsive images. Of the many solutions available, I found Picturefill - a polyfill for the picture element - to be the most practical for helping to address responsive images.

Polyfills: is there anything thing they can't do?

A little later in the day, John Allsopp delivered a presentation entitled, Well, How Did We Get Here? which I found particularly interesting. John invoked nostalgia by taking the audience on a trip through the world of Web development in the 1990s. I remember those days quite well. So many hacks.

John Allsopp laments about the past

John Allsopp laments about the past

John's presentation was excellent because it provided some context around the theme of the day; responsive web design.

I will admit that I started to feel bad for John after 20 minutes into his presentation. He's seen far too many things in the Web development days of old. Naturally, this prompted me to quip the following on Twitter:

Rounding out the day was Ethen Marcotte's presentation entitled, The Map and The Territory. He delivered an interesting presentation that talked about RWD and the future challenges we face globally as more and more third-world countries come online.

All in all, I had a great time at Respond 2014. I learned a great deal and would be very tempted to attend the conference if held next year!