An Event Apart finished strong with three good sessions. I hope that I get to attend next year!

Unified Design – Cameron Moll

We need to work around to a unified experience around screens. Previous experiences inform new experiences.

The best interface is the one within reach, but 49% of users email themselves a link to continue using the content later.

RWD ends where the browser ends – the spirit of RWD but unified all technologies – Unified Design. This is the next frontier of building sites – a consistent experience regardless of where or what device the user is using.

77% of searches on mobile are at work or at home (where one assumes there is a desktop nearby).

Screens and interfaces are converging and your audiences are looking for unified experiences.Example: People want to use Lightroom on the phone – but it’s very resource heavy. But users get frustrated expecting Lightroom to work the same way it’s worked before, on desktop.

Unified Design is the next frontier, building on RWD – a consistent experience regardless of where/what device the user is using.

Design has told us that form and function is most important – function is becoming way more important than form.

The concept of data symmetry – same data across items because 40% of online users start activity on one device and finish on another.

Slack – a great example of a cohesive experience across devices.

Best practices that foster unity:

  • Unify internet presence #unityfirst – design the core experience first.
  • Treat every facet of the user experience as a contribution to the experience.
  • Moving towards an duocratic branding experience (user decides).
  • Consider web views for native apps – web vs native is mattering less and less.
  • Unify actions, not devices.
  • Store data in the cloud, not locally (amazon cart)
  • Language choices starting to matter – replace the term “click” with select or point.
  • Replace the term mobile (which ppl tend to think as iphone) with small, smallish. Think beyond the phone/ipad/desktop dichotomy.
  • Eliminate big screen bloat.

Compassionate Design – Eric Meyer

Build for humans, not users or consumers.

Autotagging can go awry – put terrible tags on photos that people can not even be aware of.

Project pre-mortem – a meeting where discussions are happening about the worst outcome that can happen. How things can fail. A person serves as a dissenter – identify assumptions and subverts them. Everyone gets a turn as this dissenter, practice deep thinking.

If we’re going to do this *feature*, how can we do this ethically?

Instead of edge case, consider a “stress case”

It’s important to Signal Intent

  • Google should have signal intent with mic drop feature.
  • Explain what we are asking and why we are asking it.

You have to go off brand to be a human and be compassionate sometimes.

Clarifying intent behind questions: The Question Protocol.

  • Who is going to use this info and why?
  • What are we going to do with it?

Making the case for compassion in your work

Be conservative with what you send and liberal with what you select. Compassion can help you make money, save money and decrease risk. Compassion is hard – takes courage, willingness to accept users how they are.

Empathy with our users is courtesy. Compassion is vital.

Designing for Performance – Lara Hogan

My brain sort of checked out at the end of the conference and I didn’t take the greatest notes for Lara’s talk, unfortunately.

A cellular device must establish a radio channel before sending and receiving data. In this speed, mobile devices are roughly analogous to dialup.

Image file size tips –

Blur background to reduce file size, because jpgs don’t handle edges that well.

Image sprites – a bunch of images in one file.

Old IE downloads all @font-face files, so only import font weights you need.

3d Firefox add on to visualize page depth – Tilt 3D (I couldn’t get it to work).

Make performance part of everyone’s workflow. over a cable connection. Site is usable at 2 seconds.

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