Responding to the Responsive Web

Last night I attended Digital Pond's Responding to the Responsive Web event. Long time Unit friend Sally was speaking along with Jeremy Keith and I couldn't resist the opportunity to catch up.

I have to take this moment to thank the organisers: Cyber-Duck. Already a free event, the delegates were delighted with the free bar and delectable canapes. Cyber-Duck and the sponsors really looked after us.

The talks, they were excellent

Sally's More Than Media Queries focussed on responsibility and ethics. Just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should.

Jeremy talked about the history of the web and the similarities of then and now. Additionally, he highlighted the common arguments against responsive. Thankfully he is hearing these less and less.

The audience

Your typical digital event/conference audience is comprised of designers and developers, the key decision makers are usually missing. Last night, it seemed like they were in attendance.

This new mix generated a particularly interesting QA session, they were determined to get the most from Sally and Jeremy. The 'how do I convince my boss' question was raised, something I've not heard for a while. The answer from Sally - show the current experience on colleague's devices, then show a responsive prototype; aka show the thing.

Sally answering a question from a delegate.
For one question, Sally ventured into the audience with a mic to answer.

He was a lucky one, Darren's question from Twitter was posed to Sally but she declined to answer it.

Update: this post has prompted Sally to give a position on the above.

…the answer is neither, and that as Jeremy was saying, both are just instantiations and he should create something that works on everything.
Sally on Batman’s attitude toward responsive.

Change

Organisations, like the ones in attendance, are striving to make the web work harder for their businesses and customers. It shows the inroads responsible, ethical and considerate web design is making to ordinary folk outside our industry.

The monopoly print design (fixed width layouts) has enjoyed over the web is rapidly diminishing.

Addendum

Paul and Darren in a pub.
Afterwards we got drunk and compared checkered shirts before the last train home - except Darren missed his and had to fork out £80 for a cab. Photo taken by Sally.

This article was originally published, with less embellishments, on The Unit's website.