As the seemingly token non-presenting american at the @media conference in London, I would like to thank those that put this event together.
It was a pleasure to join the Brits and others as they passed standards-based web design around as easily as the sugar for tea. Speaking of tea, the only bitter element of the whole conference was a particularly nasty cup of lemon-ginger tea. whoa, whoever decided to mass-market this dried paint remover ought to have their head examined. But then again, this is the same country that leaves a jar of marmite on the table for guests.
The @media conference brought standards-based web design and accessibility experts together for a fab confab. Opinions were expressed, debated, rejected, and re-examined. And then Joe Clark put the mike down for the next person. I wasn’t expecting such passion from one of our neighbors up north, a canuck with an opinion or two. Now, I know Canadians are not cold fish, after all, NoMeansNo is from up north, need I say more?
As a veteran of museum conferences, the accessibility points were already rather familiar for me though many in the audience probably felt overwhelmed with the added responsibilities.
On the second day, Joe laid down the gauntlet and challenged designers to begin re-reading his article on alistapart.com about creating big, chunky versions of web sites for the sight impaired. It will be interesting to see how these develop. Why not take advantage our sites’ potential.
I herebt promise to develop a Clark-like site for one that I recently completed, www.alcalapetcare.com. It will also be interesting to see some aggressive designs come out of this challenge. In his closing presentation, Andy Clarke criticized the lack of eye candy on the web sites of accessibility experts. So, can we begin creating these big, chunky, easy to read variations that are also attractive?
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Molly Holzschlag. I have been bantying around the idea of writing a book on semantic conversions of existing web sites. A national best seller, I’m sure. Molly gave me some sound advice and I will approach the project with an open mind.
I also had a chance to meet Andy Clarke of All That Malarkey.
When the @media conference was first announced, I thought.. hey, cool, a conference in London the same time that I will be in Paris. What a great opportunity. After the glow dissapated, I had to think twice about going, this was not going to be a cheap trip. Hotel, chunnel, airfare, and conference admission set me back well over $2,500. Sure, I’ve seen Zeldman before and could wait until southbysouthwest to see Molly and others. But Andy Clarke was somebody I wanted to listen to. His site has given me many great tools for building sites. His use of definition lists for form items and building a coding guide to a page have saved me many hours in designing. So thanks Andy for giving us a hell of a presentation.
While I enjoy the geek meetings as much as anyone, I’m not a pub person. So, instead of basking in the free beer at the conference party, I met up with the artist Fraser Diesel and discussed art, design, and posed for some sketches. It was a less geeky, but equally satisfying alternative.
Finally, I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many Canucks and Americans saying wanker and bullocks in two days. Here’s to a great conference and hopefully I’ll see everyone again next year. Maybe they can talk Big John and Holly into coming up from down under.