Web Conference 2010 Notes

Penn State Web Conference 2010
Penn Stater Conference Center
June 7-8, 2010


Overall Impressions and Takeaways

I have been to the web conference since 2005 and I don’t ever regret going to it. Most of the sessions seem to fall under two categories (1. what’s going on at Penn State or 2. technology how to’s). Both types of sessions are highly valuable to me, so that I can continue honing my skills in my work and so that I can be aware of what the rest of the university is doing.

This year, the keynotes were more entertaining than helpful. Both Jeffrey Zeldman’s and Brad J. Ward’s keynote’s were so high level that they did not provide any new insights.

All three sessions in day 1 were useful and informative. In particular, I continue to amass knowledge about mobile development and am rapidly approaching the point where much of the information in these sessions is not new anymore. Especially as I am a part of the Mobile team with WCLD, I am looking forward to putting some of this knowledge to work in the near future and finally making all these theoretical things into projects.

I was only able to attend the keynote on the 2nd day due to work commitments that could not be changed.

Day 1

Keynote – Jeffrey Zeldman

Session 1: Adobe CS5 is here!

Tim Plumer, Jr., Sr. Solutions Engineer, NA Education Sales Adobe Systems Incorporated

Come see the highlights of CS5. Adobe has released the next big thing, and you will be amazed at what we did to upgrade the major creative applications in the Creative Suite product set. We have, as our goal with this release:

. Make it faster and easier to get to your creative vision
. Cross media between web and print with ease
. Design fully interactive projects without writing any code

During this demonstration you will learn how to take full advantage of the new tools in CS5 and shorten the cycle from concept to completion. Whether you use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver or Flash, there is
something for you to see. Whether you design primarily for the web, print or both you will learn something new.

  • Dreamweaver has an HTML5 extension kit at labs.adobe.com
  • WordPress support
  • Browser lab renders pages in different OS and Browsers (sends actual screen shots after run in actual machines at Adobe)
  • CS Live is a service to share previews
  • Onion skin view (one on top of the other)
  • Multiscreen view with media query on labs extension for designing for multiple devices

Session 2: Shut up and draw!

David R. Stong, Multimedia Specialist, Penn State

Two computers- Mac and Windows. Each has Photoshop, Fireworks, and Illustrator. Participants will have five minutes to show off their best web graphics tip or trick (or any graphics tip or trick that’s loosely applicable) on the platform and application of their choice. Like lightening talks only you, well, shut up and draw. A sign-up sheet will be available and gurus take the stage in the order they sign up.

  • Photoshop doesn’t interpret 8-bit transparency.  Fireworks does!

Session 3: Usability and the Mobile Web

Rose Pruyne, Programmer-Analyst, WebLion, Penn State

It’s true; the latest mobile browsers have greatly enhanced Web viewing. But we are not off the hook: Certain elements of Web design can still put up roadblocks for mobile users. Being aware of these can help you to design sites that are much more usable on mobile platforms. The presenter will point out design elements that present difficulties for mobile users, provide recommendations for increasing usability for the mobileweb, and share examples of sites with high mobile usability.

  • Students don’t use things that are not useful in small screens


  • Try to anticipate user needs, location specific functions!
  • Don’t repeat navigation
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Make simple input

Good example: Warner brothers website


Day 2

Keynote – Brad J Ward

  • Don’t forget the face to face!!
  • Social media doesn’t matter; people matter
  • Boundaries or burnout
  • Old is not a synonym for useless
  • don’t forget the basics. handwritten notes now stand out
  • integrate old and new.  promote new with old.
  • notion that expertise that needs to come from outside is horribly wrong
  • viral happens once. people rarely remember the second attempt
  • useful. unique. ultra specific. urgent.
  • beware of phase 2. phase 2 rarely happens.  all the cool stuff happens in phase 2.
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