SXSWi – Monday – Day 4

Sunday we had a good time after all the panels; we attended the Flickr/ party and then went on to the web awards after party. I’m just happy I found out there was a back bar on the other side of the bar. 🙂

This post has been 75% done for a few days, but I’ve been busy with stuff. My appologies.

On to the panels!

CSS Problem Solving
I went to this panel becuase I had hoped it would basically give me some new CSS techniques I could use. They had some very good designers on the panel, most notably Dave Shea and Ethan Marcotte. Dave talked about having an image at the end of a link, vertical centering, and certain margin issues. Ethan talked about absolute and float positioning. Another speaker, Charles Wyke-Smith – someone I hadn’t heard of until I came to the panel, gave examples of different page layouts that can be attained through absolute positioning, floats, and negative margins. IA lot of useful information for any budding designer for sure.
Standard Deviation: Hacks and Dirty Tricks for the Web
Here is another panel that I was disappointed at. I thought the panel had so much potential, especially with people like Aaron Boodman in on the discussion. However, as I say, the panel was not as I expected it to be. It’s hard for me to sit in a panel where people advocate goinng back to using tables for layout simply because it’s a little bit easier than using CSS. I understand their argument that if things are too complex or fragile then you may look for the easy way out. However, it just seems to me like people aren’t trying hard enough. If there is a valid way of doing something, then by all means do it that way. I guess everything comes down to a sliding scale of when to deviate from standards. A lot of what they used as examples for when they deviated from standards were in terms of Web 2.0 applications that weren’t your standard web pages. Take for example Google Talk in GMail using undocumented ActiveX components. However, I will say that they did end on a poignant note: Always know what standards you are breaking and why.
Craig Newmark Keynote Interview
We got back from lunch kind of late so we sat in on this one in the overflow room. Quite honestly, I didn’t pay all that much attention. I have never used craigslist and I don’t really see myself doing it. I casually listened to his talk, but mainly I just got caught up with internet stuff.
I took a nap. 🙂
Design Eye for the List Guy
The highlight panel of the day, really. This is the annual redesign panel and this year they tackled craigslist. Four of the five panelists made it to SXSW, apparently Andrei Herasimchuck (yes, I had to look up the spelling of the last name) was unable to make it physically, but was virtually there via iSight.
As for the topic of the actual panel, the redesign of craigslist. The common consensus was that craigslist was pretty good as it already is, it could just use a little tidding up. And, to that end, that’s just what they did; oh, and the listings page, too. I think their redesign, or realignment as I think they mentioned, was spot on. When displaying a lot of data like that on craigslist, you don’t want a very flashy kind of site, just something that is clean and easy to navigate.
One last note, Craig Newmark, the craig in craigslist, happened to be in the audience for this panel. During the Q & A he came up and sat with the panelists. To me, it seemed uncomfortable for Craig to be there – end of the first date kind of uncomfortable. He said he liked what they did, but that’s about it. He didn’t say much other than that. During his keynote speech and his short time with the panel, he mentioned that he wasn’t really in charge of craigslist nowadays. His CEO, I think it was his CEO, is really the one to talk to about these sort of things and that he would run it by him. Who knows. If I were a craigslist user, I’d be happy with the prospect of a redesign.

Again, sorry this was out so late!

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