Responsive Day Out

Responsive Day Out is what I would describe as a “no guff” conference; stripped back of all the niceties that some attendees expect nowadays, and returning to just the bare essentials.

One day, no workshops, no lanyards, no swag-bags and no pre-paid lunch. This meant that although the conference shared the same calibur of speakers as other big conferences, it didn’t share the price tag; ResponsiveConf cost just fifty quid…a bargain if you ask me.

In my opinion, the format was absolutely spot on. Let loose in groups of three, each speaker had just twenty minutes solo; they later converged on the sofas afterwards for an audience Q&A. To me, this made the content much more focussed and concentrated, nothing drawn out over an hour for the sake of it.

The Speakers

Although I enjoyed all the speakers, I took away more from certain people than others; which I’m sure is the case for others.

For me, my favourite speakers were Tom Maslan, Laura Kalbag, David Bushell and Anna Debenham.

Anna Debenham

Slides

With just 20 minutes, Anna shared an absolute boatload of stats about the somewhat poor browsing experiences given via. games consoles. Whilst there was lots of information to digest, it was a real eye opener to the console market; which is an area that I’ll admit to sometimes forget about.

When you think about it, the opportunity Anna had was actually pretty rare. Amongst friends, you might manage to get access to each individual console, but I’d bet it was probably in passing. Not a decent, uninterrupted session on each where you had enough time to digest not only how they function, but also how they perform.

David Bushell

Slides | Video

David gave a great insight into the responsive navigation methods he’s been dabbling with. His talk was really honest in its approach. David presented in a manner that emphasised that whilst he had six suggestions, it was still anyone’s guess on which is most suited…which was refreshing to hear.

I was familiar with quite a few of them, but some I’d never considered. For example, the “off-canvas” slide – most likely familiar to the wider public because of the Facebook iOS app – looks like a really interesting approach on the smaller devices…I’ll likely experiment with this myself in the coming weeks.

Tom Maslen

Slides | Video

Titled *”Cutting the Mustard”*, Tom’s slot focussed on how the BBC manage their news website; in particular, how they manage to supply an experience to so many devices. One major point that Tom raised was to shift how we describe “support” from devices to browsers, then use that as a basis for what features they’re supplied. This is partly because there are less browsers than devices, but also because browsers drive what a device is capable of.

A Quick Thanks…

Besquare and Mailchimp deserve a special mention for the filming (and funding of); it’s down to them that we can re-experience Responsive Day Out. Also thanks go out to Gridset, who put a generous amount behind the bar for attendees to enjoy after the conference.

This goes without saying, but thanks to Jeremy Keith for the organisation of Responsive Day Out, and more specifically, shaking up the conference format.

And, of course, a special thanks to Mixd for covering my expenses…I could get used to this!

Final Thoughts

I’ll be honest and say that, for the record, I’m not a massive fan of the conference scene, but if more of them ran like this then my opinion would quickly turn on its head.

I really think there’s a demand for conferences that make real attempts to keep the quality high and ticket prices low; I feel it makes them more accessible, especially to people like me who can’t really validate spending £200+ on a conference ticket, regardless of the names.