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Designing the Wider Web

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The dominance of the desktop browser is over – the web has become wider. After so long painting in a tiny corner of the canvas, it’s time to broaden our approach.

It’s understandable that the community is somewhat nervous about the changes ahead. So far, we’ve mostly responded by scratching around for device-specific tips, but this isn’t sustainable or scalable. We should transcend “platformism” and instead learn to design for diverse contexts, displays, connectivity, and inputs by breaking devices down into first principles. Instead of the defective dichotomy of the “desktop” and “mobile” web, designers should aim to create great user experiences using the truly fluid nature of the web.

Cennydd Bowles is an interaction designer and writer based in Brighton, UK.

His book Undercover User Experience Design, written with colleague James Box, has been acclaimed as “a must have for your bookshelf”. He writes a popular blog and contributes to influential publications including A List Apart, Johnny Holland and .net magazine.

At Clearleft (Design Agency of the Year 2009), Cennydd advises clients including Samsung, The Open University, JustGiving, Gumtree and WWF International on the benefits of putting users first. He also shapes the design and strategy of Clearleft’s famous Silverback usability testing suite and pioneering web fonts application, Fontdeck.

A leading figure in the British user experience community, Cennydd co-founded the UX London and UXCampLondon conferences and is an active mentor of British user experience talent. He speaks at design and UX conferences across the globe, and his thoughts on design have been featured by organisations as diverse as Design Week, The Guardian and PBS .

This talk is part of the Cambridge Usability Group series.

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