function() & .class Web Design Conference

I’m pleased to share the launch of the Philippine Web Designers Organization‘s big event for 2009: the <form> function & .class Web Design Conference.

The event will on July 10, 2009 at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, Philippines. The conference aims to get every web designer in the Philippines, experienced and beginning, together and spend a day of learning and networking. The event’s program is as follows:

  • 8:00am-8:45am – Registration
  • 8:45am-9:00am – Opening Remarks and Introduction to PWDO by Sophia Lucero
  • 9:00am-9:45am – Design 101 by Rico Sta. Cruz
  • 10:00am-10:45am – Interaction Design by Nap Lara
  • 11:00am-11:45am – Web Standards, Accessibility and Usability by Regnard Raquedan
  • 12:00nn-12:45pm – Lunch
  • 12:45pm-1:15pm – Disabled Friendly Awards by Jojo Esposa
  • 1:15pm-2:00pm – Sponsor Talks
  • 2:00pm-2:45pm – Workflow by Marco Palinar
  • 3:00pm-3:45pm – Industry Tips by Gail dela Cruz-Villanueva
  • 4:00pm-4:45pm – State of the Web by Luis Buenaventura II
  • 4:45pm-5:15pm – Panel Q&A

We’re now busy marketing the event and looking for sponsors, and we need all the help we can get. If you know of a company that will benefit from reaching 400 young & tech-savvy folks in one single venue, please direct them to the event website. I guarantee that it will go a long way in helping the Philippine Web Design community. :)

Reviewing Standard Web Standards’ Focus

I’ve been maintaining Standard Web Standards for almost four years now (well, it’s not that long, but in the blogosphere, I would probably qualify as an early adopter) and I’ve seen some changes in the awareness of Web Standards (ie, standards-compliant code, XHTML, CSS, etc.) in the last few years.

I was spurred to create this blog because back then I was doing a lof of web design projects (and designing sites myself) and I was frustrated with the fact that some browsers (*cough*IE*cough*) were misbehaving. But on the bigger picture, I saw Web Standards as a great and practical way for us web designers to elevate the the craft and, arguably, the industry. In 2005, “Web Standards” was a very narrow and geeky space.

Now is a different story. The stranglehold of Internet Explorer on the browser market share is loosening and more websites (especially the new ones) now are written “the standards way.” On a personal level, I’ve changed as well– I’ve been doing less of the design & production side and doing more of the management & marketing side of the web. (That’s why you’ve been seeing a lot of blog posts those topics lately).

That’s why I took some time to review the direction of Standard Web Standards. And my ruminations have brought me to the conclusion to go back to basics. That is, to have this blog go back to its Web Standards roots. (I’ve also decided to put the internet marketing-related matters in my internet marketing blog.).

To be honest, I think my strategy for this blog will result in less updates as the Web Standards scene isn’t as hot as it used to be. Case in point: The number of Web Standards-related articles have been going down, according to Google. Here’s what my research found:

  • 2000 – 1,770 articles
  • 2001 – 1,770 articles
  • 2002 – 1,840 articles
  • 2003 – 2,090 articles
  • 2004 – 2,220 articles
  • 2005 – 2,460 articles
  • 2006 – 2,130 articles
  • 2007 – 1,730 articles
  • 2008 – 1,700 articles

But nonetheless, I hope the direction I’m taking will give me more focus in writing blog posts about web standards.

4th Mini Web Design Conference

The Philippine Web Designer’s Organization (PWDO) will be holding the fourth (yeah, it’s already the fourth!) iteration of the <form> + function() & .class Mini Web Design Conference this coming March 18, 2009, 8pm at the G2VC Bar in the Orient Square, Pasig City. (If you’re not familiar with the place, you can check out the map).

Here’s the list of speakers for that day:

Web Accessibility with Assistive Technology
Rene Orense
Project Officer, Web Developer
http://www.atriev.org.ph

Finding Your Soul Mate!
Luis Buenaventura
Software Architect
http://syndeolabs.com

Top 5 Internet Marketing Mistakes Companies Make
Regnard Raquedan
Consultant
http://www.raquedan.com

Branding and Design
Elymar Apao
USAP Philippines
http://www.jozzua.com

Web Standards (specifics to be announced)
Aja Lorenzo Lapus
Student at University of Santo Tomas
http://www.ajalapus.com/

Leveling Up Your Photoshop Skillz
Marco Palinar
http://site-guy.com

Javascript/AJAX/DOM
Ta Tuy Duc
http://acc.vn 

We also have to thank the sponsors for the event:

Ely Apao
http://www.jozzua.com/

Marc Villanueva
Sheero Media Solutions
http://sheeromedia.com/

I’ll also be raffling off a Web Development book, courtesy of AUGPhil.

If you’re interested in attending, you can sign up using the online registration form.

See you there!

3rd Mini Web Design Conference Afterthoughts

The Philippine Web Designers’ Organization (PWDO) had its third Mini Web Design Conference last January 22 and it was a great session with nice topics and a packed house.

Since a couple of speakers were not able to arrive, I was asked to speak 30 minutes before my slot. Good thing I already had a topic in mind as I contemplated in being a speaker for this session (I figured I’d reserve my talk for the 4th Mini Web Design Conference since the speaker roster was already full).

I whipped up a presentation quickly and pulled a few images from Getty Images. My talk was entitled “Pricing Your Web Design Work,” and it was primarily an overiew of pricing strategies for freelance we designers. I spent my 15 minutes of air time optimally, with a few interesting questions from the audience after. Based on the the queries, I think some people picked up a couple of nuggets of information from my talk (wishful thinking on my part really :P)

The talks during the event were:

We also raffled off nice tokes from our sponsors:  Philippine Web Accessibility GroupMunchPunch and Edsa Hosting.

One of the revelations for the event was the venue, the Cosmopoint International Institute of Technology (CIIT). It’s a new school launched last year and they specialize in digital arts and media, animation and information technology. Their facilities were top notch and the place was very well-maintained. I think it’s a shame that the facilities are not maximized given their enrollment rate.

After the event, the PWDO had a planning session for the BIG <form> + function() & .class Web Design Conference. A few updates on the event: The event will be held on July 10, 2009 (Friday) and the venue has been confirmed at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City.

I’ll keep everyone posted with updates on this major event. 😀

Raquedan.com Redesign

Even though I was running a slight fever, I took the day off to whip up a quick redesign of my home page at Raquedan.com. I’ve alwas intended the site to be my sandbox for new web development techniques and experimentation in design but this new version of the site marks a maturation of sorts in my design sensibilities.

I finally implemented most of the usability and web standards stuff that I’ve been advocating these past few years.  If you look at the old versions of my home page (version 1 and version 2), you will notice that I put a premium on “The Concept,” the thing that spurred me for that particular design. But the new one I just did is a lot more subdued and understated. Simplicity was my concept here.

I also did that page in less than a day (design & development included) and pure hand-coding on my text editor (I think I would have finished this a lot faster in Dreamweaver), thanks to CSS and XHTML. The site is so simple that it passes all the validators you can think of (well, that’s an exaggeration :P) but more than that, I’m glad it passes my personal standards.

Are You a Web Designer based in the Philippines?

If you answered “Yes” to the question above, then you’re the perfect person to answer this short survey on the upcoming Web Design conference in Manila next year!

The survey’s URL is: http://tr.im/webdesignph

So feel free to spread the word about this survey. :)

One more thing: thanks to Mae Paulino for creating the great looking and easy to use survey. 😀

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 and Web Standards

Adobe CS4
Adobe Creative Suite 4

The fourth installment to the Adobe Creative Suite series was launched yesterday with updates to the web and graphic designers favorite software tools. The list of new versions go a long way: Photoshop (with two versions), Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, After Effects, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere and Soundbooth. With a tagline “Shortcut to Brilliant,” Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) aims to build on the addition of former Macromedia products in the previous version.

I looked at the features list of Adobe Dreamweaver CS4, the app that focuses on the building of websites and web pages, and there’s a feature that caught my attention:

CSS Best Practices
Implement CSS best practices without writing code. The new CSS tab in the Properties panel shows the styles for the current selection as well as all the applicable CSS rules. Hover over any property to view a tool tip with no-jargon English explanations of CSS principles. New CSS rules can be created and applied in the Properties panel and stored in the same document or an external style sheet. Dreamweaver CS4 even gives you control over the specificity of your rule: Just click Less Specific or More Specific in the updated New CSS Rule dialog box to target your style precisely.

I haven’t tested the actual software myself, but this looks promising, especially for the budding web designers who need to layout easily and get familiar with Cascading Style Sheets. However, I do hope that it won’t spoil the designers into taking CSS for granted, ie, not caring enough to work with CSS without Dreamweaver or similar tools. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not too high on the prospects that CSS becomes a mere “feature.”

Let’s see when CS4 ships and how this new feature pans out.