WordCamp London was a 3 day WordPress conference, held at London Metropolitan University from 20th – 22nd March 2015. It was pretty much on my doorstep, packed with a lot of action, definitely not to be missed.
Friday, 20 March 2015
The first day was Contributors day. There are a number of areas and ways to contribute to WordPress. At this contributors day I worked on the translation of WordPress into Afrikaans. This is an ongoing side-project of mine. When Afrikaans has its first release, I would also like to get involved in WordPress theme review.
The following two days consisted of three tracks with speakers from across the WordPress community and beyond. The talks were varied for designers, developers, writers, business-owners, freelancers, basically anything WordPress. The third track focussed specifically on non-profits using WordPress.
Saturday, 21 March 2015
After the opening remarks, I was in the first track that kicked off with Indie design by Laura Kalbag, focussing on the protection of human rights and democracy in the digital age. She made her slides available here.
I would have liked to sit in at Building Themes with the REST API by Jack Lenox, but the room was bursting by the seems and there was no more space left… See and read all about it here!
The highlight of the morning was A Web Designer’s Law Update 2015 by Heather Burns. It is an important topic, but also presented very well with great humour. Not that this topic is any laughing matter, but Heather made it enjoyable to listen to.
After lunch an important talk to me by Bruce Lawson followed, <picture> and Friends: HTML Responsive Images. He proposed the new element in 2011 and at the time of writing, it has just gone live in Opera, Chrome and Firefox. He discussed in a very entertaining way, all about sending the correctly-sized images for a specific device with HTML’s new responsive images capabilities and how it can be used today.
As a WordPress designer and doing a bit of developing, the last two talks of the day I attended was focusing on just that. Inside the WP API: Internals and Customisation by Joe Hoyle and From Web Address to Web Page – the Humble URL in WordPress by Simon Wheatley was packed with good insight on these topics and something to take home.
Saturday ended with dinner and an after party at the venue.
Sunday, 22 March 2015
A refreshing start for the last day, was a talk by Adrian Zumbrunnen, a very talented front-end developer. It was about Smart Animations in User Interfaces. He made his slides available here.
This followed by Get Ready for PHP 5.4+ by Lorna Jane Mitchell. This talk covered all of the changes introduced in recent versions of PHP and how that can apply to your own projects. She showed practical examples of new features and gave advice on how to upgrade safely. She also shared news about the performance improvements that will take place when you move between the versions of PHP.
For the rest of the day, I spent in the track that focussed more on WordPress design related topics. Design with Personas: A Lean Approach by Davide Casali, used a real case scenario: the WordPress.com personas work (at the time of writing, still in progress) to show it can build in a lean approach, how to make them visible, and how they can be used in various stages of a product evolution.
After lunch were lightning talks available in all three tracks, focussing on Development, Design or Business. Still on the topic of design, Julio Potier on Colour & A11y had his talk first. He is colourblind and shared his user experiences and why the colours or contrasts are important to improve your designs for everyone. Empathy & User-Centred Design by Lance Willet pointed out, what makes us good or bad at our job is how we handle people struggling with our work. How empathy is important to beautiful, engaging, and useful products. Dave Redfern’s talk on Iconography: First Time for Everything showcased his experience and end result of a set of beautiful, bespoke icons for a specific project. Make sure to check out the slides. The WordPress of Things by Scott Evans talks about how WordPress have adapted as a CMS for desktop, table and mobile and where will WordPress sit within the “Internet of Things?”. Check out his slides here.
I found Design Workflow in Agency Environment for Rapid WordPress Development (Tips, Guidelines, Inspiration) by Adrian Restantia also interesting. His talk ran through their work setup at Moove and also how he organises his design files and projects.
Next up, Lily Dart share her experience on Guerilla Usability Testing. Getting feedback from your clients for your digital products are important and you don’t need a big budget to do so either. Have a look at her slides here.
This concluded the day with the closing talk on a high. It was a really fun weekend. I hope there will be another WordCamp London in 2016.