“MOST people are not aware that they are using outdated technology and needs to be poked about it.” – Thomas Gorissen
Web enthusiasts and experts once again gathered as the Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO) held its fourth annual web conference last November 9 and 10 at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts (DLS-CSB SDA).
Aside from our local industry frontrunners, this year’s Form, Function and Class (FFC) was made special with invited foreign speakers, Thomas Gorissen and Paul Burnett.
Singapore-based Thomas Gorissen uses his expertise in web technology in helping startup businesses. He discussed the statistics about the different web browsers, saying that Safari “by far is the bestselling browser.” He also reminded the participants that visitor numbers is not their only metric, thus, it is not the sole basis of a browser’s success.
Paul Burnett, an APAC evangelist at Adobe, enlivened the crowd with his talk about the relationship between web designers and web developers.
“I don’t know if you realize this, but designers and developers hate each other,” said Burnett, soliciting sounds of realization and agreement from the audience.
“If you’re a designer, walk up to one of those developers and just give them a little hug,” he added. He then went on to discuss the new Generator feature of Adobe.
“Everything is going mobile,” said Anthony Santos as he started talking about the best practices in UX and UI design for mobile applications.
He gave the audience useful tips on creating, maintaining, and selling mobile apps.
Santos advised the audience to entice the users first, then create gradual engagements from there. He also said to keep the app design simple yet consistent.
Levi Tan Ong, one of the winners of last year’s Microsoft Imagine Cup Game Design Competition, provided the audience lessons through technical discussion and demonstration about optimizing one’s workflow with pre-processors.
Lindsey Grande, a second-time FFC speaker, kept her talk quick but detailed. She tackled about style branding. She cleared out to the audience that the logo is not the brand. She gave three particular reminders when it comes to branding – clarity, consistency, and communication. Grande encouraged the audience to “ask more questions and build more answers.”
The last speaker for the first day was Mark Lacsamana who talked about Data Driven Design.
“Data is what brought us to where we are today,” said Lacsamana. He said that there is no Math involved in data, that it is just about “looking at what is greater.”
He then raised the question why Filipinos don’t read in Filipino, saying that less than 5% of the social networking site Facebook users in the country use the Filipino language setting.
The second day of FFC was packed with interactive activities and workshops for the participants to further enhance the knowledge they had acquired.
Ralph Vincent Regalado started the series of workshops with HTML5 lecture and elaborated its elements, giving a crash course on 2D and 3D animation at the same time.
The second speaker, Aaron Cajes, demonstrated on stage the different features and possibilities that comes when unlocking the web with Firefox OS. Being a Filipino mobile application developer, he expressed different pointers on devising applications for this generation of gadgets, one of which was advising the audience to design apps that are touch-friendly.
User Experience Engineer Mica Diaz de Rivera gave helpful hints on Qualitative User Experience Design while emphasizing that “any form of testing is better than not testing at all”.
“Let people comment on what you can actually do better [on].” said Diaz de Rivera.
Lastly, Andrei Gonzales, Creative Director of Hugo Manila, discussed how Typography is an art and the importance of Art Direction. He also gave the participants insights on Design Issues.
“Whatever you design reflects on your work.” Gonzales said to the crowd.
His advice to young web designers is to keep pushing beyond their comfort zones in order for them to keep up with the ever-changing trends online.
“It sounds really cliché but that’s it. [If they’re] feeling what they do to be repetitive, it means that they’re not exploring more.” Also on his second year as a speaker in the event, Gonzales shared his opinion on how FFC has improved in the past years, “The topics have become more sophisticated. I guess in a way, mas maganda. The community is coming together. We’re tackling harder topics as a tighter unit.”
Web innovation and audience interaction
As web innovation techniques were discussed in the two-day conference, interaction between the participants and the speakers were maintained through the open forum held either after every speaker or after every batch of speakers. Also, the participants were kept connected on the internet through wifi, letting them log on to their Twitter accounts and use the #FFCph hashtag to share their knowledge and opinions to the non-participants all over the internet.
The first official FFC conference was held on 2009. Since then, the PWDO has strived to keep their annual web conference parallel to the demands of today’s technology.
Sponsors and partners of the said event are Globe Telecommunications Inc., Adobe Camp, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, GeekMuch Shirts, PortfolioMNL, Mozilla Firefox, GitHub, DLS-CSB Association of Information Management, Ateneo De Manila University GRIDS, WhenINManila.com, Adobo Magazine, Inquirer.net, Campaign Monitor, Developers Connect, and University of Santo Tomas’ Junior Philippine Computer Society and TomasinoWeb.
By Chleobel D. Birginias and Mia Rosienna P. Mallari
Photo taken by Joshua P. Lugti