Web Directions South 2009 - Overview

Get Started sent three people from three different departments up to Sydney to try and suss out the state of the web in Australia...


by Adam Griffith06 November 2009

Kicking off...

Get Started took Web Directions South by storm this year, sending three members to Sydney to join in the festivities (and possibly learn something as well). Apart from a frantic jaunt from the airport to the venue, day one was a fantastic display of the Australian web / technology industry. Web Directions did a great job of including seminars for everyone in the industry including business, design and developers focused streams. Each stream included cutting edge approaches to specific areas within each sector and the speakers had a great personal dynamic, which added to the discussion - I say 'discussion' because each seminar usually ended about 10 minutes early for questions, which more often then not turned into an insightful conversation.

Cameron Adams, Google

As with most in our industry, when you hear that Google is introducing a new app you tend to get a little bit excited. Google Wave was conceived, designed and developed right here Australia and day ones keynote speaker was Wave’s project manager, Cameron Adams. Now, instead of getting on stage and blasting through all things ‘Wave’, Cameron took us through Google’s ideological approach towards the ‘project’ with ‘excitement’ being the core driver behind many of their biggest developments. Hearing/Learning about the famed Google project structure from someone on the inside was a great segue way into Wave.  Gaining insight into Google’s structure is priceless and can also prove to be quite helpful as Get Started continue to evolve.

Accessibility / WCAG

W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) presented a few seminars that focused on Accessibility and the ensuing WCAG standards, which are set to be implemented later this year. I found the most interesting of these seminars to be Scott Hollier’s presentation on Accessibility and multi-media content. Scott is the Project Manager for New Media for Media Access Australia (MAA) and his discussion touched on a very interesting point – as our world moves its media and communication online, how can we ensure that people with disabilities can access this information? Scott also offered insight into Open Access and mobile technologies, which as you can tell by the number of people on their Iphones, droids etc will be a major talking point in future Web Directions.

Accessibility is going to be something that will surely gain traction in the near future and our client base will need to be aware of the new standards - not doing so may cost them money. Get Started will look to increase our Accessibility development for both stationary and mobile functionality – stay tuned for future posts on this topic

Looking forward

These two highlights were just one of many features of a truly wonderful 2 days in Sydney. A previous post by Fab Ferrante, Get Started's lead designer, highlights the key aspects of the design stream and the Web Directions South Website can give a detailed look at each seminar and speaker profile.

We are certainly looking forward Web Directions South 2010!
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