ShropGeek Delivers Top Web Conference

This years ShropGeek (R)Evolution conference has been a huge success. The event brought together digital creatives from around the country for a full day, single track conference. Hosted at the Shropshire Conference centre, the event had around 150 attendees, many of which attended the after party at Romolo in the town centre.

The days first talk by Chris Thorpe delved into his experiences with 3D mapping and how with a 3D printer he was able to recreate complex objects to various scales. Chris sees a huge revolution in 3D printing over the coming years and it was interesting to see his plans for monetisation through gift cards and downloadable items.

Dafydd Vaughan followed Chris with a talk about the progress of the Government’s Digital Services (GDS) on the gov.uk website. Dafydd demonstrated the evolution of the gov.uk homepage based on constant user feedback and changing user habits.

After the break Robert Mills discussed tone of voice and how it was important when writing website copy, he gave some great examples of sites that had got it right and some that were slightly missing the mark.

Continuing the day Laura Kalbag spoke about website accessibility and how it is often overlooked by designers and developers. Laura gave some examples of websites that had got it right and wrong. She demonstrated how the ShropGeek website did in various accessibility tests and much to the designers relief it passed with only a few minors!

Before lunch there was a question and answer panel for the sponsors where the audience were able to pitch questions about each sponsors area of expertise.

After lunch Jonathan Snook spoke about naming conventions in CSS and how giving your CSS structure can save you a lot of time and effort when revisiting code at a later date.

James Whittaker from TweetDeck brought the first real code heavy talk to the day with an overview of the JavaScript library Flight. He discussed how it was used within TweetDeck and Twitter and how it helped reduce debugging time.

After the break Joel Hughes gave one of the most entertaining talks of the day about his experiences building websites for small to midsize businesses. Joel’s honest attitude covered areas others wouldn’t normally talk about such as pricing and when to drop clients.

The final speaker of the day was Elliot Jay Stocks from Adobe Typekit, he spoke about his move away from Flash development and his interest with typefaces and fonts.

Elliot’s talk didn’t end the conference as an after party took places in Romolo, many of the attendees took advantage of the evenings free cocktails and it was a great way to network with the speakers and others within the industry.

High profile sponsors provided an integral support to event, they included Greenfield IT Recruitment, Heart Internet and Zengenti.

It was important to the organisers that the town was sold as a great place for the event as well as the conference itself.

A similar event is in the preliminary stages of planning for next year. ShropGeek meets on the first Friday of each month in the Alb, Shrewsbury and runs a smaller Rebellion event every three months.

Pictures of the day can be found on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/104127963@N02/sets and videos of the event will be available soon.