ForwardJS is a fairly new conference held at the historic Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Like the past 2 summits, Forward3 hosted a variety of topics ranging from accessibility and the current state of WebGL. In between I learned about non-blocking page rendering, SVG animation and webfont techniques.
The past few years have seen an increased focus on accessibility, possibly due to some landmark cases where companies were sued for falsely claiming Section 508 compliance. My interest in Web Accessibility began from working with accessibility consultant Jim Thatcher. As part of the experience I had to use websites and web apps as a blind person and in doing this I learned two things:
- Being blind sucks
- and most of the web is unusable to the blind and visually impaired
Gerard Cohen gave a good presentation on selecting a UI framework with accessibility in mind by doing an apples-to-apples comparison of the goals and the tools each framework provides to reach those goals.
Interaction Design for Data Visualization
This was a great talk by Miles McCrocklin from Facebook about best practices for building effective interactive designs. In it he sited case studies and examined data visualization techniques used by big companies like Facebook and Google.
Phil Leggetter gave a talk about web components. The short of it is that we finally have native support for web components in the latest browsers but we’ll still need UI frameworks like Polymer, AngularJS and for IE9-10.
Everything considered the ForwardJS Summit was both fun and educational. I’m going to rate it an 8/10, would go again.