My Session Notes from Chicago Web Conf 2012

Badge & Schedule for Chicago Web Conf 2012

Today I attended the second year of the Chicago Web Conf at 1871. These folks threw a great conference and really elevated the whole conference. The folks running the event video recorded the presentations so hopefully they’ll get those up soon. In the meantime I thought I shared some of the rough notes I took with some of the links I was able to round up.

A/B Testing Your Design with Real UsersWill Hacker

I wasn’t able to find the any public resources related to this talk. Sorry for the lack of links.

A/B Testing Lets You

  • Lets you know what’s going
  • Lets you test your solution


  • Small changes who can lead to big changes
  • Low effort to test those changes
  • Takes some of the opinion out of design
  • Better solutions to market faster

Recommends using Optimizely.

Path, Properties, Paint: HTML5 Canvas and the Pervasive Pixel Painting Protocol by Justin Love



  • You can use CSS as a string to effect objects in canvas
  • Lines: width, caps and joins
  • .beginPath() and .closePath()
  • .moveTo() and .lineTo()
  • .arc()
  • .transform()
  • .scale()
  • .rotate() angles are radians
  • Canvas really is just a grid of pixels even though its elements are vector based
  • Drop shadows don’t reflect transforms
  • Images can be loaded into canvas

Immediate Mode vs. Retained Mode

  • Immediate mode overwrite pixels when you write. If you put a circle over a box and then move the ball the box won’t be there.
  • Canvas is an immediate mode
  • SVG is a retained mode

More stuff

  • Animation Timing: Don’t use setInterval use setTimeout
  • You can layer canvases if you need a layered effect
  • Dynamic favicon with canvas.
  • Saving a Canvas: data-URL

Designing the Hi-DPI Web by David Demaree – My Favorite Presentation

I did take notes on this, but his presentation was so kick-ass I recommend you just go through his presentation slides. They are very through.

HTML on steroids – Angular.js by Oren Golan

Presentation on Git

Angular.js is like HTML on Steroids it has a small learning curve and was started by a googler

Who is Using It?

  • doubleclick by Google
  • Sony
  • Colingo

Cool Things

  • Declarative approach
  • 2-way data binding
  • Plain old JS objects
  • Easy to test

Sketching Your Way to a Better Design by Russ Unger

I didn’t really take notes on this talk, because it was more like a mini-workshop then a talk. The basic premise of the talk was that by sketching you can flush out more ideas faster. Basically if you aren’t sketching, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! Which I completely agree with. Sketching is huge part of my process and the other designers I work with.

The workshop was basically a design studio, which generally is a workshop that takes stakeholders, designers and developers and give them an opportunity to flush out and share ideas via sketching. So during the talk Russ ran the crowd through the details. We ended up doing a five minute sketching session trying to generate eight ideas. Russ then showed how you could take this sketching to the streets to get some quick usability testing.

Some Random Pics I Took During the Conference

Hi-DPI Device Characteristics Slide – David Damaree

Slide of the downsides to implementing Hi-DPI design now – David Demaree

Presentation by Martin Atkins: Welcome to the Music Business… You’re F*%KED

Russ Unger giving his talk/mini-workshop about “Sketching Your Way to a Better Design”


One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Russ,

    Thanks for the write-up, and thanks for attending my session! It was a really great crowd yesterday and it was great to get people into the sketching exercise–glad you enjoyed it!

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