We were selected by UX London to deliver our “User experience design for the responsive web” and “Become a better UX designer through code” workshops at last week’s conference. On day one, eager participants were guided through a hands-on implementation of Cyber-Duck’s refined processes and insights to improve user experience techniques. On day two, we gave a lesson in coding a responsive website from scratch.

The sixth-annual UX London conference took place over three days last week at the beautiful Trinity Laban. The biggest names in the industry gathered to discuss and discover all things user experience. 2014’s theme was Products, People and Platforms. Last year, Cyber-Duck gave a workshop on user-centred design; the feedback we received was so great that we were invited back for a second year, this time to host two workshops.

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Matt Gibson, left, and Danny Bluestone hear ideas from an audience member. 

UX Design for the Responsive Web

On day one, Matt Gibson and Danny Bluestone, two of our directors, treated the conference to “User experience design for the responsive web”. This three-hour workshop offered a duck’s eye view of our user-centred design (UCD) approach. Matt began by outlining the four tenets of great responsive design: content parity, quick performance, future-friendliness, and accessibility, as well as emphasising how a strong UX design considers every type of user. This is true whether they’re using an outdated device or a device that hasn’t been invented yet.

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Participants work their way through a hands-on user experience brief.

Following the introduction, participants split into groups of 6-8 and applied these new insights to our practical brief. The objective was to apply the user-centred design process to a telecom company looking to make their website responsive. The day ended with a lesson in mobile-first sketching techniques, reinforcing the point that content is a key priority and usability should not be an afterthought.

Become a Better UX Designer with Code

The next day, after a second morning of inspiring talks from the likes of Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy) and Luke Wroblewski (author of Mobile First), conference-goers couldn’t wait to open their laptops and learn to “Become a better UX designer through code”. Ramon Lapenta, creator of our in-house web framework Hoisin.scss, led attendees through building a responsive website with the help of Sylvain Reiter

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Ramon Lapenta guides workshop attendees through coding a responsive website from scratch.

Ramon stressed how important it is for designers and back-end developers to have practical HTML and CSS skills for strengthening communication with front-end developers. He also spoke about the value of frameworks and pattern libraries for introducing efficiency and consistency to web projects. By the end of the three hour workshop, participants with little or no coding experience had managed to turn a blank canvas into a fully functional responsive site—complete with multiple breakpoints for viewing on any device.

We were thrilled to be able to share our knowledge and experience at yet another great UX London event. The speakers were brilliant and our workshops were a lot of fun. We can’t wait to see how everyone applies what they have learned.

If you are interested in booking Cyber-Duck for responsive web design talks or workshops, get in touch: bookings@cyber-duck.co.uk