Generate has a reputation as a fantastic event for anyone interested in web design or frontend development, with an ideal mix of relaxed socialising and discussion of the latest web innovations.
This year was no different, with great conversations on the venue floor, and truly insightful talks in the theatre. And of course, the Fasthosts team were there, taking the opportunity to have some in-depth discussions with the attending designers and devs.
Like previous years, it’s hard to pick favourites from a schedule full of world-class speakers, but here’s our roundup of some of the best talks.
Digital marketing strategies for the busy “web master” – Sarah Parmenter
The first day of talks kicked off with designer, blogger and speaker Sarah Parmenter examining the changing face of web metrics and how the designer’s role can be pushed in a more strategic direction.
From a more modular approach to asset creation – “design once, use everywhere” – to taking a wider view of web design in the context of digital marketing, Sarah got the event off to an excellent start with a highly engaging talk.
Navigating the hype-driven front-end development world without going insane – Kristijan Ristovski
By highlighting the mountain of libraries and frameworks currently out there, Kitze neatly demonstrated how frontend developers can be overwhelmed with choice. In this humorous and tech-focused talk, he gave some practical tips on maximising productivity and avoiding the dreaded “fear of missing out”.
Creating art with CSS – Cassidy Williams
Cassidy Williams, senior software engineer at CodePen, provided a live masterclass in CSS, creating Big Ben from scratch in CSS code as the audience looked on.
Aside from showing off Cassidy’s outstanding CSS abilities, this highly enjoyable presentation proved just how flexible CSS can be. Cassidy’s live commentary also provided some practical tips for squeezing a wider variety of shapes and effects from CSS code – ideal for CSS developers looking to learn new skills and maximise their creativity.
When design systems fail – Andrew Godfrey
Early on the second day of talks, Andrew Godfrey took to the stage to discuss the nature of design systems and what happens when they fail.
As senior design specialist at InVision with previous experience at LEGO, Andrew gave a variety of interesting design system examples – including the ubiquitous LEGO blocks themselves. This talk provided a great overview of web design methodologies, and how a successful design system can seriously enrich an organisation.
From AMP to PWA: a modern web user journey – Conor McGann
As a mobile UX specialist at Google, it’s no surprise that Conor McGann is on top of the latest mobile development technologies.
Focusing on Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project and the ongoing phenomenon of progressive mobile apps (PWAs), Conor explained how developers can make the mobile browsing experience faster and more intuitive, even on flaky networks.
The art and science of storytelling – Laura Yarrow
UX consultant Laura Yarrow is an experienced developer, but this intriguing talk was as much about the human mind as web technology.
Via fascinating scientific and historical evidence, Laura’s impressive talk highlighted how storytelling is a fundamental human trait – and how web design can harness its power into the user journey.
At the Fasthosts stand
The atmosphere of Generate is ideal for discussing all things technology-related, and at the Fasthosts stand we had some great conversations. With so many designers and developers using our hosting platforms, we relished the opportunity to directly interact with the community and chat to our customers face to face.
Our prize draw was also a major talking point, with two lucky visitors walking away with a shiny Nintendo Switch game console and the latest noise-cancelling wireless headphones from Bose.
We love events like Generate and hope to attend more in the future, so keep an eye out for Fasthosts at a venue near you soon – it would be great to see you!