The web unleashed: Notes from FITC

We descended deep into the bowels of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to attend the Future Innovation Technology and Creativity (FITC) conference. Here's your debrief.

Picture of Kyle Tinning

By Kyle Tinning, Project Manager

October 14, 2014

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We attended the Future Innovation Technology and Creativity (FITC) conference, checking out sessions from a broad range of topics: accessibility, performance (speed) and performance (under load), usability, and agile. A debrief of our learnings follows.

Your UX Is Not My UX

Presented by: Andrew Smylk

Attended by: Andrea

This session was all about adding empathy back to our User Stories. It challenged designers and developers to think about the motivations behind a user’s actions as much as possible. It also stressed actually asking users what would motivate them to use your product or service, since sometimes emotional motivations can be lost in the task-oriented user story creation process.

Accessibility Journey at Telus

Presented by: Andrea Ong and George Zamfir

Attended by: Steve

By beginning their accessibility journey from the Design/UX standpoint, Telus was able to rapidly enforce accessible design. While every department of the company needs to know about accessibility, by beginning with design and usability it gives everybody the chance to learn about the requirements from the inception of the project.

Helpful Links from the Presentation:

Tales from the Ops Side: Celebrities vs. Websites

Presented by: Hany Fahim

Attended by: Stephen

This session provided a fascinating perspective on how to handle traffic swells and analyze user patterns. Through experimentation with CDNs, caching plugins, and fine-tuning rsync to update pages (and bust existing caches) as fast as possible on posting update, developers can create pages with lightning response while under load.

How Slow Load Times Hurt Your Bottom Line

Presented by: Tammy Everts

Attended by: Ling

This session introduced the concept of Conversion Rate, one of the compelling arguments used for evaluation of page performance, and how the page load time could impact the conversion rate.  Faster pages will retain and convert more visitors to the site.

Helpful Links from the Presentation:

Project Plans and Other Bullshit

Presented by: Kurt Krumme

Attended by: Kyle

Agile falls flat when it comes to satisfying the two questions that every client always asks: how much will it cost? And when will it be ready? This session highlighted how to sell clients on a fixed price Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to take to market with the flexibility of adding enhancements to the MVP based on the remaining budget.

In addition to the learnings at the session, the FITC conference provided a great opportunity to network with former colleagues and our contemporaries. Each discipline — Design, UX, QA, Development, and Management - was represented by the speakers and attendees of the conference, and there was enormous value in understanding the various perspectives of people in the industry.

We are in the process of sharing our learnings with our coworkers and developing strategies on how to implement best practices in our studio. If you want to learn more about FITC, check out their website.