What Every Designer Should Know about Interface Engineering


Live webinar took place on February 26, 2009

Recording length is approximately one hour.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
—Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of the Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)

At most companies, designers and engineers live in completely different worlds. For many designers the work of engineering is indistinguishable from magic. This unfortunately makes creating a finely crafted user experience much harder than it should be. Not knowing what is possible or proposing the impossible both hinder the synergy between design and engineering. Understanding the interface engineer's bag of tricks can go a long way to closing the gap between these two worlds.

What is now possible in the browser? And what is still hard to do? In this webinar, Bill Scott—author of Designing Web Interfaces (O'Reilly)—focuses specifically on the challenges and the opportunities for DHTML-based web sites and applications. Topics include: visual design nuances, ins and outs of images, CSS follies, interactivity, cinematic effects, performance, accessibility, browser advancements and ways to create a common vocabulary. Learn more about Bill's perspective from this brief Future Practice interview, and preview his webinar here (7 minute video). You can also follow the live webinar attendees' tweets here.

The Benefits

Drawing from 25 years of experience in designing and engineering interface solutions as well as leading design and engineering organizations such as Yahoo! and Netflix, Bill provides a set of guiding principles as well as concrete, real world examples of what is now possible and what is still hard to do given the current technology landscape. This hour-long recorded webinar will help you:

  • Understand guiding principles that every engineer wished you knew
  • Avoid wasting effort on designs that will be too expensive to build
  • Take advantage of advanced capabilities that you can employ in your designs
  • Be aware of technical advancements that will be coming to a browser near you
  • Employ strategies for building a common vocabulary between design and engineering

Our recorded webinars are edited for your listening pleasure, and include questions from attendees (as restated by our moderator). The running time is one hour.

Bill Scott

Bill Scott has always enjoyed technology (25 years). And he has always enjoyed people (even longer). It was a natural to blend the two loves together. For a long time he couldn't decide if he was a designer or an engineer. He finally gave up trying to classify himself and just decided to live in both worlds as much as possible. This passion has led him to found user experience teams (Sabre), build Ajax frameworks (OpenRico) lead engineering organizations (Netflix), found design pattern libraries (Yahoo!), talk a lot about it (Ajax Evangelist) and even write a book about Designing Web Interfaces (O'Reilly).

Bringing Design to Life: What Every Designer Should Know about Interface Engineering is a Future Practice webinar, produced by

Smart Experience and Rosenfeld Media