How do we go about running the project of making a website? What are the human challenges in organizing projects and making decisions. How can we use the web to further our businesses?

Episode 111 Going Responsive with Karen McGrane

December 17, 2015

It’s clear. Responsive is the way to go. One website for all screen sizes, for all devices. But what does it take for a company with an pre-existing site or pre-existing way of working together to make the needed changes to go responsive? It's not about the media queries. It's about everything else. Karen McGrane joins Jen Simmons to talk about her new book, and to imagine an amazing future.

In This Episode

  • What does it take to revise an existing site to be responsive? What are the biggest challenges?
  • How can you get the whole team on the same page, understanding the complexity of modern web design?
  • What about responsive web design is so hard?
  • Why using PDFs generated in Photoshop to make final decisions is a lousy way to design. How a process that includes prototypes is much better.
  • How to make big changes to the work flow inside a team.
  • What we can learn from the past, the transition from analog to digital.
  • The possibilities in design that open up once we modernize our content systems and workflows.
  • The dangers of using a front-end framework.
  • What’s wrong with the industry’s current focus on style guides?
  • What does it take to design a true system of content and layout options?
  • How might we start empowering content creators with tools for true editorial design?

Episode 109 Designing Products with Dustin Senos

November 3, 2015

Designing a successful product takes more than attention to the look & feel, or the interface architecture. Great product design happens earlier in the process, when the product itself is defined and understood. With his experience as the lead designer for Medium, Dustin Senos knows a thing or two about making a product great. He joins Jen Simmons to explain what it takes.

In This Episode

  • What is product design, and how is it different than other kinds of design?
  • Who should design the product?
  • Defining success
  • Who are you designing for?
  • How do you get to great design by exhausting your options
  • How to avoid being too clever
  • How do you convince your colleagues that taking time for this process is important?

Episode 88 Staying Sane with Peter Ferko

October 29, 2014

This week has been declared “Geek Mental Health Week” by Andy Clarke. He asked The Web Ahead to participate, so I invited yogi Peter Ferko to join me and talk about ways to find contentment, balance and sanity in a world that can be painful or overwhelming.

In This Episode

  • How can we find contentment?
  • Options in dealing with bad times
  • A perspective on emotions
  • How to let things go
  • Ways to think about depression and anxiety
  • What can a yoga or meditation practice do?

Episode 84 Transforming the People Problem with Paul Boag

September 24, 2014

We are currently experiencing a revolution brought on by digital technology. Changing to a digital world is not just about switching tools or building a new website; we are seeing giant shifts in how businesses operate, how companies are structured, how people buy things, how humanity communicates. Those of us who make websites are deeply affected by the tension and frustration within organizations struggling to understand this revolution. Paul Boag joins Jen Simmons to give practical advice on how to help organizations make the needed transformation.

In This Episode

  • How to get an institution to make a big strategic change, even when you haven't been asked to
  • Transforming entrenched culture
  • Convincing your bosses
  • Involving stakeholders in the design process
  • Designing by agile methodology
  • Creating ownership and buy-in
  • Rethinking the role of "the web team"

Episode 80 The Complexity and the Humanity with Trent Walton

August 26, 2014

Web projects have become very complex in the last few years, but the hardest part isn't the technology — it's the humanity. The success or failure of big projects is contingent on leadership, vision and planning. Trent Walton joins Jen Simmons to tell tales of working on the homepage and other big projects — sharing what can go right and what can go wrong. He also talks about reviving the original 1994 version of and the importance of archiving the web.

In This Episode

  • Designing the new homepage
  • Convincing stakeholders to go responsive
  • Making websites for clients 10 years ago vs. now
  • Business leadership behind successful projects
  • Recreating the original homepage

Episode 62 Waterfall vs Agile with Kristin Ellington

March 13, 2014

Is the web industry moving away from waterfall projects and towards an agile-ish approach? Funny Garbage COO Kristin Ellington joins Jen Simmons to discuss how she structures client projects these days, and why waterfall isn't working anymore.

Episode 27 Content with Kristina Halvorson

July 27, 2012

How do we get good content on the web? Kristina Halvorson joins Jen Simmons to talk about the discipline of content strategy, where it came from and where it's going. We also get into fear and life and how to make change in an environment that needs it.

Episode 26 Servers with Josh Koenig

July 20, 2012

What is going on with the infrastructure that runs the web? Server stacks have changed a lot in the past 20 years. Josh Keonig joins Jen Simmons to talk about what's happening with cloud infrastructures and hosting options over the years.

Episode 24 Jobs the Web Does with Horace Dediu

June 26, 2012

How can we understand the business of the web? Horace Dediu joins Jen to talk about the web through the lens of disruption theory, discussing innovation and jobs to be done. Along the way we get into advertisement on the web, and the old website vs native app debate.

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