HighEdWeb 2012

I had the privilege of presenting at HighEdWeb again this year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of the highlights was the keynote by Adam Savage of Myth Busters fame. Even though the keynote and following Q&A session was long by typical standards, everyone seemed disappointed when it came to an end. And quite an explosive end at that. Adam closed with a video montage of some of the best explosions from Myth Busters. My presentation was in the second to last time-slot on the second day. I typically hate that placement as I like to get my presentation done quickly so I can relax and enjoy the rest of the conference. However, this year I was one of 10+ talks on RWD. This had me a little worried at first since I was concerned a number of talking points might end up being old hat by the time my slot rolled around. Luckily that didn’t happen. What it allowed me to do instead is spend less time on the intro to RWD and instead spend more time on the parts that, to me, are more interesting.

Though my presentation was broken into five parts, it was really only two in my mind. The first being the history of mobile web at Notre Dame and how it led up to our responsive homepage. The second part was about performance issues I’ve observed in not only HigherEd responsive homepages, but RWD in general. My point is that RWD isn’t inherently mobile friendly from a performance standpoint. Yes, it may be pretty, but we’re stuck in the desktop mentality of sending large amounts of data down the pipe to mobile devices. Instead, we should spend time really thinking about how to tweak our sites to ensure we’re building responsive sites that are truly “mobile friendly”.

If you’re interested, the slides are available on SpeakerDeck and you can watch the presentation on YouTube (also below). Big thanks to Converge Consulting for recording).