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happening in Newport, South Wales

Archive for the ‘Port80 2014’ Category

Port80 2014 – a roundup

Posted on: May 19th, 2014 by Helen Reynolds

It was a customarily sunny and warm day in Newport(!) when lots of you hit town to hear from our amazing speakers. Joel did a terrific job or finding a combination of speakers who had wisdom and skills in bucket loads. They kept us laughing, taking notes and generally loving the whole day so a big thanks to Denise, Dan, Nathan, Louise, Roy, Kimberley, Kevin and Matt.

Big shout out to our lovely sponsors of Basekit, Heart Internet and Campaign Monitor.

(We’ll post links to slides in another post)

“Absolutely fab.  Very useful.  Lots to take away and think about and work with.  Loved it.  Good organisation and venue, too.  Many thanks to all who made it happen.”

Steve Aze






Get the Port80 app

Posted on: May 15th, 2014 by Helen Reynolds

Right you lucky Port80 people – you can now download the Port80 app!

It’s got all the information you’re going to need about speakers, finding your way to the event and getting you safely to the aftershow drinks.

Get it from the iTunes store

Get the Android app on Google Play

Lovely it is:

App screenshot 1Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 09.12.20Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 09.11.25



2014 Conference Programme and Schedule

Posted on: May 6th, 2014 by Helen Reynolds

Port80, the best web conference to come out of Wales, ever, is on May 16th at the University of South Wales, Newport. It’ll be tremendous.


Book tickets here.


There are plenty of hotels nearby – here’s a handy list of some good ones.


Online chat before, during and after:
Hashtag: #port80
Tweets: @port80events

Running order

09:00 Opening ceremony


09:10 Denise Jacobs

@denisejacobs – Speaker + Writer + Creativity Evangelist

Port80 Talk: ‘Banish Your Inner Critic’

Your inner critic is an unconscious deterrent that stands between the seeds of great ideas and the fruits of achievement, keeping you stuck by telling you you’re just faking it, that others have more talent, that you’ll never achieve the success you seek.
In this talk, we’ll anatomize this pernicious inner force, and learn techniques to banish this critic so that you can have the mental space and energy to let your true talents emerge — and help you be a badass.

dan09:55 Dan Donald

@hereinthehive – Makes words on big-picture-web-journal-thing Break the Page and occasionally does gig-styled web conferences Speak the Web.

Port80 Talk: ‘Designing Evolution’

The fluidity and flexibility the web offers us is something we’ve never really had to deal with properly before. How can we ensure that looking at capabilities (of which width is one) and describing how a layout can start with a solid baseline of colour and typography can evolve?
Further ahead, what might some of the challenges be if we work with ‘element queries’?

10:40 Morning break

nathan11:00 Nathan Ford

@nathan_ford – Creative Director at Mark Boulton Design

Port80 Talk: ‘Mastering the dark art of fluid layout’

Beautiful, fluid layouts do not need to be mystifying. Designer and developer Nathan Ford will take you through some of the ways traditional grids and other layout methods on the web are hindering our designs, and show you ways to build with fluidity from the start.
He will demonstrate how to derive bespoke grid systems from your content, strengthening the connectedness of device, content and layout, and then show you how to adapt your layout as needed to maintain your smart compositional decisions across an ever-changing landscape.

louise11:45 Louise Tierney

@thelittle_t – Producer & User Experience Analyst for Zengenti

Port80 Talk: ‘Put yourself in their shoes!’

It’s a fact that many decisions are made by our emotions, why then would you publish a website that makes people feel frustrated? Why don’t we all make websites that just ‘feel right’ to use?
Louise explains why it isn’t’ as easy as you might think – there isn’t just one thing to get right. In her talk she explains that it’s a combination of elements which creates a good User Experience; design, layout, colours, content, writing style and the Content Management System (CMS) behind the website.

12:30 Lunch*

roy13:30 Roy Tomeij

@roy – co-founder at AppSignal

Port80 Talk: ‘Make Them Click’

Whether you want it or not, you’re the constant victim of neuro-marketing. Understand the unconscious reasons for your online actions, and how to apply psychology-meets-UX.

kim14:15 Kimberley Tew

@kimberleytew – Freelance copywriter and content manager/strategist

Port80 Talk: ‘Accessibility for Humans’

Accessibility has an image problem. It is often seen as an added extra that must be requested by the client, or as an ugly hindrance to your beautiful design. This is less of a talk, more of a show and tell session that will demonstrate the human impact of accessible websites. There will be no checklists, no code samples, just simple humanity.

15:00 Afternoon break

kev15:20 Kevin Evans

@kwe – CTO and Head of the Development at the University of South Wales

Port80 Talk: ‘These ARE the Droids you’re looking for’

The talk focuses on the theoretical and practical development of mobile context aware applications to delivery rich user experiences. Using technology like Bluetooth LE (iBeacons), Geofencing and Social data, to deliver and gather the right content at the right time. Mixing the digital and physical to create delightful experiences.

jukes16:05 Matt Jukes

@jukesie – Head of Digital Content at the Office for National Statistics

Port80 Talk: ‘Lies, damned lies, and statistics’

Think you have worked on some difficult projects?

The ONS website has been called “a national disgrace” in the Financial Times, “the world’s worst website” in a best-selling book, “virtually unnavigable” in the Guardian and was the subject of a Parliamentary Select Committee investigation. Bet you don’t feel so bad now do you?

The talk will be an honest assessment of why things got so bad, what we are trying to do to fix things and where we hope to get to in the future.

17:00 Closing ceremony

Aftershow: The Riverfront from 19:30*



Port80 2014 – Hotels

Posted on: March 3rd, 2014 by joel

With the Port80 2014 event starting to loom a little larger on the horizon, here is a list of hotels which may be of use.

This is cheap and cheerful and not a huge walk from Newport city centre.

Celtic Manor
This is a little bit more up market; the sumptuous palace where the Ryder Cup was help is for the more discerning Port80 attendee.

The Priory
This is actually in my little village which is a bus journey from Newport. Caerleon is a lovely old Roman town (check out that amphitheatre!) with some cracking boozers. The Priory is a lovely place to eat & stay.

Knoll Guest House
I’ve not stayed here but have heard great things. Slap bang in town as well.

West Usk Lighthouse

An unusual gem of a B&B (I should write reviews for a living).

Newport Travelodge

Very central in town. And more likely to be a bit more boisterous.

Holiday Inn Express

This is just off M4 J28 (so on the outskirts of Newport). A quieter experience than Travelodge but a taxi ride in and out.

p.s. in case you missed it, Stu Robson & James Cryer are running some great workshops on the day before Port80.


Port80 Workshops in May

Posted on: February 14th, 2014 by joel

On the day before May’s Port80 2014 we’re putting on two, half day,workshops ran by some very smart cookies: James Cryer & Stu Robson. The cost is £59 (+VAT) and tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Workshops will be on the 15th of May 2014 (the day before Port80 2014) and will also be held at the City Campus in Newport.

Stu Robson – “Sass: An introduction” (a.m. workshop)

We’ll look at CSS pre-processors, why and where you would use them, what they do and how they work. After this we’ll move onto how to use the power of Sass to make your CSS authoring more efficient and hopefully more fun.

  • Options for installing Sass on your machine
  • The two syntaxes, Sass & SCSS
  • Variables, mixins and includes
  • Extends and placeholders
  • Built in functions
  • Media queries & nesting
  • Compass, Bourbon and other frameworks
  • Sass and front-end performance
  • And more!



James Cryer – “Making development sane, modern tools for the web” (p.m. workshop)

In an ever changing world, it is difficult to keep up with the latest trends in web development. However, there are tools and frameworks out there that can remove the mundane tasks, freeing up your time to work on the latest and greatest things. In this workshop, we’ll explore the latest tooling available for quickly scaffolding single page applications. This includes automating CSS pre-processing, image optimisation, linting, testing and web performance.

The tools used will be Yeoman which include Yo, Bower and Gruntjs. We’ll also explore the latest features in ChromeDev Tools that can really optimise your workflow.



Please shout out if you have any questions. There will be some ok(ish) tea & coffee available.


Port80 2014 – Call for Speakers

Posted on: October 1st, 2013 by joel

Hi everyone,

Port80 will be coming back for it’s 3rd event in 2014 so please set your phasers to stun for Friday, the 16th of May 2014. As usual the event will be in Newport, South Wales; easily accessible via road & rail for miles around.

The cherub has got some likely candidates on his/her radar for speakers for next year but all slots are certainly not taken.

Before I give a rough run through of the topics I’m looking to cover in 2014, I just want to go over some of the overarching aims of Port80; maybe this will help guide you as to whether you’d like to speak or not, or to help guide you with some suggestions for speakers (all very much appreciated).

The Spirit of Port80

My aim for Port80 is for it to offer practical advice to the people who build (or are involved with the process of building websites). I like people to have good take-aways which can help them going forward. That’s not to say I don’t like having higher level or more inspirational talks; totally welcome – I just like the balance towards stuff which can be immediately useful.

The typical speakers I’m after have a strong practical grounding in what they do and maybe haven’t even spoken before (or are not regulars on the speaking circuit).

Oh, and in my (limited) experience, the females amongst you are slightly more backwards in coming forwards to speak; please don’t be shy – irrespective of your background. And hey, don’t not speak because you feel that someone out there knows more than you – someone always knows more than you! However, you own your unique perspective? You own that – please feel free to share.

Topics, Schmopics

Let’s move on to the general areas I’d like covered; I’d appreciate if you took a look at this as these are the topics I’m really looking to address.

Content Strategy / Copy Writing

What practical advice can be given to people on the front line of website build and design to help them help clients create better content?


Always interested in how we make the web more open to everybody; does RWD have a11y implications? If so, tell us.

How you work?

There’s no set pattern to how websites are built. If you have insights on your process which could be helpful to others, please share.

CSS, HTML5 etc

Defo interested in any new developments and how they can be applied; don’t be afraid of live coding – show and tell!

The Serverside & Performance

What’s happening in the world of PHP, RUBY, Javascript etc? The Port80 audience contains a mix of people so don’t be afraid to be technical yet, at the same time,  you just need to (try*) put that into context which more folks will understand.

(*not everyone gets every talk at a conference, that’s cool).

Running a business, freelancing etc

I worry a bit that the practicalities of running a business/freelancing and all those other things which go into what we do, get forgotten. That’s one reason why I set up The Business of Web Design (heck, there may be a conference there as well!). So, if you have some insights or angles which can help everyone else; then cool.


Most of us have a handle on what responsive is now so if you’re going to talk about this you probably want to deal with cutting edge issues or solutions etc.


This one is for me! I’m bowled over by the Raspberry Pi, Arduino etc. I’m really interested in iBeacon and Bluetooth LE – there are some damn funky applications in the offing there!

Any other business?

Or, of course, anything else you’d like to speak about – you’re allowed to go off piste 🙂

Don’t be shy!

Please put your hand up if you’re interested. If not, please have a good think about who you’d like to talk – and they may well not be on the typical speakers circuit.

Please stick your name down on the newsletter to be amongst the first to hear about tickets etc.


p.s. this font size is too small…

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