SXSW 2008: Creative Collaboration

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Information about SXSW 2008: Creative Collaboration

Published on March 17, 2008

Author: mattb



"Building Web Apps Togther"

The all-knowledgable webmaster is long gone, replaced by groups of specialists. When they work well together awesome things happen. When they don't the results are ugly, insecure, inaccessible and slow, assuming they launch at all. What's the magic that great teams have in common, and what can we learn from them?

A panel with Paul Hammond (flickr), Simon Willison, Dave Shea, Matt Biddulph (dopplr) and Geroge Oates (flickr)

Creative Collaboration Building Web Apps Together


The team Andrew Bowden – Client-side Developer Andrew Webb – Picture Editor Andy Harris – Client-side Developer Annabel Else – Producer/Project Manager Carol Patten – Homepage Designer Caroline Smith – User Experience Designer Christina Nsamba – Project Manager Gee-Kay Wong – Usability Manager Gideon Bullock – Senior User Experience Designer Jonathan Kingsbury – Head of Editorial Affairs Julie Dodd – User Experience Designer Mark Hewis – Development Team Leader Paul Hammond – Senior Client-side Developer Steve Hunt – Information Architect Steve Rogers – Head of Design and Navigation Tim Noble – Senior Operations Co-ordinator Tony Ageh – Head of Search, Listings and Core Web Venus Speedwell – Homepage Manager Victoria Conlan – Perl Developer Zoe Davenport – Homepage Designer

Designer Developer


Design Husband

Live testing Sculpting, not painting

Simon Willison

• Currently: freelance developer and consultant focusing on JavaScript, OpenID and Django • Previously: • Small Yahoo! team building prototypes • The Lawrence Journal-World newspaper • My visual design skills suck, but I’m competent at numerous other design disciplines

Lawrence Journal-World • Local newspaper for a small town in Kansas • Two developers, one designer (doubling as HTML and CSS engineer), a bunch of editorial staff • Several award winning websites • “Web development on journalism deadlines” • We originally built Django to support the demands of that environment

A parallel workflow with Django • Developers design the underlying data model • Automated admin interface allows content producers to start entering data straight away • Meanwhile, developers are building the logic for the public facing pages • Developers hand stub templates to designer (friendly template language) • This works great for sites that are defined by their data

Today... • More of my work involves applications • Continuing collaboration with a designer is essential right from the start • I need a “design husband” for my personal projects










Iʼve worked at Flickr since it was born on February 10, 2004

Paper & whiteboard

Hats interface designer visual designer copywriter project manager product manager program manager community wrangler customer care provider information architect webmonkey etc

The core dev team has grown from 3 (5) to 16 (40)

The core dev team has grown from 3 (5) to 16 (40) (With a supporting cast of well over 100 people)

There are well over 2.3 billion photos

There are well over 2.3 billion photos (This still freaks me out.)

Our membership has grown to 20 million

Our membership has grown to 20 million (YAY! But, how does that change things?)

Whatʼs happened to release early, release often?


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