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ImageCon 2018 Speaker Amy Cheng, New York Magazine on Creating Graphics for the Web

New York Magazine on Creating Graphics for the Web

We continue our ImageCon 2018 Speaker Series with Amy Cheng, a web developer for New York Magazine, a site with more than 11 million monthly unique visitors. We’re so pleased to have Amy join the speaker line-up on April 12 and can’t wait for her presentation, “Drawing a Circle Three Ways: Generating Graphics for the Web.” In the following post, Amy shares her thoughts on what key graphics trends are next and what’s changed most over the last few years.

Check back later this week for our next speaker post and follow all things ImageCon on Twitter at #ImageCon2018.

How has generating graphics for the web changed in recent times?

Not long ago, if you wanted to create graphics for the web, you either had to use an application and save an image file to embed in a web page -- or hope that the end-user will download a Java or Flash plugin that can run the code that will generate your graphics.

Today, you can rely on native browser behavior to generate graphics. All modern browsers will run JavaScript and render CSS and SVGs. Most popular browsers are converging on the same standards and specs, so the gamble that different users will see the same generated graphics, is not as big a deal as it was back then.

What key graphics trends do you envision, and which are you most excited about, over the next few years?

I believe that imagery and graphics on the web will be even more responsive to a user’s environment, not just responsive to screen size and resolution.

Browsers will have access to more sensors and I am excited for visual experiences that will be responsive to ambient light and sound and a user’s geographic location.

Are there graphics-related best practices at New York Magazine that other developers can learn from? Or lessons learned from your experience that you can share?

At New York Magazine, there are many different renditions of the same image. So, the same image might have different resolutions and sizes. This gives us plenty of options in terms of print and web design.

The photo editor would upload one image to our media server and the app will automatically generate the different versions of the image, which I think is pretty cool!

What advice do you have for new web developers just starting out?

Be prepared to learn more than you thought you would. There might be best practices in your chosen programming language, but different teams all have different ways of implementing those best practices. Each time you change teams, you’ll have to learn how your new team works, in addition to keeping up with the technology you’re working with.

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