By Paul Bridgestock

Win a Ticket to Web Directions South

By Paul Bridgestock

Web Directions South is without doubt a conference worthy of your attention. If you’re itching to go but scratching around for funds, then oh boy do we have the challenge for you. Pull out your best mobile web development skills and you could get your ticket on merit, not credit.


We’ve had a few questions regarding the definition of a button and we want you to know you can design and develop a button or a badge or a card, in no way is a <button> required. Shoot for the stars, be that a sherriff’s badge, a volume control set to 11, or a brilliant business card.

The Brief

Make a button using the web standards trifecta of HTML, CSS and Javascript. Only. We applaud the addition of numerals 5 to your HTML, and 3 to your CSS. Make your peers gasp with delight at the sheer good manners of your button, and make them wonder and marvel at its technical prowess.


  • Zero image tolerance
  • Mandatory animation
  • File size to a ruthless minimum

So what you are aiming for is a button of absolutely any kind, that does not use any images for its presentation but which absolutely must animate in some manner. All of this, whilst keeping the total size of your files down to a ruthless minimum.


You are at liberty to include any of the open source Javascript libraries hosted by the Google Libraries API, or any combination thereof. Note, however, that the weight of inclusions will be counted. Also note an obvious exception, the use of “SWFObject” will, naturally, void a submission.


Email a zipped copy of your files to before we close submissions at midnight on Saturday 1st October. This allows you a little finishing off time at the weekend, and allows us to finalise the judging in advance of the Web Directions South event.

Judging Criteria

  • Visual Wonderance
  • Technical Wizardry
  • Minimal File Size

Score Calculation

Marks out of 200 (OK) will be awarded for each of the “Visual Wonderance” and “Technical Wizardy” criteria. Then, the weight of Javascript inclusions and our measure of load time will feed into a calculation reducing an initial score of 504 (Timeout) to a final contribution. Max score therefore 904.

Honourable Judges

Judges are currently being selected, and may or may not be part of the Web Directions South 2011 Speakers line up. At this stage, we are withholding the judges names to avoid any bribery or other such skullduggery ahead of submission deadline.


Once the judging has been finalised, the ultimate challenger will be awarded the ultimate rewards package described above. There will be a few more great items rewarded to honourable mentions, on a discretional basis according to the quality of the entries.


0. Invent This? Absolutely not, most of the credit goes to the 10K Apart giants, and the shoulders of the giants they in turn stood upon, namely the 5K mob. Also, hats off to @Malarkey’s Dick from which a little inspiration was taken.

1. Taking Too Many Liberties? Certainly with regard to the above question. However, we will not limit your Javascript inclusions, but we will judge the common sense and sensibilities of your choices when it comes to weight, and the 504 (Timeout) contribution.

2. Third Parties? No, non permissable. Everything contributing to your submitted button must reside within your root folder. No externals besides the liberty libraries. Therefore third parties like Flickr and Twitter, and that Facebook thing, are excluded.

3. Legalese? Not really, but yes of course there is. Let’s keep it simple: we retain the right to exercise our discretion when it comes to judging. Submit your work at your own risk. The risk of being recognised for your awesomeness is real. No correspondence will be entered into.

4. Spec Work? Absolutely not. Enter the challenge if you want to, and understand this is not a competition in any legal sense. If somebody does want to pay you for your work, within the challenge or on general merit, we guarantee to pass on any enquiries we receive.

5. Multiples? Multiple entries by a single parties are allowed. Single entries by multiple parties are allowed. All fall under the status code 300 (Multiple Choices). A victorious submission by multiple parties will require the splitting of costs for the remaining multiple attendees.

  • Wow, this is fantastic, i’ve always wanted to go to one of these conferences but just couldn’t afford to.

  • Tarcio

    That’s great work guys!

  • stephen

    Multiple submissions?

  • All of the above comments are appreciated, thank you. I hope you are all working hard on your submissions. We have updated the FAQ with regard to multiple submissions, they’re okay.

  • I thought there would be more questions by now, so, here’s mine.
    * By “Zero image tolerance” I guess that mean no SVG or Base64 encoded images too?
    * By “Make a button” I guess you mean the BUTTON HTML tag in a FORM, not some restyled Anchor tag or Radio button or Input type=button etc.
    * I think including a web font from Google would be allowed, but we would be marked down heavily on account of file size?
    * Since this is a buildmobile competition, do we only worry about mobile Safari and Android Chrome?

  • Some good questions above, and here are the guidances. Where it seems appropriate, such as when a question is asked frequently, we will weave these responses into the FAQ.

    Initially conceived as the <img> tag, zero image tolerance should be taken to mean that SVG will be tolerated because it is vector, however Base64 will not be tolerated because it is bits.

    To make a button should not be taken too literally, and does not necessarily mandate the use of the button tag. The intention is to mean small thing, fastener, folk art or studio craft.

    Fonts are definitely allowed, just consider the weight carefully on balance with the visual wonderance and technical wizardry criteria. 30K ain’t too weighty if its wonderful.

    Last time I checked there were 18 browsers for smartphone OSs, and though WebKit is the top rendering engine, there is also Gecko, Presto, Mango plus the implementation details.

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