This is a guest post by Gilad Greenbaum. Gilad attended the Web Directions South conference for The Next Web Australia and below is his report on some of the main attractions of  Day 2 of the conference.

Tim Harrison 300x250 Web Directions South Conference, Day 2Day two’s presentations at Web Directions South offered a few flavours to satisfy everyone from the hard core web developer, through to web designers and also those people who like to think about bigger picture Web issues.

Below is an overview of some of the main presentations on the day.

Tatham Oddie (@tathamoddie), a technical strategist and an awarded Microsoft MVP gave his view on the big picture of Web Standards in large scale, high traffic websites. The philosophy of Tatham encourages developers to find the right balance between current compliance, legacy support and future proofing in deployment of commercial sites, while communicating to the stake holders of the project the right priorities correctly.

Max Wheeler (@makenosound), a hands on web apps practitioner out of IceLabs, presented a practical demonstration of Geolocation development tools, methods and even ethics. It was an excellent brief for any web professional with Javascript skills that would like to know how to tap into the ever-growing Geolocation scene.

Myles Eftos (@madpilot), who is now also chairing the committee of the Australian Web Industry Association reviewed the options for Web developers who wants to develop for mobile, using their familiar toolbox of HTML/CSS/JavaScript, while still making the app look native. This talk seemed to be particularly well received by the audience, especially those who are considering building cross-platform applications, or applications for various classes of devices – such as smart phones and Pads. The options reviewed by Myles were mainly PhoneGap, SenchaTouch, Titanium and iScroll. Once again this was an excellent run through of the pros and cons of each platform, with some handy tips in a presentation followed up by many questions ( and answers).

Matt Balara ( @mattbalara) delivered an engaging, and rather entertaining presentation on best practice in online shop design. He did this by characterising online shoppers by type, using behavioural analyisis, bridging the gap between offline and online shopping and bringing heaps of real world examples, Matt also  went through some amazing user experience examples but wisely managed to stay outside the danger zone of discussing which eCommerce platform developers should look to use.

Last keynote for the event was Tim Harrison, a UK born Creative Strategist with life and work experience across Europe, USA and Australia, including involvement with Apple concept designs.

Before tackling some technical challenges with his presentation, the mellow and relaxed Tim pointed out what the most important factors in design concepts are in a globalised world, and even had a message to his fellows Australian designers; take pride of who you are and what Australia represents – a bridge between USA and British design schools. Just as importantly though, he said Australian’s should be proud of the direction our design philosophy is taking us.

At the end of the day, which also marked the end of the Conference, a closing party took place at Darling Harbour (and is still going as this story goes to print quite a few hours later)

For those who managed to stay sober tonight, or who know how to operate under a serious hangover, tomorrow morning at 8am is the start of Amped, a hacking event that is also part of Australian Web Week, which is currently running in conjunction with Web Directions South.

A big congratulations must go to John Allsopp and Maxine Sherrin, the organisers of Web Directions South, and their team for delivering a fantastic Web Directions South 2010. I can safely say that many people are already looking forward to WDS 2011.