Meta Refresh 2013

The design and engineering of user interface on the web

Meta Refresh is a conference on the construction of the user experience on the web. The 2013 edition is about letting go. It’s about learning the skills necessary to build experiences which cannot possibly exist on any medium apart from the internet. It will showcase people who have a deep understanding of what the internet is, and what it can be; people who have built experiences and who can recount their experiences doing so.

The details

Meta Refresh 2013 is a single-track event over two days. All proposals will be evaluated by the program committee consisting of:

The program committee will not consider public voting when making selections, as the current form of voting has a weak correlation to relevance, but will instead look at the discussion each proposal generates. If there is a proposal you find notable, please leave a comment.

For this year’s event, we are seeking original presentations from practising designers and frontend engineers on why something should be done the way you say, rather than how. The conference stage is a place to convince the audience to your point of view. Howto guides go on the website.

As a single track event, you will have the full audience in the room with you, and we expect you to keep it engaged. Please submit examples of prior speaking experience, or a video introducing yourself and your topic, plus proof that you practice what you preach.

Attendance is free for selected speakers. HasGeek will cover your travel to and accommodation in Bangalore from anywhere in the world. As our budget is limited, we will prefer speakers from locations closer home, but will do our best to cover for anyone exceptional. If you are able to raise support for your trip, we will count that towards an event sponsorship.

There are no sponsored sessions at Meta Refresh. Your speaking opportunity is at the discretion of the program committee alone.

If your proposal is not accepted, you can buy a ticket at the same rate as was available on the day of your proposal.

Discounted tickets are available from


We will make the first round of confirmations by late December, a second round by mid-January, and will finalize the schedule in early February. More specific dates as they get closer. The event is on Feb 22-23.

Commitment to open source

HasGeek believes in open source as the foundation of the internet. Our aim is to strengthen these foundations for future generations. If your talk describes a codebase for developers to work with, we require that it is available under a permissive open source license, a license that does not impose itself on subsequent work.

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Rajesh Shah


Beyond 'Responsive Design' - 'Contextual Design'

Submitted Dec 15, 2012

To go beyond responsive design into contextual design - taking context from different dimensions, including user info and user use.


Responsive design is about screen size and device characteristics. These get fixed at start and most of the time do not change (how many people change their browser screen size during session).

We need to go beyond and provide contextual design:

  • gps info
  • user profile (if credentials are provided)
  • user behaviour (what they click on).

This means design has to extend beyond initial display and layout. We need to continuously think of design as interacting with the user. We need to design the interaction as requested data is displayed.

At the Peer Water Exchange, our audience is tech savvy researchers, funders (investors), managers (often tech illiterate), and field staff (mono-lingual and tech illiterate), and the public. We have been struggling with UI for 7 years and are now creating processes, paths, and layouts for all users. We want to allow switching of roles. We have no choice but to go beyond responsive into context-driven design.

Speaker bio

The Peer Water Exchange is a social entrepreneurship project that requires changes across the philanthropic value chain: from the funding (foundations and donors) to intermediaries, to the grantee (implementers) and to the beneficiaries. Rajesh conceived PWX in 2003 to address the problem of scale: how to deliver tens of thousands of small rural projects and verify their impact?

The technology and the people issues are both challenging and fascinating for him.

His has been a management consultant to companies and non-profits on using internet and e-commerce technologies to change culture, operating models, and market strategies. His early career spanned 10 years at Bell Laboratories. After receiving his MBA, Rajesh became a management consultant at CSC Index and also had stints in three start-ups.

Extremely interested in sustainability and technology, Rajesh teaches and writes on various issues facing our society.

Rajesh did his undergraduate studies in engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and Lafayette College, and received an MS and MBA from the University of California.


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Hosted by

Meta Refresh is an umbrella forum for conversations about different aspects of design and product including: UX and interaction design CMS, content management, publishing and content marketing Information architecture more