Be nice. Or else.
It's impossible to read the article, the scroll animations seem to be triggered way too late so the content only comes in at the last minute :(
This reads like a great advertorial for Highrise
Even the short "it depends, get back to work" articles feel done to death in this subject.
I'm not sure I understand #3.
What do they want/need is surely the question asked at the beginning of the conversation then you still need to estimate how long it will take.
If someone says they need "a way to help their users better filter products when searching their eCommerce site" how do you estimate how long it takes - I've never had a client sign off on something without at least an estimate of how long something is likely to take.
It's not like anyone can reasonably say a job will take exactly 3h42m but you can at least ballpark something based on experience and your skill to give a client a rough idea of what to budget.
The other way we often try to work is to establish what their budget is first - oddly, in web it often seems like asking for a budget is a shady thing and clients think they should keep it secret. We try to reverse this and when we have an idea of budget and project requirements, we'll deliver as many features as possible within that scope.
Practice. You might think you can wing it but you can't.
You have to know your material, where you're at in your presentation and what each slide represents in terms of your story.
Don't show more than one bullet point or line on a slide at a time and definitely do not just read from your slides. Your audience have come to hear you talk and not read something they can do themselves.
I personally hate audience interaction beyond perhaps a question/show of hands type thing and live code demos that pretty much always go wrong unless you're someone awesome like Lea Verou. If you need to show code, it's often better to show a short video snippet that you know works.
Every conference website ever I should be able to see right off the bat:
I can't immediately see how much, I know I could click to buy tickets but at the first instance, I want to see the price without that additional click.
It's also a personal bugbear of mine seeing conference sites with "more speakers to be announced or coming soon".
I get the whole mysterious reveal thing and that it's handy for marketing over a span of weeks announcing more people etc but for me right here and now a 150 euro conference where I can only see 4 speakers and 2 workshops is asking a bit of a leap for me to buy a ticket.
To be fair "brutalist web design" is shit.
Sweet, it's like an iPad but a slightly different size.
I thought that, to be honest if they want $30 a month from me - a fee I'd potentially consider paying - then things like file and project limits really shouldn't be a thing especially with how little it costs to store a lot these days.
Looks like it could be a real "missing piece" for Codepen though, I've often thought it would make a good place to develop projects where you can easily share and work on patterns etc but lacked the workspace that this might be.
The article layout is super confusing on bigger screens with the title off to the right, the start of the article on the left and then a summary off below the title on the right. It really doesn't flow and feels very jumbled.
I also think the header navigation would probably benefit from using something headroom.js to keep their categories easily within reach on the homepage to avoid having to scroll all the way back up each time you want to explore.
That said, I love how Smashing work and how they push the boundaries with their own site and practice what they preach. Ditching WordPress, not having advertising and so on - there's much to admire about how they work.