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Three days of design, code, and content

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Event Schedule

  1. Arrival Day

  2. Early registration/Badge pick-up

    Avoid the check-in line Monday morning by checking in Sunday night just outside the Windsor Ballroom. We’ll be fully staffed to get you checked in for the event, and to answer any questions you might have. Be the first to get all the goodies and breeze straight into the ballroom the next morning!

  1. Day 1

  2. Attendee Event Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  3. Breakfast

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. The Fault, Dear Brutus (or: Career Advice From a Cranky Old Man)

    We have met the enemy, and he is us. Many of the professional problems we blame on boneheaded bosses and clueless coworkers actually come from ourselves. Identify career woes you bring on yourself, and learn to get out of your own way. Make yourself irreplaceable. For better meetings, better projects, and a better life, cultivate the professionally and emotionally healthy worker within. Plan for a long, deep career. See how improving your sales ability can make all the difference in your work and job. Employees, learn what to do when your work doesn’t reflect your best abilities. Freelancers, find out how to raise your profile and your rates. Master the side project, and use it to make deeper contacts in your community. Above all, free yourself to know (and speak) your mind. You’ll come away full of inspiring new ideas, and brimming with energy and enthusiasm for your work and the people it serves.

  6. Designing for Social Behavior

    Love it or loathe it, social media has been burned into everything we do. Once more, it’s fallen on the head of the trusty, multiple-hat-wearing web designer to become a social engineer. In addition to everything else we do, it’s now our job to design strategies and integrate them into our projects. It’s not just about connecting these services to our apps or websites. It’s about knowing how to craft together behaviors, user experience, and traditional design elements in a beautifully harmonious way that achieves business goals. From lessons learned while designing a large social network from scratch, and minus the overly familiar buzzwords and marketing cliches, Sarah will teach you how to truly engage with your users. Discover the real value of social media reciprocity, and learn how to make it work for you. Sarah’s design tips and tricks will help you get those vanity-pleasing, but not particularly helpful, Likes, Friends, and Followers to actually do something for your organization.

  7. Change or Die: Creating Successful Design Methods for a Multi-Device World

    It takes a village to design a responsive design system, so how do you convince the village that they need to? Facilitating change, making innovation happen, and fostering a design culture can be hard in an organization—especially when you are not in a position of authority. As an organization becomes comfortable with standard ways of operating and resistant to necessary change, you can find yourself in the tough position of implementing things you know are wrong. Get out from under this typical design dilemma. Samantha will show you how to use your design thinking as an asset to win battles where you are the underdog. You’ll learn persuasive techniques that can help you get everyone on board with design that achieves your organization’s goals, and of which you can be proud.

  8. Design Decisions Through the Lens of Performance

    We design sites for a myriad of devices with varying connection speeds. More and more, we’re discovering the importance of fast page speed. Even 100 millisecond delays in load times negatively impact user experience and conversions. The problem is, making a site fast and lightweight is often at odds with other design goals—like creating visually immersive experiences or meeting all of an organization’s rich-media ad requirements. While a stripped ­down site with no images, set entirely in Arial, is certainly going to be light, it’s not going to accomplish all of our client’s business goals. In this talk, we'll discuss how we can make smarter design decisions, from the beginning of a project, to ensure that our sites perform well. Some topics Yesenia will discuss are optimizing typography and UI, responsive images, and how to get clients on board.

  9. Typesetting Body Text Like a Pirate Jedi with a DeLorean

    Typesetting body text for the web is an enormous challenge. It's a complicated, expensive process, and it contradicts tenets of typography that are widely considered fundamental to good design. But doing it well fortifies your brand, lends authenticity to what you say, and clarifies your messages. And body text can act as an anchor, making other design decisions easier. In this new session, Tim Brown welcomes you to hone productive typesetting practices—with many specific tips, as well as a solid overview of the scope, dependencies, and effects of our typographic decisions.

  10. So…What Do I Make?

    Reports are in from Twitter, Medium, and the like: we can’t make full comps, use Photoshop, or even utter the phrase “visual design” anymore. What’s a designer to do? Has our role evaporated? Fear not: Dan Mall will help redefine the tasks of the modern day designer in light of the multi -device world that snuck up on us.

  11. Opening Night Happy Hour

    Join us at A Happy Hour Apart, to be held just outside the Windsor Ballroom. We’ll provide tasty snacks and tastier beverages to recharge your body after a full day of recharging your mind!

  1. Day 2

  2. Breakfast

  3. Morning Welcome

  4. Designing for Crisis

    It's easy to design for the idealized user, someone who's smart, calm, and informed. It's less easy, and thus more important, to design for a more realistic user: still smart, but harried and uncertain. The best designs handle both with care. But how many designs can help a user who is completely in the dark and barely capable of rational thought? In this talk, Eric will draw on his personal and professional experience to explore examples of crisis-mitigating design successes and failures. In the process, he'll illustrate ways that you can and should consider the needs of users teetering on the edge of panic. Helping them will make your designs more relevant and useful for all your users.

  5. Smaller, Faster Websites

    When the goal is to serve an ever-expanding landscape of browsers, devices, and connection speeds, a responsive layout is just the beginning. Regardless of their browsing context, users expect a site to load as fast—or faster—on their phones and tablets than anywhere else. From bandwidth budgets and responsive images to smarter caching and leaner scripting, Mat Marquis will share the tools and techniques that ensure that your content will reach your most demanding (and least powerfully equipped) users, without detracting from the experience of users on the latest and greatest devices—without limiting the creativity of your team, and without a massively inflated deadline. We’ll discuss strategies for smarter asset delivery, techniques for avoiding potential points of failure, and start to cultivate development habits that help us deal with a vast landscape of unknowns from the very start of a project.

  6. Responsive Images Are Here. Now What?

    It took nearly four years, four proposed standards, the formation of a community group, and a funding campaign to pay for development, but we finally got what we've been clamoring for—a solution for responsive images baked into browsers. Now the hard work begins. Learn how to use the new responsive image specifications, which ones are appropriate for which images, and how to tackle the riddle of responsive image breakpoints.

  7. Prototyping and Play

    On the multi-device web, getting ideas into code as quickly as possible is essential to the success of a project. Using tools like Pattern Libraries and the Command Line, we'll learn how to rapidly develop websites. The sooner your project is in code, the sooner you can play with and refine it. And play, as it turns out, is one of the secrets to improving personal job satisfaction and team morale.

  8. Content Amid Chaos

    Organizations are messy places: politics thwart progress, departmental squabbles are status quo, and decision-making often takes months. This chaos makes its way right to our websites, filling them with crap users don't want, need, or sometimes even understand. We’re practicing content strategy now, so what gives? Why are we still designing around all this clutter and corporate-speak? Because strategy documents and style rules alone won’t make people actually produce content that meets users’ needs and aligns with our designs. In this talk, you’ll hear what will: embracing (okay, tolerating) content chaos, instead of anguishing over imperfections. You'll learn strategic approaches for defining meaningful content problems in your organization—and solving them one at a time.

  9. Magical UX and the Internet of Things

    What if this thing was magic? The web is touching everyday objects now, and designing for the internet of things means blessing everyday objects, places, even people with extraordinary abilities—requiring designers, too, to break with the ordinary. Designing for this new medium is less a challenge of technology than imagination. Sharing a rich trove of examples, designer and author Josh Clark explores the new experiences that are possible when ANYTHING can be an interface. The digital manipulation of physical objects (and vice versa) effectively turns all of us into wizards. Sling content between devices, bring objects to life from a distance, weave "spells" by combining speech and gesture. But magic doesn't have to be otherworldly; the UX of connected devices should build on the natural physical interactions we have everyday with the world around us. This new UX must bend technology to the way we live our lives, not the reverse. Explore the values and design principles that amplify our humanity, not just our superpowers.

  1. A Day Apart

    This full-day session, which includes a full breakfast and lunch, follows An Event Apart and runs 9:00am-4:00pm on Wednesday, February 18. Register for all three days and save more than $200 off the cost of registering separately for the conference and A Day Apart.

  2. Designing for Touch

    Touchscreens are everywhere now, even the desktop, and this full-day session tells you what you need to know to make the most of them. Fingers and thumbs turn desktop design conventions on their head, with the ergonomics of handheld devices demanding entirely new design patterns for both web and apps. Handheld touchscreen design introduces ergonomic concerns that are new to many digital designers; it’s no longer just how your pixels look but also how they feel.

    At the same time, touch gestures have the opportunity to sweep away buttons, menus, and windows from mobile devices—but gesture design takes care and education. Find out how to do it the right way. This workshop takes a heads-down, practical,  actionable approach to touchscreen—with working guidelines, rich examples, illuminating exercises, and a busload of new rules that bust the “settled” conventions of the desktop. You’ll learn:

    • Layout and sizing guidelines for touchscreens on phones and tablets… and desktop, too.
    • Emerging gesture conventions and design patterns for both apps and web
    • How to make gestures discoverable by educating users with contextual cues
    • Techniques for making touch interactions fast and efficient
    • How to cope with the reduced real estate left in the wake of giant touch targets
    • When the best touch UI is no touch at all; how to use sensors to speed or replace touch input
    • Opportunities to push frontiers with entirely new interactions through touch

Location

InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta 3315 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, GA 30326

The InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta has arranged a special room rate of $279 plus free in-room internet access for AEA attendees. To get these savings, call (404) 946-9000 and request the “special An Event Apart room rate.”

The InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta sets high standards of quality with international flair and southern hospitality. This non-smoking hotel on Peachtree Road puts you close to the Buckhead community’s thriving business and shopping districts, and provides easy access to attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, the High Museum of Art, the New World of Coca-Cola, and the CNN Studio Tour.