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Join us for An Event Apart Austin

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The design conference for people who make websites.

An Event Apart Austin is an intensely educational learning session for passionate practitioners of standards-based web design. If you care about code as well as content, usability as well as design, An Event Apart is the conference you’ve been waiting for. Join us for twelve great speakers and sessions, plus an optional third day on mobile design with Luke Wroblewski.

Seating is limited — Register Now!

Show Extended Schedule

Arrival Day:

  1. Early Registration

    Avoid the check-in line Monday morning by checking in Sunday night just outside the Austin Grand Ballroom on the 6th floor. We will be fully staffed to get you checked in for the event and to answer any event questions you might have. Be the first to get all the goodies and breeze into the ballroom the next morning!

Day 1:

  1. Understanding Web Design

    When the institutions we have appointed to judge our best work do not understand the nature or value of that work, then our clients, bosses, and coworkers won’t understand it either. And their lack of understanding can put crippling limits on your professional happiness, your long-term career, and the success of your next project. It is hard enough to achieve good design when every stakeholder on your team understands it. But when half the people on your team, possibly including some key “creatives,” don’t know what you do or why you do it, it becomes impossible to deliver good design—design that delights, that achieves business goals and user goals, that creates communities, and that gives people capabilities they didn’t even know they wanted. Discover how to find the essence of our profession, and learn to become the ambassador for web design that our work and your career deserve.

  2. Guerrilla Design Tactics

    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 conventional methods of operation and resistant to necessary change, you can find yourself in the tough position of implementing designs you know are flawed. Get out from under this common design dilemma. Samantha will show you how to use your design thinking as an asset to win battles when 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.

  3. Designing Using Data

    Multi-platform design is hard. Decisions about content structure and hierarchy are often made hastily, with little foundation in reality. Instead of slavishly aping the latest UI trend, let’s design with data, producing designs and systems that yield predictable and desired results. Learn to design functional, beautiful interfaces with a solid backbone, supported by information-led processes tempered by your unique experience as a designer.

  4. Lunch

  5. Screen Time

    When many of us were kids, screen time was how long we were allowed to sit in front of a TV. Screen time today is much more complex. People increasingly move between and simultaneously use screens of various sizes, proportions, and quality as they get online each day. From working around the differences in contrast between devices, to adjusting UI to compensate for different viewing differences; from RESS techniques to combine the best of server-side and responsive techniques, to the magic of vertical media queries and much more, you will gain a deeper understanding of screen time today, and explore new ways to design effective cross-screen experiences for tomorrow.

  6. The Integral Designer: Developing You

    It’s a given that much of our success as practitioners depends on our ability to foster meaningful relationships with our colleagues and customers. But what about your relationship with yourself? When we ignore our emotions, act against our values, and become indifferent to our surroundings, we lose who we really are and run a much greater risk of not achieving our clients’ goals (and our own). In this talk, Whitney will explore how presence, adaptability, empathy, and influence can be our most effective design tools. And she’ll address how to cultivate these qualities through intellectual, emotional, and physical practices we can integrate into our everyday routines.

  7. UX Strategy Means Business

    We are in an age where poor user experiences become the focus of nationwide attention. One doesn’t need to look beyond recent catastrophes, such as Apple’s iOS6 Maps, Healthcare.gov, and the demise of Blackberry’s smartphone to see the necessity of getting the experience right. Yet, what do we know about ensuring that our next design isn’t going down the same road as those that have failed before us? We need to understand how design integrates with our organization’s strategy, to be certain that we’re supporting and enhancing it, not taking away from it. You’ll learn how to integrate user experience strategy with your business’s objectives.

  8. Opening Night Party

    Get down with your bad gateway! Our opening night party will have everything: drinking, dancing, a DJ, treats, HTML wishes and caviar dreams. Watch this space for details, coming soon.

Day 2:

  1. SVG is for Everybody

    While SVG isn’t exactly new, browser support is just getting to the point that we can use it without much worry. Even if we do need fallbacks for older browsers, modern tools make it easy. This makes now the perfect time to learn about SVG and how it can help you in everyday web design. Perhaps the most compelling reason: SVG images look sharp at any dimension with tiny file sizes—which is great for making responsive websites responsibly. You’ll also learn how SVG helps to easily create complex shapes, and how to use it to make icons that are more accessible than with any other web-based icon creation technique. You’ll learn how SVG can make customized complex graphics on the fly, create compelling animations and other interactions, and empower some pretty great designerly effects. We’ll end by discovering a cornucopia of SVG source materials that are easy to find and even easier to work with.

  2. The Past, Present, and Future of Responsive Images

    The goal of a “responsive images” solution is to deliver an image ideally suited to the end user’s ever-changing context, rather than serving the largest potentially necessary image to everyone. Unfortunately, this hasn’t proven to be quite so simple in practice as it seems to be in theory. Small screens should get smaller images, sure, and large screens should get larger ones. Naturally, only high-resolution displays should qualify for high-resolution images, but what if that user has limited bandwidth available? Would the low-resolution image be preferable—and at what point? Explore the path to a standardized solution, look at some of the proposals that will be shaping our future work; and learn techniques we can use to start saving our users’ bandwidth today.

  3. Mobile First Responsive Web Design

    Mobile first and responsive web design aren’t simply two great tastes that go great together—they represent far more than that. Mobile first responsive web design is the responsible way to build responsive design—the best way to create something that is both responsive from a layout and a performance perspective. But if mobile first is the right way to approach responsive design, then why are so few people doing it? Dig into why mobile first responsive design matters, and the techniques needed to make it work.

  4. Lunch

  5. The Art of Anticipation

    When most people think of Responsive Design, they think of fluid grids and adapting the layout of components in a site or application. But design goes far beyond layout. How far? We will start by combining content, context, and behavior in ways that let us create truly responsive sites—sites that meet the needs of the people using them, when they’re using them, and how they’re using them. Learn how to use clues like time, location, proximity, capabilities and preferences to create better designs for users. After accounting for the device’s form factor, capabilities, and features, we’ll look at context of use, and the art of anticipation, delivering a more thoughtful, more useful user experience for everyone.

  6. Touchy Subjects: Creating Content for Sensitive Situations

    Our readers and users are human. They have their own preferences, experiences, senses of humor, and perspectives—and they bring all of that to the table when they interact with our content. We can’t see our users, and we don’t know what’s going on in their lives, so we don’t always create experiences with their feelings in mind. Certain topics are likely to make them feel uncomfortable or frustrated. Sensitive content types many of us work on every day include error messages, alerts, legal content, financial information, and warnings. Learn how to address touchy subjects, anticipate the reader’s emotional state, and write from a place of empathy.

  7. Mind the Gap: Designing in the Space Between Devices

    There’s untapped magic in the gaps between gadgets. As devices multiply, the new opportunity is less about designing individual screens and more about designing interactions between them—often without using a screen at all! Learn to create web and app experiences that share control among multiple devices, using not only screens but sensors. The technology is already here in our pockets, handbags, and living rooms. Learn how to use it right now. 

Day 3:

  1. A Day Apart: Mobile Design Now

    Mobile is eating the world. As portable computers continue to take over, PCs aren’t keeping pace and neither are our PC design tendencies. Simply porting over existing desktop experiences isn’t enough. We need to think, design, and build digital experiences differently for today’s mobile world.

    A Day Apart will not only illuminate the mobile opportunity but provide practical advice on how to take advantage of it. You’ll learn to:

    • avoid desktop tendencies that result in poor mobile experiences
    • design for how people actually use mobile devices
    • work with native and web design conventions
    • optimize designs for small screens
    • take advantage of mobile capabilities
    • start from the mobile experience and extend outward

    This full-day session follows An Event Apart Austin and runs 9:00am-4:00pm on Wednesday, September 24. You can register online and save over $100 when you sign up for all three days.

The Venue

The Hilton Austin 500 East 4th Street Austin, TX 78701

The Hilton Austin has arranged special room rates for An Event Apart attendees: just $254/night for a single or double plus free wireless internet for the duration of your stay. Call (512) 482-8000 and request the “An Event Apart special rate” or go to our special reservations page. Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

The Hilton Austin is located right in the heart of downtown, only one block from Austin’s famous Sixth Street nightlife and a short stroll to entertainment, shopping, and dining in the Warehouse Entertainment and 2nd Street Districts. It’s also convenient to lots of attractions such as the Capitol Building, Bob Bullock Texas Historical Museum, and the LBJ Presidential Library. The hotel provides spacious guest rooms, wireless and wired Internet options, a variety of delicious dining options, and an on-site health club and spa. Best of all, it’s the site of the conference. You can walk out of your room and into the show!