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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 outside the 4th floor 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. 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.

  7. Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts

    In the early years of the web, there was a lot of variation and experimentation with where to put content on a web page. Then, it seems, we all settled into a handful of patterns and stayed there for over a decade. It wasn’t until the arrival of responsive design that new ideas for page layout started appearing. Now with new CSS properties for layout landing in browsers, we may be about to see a bigger renaissance in layout design patterns. How can we better use the space inside the glass rectangle? What layout innovations could help users better find and focus on what they want? Take a walk through where we’ve been, where we might be going, and how we can better design for the true medium at hand. This talk features practical examples of what's newly possible, along with access to a code repo for you to play with later.

  8. Unified Design

    With multi-screen use progressively increasing among web users, creating a unified user experience across screens is imperative to our work. Responsive Web Design laid the foundation for designing multi-screen UX within the browser, and Unified UX aims to build on that foundation by unifying the entire internet experience—browser or not. This session examines what's required to deliver a unified, consistent user experience regardless of where the digital experience begins, continues, and ends. You'll learn how to unite your entire internet presence, not just your web presence, and you'll take away practical advice for creating unified user experiences and fostering a mindset of unity among your organization.

  9. Content in a Zombie Apocalypse

    Friends, a zombie apocalypse is upon us: an onslaught of new mobile devices, platforms, and screen sizes, hordes of them descending every day. We’re outmatched. There aren’t enough designers and developers to battle every platform. There aren’t enough editors and writers to populate every screen size. Defeating the zombies will require flexibility and stamina—in our content. We’ll have to separate our content from its form, so it can adapt appropriately to different contexts and constraints. We’ll have to change our production workflow so we’re not just shoveling content from one output to another. And we’ll have to enhance our content management tools and interfaces so they’re ready for the future. Surviving the zombie apocalypse is possible, and Karen will explain how: by developing a content strategy that treats all our platforms as if they’re equally important.

  10. Laziness in the Time of Responsive Design

    As screens and input types evolve, we’re managing more complexity in our designs than ever before: our layouts are becoming more flexible and responsive; our interfaces, more immersive. Maybe we can look for simpler approaches? In this session, Ethan—a singularly lazy person—will walk through some responsive designs, and show how we might do a lot more with a little bit less.

  11. Opening Night Happy Hour

    Join us at A Happy Hour Apart, to be held just outside the 4th floor 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 Performance

    As a web designer or front-end developer, you have tough choices to make when it comes to weighing aesthetics and performance. Images, fonts, layout, and interactivity are necessary to engage your audience, and each has an enormous impact on page load time and the overall user experience. This talk will focus on performance basics from a design and front-end perspective, including tips for optimizing design assets and patterns. Lara will also cover some tips for approaching your project with page speed in mind, how to make decisions about aesthetics and speed during the design process, and how to help those around you care about performance.

  5. 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.

  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. Atomic Design

    Over the past few years, we’ve seen the web community create style tiles, element collages, style guides, pattern libraries, and a slew of other tools in order to break interfaces down to their atomic elements. Our interfaces are going more places than ever before, so this shift is essential to help us better understand what our websites consist of in order for us create smart, scalable, maintainable designs. This session will introduce atomic design, a methodology for creating robust design systems. We’ll cover how to apply atomic design to implement your very own design system in order to set you, your organization and clients up for success.

  8. Empathy Is Good Business: How Front-Line Customer Support Can Make You A Better Designer

    No matter what your job title might say, chances are everyday you have the opportunity to improve things for the users of your sites and apps. This talk is ostensibly about empathy in design and programming but seen through the lens of customer service, a thing every company strives to do better. Matt Haughey will examine the last 15 years of projects and groups he has worked with, from a time when he never interviewed a single user of an app he helped design, all the way to the present, where user interviews, transparent support, and support days for all staff is the norm. He will show you how, even if you weren’t born dripping with empathy for others, you can practice it in your work and improve the lives of everyone who uses your products.

  9. Resilience: Building a Robust Web That Lasts

    Web browsers have become so powerful that developers are now treating them as if they were a runtime environment as predictable as any other. But the truth is that we still need to deal with many unknown factors that torpedo our assumptions. The web is where Postel’s Law meets Murphy’s Law, so we can’t treat web development as if it were just another flavor of software. Instead we must work with the grain of the web. You’ll learn tried and tested (as well as new) approaches to building for the web that will result in experiences that are robust, flexible, and resilient.

  1. A Day Apart

    This full-day session follows An Event Apart and runs 9:00am-4:00pm on Wednesday, October 7. You can register online and save over $100 when you sign up for all three days.

  2. Responsive Web Design: Content, Code, and Collaboration

    Ready for responsive? It’s not just about layout anymore: a responsive redesign will uncover challenges with your current design, development, and publishing processes. Whether you’re just starting out or already in the thick of things, Karen and Ethan can help you make the move to mobile and beyond.

    Ethan coined the term “responsive web design” and his popular book on responsive design has been widely praised. Karen advocates for truly device-independent content in her book Content Strategy for Mobile. Together, they will help you understand the full scope of what’s involved in making a responsive project go smoothly.

    If you want to know how to launch a responsive redesign right, in this full-day learning session you’ll hear the collective wisdom gleaned from their work with dozens of companies that have already been through the process. This workshop is appropriate for designers, developers, content owners, and business stakeholders—anyone who participates in making a responsive redesign happen.

    A Day Apart will cover:

    • Our Multi-Device Future: Karen lays the groundwork for understanding why mobile and responsive design change the way that teams work together.
    • Responsive Design’s Flexible Foundation: Ethan explains how a flexible foundation aligns with the way the web works—and how your team needs to work.
    • Content Strategy for Mobile: Karen introduces a framework for helping to revise and evolve your content to support a responsive redesign.
    • Fundamentals of Responsive Layout: Ethan explains the core concepts behind responsive design in a way that everyone (not just developers) can understand.
    • Process and Performance: Ethan discusses how the design and development process must change, and why performance is everyone’s problem.
    • Responsive Design Governance: Karen describes how organizations roll out responsive, and how hiring, org structure, and workflow need to evolve.

Location

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

The Hilton Austin has arranged special room rates for An Event Apart attendees: just $259/night for a single or double plus free in-room wireless internet for the duration of your stay. Call (800) 236-1592 and request the “An Event Apart special rate,” or use our dedicated reservation 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!