Join us for An Event Apart Boston

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The design conference for people who make websites.

An Event Apart Boston 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 day-long workshop on multi-device web design. See the full agenda for details.

Show Extended Schedule

Day 1:

  1. Ten Commandments of Web Design

    Thou shalt ship. Thou shalt iterate. Love thy reader as thyself. Like their biblical predecessors, the ten commandments of modern web design can inspire us to be and do better. Learn to think noncanonically about responsive layouts, to avoid bearing false visual witness, to keep the content holy, and more.

  2. Rendering Without the Lumpy Bits

    Right, we've got a new project, we have to calculate and draw 500,000 pixels, and the deadline is in 1.667 milliseconds. When we're done, we'll do it again, and again. Web performance has always been about delivering those pixels on time, but the target has shifted. Optimizing pure JavaScript is more irrelevant than ever, performance gains are found in the bits telling the browser how and when to draw: the CSS and the DOM. We'll look at a series of real-world rendering issues and how to combat them, understanding why particular hacks work, and how sometimes working against the browser can trick it into performing better.

  3. Designing Meetings to Work for Design

    Sure, we don't like meetings. They can be ragged speed bumps in the design process; necessary evils used to secure agreement without incurring excessive tire damage to our projects. But by treating face-to-face collaboration as a design problem, that time together can become a design tool more effective than any software on a computer. Kevin will show you a selection of simple meeting interaction frameworks that get actionable results and help course correct when meetings aren’t hitting the targets that they should, even if you aren’t in charge. You’ll facilitate agreement faster in design discussions, manage feedback better, and explore web design problems in productive, inspiring multi-hour workshops. You'll leave with skills and approaches that empower teams to conceive of (and build) amazing web redesigns and products.

  4. Lunch

  5. It’s a Write/Read (Mobile) Web

    On the surface, content is king online. But digging deeper into the underbelly of the web reveals a complex ecosystem of communication and contribution that shapes the web and how we interact with it. What lessons can we learn from the web’s inner workings as we move to a mobile-driven, multi-device internet? Luke will not only lift the covers on where we need to focus our efforts but share lots of practical advice on how as well.

  6. The Immobile Web

    TVs are the last screens in our lives that haven’t been taken over by computers, but that is about to change. The last year has seen an explosion of SmartTVs many with surprisingly capable browsers. Microsoft recently added Internet Explorer to Xbox 360. Nintendo’s Wii U features a WebKit-based browser. And if the rumors that Apple will release a TV soon are true, web developers everywhere will start to tackle the glass screen hanging on our walls. But even if you don’t have a TV project today, the lessons from TVs help inform the way we’re developing building web pages for the wide range of devices and inputs we face. TVs are a convenient and easy-to-understand framework to look at a series of challenges that all web developers are about to face in earnest.

  7. The Map & The Territory

    When we create for the web, we participate in a kind of public art. We code, we design, we build for an audience, shaping digital experiences that provide a service, or that create joy, or that simply connect readers with words written half a world away. But in this session we’ll revisit what we’ve learned about responsive design, and ensure our content, not just our design, is readily accessible to them wherever and whenever they are. In doing so, we’ll look at some ways in which our audience reshapes the way we think about our medium, and see where they might be leading us—and the web—next.

  8. Opening Night Party

    Dillons Restaurant and Bar
    955 Boylston St
    Boston, MA 02115
    (617) 421-1818

    Media Temple’s opening night parties for An Event Apart are legendary. Join the speakers and hundreds of fellow attendees for great conversation, lively debate, loud music, hot snacks, and a seemingly endless stream of grown-up beverages.  Please RSVP so we can be sure there’s enough for everyone!

Day 2:

  1. The Mobile Content Mandate

    You don’t get to decide which device people use to access your content: they do. By 2015, more people will access the internet via mobile devices than on traditional computers; in the US today, nearly one-third of people who browse the internet on their mobile phone say that’s the only way they go online. It’s time to stop avoiding the issue by saying “no one will ever want to do that on mobile;” chances are, someone already wants to. In this session, Karen will discuss why you need to deliver content wherever your customer wants to consume it, and explain how to get started with your mobile content strategy—defining what you want to publish, what the relationship should be between your mobile and desktop site, and how your editorial workflow and content management tools need to evolve.

  2. Strong Layout Systems

    CSS has been the web’s core presentation language for at least a decade, and yet it has always lacked the one thing you would instinctively expect a presentation language to possess: a strong layout system. In its absence, we latched onto floats as would a drowning man and then proceeded to pile on hack after hack after hack. There’s no denying the strategy was effective, but now that era is drawing to a close. With the recent work of the CSS Working Group and multiple vendors, strong layouts are coming to a browser near you; in fact, depending on your specific situation, they may already be here. We’ll explore the fast-emerging CSS enhancements that will one day allow us to sneer at floats the way we sneer at tables today.

  3. Deep CSS Secrets

    In this dynamic session, Lea will teach you how to take advantage of modern web standards in unconventional ways to solve common web design challenges. Learn about local attachments, dynamically calculated layouts, counteracting transformations, smart zebra striping, and many other fiendishly clever style tricks. In the process, you will gain a deeper understanding of how these new CSS features work, positioning you to both expand your toolkit and make better use of the tools you already know.

  4. Lunch

  5. Silo-Busting with Scenarios

    Perhaps the biggest cause of bad user experiences is the organizational silo: customers have to talk with three different groups to fix one problem, or use a mobile app that’s nothing like the desktop site, or deal with a retail store associate who has no idea what’s offered online. In this session, Kim will show you how effective scenarios can shift everyone’s perspective away from internal structures. You’ll learn what makes an effective scenario and what scenarios can do that use cases and user stories seldom can.

  6. What Clients Don’t Know (and Why It’s Your Fault)

    When in-house or external clients go out in search of design they often have no idea how to describe what they need, measure what they’re looking for, or evaluate who they might work for and subsequently, the work that’s produced. As designers it’s our job to help site owners and stakeholders figure these things out and to give them the tools and knowledge they need to evaluate whether what we do is what they need. Without that insight clients have nothing to go on but gut instinct and subjectivity. Learn how to give your clients and stakeholders the mental tools and vocabulary they need to help you create more successful sites.

  7. It’s a Great Time To Be a UX Designer

    After years of wishing we’d be recognized and appreciated for the value we bring, we designers are now highly sought after. The demand for great design has never been higher! Yet, while we’re presented with more opportunities than ever, we also face increased challenges. Mobile design requires us to rethink how we design for screens and interaction. Agile methodology forces us to critically reevaluate best processes and techniques. Learn how we can deliver world-changing designs while our own world is dramatically shifting under our feet.

Day 3:

  1. Workshop: Workshop Day: The Web Everywhere – Multi-Device Web Design

    The web no longer starts and ends on our desktop and laptop computers. Today, the tremendous growth of mobile devices is turning more and more people into multi-device and, as a result, cross-device users. Designing for this reality requires new ways of thinking and building for the web.

    Join Luke Wroblewski, author of Mobile First (A Book Apart, 2012), for an up-to-the-minute, in-depth look at today’s multi-device ecosystem. Learn how mobile provides a foundation for this new reality, how to build on this foundation to reach an ever-increasing set of devices, and where the web will take us next.

    Packed with all-new material, this is an absolutely essential workshop for anyone designing digital experiences in today’s rapidly changing multi-device environment.

    This full-day workshop follows An Event Apart Boston and runs 9:00am-4:00pm on Wednesday, June 26. You can register online and save over $100 when you sign up for both An Event Apart and the workshop.

    Note: The workshop is not a hands-on learning session; 300 or more people typically attend.

The Venue

Boston Marriott Copley Place 110 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02116

The Boston Marriott Copley Place has arranged special room rates and complimentary internet access for AEA attendees, starting at $299. To get these savings, call (617) 236-5800 and request the “special An Event Apart room rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

Located in beautiful and historic Back Bay, just off the Massachusetts Turnpike, four miles from Logan Airport and two minutes’ walk from the Back Bay Amtrak station, the Marriott Copley Place provides in-room, high-speed internet access; laptop safes and coolers; 27-inch color TV with cable movies, in-room pay movies, Web TV and Gameboy; luxurious bedding and linens, and more. Best of all, it’s the site of the conference. You can walk out of your room and into the show!