Nashville

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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 on the 2nd floor Mezzanine. 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!

  3. Guided tour at the Ryman Auditorium (ticket required)

    Established in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle, Ryman Auditorium is a National Historic Landmark, a must see for any Nashville visitor, and just a few minutes’ walk from the event venue.  Most famous as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 - 1974, there is far more to the story of Music City’s most recognizable icon. Take this guided tour and discover what makes the Ryman the “Soul of Nashville”.

    Tickets for this tour are available at a discounted rate of $24.75, and can be purchased when you register for AEA Nashville. If you’ve already registered and want to join us, get in touch and we’ll fix you right up!

  1. Day 1

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

  3. Breakfast

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. Designing With Web Standards in 2016

    It’s been thirteen years since the first edition of Designing With Web Standards turned our industry on its ear, changing the way we design and develop websites. ​In a web ruled by Flash, table layouts, and sites coded to work in only one browser or another, DWWS showed how to make web content and experiences available to all people, browsers, devices, and search engines. It was heady stuff back in 2003. But how well do the tactics and strategies the book and subsequent editions recommended hold up in our multi-device, framework- and app-driven web of 2016? Is it time to discard progressive enhancement, semantic markup, and accessibility? Or can these ​techniques still help us master today’s complex design and development challenges? Survey the state of the art, and learn how to ensure that your site will work everywhere—today and tomorrow.

  6. CSS Grid Layout

    Since the early days of the web, designers have been trying to lay out web pages using grid systems. Likewise, almost every CSS framework attempts to implement some kind of grid system, using floats and often leaning on preprocessors. The CSS Grid Layout module brings us a native CSS Grid system for the first time—a grid system that does not rely on document source order, and can create complex layouts which are easily redefined with media queries. Following along with practical examples, you’ll learn how Grid works, and how it can be used to implement modern layouts and responsive designs.

  7. Revolutionize Your Page: Real Art Direction on the Web

    We finally have the tools necessary to create amazing page designs on the web. Now we can art direct our layouts, leveraging the power and tradition of graphic design. In this eye-opening talk, Jen will explore concrete examples of an incredible range of new possibilities. She’ll walk through a step-by-step design process for figuring out how to create a layout as unique as your content. You’ll learn how Flexbox, Grid, Shapes, Multicolumn, Viewport Units, and more can be combined together to revolutionize how you approach the page —any page.

  8. Style Guide Best Practices

    We’re tasked with creating experiences that look and function beautifully across a dizzying array of devices and environments. That’s a tall order in and of itself, but once you factor in other team members, clients, stakeholders, and organizational quirks, things start looking downright intimidating. With so many variables to consider, we need solid ground to stand on. Style guides are quickly proving to be foundational tools for tackling this increasingly-diverse web landscape while still maintaining your sanity. Style guides promote consistency, establish a shared vocabulary, make testing easier, and lay a future-friendly foundation. This session will detail best practices and considerations for creating and maintaining style guides, so you can set up your organization for success.

  9. The Features of Highly Effective Forms

    Web forms are complex beasts with many moving parts. That’s one of the reasons they're so challenging to build well. In this session, Aaron Gustafson will walk you through the process of creating a form—from planning to production—and give you sage advice for improvement. You’ll learn ways to keep forms focused, how to leverage HTML5 for better user interaction, and a variety of design techniques to enhance forms’ usability. Whether you have one form or a thousand, you’ll leave this session with a much better handle on how to take them from distressing to delightful!

  10. The Physical Interface

    We suddenly live in a strange and wonderful nexus of digital and physical. Touchscreens let us hold information in our hands, and we touch, stretch, crumple, drag, and flick data itself. Our sensor-packed phones even reach beyond the screen to interact directly with the world around us. While these digital interfaces are becoming physical, the physical world is becoming digital, too. Objects, places, and even our bodies are lighting up with with sensors and connectivity. We’re not just clicking links anymore; we’re creating physical interfaces to digital systems. This requires new perspective and technique for web and product designers. The good news: it’s all within your reach. With a rich trove of examples, Designing for Touch author Josh Clark explores the practical, meaningful design opportunities for the web’s newly physical interfaces.

  11. Opening Night Happy Hour

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

  12. Evening Session: The Web Ahead LIVE!

    Come watch us record a special LIVE episode of “The Web Ahead” podcast. Host Jen Simmons will moderate a debate with special guests Rachel Andrew, Eric Meyer, and Jeffrey Zeldman on the future of web design. We’re finally getting real tools for layout—what will this actually mean for our medium? How much of an impact will this have? Will it be just another toolkit to learn, or a big shift in what we design? What will the people who use our websites think? Will they notice, or care? Be a part of the live audience. Come with your questions!

  1. Day 2

  2. Breakfast

  3. Morning Welcome

  4. Designing Meaningful Animation

    Motion design has become a necessary skill for designing and building the modern web. The character and energy that motion brings to an interface is becoming as expected on the web as it is in other media. Great web animation comes from thinking like a motion designer and brand steward, matching the motion we add to our message and design goals. Learn key animation principles such as timing, offsets, and secondary action as they apply to interface design decisions—plus motion principles specific to designing animated interactions. Consider this your crash course on becoming a motion design pro!

  5. Adapting to Input

    Responsive Web Design has forced us to accept that we don't know the size of our canvas, and we've learned to embrace the squishiness of the web. Input, it turns out, is every bit as challenging as screen size. We have tablets with keyboards, laptops that become tablets, laptops with touch screens, phones with physical keyboards, and even phones that become desktop computers. In this session, Jason will guide you through the input landscape, showing you new forms of input like sensors and voice control, as well as new lessons about old input standbys. You'll learn the design principles necessary to build web sites that respond and adapt to whatever input people use.

  6. New Users Matter, Too! Designing Better Onboarding Experiences

    First impressions matter. A good first​-​time user experience establishes a foundation for future engagement, while a bad one can mean abandonment. What kind of first impression is your product giving? This ​presentation is for anyone who designs products​​ and wants to create an experience that better engages and informs new users. You’ll get an overview of best practices as they relate to learning and engagement, including patterns and anti-patterns. You’ll also get suggestions for next steps, regardless of whether you’re starting on a fresh new ​site or ​product​,​ or revising an existing one.

  7. Special Screening: CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap

    Robin Hauser Reynolds, Director/Producer; Staci Hartman, Producer. From Finish Line Features.

    Tech jobs are growing three times faster than our colleges are producing computer science graduates. By 2020, there will be one million unfilled software engineering jobs in the USA. Through compelling interviews and artistic animation, CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap examines the varied reasons why more girls and people of color are not seeking opportunities in computer science and explores how mindsets, stereotypes, clogs in the educational pipeline, startup culture, a lack of role models, and sexism all play roles. Expert voices from the worlds of tech, psychology, science, and education—including coders at Yelp, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Strava, Pandora, GitHub, and Pivotal—are intercut with inspiring stories of women who are engaged in the fight to challenge complacency in the tech industry and have their voices heard. CODE aims to inspire change in mindsets, in the educational system, in startup culture, and in the way women see themselves in the field of coding. More an initial survey than a final declaration, CODE hopes to inspire the audience to begin the changes that will one day narrow the gap.

  8. Compassionate Design

    Designers are skilled at creating an ideal experience for idealized users. But what happens when our idealized experience collides with messy, human reality? Designs can frustrate, alienate, or even offend; form options can exclude; on-boarding processes can turn away; interactions can reject or even endanger. The more we build websites and digital products that touch every aspect of our lives, the more critical it becomes for us to start designing for imperfect, distressed, and vulnerable situations—designing interfaces that don’t attempt to make everything seamless, but instead embrace and accommodate the rough edges of the human experience. In this talk, Eric will explore a wide variety of failure modes, from the small to the life-changing, and show how reorienting your perspective and making simple additions to your process can help anticipate and avoid these failures, leading to more humane, and ultimately more compassionate, outcomes.

  9. Mission Possible: Stakeholder Alignment

    In content strategy, it can be a huge struggle getting everyone working from the same playbook. Why are we creating this content? Who is it for? Who is accountable for its success? To get to stakeholder alignment, we don’t need to rely solely on our persuasive powers. There are tools that can help groups set individual agendas aside and focus on building shared standards and strategy. Kristina will share her own methods for getting people on the same page in any project or team setting.

  10. 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.

  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, March 16. 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 Exceptional Mobile Experiences

    Breakfast and lunch are included in this day.

    Call it the mobile majority; a growing number of companies now see most web visits come from mobile devices. That means the mobile experience is no longer a sideshow; it’s the main event, with desktop in the supporting role. Does your design practice reflect this new reality? Designing for Touch author Josh Clark takes you on a full-day exploration of the techniques and design thinking you need to make your mobile experiences soar.

    This full-day learning session takes a clear-eyed, pragmatic approach to mobile design, replete with practical guidance, rich examples, thought-provoking exercises, and an updated set of guidelines that challenge conventional wisdom.

    The day starts with the fundamentals—how handheld ergonomics create a new set of design guidelines—and then explores the emerging UX practices that will put your mobile projects at the cutting edge. Learn how touch changes user expectations and requires entirely new interactions. Explore the possibilities and pitfalls of gestures on the web. Find out how to use mobile sensors for both efficiency and delight, even pushing interaction off the screen entirely. And finally, understand how mobile web browsers play a crucial role in the emerging internet of things, and what that means in your daily work.

Location

Nashville Renaissance Hotel 611 Commerce Street Nashville, TN 37203

The Nashville Renaissance Hotel has arranged special room rates for An Event Apart attendees: just $269/night plus free in-room internet for the duration of your stay. Call (615) 255-8400 and request the “An Event Apart special rate.”. Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

Situated in the heart of the business district, this downtown Nashville hotel allows for maximum exploration. You’ll find easy access to attractions like Nissan Stadium, B.B. King’s Blues Club, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Historic Second Avenue District, and the Nashville Convention Center. Enjoy a 24-hour fitness center, swimming pool, and a variety of on-site dining options.