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Join us for An Event Apart Orlando

Home · An Event Apart Orlando ·

The event has ended, but the memories remain.

Join our mailing list today to take advantage of special offers and keep the AEA goodness flowing your way.

Arrival Day:

  1. Early Registration

    Avoid the check-in line Monday morning by checking in Sunday just outside the Fantasia Ballroom. 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!

  2. Gold Pass Tour Option 1

    An exclusive three-hour “backstage” tour at Walt Disney World with other Gold Pass attendees. You’ll have the unforgettable opportunity to go behind the scenes and experience time-tested Disney business philosophies at one of the leading business operations in the world firsthand.

  3. Gold Pass Tour Option 2

    An exclusive three-hour “backstage” tour at Walt Disney World with other Gold Pass attendees. You’ll have the unforgettable opportunity to go behind the scenes and experience time-tested Disney business philosophies at one of the leading business operations in the world firsthand.

  4. Welcome Party

    Opening Night Networking Reception: Join speakers, sponsors, and your fellow attendees under the Contemporary Porte-cochere for food, drinks, and a great few hours to get to know the folks who will be spending the next three days with you.

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. Designing Engagement

    Engagement metrics aside, how are you engaging your users at an emotional level? How much thinking goes into the personality and tone of your product? What about writing the error messages, alerts, calls-to-action, descriptions, or release notes? Whether you have a playful concept, a big brand product yet to be built, or a product that's been out for a while, Jaimee wants to share some very important considerations in design thinking, on-boarding, and copywriting to help your products become more fun, delightful, and emotionally engaging experiences for your users.

  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. 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.

  6. Putting Your UI in Motion With CSS

    CSS animations are a powerful option to add design details to your work. When used well, motion can improve interactions and bring delightful moments to the user experience. In this session, we’ll look at CSS in a whole new light—and use it, plus a little JavaScript, to craft interactions that bring our web-based work to life.

  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.

Day 2:

  1. Enhance!

    We’re working on increasingly complex websites. There’s a temptation to match this growth with increasingly complex solutions. But there’s a real value in keeping things simple...or at least _starting_ things simple. If you can build a solid robust foundation, there’s a good chance that your work will be future-friendly. Prepare to have your brain subtly rewired as we look beneath the surface-level implementation details of the web to reveal the semantic structure below. Whether you’re publishing content or building the latest hot app, the principle of progressive enhancement will change the way you think about your work.

  2. The Developer’s Ampersandwich

    Ever spent countless hours crafting a totally awesome type system for your beautiful design, only to have it lost in translation when it goes to development? Examine type and icon fonts through a developer lens, and learn how designers and front-end developers can work together to get everyone on the same (elegantly designed) page!

  3. Content in Context Is King

    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.

  4. Lunch

  5. Co-Design, Not Redesign

    Organizations continue to pile features and fixes onto the redesign process. Companies that overlooked mobile are making big changes in a panic, while those with designs suitable for any device aren’t sure what to do next. One thing that won’t change is that people crave easier, faster, and more widespread access to their information and tools. Learn how service design thinking, lean approaches to user experience, and co-design processes offer an alternative to the money pit, and deliver experiences that delight your users.

  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. 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.

  8. Tuesday Happy Hour

    Join us for munchies and drinks outside the Fantasia Ballroom.

    End the day by grabbing a beer and some munchies, and talking through what you learned with your fellow attendees, speakers, and sponsors.

    Use this reception to launch your evening plans, wherever they may take you (as there are so many things to do on Disney property).

Day 3:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The Elusive, Inclusive Web App

    You're excited about the ubiquity of the web. You want to build broadly accessible web experiences. But you don't want to compromise on delivering compelling, immersive experiences that feel at home in today's devices, even alongside native apps. Guess what: you don't need to compromise. Scott will discuss goals, patterns, and techniques for building client-side web applications today, and show you how “universal access,” “responsive design,” and “web app” can work together beautifully.

  4. Lunch

  5. How Designers Destroyed the World

    Designers have a responsibility, not only to themselves and to their clients, but also to the wider world. We are designers because we love to create, but creation without responsibility breeds destruction. Every day, designers all over the world work on projects without giving any thought or consideration to the impact that work has on the world around them. This needs to change. In this bluntly honest talk, Mike will invite you to consider your responsibilities as a designer and embrace your role as gatekeeper. You’ll learn how to increase your influence and be moved to use your powers for good.

  6. Just Enough Research

    Every product, service, or interface we design in the safety and comfort of our workplaces has to survive and thrive in the real world. This means countless strangers will be using our creations in a chaotic environment over which we have no control. Research is the key to grounding ideas in reality and improving the odds of success, but research can be a very scary word. It may sound like money you don’t have, time you can’t spare, and expertise you have to seek. Fear no more. Learn practical, effective, efficient techniques that work within any design and development process to give you invaluable insight into your users and what they need and value. Not only will you reduce the risk of a wrong guess, you’ll also uncover new opportunities for innovation.

  7. How To Champion Ideas Back At Work

    An Event Apart, as the name says, is special indeed. But what happens when you leave? How will you act on what you’ve learned? This talk by master of design evangelism Berkun will show you how to bend the brains of your coworkers and clients to your will! You’ll get great advice on educating, inspiring and leading people who weren’t even at the show. Don’t miss this fun closing talk that will ensure you get as much value from your time after An Event Apart as you did during.

The Venue

Disney’s Contemporary Resort 4600 North World Drive Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-8413

In and around this ultra-modern resort hotel you‘ll discover award-winning dining, white-sand beaches, spectacular views and dazzling pools. Walk to Magic Kingdom park, or catch the Resort Monorail as it breezes through the iconic A-frame Contemporary Tower. Inside, a 90-foot-tall mural by Disney Legend Mary Blair—responsible for the distinct look and feel of the “It’s A Small World” attraction—celebrates the Grand Canyon and the American Southwest. Dining options include Chef Mickey’s and the newly revamped California Grill.

The AEA official room block has sold out, but you can still book rooms on Disney property (or buy discounted Disney tickets) by calling (407) 939-4686.