The design conference for people who make websites.
An Event Apart San Diego 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 mobile design with Luke Wroblewski.
Avoid the check-in line Monday morning by checking in Sunday night just outside the Marina 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!
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.
Faster Design Decisions with Style Tiles▼
Diving into responsive design projects can be daunting. Old design practices are cumbersome when thinking in terms of web systems that will span a wide variety of devices and dimensions. What if we had an artifact that not only helped us communicate with clients, but allowed for developers to jump into the project earlier? Style tiles are a design artifact consisting of fonts, colors and interface elements that communicate the essence of a visual brand for the web. They create a strong foundation early in the web design process for talking with clients, establishing a visual language, and working iteratively with developers. Learn how to apply design principles and bring confidence and agility to your process by using style tiles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The web is universal and, in this talk, Tim Brown shows us how to practice typography in a way that is equally universal. Focusing on traditional typographic principles while also embracing progressive enhancement, Tim explains how fonts, CSS, web-enabled devices, and user contexts coexist. Together, we will reevaluate what it means to successfully set type — and inform our routine decisions about typefaces, font sizes, and white space.
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.
Workshop: 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.
This full-day workshop 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 workshop follows An Event Apart San Diego and runs 9:00am-4:00pm on Wednesday, May 14. 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 VenueSan Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina 333 W Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101-7709
A centerpiece of the San Diego Bay, the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina has arranged special room rates for An Event Apart attendees: just $259/night for a single or double plus free internet access. Call (800) 228-9290 and request the “An Event Apart special rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.
Set in an environment that easily transitions from dynamic meetings to resort-style relaxation and steps from the Gaslamp Quarter, the downtown location provides convenient access to championship golf and popular attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Sea World San Diego, and LEGOLAND California. The hotel features renovated guest rooms with sweeping bay views, a state-of-the-art fitness center, an enticing pool area, and top-notch cuisine at waterfront restaurants.