San Francisco

Three days of design, code, and content with:

The event has ended, but the memories remain.

Keep learning via our collection of specially curated links, reviews, and articles shared during and after this show. Don’t miss the next An Event Apart.

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

Looking for a professional edge?

Our carefully curated monthly newsletter brings you tips, links, and articles on critical web design and development topics!

Event Schedule

  1. Arrival Day

  2. Early registration/Badge pick-up

    Avoid the check-in line Monday morning by checking in Sunday night in the Regency Ballroom foyer. 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. Designing for Social Behavior

    Love it or loathe it, social media has been burned into everything we do. Once more, it’s fallen on the head of the trusty, multiple-hat-wearing web designer to become a social engineer. In addition to everything else we do, it’s now our job to design strategies and integrate them into our projects. It’s not just about connecting these services to our apps or websites. It’s about knowing how to craft together behaviors, user experience, and traditional design elements in a beautifully harmonious way that achieves business goals. From lessons learned while designing a large social network from scratch, and minus the overly familiar buzzwords and marketing cliches, Sarah will teach you how to truly engage with your users. Discover the real value of social media reciprocity, and learn how to make it work for you. Sarah’s design tips and tricks will help you get those vanity-pleasing, but not particularly helpful, Likes, Friends, and Followers to actually do something for your organization.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Opening Night Happy Hour

    Join us at A Happy Hour Apart, to be held at the ThirstyBear, just down the street from the hotel. We’ll provide tasty snacks and tastier beverages to recharge your body after a full day of recharging your mind! We’ll also have a beer expert on hand who will have a table set up for beer tastings, and he will also be available to give tours of the brewery. See you there!

    ThirstyBear Brewing Co. (Mezzanine Level)
    661 Howard Street
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    thirstybear.com

  1. Day 2

  2. Breakfast

  3. Morning Welcome

  4. 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.

  5. Magical UX and the Internet of Things

    What if this thing was magic? The web is touching everyday objects now, and designing for the internet of things means blessing everyday objects, places, even people with extraordinary abilities—requiring designers, too, to break with the ordinary. Designing for this new medium is less a challenge of technology than imagination. Sharing a rich trove of examples, designer and author Josh Clark explores the new experiences that are possible when ANYTHING can be an interface. The digital manipulation of physical objects (and vice versa) effectively turns all of us into wizards. Sling content between devices, bring objects to life from a distance, weave "spells" by combining speech and gesture. But magic doesn't have to be otherworldly; the UX of connected devices should build on the natural physical interactions we have everyday with the world around us. This new UX must bend technology to the way we live our lives, not the reverse. Explore the values and design principles that amplify our humanity, not just our superpowers.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Tall Tales From A Large Man

    Using scientific proof and state-of-the-art multimedia techniques, Aaron James Draplin of the Draplin Design Co. delivers a suckerpunch of a talk that aims to provide bonafide proof of work, the highs and lows of a ferociously independent existence, and a couple of tall tales from his so-called career in the cutthroat world of contemporary graphic design. Just a regular guy with a trajectory a little dirtier than yours; his talk is open to all comers brave enough to show up. If you are a youngster, you may find yourself inspired to attack your design future in a different way. If you are established, you may leave feeling grateful you don’t have anything to do with him. Hard to say. Be there!

  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, November 4. You can register online and save over $100 when you sign up for all three days.

  2. Designing for Touch

    Touchscreens are everywhere now, even the desktop, and this full-day session tells you what you need to know to make the most of them. Fingers and thumbs turn desktop design conventions on their head, with the ergonomics of handheld devices demanding entirely new design patterns for both web and apps. Handheld touchscreen design introduces ergonomic concerns that are new to many digital designers; it’s no longer just how your pixels look but also how they feel.

    At the same time, touch gestures have the opportunity to sweep away buttons, menus, and windows from mobile devices—but gesture design takes care and education. Find out how to do it the right way. This workshop takes a heads-down, practical,  actionable approach to touchscreen—with working guidelines, rich examples, illuminating exercises, and a busload of new rules that bust the “settled” conventions of the desktop. You’ll learn:

    • Layout and sizing guidelines for touchscreens on phones and tablets… and desktop, too.
    • Emerging gesture conventions and design patterns for both apps and web
    • How to make gestures discoverable by educating users with contextual cues
    • Techniques for making touch interactions fast and efficient
    • How to cope with the reduced real estate left in the wake of giant touch targets
    • When the best touch UI is no touch at all; how to use sensors to speed or replace touch input
    • Opportunities to push frontiers with entirely new interactions through touch

Location

The Palace Hotel 639 Market St San Francisco, CA 94105

The Palace Hotel has arranged special room rates for An Event Apart attendees: just $299/night for a single or double plus free in-room internet for the duration of your stay. Call (415) 512-1111 and request the “An Event Apart special rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

Centrally located downtown on Market Street, adjacent to the Financial District, The Palace Hotel is within walking distance of Union Square, the cable cars, the Embarcadero, Chinatown, AT&T Park, Yerba Buena Park, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Theater District. North Beach and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park are also nearby, along with award-winning restaurants.

Openlist says: “recommended by Gayot.com (it’s on their Top 10 list for Business Hotels), Fodor’s (it’s one of their hotel ‘Picks’), and seasoned travelers, who rate it 4-and-one-half stars.” Best of all, it’s the site of the conference. You can walk out of your room and into the show!