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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.
The Integral Designer: Developing You
It’s a given that much of our success as practitioners depends on our ability to foster meaningful relationships with our colleagues and customers. But what about your relationship with yourself? When we ignore our emotions, act against our values, and become indifferent to our surroundings, we lose who we really are and run a much greater risk of not achieving our clients’ goals (and our own). In this talk, Whitney will explore how presence, adaptability, empathy, and influence can be our most effective design tools. And she’ll address how to cultivate these qualities through intellectual, emotional, and physical practices we can integrate into our everyday routines.
Putting the Fonts into Webfonts
There are compelling questions about how type foundries can offer web designers an expressive medium (and readers a rich one), and what it means for typography to be visually, mechanically, and culturally appropriate to the web. Join Jonathan Hoefler on an exploration of this side of webfonts, and a discussion of where the needs of designers meet the needs of readers. You’ll get to see why webfonts promise so much more than just “fonts on the web.”
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.
Opening Night Party
Relax, chat, dance, hang, and boogie down with AEA speakers and your fellow attendees! This party has everything, including an open bar, appetizers, desserts, cigar bar, and billiards. Plus great conversation and networking.
1524 Spring Hill Rd
Mclean, VA 22102
Memoirs of a #RWD Survivor
On paper, the combination of fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries—what we call responsive web design—is easy. In reality, juggling myriad considerations can make designing and building a modern website a traumatic experience. Fear not: #RWD survivor Dan Mall will share stories from the trenches of both big and small responsive projects, show you how to tweak your waterfall methodology into something more effective, help you figure out where Photoshop belongs in your workflow, recommend a few new deliverables and artifacts, and suggest a new step-by-step process that will give you confidence to design and develop for a multi-device world.
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.
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.
SVG is for Everybody
While SVG isn’t exactly new, browser support is just getting to the point that we can use it without much worry. Even if we do need fallbacks for older browsers, modern tools make it easy. This makes now the perfect time to learn about SVG and how it can help you in everyday web design. Perhaps the most compelling reason: SVG images look sharp at any dimension with tiny file sizes—which is great for making responsive websites responsibly. You’ll also learn how SVG helps to easily create complex shapes, and how to use it to make icons that are more accessible than with any other web-based icon creation technique. You’ll learn how SVG can make customized complex graphics on the fly, create compelling animations and other interactions, and empower some pretty great designerly effects. We’ll end by discovering a cornucopia of SVG source materials that are easy to find and even easier to work with.
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.
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.
A Day Apart: Responsive Design and Accessibility▼
Web design and development used to be “easy” in the days when we designed for fixed 640 x 480, 800 x 600, and 1024 x 768 pixel screens. Now, we have more screen sizes than we can possibly keep track of or even test with, not to mention the different devices we need to consider. Responsive web design sets us up for success by ensuring that we’re creating sites that work well on a vast array of devices of different sizes and capabilities. We get ahead of the curve by using responsive web design to build for the future. But there’s more to this story. There’s much, much more.
The online world is changing: sites are global, our audience is getting older, and people with disabilities are using our sites more every day. Beyond platforms and screen sizes, how will we design for all these different user needs? Internationally recognized accessibility champion Derek Featherstone is here to share the rest of the story: the story where we take all the great parts of what makes a site responsive and combine them with all the care and thoughtfulness that also makes a site accessible to all users. That’s the next step. That’s our future.
Join Derek for this full day of insights, design strategy, and development techniques for creating responsive sites that are also accessible. In this session, attendees will:
- See how responsive web design and accessibility go hand in hand.
- Learn to design for low-vision mobile and tablet users.
- Discover which responsive web design patterns can cause significant accessibility issues.
- Understand how to identify accessibility needs during responsive web design.
- Use modern coding techniques to fix the accessibility needs that you identify.
- Gain a greater understanding of the state of mobile assistive technology.
This full-day session follows An Event Apart Washington DC and runs 9:00am–4:00pm on Wednesday, July 23. You can register online and save over $100 when you sign up for all three days.
The VenueSheraton Premiere at Tyson’s Corner 8661 Leesburg Pike Vienna, VA 22182
The Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner has arranged special room rates for An Event Apart attendees: just $199/night plus free internet for the duration of your stay. Call (888) 627-8230 and request the “An Event Apart special rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.
Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner is a newly renovated, upscale hotel located just 10 minutes from Dulles Airport (IAD) and 20 minutes outside Washington, D.C. Enjoy the convenience of an airport or urban hotel with the amenities of a resort.