Washington DC

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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 afternoon outside the Plaza Ballroom. 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. DC At Dusk (separate ticket required)

    Experience the nation’s capital at dusk! We’ve arranged private buses for AEA attendees and their guests for just $54 ($39 for children). Join us for a three-hour tour that will visit the White House, the Capitol Building, the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the MLK Memorial, and more—accompanied the whole way by experienced tour guides. We’ll assemble in the lobby at 7:15pm and head out at 7:30pm. Buy your ticket(s) when you register! If you’ve already registered and want to join us, get in touch and we’ll get you on board.

  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. Practical Branding

    Over the past few years our skill sets have been firmly planted in understanding this new era of multi-faceted web design. While we’ve all been busy making sure our designs adhere to the latest flat trend and performance specifications, we’ve forgotten that what once got us all talking, before we looked under the hood at the code, was visually striking websites. We’ve come to believe that simply re-designing to increase visual pleasure and memorability is somehow not okay. In this talk, Sarah will discuss what designing brands (including personal brands) looks like in 2016 and the social ecosystems that accompany them—without a “golden ratio” overlay in sight.

  7. The Art of the Sell

    Throughout her career Jaimee has held roles from in-house teams, to agency partner, to independent consultant. Across these roles, she not only had to sell her own design work, but the work of her teams and colleagues, as well. It stands true that the most important skill she ever learned was how to sell design. Through stories of client interactions and learning experiences, Jaimee will share her two rules of design and describe how her “Check Yourself Checkpoints” have helped her sell design and close millions of dollars in deals, across the past seventeen years.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  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 Future of Web Design is Not Code

    In the last 30 years, every digital creative discipline (3D animation, visual effects, digital painting, etc.) has seen the emergence of powerful visual software that helps designers get their work done - except for web design. Building a website or digital product still requires that you either become a coder, or work with a developer to bring your idea to life. We need a revolution in web design - one that will make building for the web more accessible to all creative people, regardless of their coding abilities. In this session, you'll see a glimpse of the future of web design, and learn how software will soon reshape our industry.

  1. Day 2

  2. Breakfast

  3. Morning Welcome

  4. Extreme Design

    How can we be sure we’re creating the best design experiences possible? It turns out that creating great experiences for a particular subset of our users—people with disabilities—results in better designs for everyone. Focusing relentlessly on accessibility helps us think of extreme scenarios and ask questions like “how can we make this work eyes free?” and “how can we make this work with the least amount of typing?” Explore multiple methods of extremifying your designs—stressing them in ways they haven’t been stressed before—to illuminate opportunities for innovation, efficiency, and excellence that lead to great designs for everyone.

  5. The Five Meetings

    Web building techniques are always changing, but the meetings supporting that work sadly haven’t changed much at all. At the core of every meeting is a group of human brains, and against the breakneck pace of iPhone model releases those brains have not evolved in the slightest. But better meeting design for web professionals addresses this constraint. Every web design culture has a core curriculum of only five types of meeting goals: getting started, checking in, presenting and critiquing, looking back, and the mysterious “number five.” Each of the five have classic mistakes, unique opportunities, best executions, and remote work implications. Kevin will explore how each of the five meetings is an opportunity to do your best work, with plenty of examples you can start using right away.

  6. 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.

  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. Adaptive Content, Context, and Controversy

    What’s the difference between responsive and adaptive? While responsive design embraces an ethos of “One Web,” adaptive solutions aim to serve different information based on what we know about the person or the device. When people say they want to go “beyond responsive,” they often mean they want to implement adaptive solutions. In this talk Karen unpacks what people really mean when they talk about adaptive designs or adaptive content. She outlines scenarios in which it makes sense to target information to the device or context—and when it doesn’t.

  9. Vague, But Exciting

    “Vague, but exciting” were the words written across the top of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal for a distributed hypertext system (what became the World Wide Web) by an early reviewer. It's a welcome reminder that our ideas are meant to be messy, and the best of them inspire other people. That one simple phrase has a lot to teach us about how to build ideas and promote products that excite our users and our organizations. In this engaging talk, Dave will explore the art of using vague prototypes to create exciting outcomes to surprise and delight users as well as internal stakeholders.

  10. Design Beyond Our Devices

    In this age of device diversity, we’ve been focusing less on pages, and more on patterns: reusable bits of design and content we stitch together into responsive design systems. But those patterns bring puzzles: how should they adapt, and why? And how do we, well, design with them? Let’s look at a few answers to those questions, and start moving our design practices beyond the screens in front of us.

  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, July 27. Register for all three days and save more than $200 off the cost of registering separately for the conference and A Day Apart.

  2. Responsive Web Design: Content, Code, and Collaboration

    Ready for responsive? It’s not just about layout anymore: a responsive redesign will uncover challenges with your current design, development, and publishing processes. Whether you’re just starting out or already in the thick of things, Karen and Ethan can help you make the move to mobile and beyond.

    Ethan coined the term “responsive web design” and his popular book on responsive design has been widely praised. Karen advocates for truly device-independent content in her book Content Strategy for Mobile. Together, they will help you understand the full scope of what’s involved in making a responsive project go smoothly.

    If you want to know how to launch a responsive redesign right, in this full-day learning session you’ll hear the collective wisdom gleaned from their work with dozens of companies that have already been through the process. This workshop is appropriate for designers, developers, content owners, and business stakeholders—anyone who participates in making a responsive redesign happen.

    A Day Apart will cover:

    • Our Multi-Device Future: Karen lays the groundwork for understanding why mobile and responsive design change the way that teams work together.
    • Responsive Design’s Flexible Foundation: Ethan explains how a flexible foundation aligns with the way the web works—and how your team needs to work.
    • Content Strategy for Mobile: Karen introduces a framework for helping to revise and evolve your content to support a responsive redesign.
    • Fundamentals of Responsive Layout: Ethan explains the core concepts behind responsive design in a way that everyone (not just developers) can understand.
    • Process and Performance: Ethan discusses how the design and development process must change, and why performance is everyone’s problem.
    • Responsive Design Governance: Karen describes how organizations roll out responsive, and how hiring, org structure, and workflow need to evolve.

Location

Hilton Alexandria Mark Center 5000 Seminary Rd Alexandria, VA 22311

The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center has arranged special room rates for An Event Apart attendees: just $149/night plus free in-room internet access for the duration of your stay. Call (703) 845-1010 and request the “An Event Apart special rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center hotel is situated in the West End of historic Alexandria, VA. This stylish Alexandria hotel offers beautiful natural scenery that is hard to find in a Washington DC hotel. Guests can enjoy a fully equipped fitness center and inviting indoor and outdoor pools. Gaze at the nearby lake and adjacent 43 acres of botanical preserve, and you’ll quickly forget you’re just a few miles from America’s Capitol City.