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  1. Arrival Day

  2. Early registration/Badge pick-up

    Avoid the check-in line Monday morning by checking in Sunday afternoon outside the conference hall. 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. Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays <small>(separate ticket required)</small>

    Looking for peanuts and crackerjack? How about an afternoon game between the Red Sox and Rays in the company of fellow attendees? We’ve grabbed <strong>a block of seats in Pavilion Reserved Section 18 for just $80 each</strong>, but availability is very limited. Add this option when you register for the event to claim your seat!

  1. Day 1

  2. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  3. Breakfast

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. From Research to Redesign: An Unexpected Journey

    Meaningful redesigns start with research. From competitive surveys to making sense of analytics, and from stakeholder interviews to customer research, every fact we uncover is another step in the direction of a design that solves real problems. Don’t have a dedicated researcher on your team? That’s okay! Because we designers and developers should do this work ourselves, anyway. Working with real examples, Jeffrey will show how, the more you learn, the better your designs will work—on multiple levels.

  6. The Art and Soul of Selling

    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.

  7. Should Designers?

    It's no longer enough to be a Photoshop master. Designers need to grow their skills in order to stay relevant and effective, but which are worth focusing on? Should designers learn to code, and, if so, can limited code knowledge really make a difference working with talented engineers? How can designers fit into Agile workflows? Does project methodology even matter anyway? What role does a designer have in creating, using, and maintaining design systems? SuperFriendly Director Dan Mall will share stories and perspectives to answer these questions and more, providing specific methodologies and techniques to help designers become even more indispensable, faster.

  8. Let’s Work Together!

    Nobody works alone in a vacuum, and successful work hinges on how well a team communicates and collaborates with each other. This talk will explore many methods, tools, and techniques teams use to produce great web experiences. How do front-end development teams make sure they write clean and consistent code together? How do designers ensure colors, typography, and other design elements are used correctly? What deliverables should be created in an effective web design process? How are decisions communicated with the team, stakeholders, and the broader organization? There are no “right” answers to these questions, but this talk will cover some important principles and helpful tactics to help your team make great work together.

  9. Making the Right Thing

    How do you determine the right thing to build? There are two ways to think of this: doing right by the people who use your product, and doing right by yourself. Your best work will be at the intersection of what the world needs and your heart believes in. This talk will cover qualitative and quantitative tools for understanding the needs of your users, and practical ways to reflect on whether your work aligns with your own internal compass.

  10. 10 Things You Can and Should Do With SVG

    You’re already aware of SVG. You already know it’s a vector image format. But how does that affect your daily life as a front end developer and designer? In this fun, compelling, and information-packed session, Chris will count down 10 things you could (and should!) be doing with SVG. It’s one of those technologies that is chock full of possibilities and benefits, yet conspicuously missing from most people’s toolbelts. Find out why it deserves a prime spot on yours.

  11. Opening Night Party

    Join us at A Happy Hour Apart, to be held right outside the main auditorium. We’ll provide tasty snacks and tastier beverages to recharge your body after a full day of recharging your mind!

  12. The Modern Design Process

    This panel discussion with Brad Frost, Dan Mall, and Jen Simmons, hosted by Jeremy Osborn of, brings together three noted practitioners of web design to discuss their innovative techniques of managing today's design process. Topics will range from the use of comps and style guides to the strategies used to customize the process based on size and scope of the project.

    The event will consist of a short introduction of the topic and panelists, 25 minutes of curated questions from the moderator, and 25 minutes of audience questions.

  1. Day 2

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. Motion In Design Systems: Animation, Style Guides, and the Design Process

    Interface animations are most effective when they work in concert as part of the bigger picture. Designing and choreographing your web animation efforts from the top down leads to more effective animations that integrate into your design system. And, defining a motion language for your brand can help your team to develop a shared vision from which to work.

    In this session, Val will cover guidelines for designing animation that fits your brand, making animation part of your design process, and documenting your animation decisions in your style guide for future use. All the things you need to make web animation work for you and your team.

  6. New CSS Layout Meets the Real World

    In a world of evergreen, automatically updating browsers we need to change the way we think about browser support. It makes little sense to sign off on a brief mentioning target browsers when new features may become usable during the course of a project build. To be truly future friendly, we need to build with that future in mind—adding enhancements that our users’ browsers will grow into, release by release, our work getting better without us doing any more work on it. In this session, Rachel will demonstrate with practical examples how to embrace the new layout methods in CSS, without needing to cut off people who are using browsers that haven’t caught up yet, and show you how to get the best from the magic of Flexbox and Grid—without needing to lean on JavaScript and polyfills to get there.

  7. Designing with Grid

    Now that CSS Grid is here, what are we going to do with it? Sure, we can create page layouts very similar to the ones we’ve been using for the last decade, but Grid also opens up a world of new possibilities. Graphic designers of the 20th century fell in love with using grids for their layouts. How might we apply their ideas to the web, and what might have to change? What do we need to think about when designing for this new paradigm? In this far-ranging talk, Jen will explore the realities and possibilities of new layout technologies and how they will change our craft. You'll leave with exciting new techniques and ideas for your design and development toolkit—and, more importantly, with the inspiration to create bold, new, previously unimagined layouts for the 21st century.

  8. Special Screening: “What Comes Next is the Future”

    Matt Griffin, Director/Producer

    What Comes Next Is the Future is a documentary film about the web created by Bearded founder Matt Griffin. It is the story of Tim Berners-Lee’s creation—how it came to be, where it’s been, and where it’s going—as told by the people who build it. In the film, Griffin knits together a narrative by mining dozens of conversations with important figures from throughout the web’s history.

  9. Design for Real Life

    We constantly stress test our work by subjecting it to a wide variety of devices, by simulating different connection speeds, and by testing it under extreme server load scenarios. But have you ever stress-tested your work for unexamined assumptions, emotional minefields, or usability in situations of extreme distraction? With a combination of real-world examples and interactive exercises, Eric will explore a number of ways to QA your work for real life, enabling it to serve more people, more of the time.

  10. The Case for Progressive Web Apps

    Is the buzz around Progressive Web Apps real or are they simply the latest fad? In this talk, you’ll learn exactly what Progressive Web Apps are, what problems they solve, and what new design challenges they present. Jason will show how organizations are using Progressive Web Apps to provide better and faster user experiences. Before the hour is up, you’ll learn how your organization can incrementally improve your site while building towards a Progressive Web App future.

  11. What Shall We Make?

    “Let’s make a website” doesn’t mean what it used to: the good old point-and-click interface is starting to look mighty quaint. Suddenly sites and apps can talk, listen, see, and sense. Backed by data mining and machine learning, they can predict our needs before we even know to ask. These interfaces are no longer limited to the screen, either, as objects, places, and even our bodies are lighting up with digital smarts. The tools are here, and it’s time for us to up our game.

    Take a practical tour of how you can apply these emerging techniques and interactions to your own digital services right now. Learn not only what you might make, but also to ask why. To what end? To whose benefit? As our interfaces become more intimate, more knowing, more ubiquitous, designers have fresh obligations to create experiences that are both meaningful and respectful. So, friends: what shall we make today?

  1. Day 3

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. The information about Day Three has temporarily gone missing; we apologize for the inconvenience. Please let us know if this error persists.


The Boston Marriott Copley Place has arranged special room rates and complimentary in-room internet access for AEA attendees, starting at $311. To get these savings, visit our special Marriott reservations page, or call (617) 236-5800 and request the “special An Event Apart room rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

Located in beautiful and historic Back Bay, just off the Massachusetts Turnpike, four miles from Logan Airport and two minutes’ walk from the Back Bay Amtrak station, the Marriott Copley Place provides in-room, high-speed internet access; laptop safes and coolers; 27-inch color TV with cable movies, in-room pay movies, Web TV and Gameboy; luxurious bedding and linens, and more. Best of all, it’s the site of the conference. You can walk out of your room and into the show!

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