An Event Apart Boston 2019

Three days of design, code, and content

Set yourself apart.

An Event Apart Boston is a three-day conference with 17 sessions and an intense focus on digital design, UX, content, code, and more, giving you deep insights into where we are now and where things are going next.

Seating is limited — Register Now!

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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 main 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!

  1. Day 1

  2. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  3. Breakfast

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. The Zen of Whitespace: Slow Design for an Anxious World

    Most web pages are too fast or too slow. Last year, Zeldman showed us how to create design that works faster for customers in a hurry to get things done. This year he’ll show how to create designs that deliberately slow your visitors down, helping them understand more and make better decisions.

    Learn to make layouts that coax the visitor to sit back, relax, and actually absorb the content your team works so hard to create. Improve UX significantly without spending a lot or chasing the tail lights of the latest whiz-bang tech. Whether you build interactive experiences or craft editorial pages, you’ll learn how to ease your customers into the experience and build the kind of engagement you thought the web had lost forever.

  6. To Be Announced

    We’re still working out the final details on this session. Stay tuned!

  7. Making Motion Inclusive

    Let’s clear the air about animation and inclusive design. It’s a common misconception that things like inclusive design and accessibility only come at the cost of design details like motion, but that’s just not the case. Whether it’s microinteractions, animated illustrations, or larger animated experiences, a little care and consideration can go a long way towards getting the best of both worlds. In this dynamic session, Val will show you how to build animated interactions with inclusivity in mind from the start. We’ll discuss how to apply web accessibility guidelines to modern web animation, when and how to implement reduced motion, and approaches to building up animated interactions for a solid standards base.

  8. Generation Style

    Consider, if you will, CSS generated content. We can, and sometimes even do, use it to insert icons before or after pieces of text. Occasionally we even use it add a bit of extra information. And once upon a time, we pressed it into service as a hack to get containers to wrap around their floated children. That’s all fine—but what good is generated content, really? What can we do with it? What are its limitations? And how far can we push content generation in a new landscape full of flexible boxes, grids, and more? Join Eric as he turns a spotlight on generated content and shows how it can be a generator of creativity as well as a powerful, practical tool for everyday use.

  9. Making Things Better: Redefining the Technical Possibilities of CSS

    For years we’ve explained that the web is not like print; that a particular idea is not how things work on the web; that certain things are simply not possible. Over the last few years, rapid browser implementation of advances in CSS have given us the ability to do many of these previously impossible things. We can use our new powers to build the same designs faster, or we can start to ask ourselves what we might do if we were solving these problems afresh.

    In this talk, Rachel will look at the things coming into browsers right now which change the way we see web design. CSS subgrids allowing nested grids to use the track definition of their parent; logical properties and values moving the web away from the physical dimensions of a computer screen; screen experiences which behave more like an app, or even paged media, due to scroll snapping and multidimensional control. By understanding the new medium of web design we can start to imagine the future, and even help to shape it.

  10. Designing Intrinsic Layouts

    Twenty-five years after the web began, we finally have a real toolkit for creating layouts. Combining CSS Grid, Flexbox, Multicolumn, Flow layout and Writing Modes gives us the technical ability to build layouts today without the horrible hacks and compromises of the past. But what does this mean for our design medium? How might we better leverage the art of graphic design? How will we create something practical, useable, and realistically doable?

    In a talk full of specific examples, Jen will walk you through the thinking process of creating accessible & reusable page and component layouts. For the last four years, Jen’s been getting audiences excited about what, when, and why. Now it’s time for how.

  11. Happy Hour

    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!

  1. Day 2

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. The Design of Meaning for the Future of Humanity

    With interactive experiences increasingly becoming automated, algorithmically optimized, and driven by artificial intelligence, how do we ensure that we don't accidentally create absurd, out-of-proportion, or even harmful interactions? How can we ensure, in other words, that the experiences we create for humans are as meaningful as possible? As Kate O'Neill, author of Tech Humanist, points out, it's critically important that we do what we can to make our work matter, because our every design decision has a chance of reaching massive scale. Kate will examine how to bring meaning to even the smallest design decisions, to every interaction and every system, and ultimately, through this focus, how to bring more meaning to our work.

  6. Dynamic Typographic Systems and Variable Fonts: Scalable, Fast, and Fabulous

    Modern developments in CSS make it easier than ever to create robust, scalable, elegant typographic systems on the web. Add variable fonts and the design, technical, and performance benefits are really exciting. We’ll look at how to combine them with other CSS capabilities like custom properties, calculations, and grid to create a whole new way to think about design and development. We’ll see how they work together by using some variable fonts in layouts that work across screen dimensions, accessibility needs, design requirements, and even network speeds—better than you thought possible.

  7. SVG Filters: The Crash Course

    When it comes to graphical effects, CSS has come a long way in the last few years, with the introduction of CSS filters and blend modes. However, when compared to effects available in graphics editors such as Photoshop and the likes, CSS is still a long way behind. SVG, on the other hand, comes with a set of filter primitives that enable you to recreate Photoshop-grade effects in the browser, using just a few lines of code.

    In this detail-packed talk, Sara will give you a crash course on SVG filters: why they're awesome, how they work, and examples of powerful effects you can create with them. While the syntax and attributes of these filters may seem intimidating and not very friendly at first, once you get a grasp of how they work, you'll have a very powerful tool in your arsenal, that allows you to push the boundaries of what is possible on the Web.

  8. From Ideation to Iteration: Design Thinking for Work and for Life

    Have you ever had a looming deadline and no idea where to start? Do you have a big task to face but are having trouble figuring out how to get there? Have you ever wanted to learn a technology, or build a side project but didn’t know what to build? In this talk, Una will go over an actionable approach and several techniques for applying design thinking to our work and every aspect of our lives. This includes ideating product features, blog post ideas, or even what general direction we want to move toward in our businesses. We’ll go over traditional approaches and breakout techniques that will leave you feeling more in control and ready to reach your goals.

  9. The Technical Side of Design Systems

    You can have a killer style guide website, a great-looking Sketch library, and robust documentation, but if your design system isn't actually powering real software products, all that effort is for naught. At the heart of a successful design system is a collection of sturdy, robust front-end components that powers other applications' user interfaces. In this talk, Brad will cover all that's involved in establishing a technical architecture for your design system. He'll discuss front-end workshop environments, CSS architecture, implementing design tokens, popular libraries like React and Vue.js, deploying design systems, managing updates, and more. You'll come away knowing how to establish a rock-solid technical foundation for your design system.

  10. Putting the ‘Design’ in Design Systems

    Let’s face it: design systems are tools to largely help developers to create well-designed products. And that’s great! Consistency, headstarts, and shared standards are good for everyone. But where does that leave designers? How do we exercise the advantages of gorgeous art direction and intuitive interaction design? Why does it feel like the job we’ve been successfully doing for years is quickly fading away? Dan Mall has been coaching and working with in-house teams on their design systems for a few years. In this talk, he’ll share what he’s learned about each team member’s role, where to be efficient vs. where to be experimental, and how we can all better collaborate to benefit from everyone’s knowledge and skills.

  1. Day 3

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. Inclusive Design’s Hidden Legacy—And How To Rise With It

    Passionate creatives obsess over every choice made, but there are so many they don’t realize they’re making. We dream of building experiences everyone will love, but unconsciously design them in ways that aren’t accessible to all. In this session, we'll explore critical choices design teams must get right to deliver higher quality, more inclusive experiences. Most designers are never taught the techniques to create accessible user experiences—raise the bar by raising your awareness. Find inspiration in a hidden history of creatives whose work broke down barriers with strikingly humane solutions.

  6. Emerging CSS Techniques and What They Mean for Accessibility

    CSS is a core component of sophisticated web page design and development, especially in the modern world of digital brand guides, design systems, and complex web applications. It can override HTML’s mostly-accessible styling defaults for better or worse, providing lightweight mechanisms to bring innovative and inclusive designs to life. While it’s a fine idea to deliver accessible experiences with simple HTML and little-to-no CSS, in some cases–and in most complex web applications–we must leverage JavaScript to manage a UI component’s accessible state or to unlock new browser features such as Shadow DOM and Web Components.

    In this deeply practical talk, Marcy will look at some of the newest and shiniest CSS techniques, weighing them against accessibility support and browser compatibility. Some techniques can impact accessible user experience in unexpected ways, such as unintentional mutations to the browser’s accessibility tree or a confusing focus order. We’ll weigh those trade-offs, pushing web development forward while always keeping accessible user experience in mind.

  7. Inclusive, by Design

    For years, conversations about accessibility have bubbled around designers and developers. We’ve seen waves of hope and despair as mainstream products hit the internet and include or exclude accessibility considerations, and subsequently people with disabilities. Then we hear people state emphatically “We aren’t intentionally excluding people with disabilities!” We hear it. But the reality is this: you’re not intentionally including them either.

    In this talk, Derek walks you through case studies of accessibility and inclusion on the web and with apps. You’ll get an inside look at the techniques he’s used with clients for the last decade, and at the lessons learned that help you move towards a truly inclusive design process. Put that all together, and you’ll leave with a repeatable framework for intentional inclusion in your design.

  8. Web Forms: Now You See Them, Now You Don’t!

    Be amazed as tedious web forms disappear right before you eyes. Watch closely as a multi-page form is completed with a glance. What is this wizardry? Join Jason as he shows you how to amaze and delight your users using new APIs and inputs to make your forms magical.

  9. The Customer-Obsessed Professional

    This is the Age of the Consumer. Never before have customers had more power, more connectivity, more information, or more tools. Today, it’s not about designing for the customer but with them. Supporting your company’s business and advancing your career in this new age takes three essential skills: Humility, Agility, and Simplicity. Gerry McGovern explores all three in this fast-paced and memorable all-new session. You’ll learn to enhance the humility skills of listening, collaborating, and using evidence instead of gut instinct. Become more agile by increasing the amount of customer feedback you receive, and developing faster methods to make changes to your code, content, or design. And master the key metrics of customer simplicity. You’ll leave inspired to improve how you serve your customer, and knowing how to prove to management that making things simpler for the customer is the best business case of all.

Pricing

Three-Day Pass

May 6-8, 2019

$1,500 through March 11

Your Three-Day Pass includes admission to the three-day Boston conference , breakfast and lunch on all three days, access to all social events, and schwag.

Monday-Tuesday Pass

May 6-7, 2019

$1,100 through March 11

Your Monday-Tuesday Pass includes admission to the first two days of the Boston conference, breakfast and lunch on both days, access to all social events, and schwag.

Tuesday-Wednesday Pass

May 7-8, 2019

$1,100 through March 11

Your Tuesday-Wednesday Pass includes admission to the last two days of the Boston conference, breakfast and lunch on both days, access to all social events, and schwag.

Monday Pass

May 6, 2019

$600 through March 11

Your Monday Pass includes admission to the first day of the three-day Boston conference, breakfast and lunch, and schwag.

Tuesday Pass

May 7, 2019

$600 through March 11

Your Tuesday Pass includes admission to the second day of the three-day Boston conference, breakfast and lunch, and schwag.

Wednesday Pass

May 8, 2019

$600 through March 11

Your Wednesday Pass includes admission to the third day of the three-day Boston conference, breakfast and lunch, and schwag.

Location

Boston Renaissance Waterfront
606 Congress St Boston, MA 02210

The Renaissance Boston Waterfront has arranged special room rates with complimentary in-room internet access for AEA attendees, starting at $335/night. To get this rate, please use the dedicated reservation form Marriott has provided, or call (888) 796-4664 and request the “special An Event Apart room rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

Discover the luxury, convenience, and comfort of Renaissance Boston Waterfront. Ideally located in Seaport District's waterfront, within easy driving distance of Logan International Airport, the hotel is also a short walk from public transportation at South Station and the Seaport World Trade Center. Unwind in stylish, nautical-style hotel rooms and suites, many offering fantastic waterfront and Seaport District views. Decompress with a workout in the modern fitness center, followed by a swim in the heated indoor pool.

Seating is limited — Register Now!

An Event Apart Boston 2019 is proud to be sponsored by: