An Event Apart Chicago 2017

Conference Sold Out! A Day Apart Seats

Three days of design, code, and content with:

Set yourself apart.

An Event Apart Chicago is three days of intense focus on digital design, UX, and more. If you care about creating the best possible experiences for the people who use your work, and crave concentrated time to level up your skills in the company of your peers, An Event Apart is the conference you’ve been waiting for.

A Day Apart Seats only  — 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 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!

  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. 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 2017 and the social ecosystems that accompany them—without a “golden ratio” overlay in sight.

  7. Designing for Product Unity

    Your customers want unified product experiences. They're rooting for you to give it to them! But it's a tall order, one that often seems more mythical than practical. In this session, Cameron will demonstrate why product unity is important and how to achieve it at scale both big and small scale. You'll see examples of best practices and discover strategies that can be applied throughout the design process. Most importantly, you'll learn how to get buy-in from key stakeholders to insure what you take home from An Event Apart doesn't remain just a nice theory.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Opening Night 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!

  12. Special Screening: “What Comes Next is the Future” + Q&A with Director Matt Griffin

    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. Immediately after the screening, we’ll have a special live Q&A session with Matt Griffin, the director of the film. Come relive the history of the web with us!

  1. Day 2

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. 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.

  6. The Joy of Optimizing Images

    Images are by far the greatest bottleneck to performance on the web, and with the average web page size now about 2.5MB large—images taking up 65% of that—we need to tame the beast. Running images through a compression program like ImageOptim is a good first step, but what else can we do? In this engaging talk, Una will survey new image formats and dive deep into image rendering and performance optimization techniques, demonstrating practical approaches to making your web projects noticeably faster.

  7. Choose Your Animation Adventure

    Animation has come a long way on the modern web and now we have a long list of choices for how to make something move on screen: CSS, JavaScript, SVG, the Web Animation API. With so many options, how can you be sure which is the best choice for your project? With an eye to both the strategy and tactics of animation needs, you’ll learn what which web animation options are the best fit for common UI design tasks. Val will survey the full spectrum of animation options from CSS to React Motion and show which are best suited for things like state transitions, showing data, animating illustrations, or making animations responsive. You’ll also see how your choice of animation tools can impact performance, so you’ll leave knowing exactly which tools to choose for your animation needs.

  8. Where Accessibility Lives

    You do your very best to make the things you design and build easy to use for everyone, including people with disabilities. The developer in you loves solving problems with code, automation, and a robust toolset. The designer in you craves exploration; you know that there's more to accessibility than a checklist-based set of requirements. What's the next step, then? Take your work to a new level by integrating accessibility and inclusion into your existing design and development process. When you achieve that level of process and toolset integration, accessibility lives in tools you're already using rather than in your head. At end of this engaging hour, you'll walk away with real-world examples of making accessibility live in your automation tools, style guides, pattern libraries, and design systems, ready to create a more accessible and inclusive web.

  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. Measuring The Customer Experience

    The best way to understand digital user experience is to measure the time and effort required to complete top tasks. That’s why the most successful digital brands, from Amazon to Google, are relentless in their focus on saving their customers time. To succeed as these companies do, we must discard our organization-centric model of production, and accurately measure task completion and time-on-task. Gerry McGovern will share a robust method for doing just that. You will learn a set of management metrics covering the ability of the customer to do what they came to do, how long it took them, what the problems are, and what needs to be done to make things better.

  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, August 30. Register for all three days and save more than $200 off the cost of registering separately for the conference and A Day Apart.

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. Let’s Build a Website (and Talk About The Job of Front-End Design and Development)

    It’s an ever-evolving field, they say, and the job of a front-ender these days is broad. It’s not just “I write the HTML and CSS” anymore, if it ever was. It’s part designer, part coder, part empath, part interaction designer, and part futurist. Let’s talk about all that by walking through the process of a site design from scratch with front-end guy par excellence Chris Coyier. Starting from scratch, Chris will work through each stage of the site design process—from lightbulb moment to finished website. This will provide a framework to learn about all the big topics in front-end development and what our jobs really are.

    This full-day learning experience is for web designers, front-end developers, and anyone else who has a hand in designing or developing websites. Much of what’s covered will apply to any stripe of interaction design, but the focus will be squarely on web technologies (as opposed to, say, iOS or Android apps). This is not a hands-on, small-group workshop, but rather a full-day in-depth lecture. Typically, upwards of 200 designers and developers attend A Day Apart learning sessions. As with An Event Apart, you’re encouraged to bring your laptop and devices, but doing so isn’t strictly necessary: if you prefer to take sketch notes or write in longhand, more power to you!

    How will this happen? Among other things:

    • Chris will scaffold out a design in HTML, giving us an opportunity to talk about things like HTML5, semantics, and accessibility in their native contexts.
    • Next, he’ll lay out the site in CSS, and in the process talk about things like modern layout techniques (flexbox! grid!), preprocessing, and the role of build tools in the front end process.
    • He’ll use some JavaScript to do things that only JavaScript can do, but we’ll do it in a responsible way that performs well and doesn’t cripple the site if it doesn’t load.
    • At every turn, Chris will consider performance and user experience, making sure we’re building something for human beings, not spec sheets or portfolios.
    • And we’ll think about how to make the offline experience the best it can be, because we never know when someone will suddenly lose bandwidth due to network outages, subway tunnels, or holding the phone wrong.

    All this in just one day? Yes! By the time Chris is done building his site from scratch, we’ll have reconsidered not just what we do, but why we do it, and how to do it better. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn from a master of the HTML arts.

Pricing

Conference Pass August 28-29, 2017 Sold out!

Your Conference Pass includes admission to all sessions at the two-day Chicago conference, August 28-29, breakfast and lunch on both days, and access to all social events.

A Day Apart Pass August 30, 2017 $599.00

Your A Day Apart Pass includes admission to the full day session “Let’s Build a Website (and Talk About The Job of Front-End Design and Development)” on August 30, breakfast and lunch on that day, and access to all social events.

  • Standard Pricing through : $599.00
  • At-the-Door Pricing through : $699.00

Conference + A Day Apart Pass August 28-30, 2017 Sold out!

Your Conference + A Day Apart Pass includes admission to the two-day Chicago conference, August 28-29, and full-day session “Let’s Build a Website (and Talk About The Job of Front-End Design and Development)” on August 30, breakfast and lunch on all three days, and access to all social events.

Location

Westin Chicago River North
320 N. Dearborn Street Chicago, IL 60654

The Westin Chicago River North has arranged special room rates for An Event Apart attendees: just $265/night plus free in-room internet for the duration of your stay. Call (312) 744-1900 and request the “An Event Apart special rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

The Westin Chicago River North offers refined accommodations and magnificent views of the Chicago River that will leave you feeling rested and recharged. The hotel is nestled in the heart of the business and theatre districts, trendy restaurants, and art galleries. Guests enjoy scenic views and an ideal location just steps from Michigan Avenue and Millennium Park. This AAA Four Diamond Award winning hotel is a completely smoke-free environment and offers delicious restaurants and a gym. Best of all, it’s the site of the conference. You can walk out of your room and into the show!

A Day Apart Seats only  — Register Now!