An Event Apart Denver 2017 Special Edition!

Three days of design, code, and content with:

Set yourself apart.

An Event Apart Denver: Special Edition is three days of intense focus on digital design, UX, and more. The Denver show is sold out, but you can join us at one of our other upcoming events!

What makes this so special?

Most of our events have 12 great speakers, but Denver: Special Edition will feature 18 fabulous speakers in three days. You’ll leave with tons of takeaways, insights, and practical applications for your work. We’ll have a live, in-person recording of the User Defenders podcast on our stage. Not to mention—it’s Denver! We’ve always wanted to come to the Mile-High City, and at last the dream has come true!

Sold out! See upcoming shows…

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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. Digital Marketing Strategies for the Busy “Web Master”

    Reaching through the screens of our customers and holding their attention is becoming increasingly difficult thanks to the pace at which online content now moves and our dwindling attention spans. Nowadays the job of the multi-faceted web designer is to not only know the latest techniques for building in Grid but also know how to get that work seen amongst the saturated world of digital marketing. In this talk Sarah will be discussing the idea of quarterly website design reviews with a “design once use everywhere” mantra, plus digging into the ever changing world of Instagram algorithms, Facebook marketing, and topical social media takeaways for immediate implementation.

  7. Obvious Always Wins

    Clients, stakeholders, and users all want “obvious” easy-to-use designs that help them achieve their goals. But making obvious interfaces isn't as obvious as it seems, especially when lots of stakeholders and users are involved. In an in-depth walkthrough of a major redesign for a large-scale mobile application, Luke Wroblewski will take you behind the scenes to explore the thinking, processes, and iterations that go into an “obvious” design change.

  8. 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.

  9. Graduating to Grid

    When CSS Grid Layout shipped into multiple browsers in the Spring of 2017 it heralded the dawn of a new way to do layout on the web. Now that the excitement of launch has passed, Rachel Andrew will take a look at what went right or wrong in these first few months, and offer help to those struggling to transition away from legacy methods. In a practical, example-packed hour, Rachel will help give you the confidence and practical skills to fully embrace Grid layout. We’ll compare common framework patterns to new Grid code, and learn how to create a workflow that is right up to date—a workflow grounded in new CSS, yet able to care for old browsers and ensure a good experience for their users.

  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. User Defenders Live!

    Join us for a special episode of the User Defenders podcast as it's recorded live on our stage! Chris Coyier, Cassie McDaniel, and Luke Wroblewski will discuss the state of the industry and take questions from host Jason Ogle and the audience. You won't want to miss it!

  1. Day 2

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. Prototyping: The Scientific Method of Business

    For years, designers and developers have adapted prototyping and research to answer the most pressing questions that businesses face. By answering the right questions, working at the right level of fidelity, involving a diverse group of experts, and researching at the right speed, you can level up your effectiveness. We’ll look at how designers at any level can use these tools to make themselves indispensable to their organizations.

  6. Story First: Crafting Products That Engage

    While many of us seek out the newest and shiniest tools, methods, and processes to build more successful products and services, we often overlook one of the oldest, leanest, most effective tools out there: the structurally sound story. Whether you realize it or not in the moment, you experience everything as if it was a story. The better the story, the more likely you are to want to use a product, continue to use it, pay to use it, and recommend it to others. In this talk, you will see how taking a story first approach to product design and development will help you build more successful websites, apps, campaigns, and services that excite your customers, draw them in, incite them to action, and keep them engaged over time.

  7. The Last Ten Percent: When and Where to Add Polish That Matters

    You’ve been grinding for weeks. You’ve done your due diligence and tested designs with users and colleagues. You’ve spoken to the client, they’re convinced you’re amazing. Everything looks great in every browser, on every popular device. You think you’re done. But you’re not done, you’re just getting started. This talk is about what happens after your work goes out into the wild and people start using it. We’ll cover how to use iterative design strategies to increase your work’s impact and ultimately make you more effective at what you do.

  8. Vitamin T

    Sponsored Panel: Whither Goest the Webmaster?

    Grab some food and grab a seat for a lively hour of questions, answers, and insights! This panel discussion hosted by Jeremy Osborn of thegymnasium.com brings together Jeremy Keith, Sarah Parmenter, and Rachel Andrew to talk about the current state of what we do and how we do it. The session 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. Tuesday Happy Hour

    Join us at A Happy Hour Apart II, situated outside the main auditorium. It’ll be a chance to unwind a bit and chat with your colleagues as you chew over all the insights from Day Two!

  1. Day 3

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. Evaluating Technology

    We work with technology every day. And every day it seems like there's more and more technology to understand: graphic design tools, build tools, frameworks and libraries, not to mention new HTML, CSS and JavaScript features landing in browsers. How should we best choose which technologies to invest our time in? When we decide to weigh up the technology choices that confront us, what are the best criteria for doing that? This talk will help you evaluate tools and technologies in a way that best benefits the people who use the websites that we are designing and developing. Let's take a look at some of the hottest new web technologies like service workers and web components. Together we will dig beneath the hype to find out whether they will really change life on the web for the better.

  6. Performance as User Experience

    Design is problem solving. Each and every day, we are tasked with finding ways to reduce the friction our users experience on the Web. That means streamlining flows, reducing cognitive load, and writing more appropriate copy, but user experience goes far beyond the interface. Our users’ experiences begin with their first request to our servers. In this intensely practical session, Aaron will explore the ins and outs of page load performance by showing how he made the web site of the 10K Apart meet its own contest rules, by having a site that was functional and attractive even without JavaScript, and was less than ten kilobytes at initial load. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of the page load process as well as numerous ways you can improve the projects you are working on right now.

  7. Mission Possible: Stakeholder Alignment

    In content strategy, it can be a huge struggle getting everyone working from the same playbook. Why are we creating this content? Who is it for? Who is accountable for its success? To get to stakeholder alignment, we don’t need to rely solely on our persuasive powers. There are tools that can help groups set individual agendas aside and focus on building shared standards and strategy. Kristina will share her own methods for getting people on the same page in any project or team setting.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

Pricing

An Event Apart Denver 2017 has completely sold out. We’re sorry we couldn’t fit you in, but you can still join us at one of our upcoming shows!

Location

Denver Marriott City Center
1701 California Street Denver, CO 80202-3402

The Denver Marriott City Center has arranged special room rates with complimentary internet access for AEA attendees, starting at just $179/night. To get these savings, please use Marriott’s dedicated An Event Apart reservation page or call (303) 297-1300 and request the “special An Event Apart room rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

The Denver Marriott City Center offers exceptional service and thoughtful amenities in a convenient location, with breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and city skyline. The hotel is located near the Denver Art Museum, the 16th Street Mall, and several sports arenas. With farm-to-table dining at Prospect’s Urban Kitchen and Bar, a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor pool, and deluxe guest rooms with high-speed Wi-Fi and plush bedding.

Sold out! See upcoming shows…