An Event Apart Denver 2019

Three days of design, code, and content

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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. 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. 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. Third-Party Software and the Fate of the Web

    Third-party scripts and services can help generate income, provide data to inform decisions, and supplement a website’s functionality, but at what cost? Users experience slow load times, device processor lag, and anxiety about privacy and trackers. The use of third-parties is rapidly increasing, and not by coincidence, the use of ad and content-blockers is doing the same.

    What can we do as web builders to help create a more sustainable and balanced web? How can we effectively contribute to a cross-discipline discussion about third-parties? Trent will share tools, research, and techniques for leading efforts within your organization to have realistic-yet-effective discussions about third-party usage.

  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!

  12. User Defenders Live!

    Join us for a special episode of the User Defenders podcast as it's recorded live on our stage! Three of our speakers 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. The New Design Material

    Just as mobile defined the last decade of digital products, machine learning is set to define the next. Learn to use machine-generated content, insight, and interaction as design material in your everyday work. Refit familiar design and UX process to work with the grain of the algorithm, to help the machines solve real problems without creating new ones. This lively and inspiring talk explores the technologies and practical techniques that you can use today—like right now—not only to make existing products better but to imagine surprising new services. The challenges and opportunities of machine learning are plenty; learn to handle this powerful new design material with care and respect.

  6. Unsolved Problems

    Technology products are being adapted faster than ever. We’ve spent a lot of time adopting new technology, but not as much time considering the social impact of doing so. This talk looks at large scale system design in the offline world, and takes lessons from them to our online work. You’ll learn how to expand your design approach from self-contained products, to considering the broader systems in which they exist.

  7. Working Together in Diverse Teams

    Every day, we work with people who aren’t like us, and it’s a trend that will only grow over time. Working in diverse teams, we share more perspectives and ways of thinking; using these, we can improve the ways we solve problems and build products. On the flip side, like an invisible hand, our home cultures influence how we perform day-to-day tasks at work. This can mean diverse teams are prone to increased conflict and misunderstanding, because cultural biases influence how we deal with conflict, how we handle feedback and critique, and how we communicate.

    In this wide-ranging talk, Farai will share underlying principles, practical recommendations, and ready-to-use tactics you can use to become more effective working in diverse teams. When we know more about cultural biases and their influence, we can reduce friction, giving us a better chance to gain the true benefit of working in diverse teams.

  8. Special Screening: Rams

    Rams is the new documentary film from Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified, Urbanized) about legendary designer Dieter Rams. For over 50 years, Rams has left an indelible mark on the field of product design with his iconic work at Braun and Vitsoe, and his influence on Apple. So at 86 years old, why does he now regret being a designer? Rams is a design documentary, but it’s also a rumination on consumerism, sustainability, and how technology is changing human behavior. Dieter's philosophy is about more than just design, it’s about a way to live. The film features an original score by pioneering musician Brian Eno.

  9. Mobile Planet

    With 3.5 billion active smartphones on Earth, we’re now faced with the challenges and opportunities of designing planet-scale software. Through a data-informed, big-picture walk-through of our mobile planet, Luke will dig into how people use computing devices today and how the design of our products needs to adapt to this reality. He’ll cover key issues like app on-boarding and performance in enough detail to give you clear ways to improve first time and subsequent use of your mobile apps and sites.

  10. Full-Featured Art Direction for the Web

    Now that we have the tools to superpower our layouts, we can start to reimagine how we approach art direction and design on the web. By taking advantage of technologies, some new and some overlooked, we can create a progressively-enhanced design that’s powered by feature queries; one that’s localized for an increasingly global audience. In this talk drawn from her work for Slack and other properties, Mina walks through her process for enhancing design and shows how little changes lead to big design payoffs.

  11. 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. 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. Animation on the Bleeding Edge

    As a community, we talk about how to animate on the web in terms of what's possible—but where is animation heading? From the intersection of health and animation with biofeedback sensors, to teaching with web technologies, to the very future of what the browser will be capable of animating, we're just getting started. In this engaging talk, Sarah will explore the latest bleeding-edge animation techniques, including native-like page transitions with client side rendering… and then will push them even further.

  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. 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.

  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.

Location

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

The conference site, the Denver Hilton City Center (formerly the Denver Marriott City Center), has unfortunately run out of rooms at the conference rate. Please contact us if you need help finding a nearby hotel.

The Denver Hilton 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.

Seating is limited — Register Now!

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