An Event Apart San Francisco 2019

Three days of design, code, and content

Set yourself apart.

An Event Apart San Francisco 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. 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. Designing for Trust in an Uncertain World

    Mass media and our most cynical memes say we live in a post-fact era. So who can we trust—and how do our users invest their trust? Expert opinions are a thing of the past; we favor user reviews from “people like us” whether we're planning a meal or prioritizing a newsfeed. But as our filter bubbles burst, consumers and citizens alike turn inward for the truth. By designing for empowerment, the smartest organizations meet them there.

    We must empower our audiences to earn their trust—not the other way around—and our tactical choices in content and design can fuel empowerment. Margot will walk you through examples from retail, publishing, government, and other industries to detail what you can do to meet unprecedented problems in information consumption. Learn how voice, volume, and vulnerability can inform your design and content strategy to earn the trust of your users. We'll ask the tough questions: How do brands develop rapport when audiences let emotion cloud logic? Can you design around cultural predisposition to improve public safety? And how do voice and vulnerability go beyond buzzwords and into broader corporate strategy? Learn how these questions can drive design choices in organizations of any size and industry—and discover how your choices can empower users and rebuild our very sense of trust itself.

  7. Designing for Personalities

    Just as our designs today must accommodate differences of gender, cultural background, and other factors, it’s time to create apps, websites, and internal processes that account for still another strand of human diversity: our very different personality types.

    In this new presentation, Sarah shares real-life case studies demonstrating how businesses and organizations large and small are learning to adjust the thinking behind their websites and processes to account for the wishes, needs, and comfort levels of all kinds of people.

    We know that the world is full of different conventions—currency, measuring systems, and more—and our web forms address these differences. Let’s do the same for the emotional and psychological assumptions behind our customer profiles. Let’s learn to design for a palette of different personalities.

  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. To Be Announced

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

  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. Making Research Count

    It’s hard to do really impactful user research, not just because research techniques aren’t easy but because getting the permission, time, budget, and attention can be huge challenges on their own. Cyd will discuss how to build a valuable research practice in any company by doing strong small research projects and involving the broader team. Her talk will cover both technical tips (such as how to create simple templates for data recording that make research synthesis easier) and communication advice gained from decades of expanding the reach of research in organizations large and small. If your team hasn’t yet made user research a core part of your design and product work, you’ll leave this talk with a map of how to start. And if you already do research but see it ignored or dismissed, you’ll go home with new ways to make sure it gets the attention and influence it should have. Wherever you are, Cyd’s talk will help your team get the most out of the time and energy you spend with your users.

  6. 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.

  7. The Mythology of Design Systems

    Design systems have dominated web design conversations for a few years. Just as there’s no one way to make a website, there is no one way to make a design system. Unfortunately this has led to a lot of misconceptions around the creation and impact of this increasingly important tool. Do any of these sound familiar?

    • “It’s too restrictive.”
    • “It limits creativity.”
    • “It won’t work for editorial projects.”
    • “It’ll solve all our problems.”

    Drawing on her experiences building design systems at two highly visible and vastly different organizations, Mina will debunk some common myths surrounding design systems.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  1. Day 3

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. Going Offline

    Web design is complicated. Web development is complicated. Everything seems to be constantly changing—there’s so much to keep track of. But there’s one thing we can confidently say for sure: websites need an internet connection in order to work. Right? Well, even that is no longer true. Thanks to the powerful technology of service workers, you can now design and develop websites that work offline. This is a game-changer! And now you’ve got something new you need to learn. But don’t worry—Jeremy is here to talk you through a whole range of offline strategies. By the end of this presentation, you’ll have all the knowledge and code you’ll need to free your website from the tyranny of the network connection.

  6. Talking Back: Conversation Design for VUIs

    If you've found yourself talking to your phone, TV remote, or smart home device, you're not alone. Digital experiences are no longer monologues that live on a screen; they are conversations that adapt to all of the digital form factors around us. Developing a conversation to answer a question like "is your store open right now?" is a lot more involved than writing a static FAQ page with store hours, especially when that question might be asked on a tablet, watch, TV, or numerous other form factors. However, there are scenarios when it's worth the extra investment to develop a VUI for your product.

    In this practical hour, Laura Martini will walk through conversation design from start to finish, from identifying when to develop a VUI, to writing sample dialogs and testing with users, to tools for implementation. You’ll come away understanding whether conversation design is right for your product, and how you can adapt your existing design and development processes to this new medium.

  7. Paying Better Attention to the Problem

    “The idea is the place to start.” “Fall in Love with the problem.” “Get out of the building.” Our practice knows the foundation of a well-deserved experience begins with understanding the user. But our world is still full of generic software written “for everyone.” The way to fight past our current state is to pay attention to what comes before ideas, and to pay attention to people before they even become a potential user. It's not about generating ideas. It's about understanding the purposes of different people.

    In this talk, Indi will outline methods for approaching this problem space with empathy and demonstrate techniques to explore problems and bring creative solutions, taking what can be a touchy-feely topic and breaking it down into something tangible, understandable, and actionable.

  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.

Pricing

Three-Day Pass

December 9-11, 2019

$1,500 through October 14

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

Monday-Tuesday Pass

December 9-10, 2019

$1,100 through October 14

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

Tuesday-Wednesday Pass

December 10-11, 2019

$1,100 through October 14

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

Monday Pass

December 9, 2019

$600 through October 14

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

Tuesday Pass

December 10, 2019

$600 through October 14

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

Wednesday Pass

December 11, 2019

$600 through October 14

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

Location

Westin St. Francis
335 Powell St San Francisco, CA 94102

The Westin St. Francis has arranged special room rates for An Event Apart attendees: just $329/night plus free in-room internet access for the duration of your stay. Use Westin’s dedicated reservations page, or call (415) 397-7000 and request the “An Event Apart special rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

More than just a hotel, The Westin St. Francis on Union Square has been a celebrated destination since 1904. The historic Magneta Grandfather Clock located in the landmark lobby has been a popular gathering spot for generations of travelers, white marble columns, ornate balconies and intricate woodwork transport guests back to the elegance of yesteryear. Discover the allure of the city's most charismatic and vital setting offering the grandeur of the past, coupled with contemporary luxury and style.

Seating is limited — Register Now!

An Event Apart San Francisco 2019 is proud to be sponsored by: