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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 night just outside the Bay Auditorium at Bell Harbor. 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 Event Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  3. Breakfast

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. The Fault, Dear Brutus (or: Career Advice From a Cranky Old Man)

    We have met the enemy, and he is us. Many of the professional problems we blame on boneheaded bosses and clueless coworkers actually come from ourselves. Identify career woes you bring on yourself, and learn to get out of your own way. Make yourself irreplaceable. For better meetings, better projects, and a better life, cultivate the professionally and emotionally healthy worker within. Plan for a long, deep career. See how improving your sales ability can make all the difference in your work and job. Employees, learn what to do when your work doesn’t reflect your best abilities. Freelancers, find out how to raise your profile and your rates. Master the side project, and use it to make deeper contacts in your community. Above all, free yourself to know (and speak) your mind. You’ll come away full of inspiring new ideas, and brimming with energy and enthusiasm for your work and the people it serves.

  6. Atomic Design

    Over the past few years, we’ve seen the web community create style tiles, element collages, style guides, pattern libraries, and a slew of other tools in order to break interfaces down to their atomic elements. Our interfaces are going more places than ever before, so this shift is essential to help us better understand what our websites consist of in order for us create smart, scalable, maintainable designs. This session will introduce atomic design, a methodology for creating robust design systems. We’ll cover how to apply atomic design to implement your very own design system in order to set you, your organization and clients up for success.

  7. Typesetting Body Text Like a Pirate Jedi with a DeLorean

    Typesetting body text for the web is an enormous challenge. It's a complicated, expensive process, and it contradicts tenets of typography that are widely considered fundamental to good design. But doing it well fortifies your brand, lends authenticity to what you say, and clarifies your messages. And body text can act as an anchor, making other design decisions easier. In this new session, Tim Brown welcomes you to hone productive typesetting practices—with many specific tips, as well as a solid overview of the scope, dependencies, and effects of our typographic decisions.

  8. Content in Context Is King

    When most people think of Responsive Design, they think of fluid grids and adapting the layout of components in a site or application. But design goes far beyond layout. How far? We will start by combining content, context, and behavior in ways that let us create truly responsive sites—sites that meet the needs of the people using them, when they’re using them, and how they’re using them. Learn how to use clues like time, location, proximity, capabilities, and preferences to create better designs for users. After accounting for the device’s form factor, capabilities, and features, we’ll look at context of use, and the art of anticipation, delivering a more thoughtful, more useful user experience for everyone.

  9. Guerrilla Design Tactics

    It takes a village to design a responsive design system, so how do you convince the village that they need to? Facilitating change, making innovative happen, and fostering a design culture can be hard in an organization—especially when you are not in a position of authority. As an organization becomes comfortable with standard ways of operating and resistant to necessary change, you can find yourself in the tough position of implementing things you know are wrong. Get out from under this typical design dilemma. Samantha will show you how to use your design thinking as an asset to win battles where you are the underdog. You’ll learn persuasive techniques that can help you get everyone on board with design that achieves your organization’s goals, and of which you can be proud.

  10. 13 Ways Designers Screw Up Client Presentations

    The hardest part of design is presenting work. We’ve seen people who’ve done amazing work get up in front of a client and lay eggs. We’ve also seen people do mediocre work and wrap clients around their little finger. Optimally, you want to do good work and present it well. We’d rather have a good designer who can present well than a great designer who can’t. Work that can’t be sold is as ineffective as the designer who can’t sell it. Presenting is a core design skill. In this session, Mike will go over the most common mistakes designers make when presenting their work, and how to avoid them.

  11. Opening Night Happy Hour

    Join us at A Happy Hour Apart, to be held just outside the Bay 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. Morning Welcome

  4. Enhance!

    We’re working on increasingly complex websites. There’s a temptation to match this growth with increasingly complex solutions. But there’s a real value in keeping things simple...or at least _starting_ things simple. If you can build a solid robust foundation, there’s a good chance that your work will be future-friendly. Prepare to have your brain subtly rewired as we look beneath the surface-level implementation details of the web to reveal the semantic structure below. Whether you’re publishing content or building the latest hot app, the principle of progressive enhancement will change the way you think about your work.

  5. Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts

    In the early years of the web, there was a lot of variation and experimentation with where to put content on a web page. Then, it seems, we all settled into a handful of patterns and stayed there for over a decade. It wasn’t until the arrival of responsive design that new ideas for page layout started appearing. Now with new CSS properties for layout landing in browsers, we may be about to see a bigger renaissance in layout design patterns. How can we better use the space inside the glass rectangle? What layout innovations could help users better find and focus on what they want? Take a walk through where we’ve been, where we might be going, and how we can better design for the true medium at hand. This talk features practical examples of what's newly possible, along with access to a code repo for you to play with later.

  6. Responsive Images Are Here. Now What?

    It took nearly four years, four proposed standards, the formation of a community group, and a funding campaign to pay for development, but we finally got what we've been clamoring for—a solution for responsive images baked into browsers. Now the hard work begins. Learn how to use the new responsive image specifications, which ones are appropriate for which images, and how to tackle the riddle of responsive image breakpoints.

  7. Responsive Reorganization: Better Collaboration Through Responsible Web Design

    Responsive design has been around for a few years now, and no doubt—it’s totally awesome! It has fundamentally changed web careers, but it exposes some ugly truths about design processes and how people collaborate within organizations. Providing access to content and services across multiple screen sizes forces conversations that fracture traditional ideas about how things are built, and who should build them. Enter new models for collaboration around making decisions to support good responsive design. Some of the most successful responsive design efforts have changed the way organizations work together. Let’s boil down what we’ve learned so far into what works well that can be easily applied in any company, and a few pitfalls to avoid.

  8. Touchy Subjects: Creating Content for Sensitive Situations

    Our readers and users are human. They have their own preferences, experiences, senses of humor, and perspectives—and they bring all of that to the table when they interact with our content. We can’t see our users, and we don’t know what’s going on in their lives, so we don’t always create experiences with their feelings in mind. Certain topics are likely to make them feel uncomfortable or frustrated. Sensitive content types many of us work on every day include error messages, alerts, legal content, financial information, and warnings. Learn how to address touchy subjects, anticipate the reader’s emotional state, and write from a place of empathy.

  9. Designing for Crisis

    It's easy to design for the idealized user, someone who's smart, calm, and informed. It's less easy, and thus more important, to design for a more realistic user: still smart, but harried and uncertain. The best designs handle both with care. But how many designs can help a user who is completely in the dark and barely capable of rational thought? In this talk, Eric will draw on his personal and professional experience to explore examples of crisis-mitigating design successes and failures. In the process, he'll illustrate ways that you can and should consider the needs of users teetering on the edge of panic. Helping them will make your designs more relevant and useful for all your users.

  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, April 1. Register for all three days and save more than $200 off the cost of registering separately for the conference and A Day Apart.

  2. Beyond Responsive: Accessible Design For Every Device

    Responsive web design is now a foundational concept of modern web design. It gives us the flexibility that we need to create future friendly web sites and applications. But there’s more to creating a great experience for everyone than just “making it responsive.” There’s much, much more.

    The online world is changing: sites are global, our audience is getting older, and people with disabilities are using our sites more every day. Beyond platform interoperability and the screen size agnosticism that responsive web design gives us, how will we design for all these different user needs? Internationally recognized accessibility champion Derek Featherstone is here to share the rest of the story: the story where we take all the great parts of what makes a site responsive and combine them with all the care and thoughtfulness that also makes a site accessible to all users. That’s the next step. That’s our future.

    Join Derek for this full day of insights, design strategy, and development techniques for creating responsive sites that are also accessible. You’ll need to bring your mobile device or tablet and a set of headphones—you’ll be using them throughout the day. In this session, attendees will:

    • See how they can leverage the responsive web design techniques they already know to make things more accessible.
    • Learn to design for low-vision mobile and tablet users.
    • Discover which responsive web design patterns can cause significant accessibility issues.
    • Understand how to identify accessibility needs during responsive web design.
    • Use modern coding techniques to fix the accessibility needs that you identify.
    • Gain a greater understanding of the state of mobile assistive technology.



Bell Harbor Conference Center 2211 Alaskan Way, Pier 66 Seattle, WA 98121

Gorgeously situated at Pier 66 on the downtown Seattle waterfront, Bell Harbor provides stunning views of the city, and across Elliott Bay to Mt Rainier, plus easy walking proximity to the shops and restaurants of world-famous Pike Place Market. Oh, and did we mention that the facility brags wonderfully comfortable seating, world-class Wi-Fi, and fine catering to keep your tummy happy while you feed your brain with design and code?