Washington DC

The event has ended, but the memories remain.

Keep learning via our collection of specially curated links, reviews, and articles shared during and after this show. Join our mailing list today to take advantage of special offers and keep the AEA goodness flowing your way.


  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. Designing for Understanding

    Our work focuses on creating great experiences, and we rightly obsess over usability. But how often do we obsess over understandability? If someone gets through a workflow but doesn’t truly know what they’ve done or why—or, worse yet, never even starts a workflow because they couldn’t grasp the benefits of doing so—then we’ve failed as designers. In this presentation, Stephanie will draw from her work with Capital One, Ben & Jerry’s, and FastCustomer.com to show how approaches like content-first design and contextual learning increase customer understanding—and result in fewer iterations, faster learning, and happier customers. She’ll also offer hard-won strategies for demonstrating the value of putting understanding first, and share where you can find hidden gems to practice these techniques in your day-to-day work.

  7. 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.

  8. Should Designers?

    It's no longer enough to be a Photoshop master. Designers need to grow their skills in order to stay relevant and effective, but which are worth focusing on? Should designers learn to code, and, if so, can limited code knowledge really make a difference working with talented engineers? How can designers fit into Agile workflows? Does project methodology even matter anyway? What role does a designer have in creating, using, and maintaining design systems? SuperFriendly Director Dan Mall will share stories and perspectives to answer these questions and more, providing specific methodologies and techniques to help designers become even more indispensable, faster.

  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 Party

    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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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.

  1. Day 3

  2. Breakfast

  3. Attendee Check-in/Badge Pick-up

  4. Morning Welcome

  5. The information about Day Three has temporarily gone missing; we apologize for the inconvenience. Please let us know if this error persists.


The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center has arranged special room rates for An Event Apart attendees: just $149/night plus free in-room internet access for the duration of your stay. Book your room via the special reservation page Hilton has created for AEA attendees, or call (703) 845-1010 and request the “An Event Apart special rate.” Limited rooms are available at this rate, so don’t delay.

The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center hotel is situated in the West End of historic Alexandria, VA. This stylish Alexandria hotel offers beautiful natural scenery that is hard to find in a Washington DC hotel. Guests can enjoy a fully equipped fitness center and inviting indoor and outdoor pools. Gaze at the nearby lake and adjacent 43 acres of botanical preserve, and you'll quickly forget you’re just a few miles from America's Capitol City.

Looking for a professional edge?

Our carefully curated newsletter brings you a hand-picked selection of information on critical design and development topics!

Upcoming Events

  1. Spring Summit

    Full schedule available!
  2. Orlando

    Date and location posted!
  3. Denver

    Date and location posted!
  4. San Francisco

    Date and location posted!