Better Layouts, Better Images

Hello, Pocket pals! An Event Apart (AEA), the leading conference for interaction designers and developers, invites you to hone your skills and up your inspiration with two brilliant talks from our stage.

What’s even better than two great sessions? Twelve! Each An Event Apart brings together a dozen of the leading minds in UX, design, and development for three days of inspiration and enlightenment.

We hope you enjoy the videos. And if you want to see more talks like these, join us at any event this year. Plus, just for coming here, you’ll save $100 off any 2- or 3-day registration with code AEAPOCKET.

Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts (Jen Simmons, Austin 2015)

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Over its 20 years of life, CSS has always had a layout-shaped hole in its center. We bent floats to serve the purpose, but they were never meant to be layout tools, and that mismatch is the root of all the problems we’ve learned to hack around—ways to contain floats, avoid float drops, and more. As ingenious as those hacks were, they should never have been necessary.

Soon, they won’t be. After two decades, full-featured layout properties are finally landing in CSS. Flexible boxes (flexbox) had a troubled rollout, but are now widely and consistently supported. Beyond that, grid layout, non-rectangular shapes, and more are coming quickly. It all portends a transition every bit as radical and life altering as the shift from table layout to CSS.

Few have done more thinking about, and experimentation with, this pending change than Jen Simmons (Mozilla), and our video cameras captured all the excitement of her AEA presentation on the subject, Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts. It’s only an hour, but what an hour—filled with smart commentary on where we’ve been stuck for so long, and mind-bending examples of where we might go next. If you’re ready for serious layout tools expressly designed to support that purpose, you won’t want to miss this video. It’s one of those rare talks that get more relevant as time goes on, rather than less.

Responsive Images Are Here: Now What? (Jason Grigsby, Austin 2015)

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Layout has been a long wait, but so have responsive images. Ever since responsive design burst onto the scene, we’ve been struggling with images: high-res desktop images are usually too bulky for mobile contexts, and mobile-friendly images are generally too small for decent display on ever-higher-density desktops (or wall displays or what have you). We needed responsive images, in the sense that the right image could be served for each context. The developer community worked with browsers to find a solution, and though the process was long, difficult, fraught with setbacks and even wounded feelings, a solution finally emerged.

So now that a solution exists, what do we do with it? That’s the question Jason Grigsby of Cloud Four tackles in his AEA presentation, Responsive Images Are Here. Now What? In an hour filled with insights and practical examples, Jason shows 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. If you’re still coming to grips with how responsive images work, or with how best to employ them, Jason will set you on the right path.

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