Better Layouts, Better Design

Hello, Sidebar folks! 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 AEASIDEBAR.

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.

Atomic Design (Brad Frost, Austin 2015)

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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. And yet, we still so often think of our design as a series of pages, rather than a system of components. Our interfaces are going more places than ever before, so this shift is essential to help us better understand what our work truly consists of in order for us create smart, scalable, maintainable designs.

In this engaging talk, Brad Frost introduces and explores the ramifications of atomic design, a methodology for creating robust design systems that can go just about anywhere. Brad covers how to apply atomic design to implement your very own design system in order to set you, your organization, and your clients up for success.

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