DAY 2: CONFERENCE - APRIL 25

What's included in a conference pass?
Conference registration will start at 9:00am on April 25.
 
The conference day will run from 09:35am until 7:00pm and your ticket will include coffee, lunch, snacks, entrance to our networking after party, and free wi-fi.
 
All-Access passes will give you entry to the workshop of your choice, and the conference day, at a discounted price!
 
Why book a conference pass?
  • Stay up to date: gain insight into the new trends and technologies that are impacting the web design industry through our series of talks
  • Learn from our expert speakers; get a fresh perspective, educate yourself and leave full of new ideas and improvements for your business!
  • Network with 200+ likeminded colleagues - make new friends and catch up with old ones
Time
Session 
Speaker
9:00am - 9:35am
Registration and coffee
 
9:35am - 9:40am
Welcome from the editor
9:40am - 10:20am
KEYNOTE: AI is your new design material
 
Discover the critical role for designers in AI products. This lively and inspiring talk explores the technologies and practical techniques that you can use today—like right now—not only to make existing products better but to imagine surprising new services. Learn to use machine-generated content, insight, and interaction as design material in your everyday work.
 
Refit familiar design and UX process to work with the grain of the algorithm, to help the machines solve real problems without creating new ones. The challenges and opportunities of AI and machine learning are plenty; discover your own influential role, and learn to handle this powerful new design material with care and respect.
10:25am - 11:05am
Dynamic CSS: Layouts & Beyond
 

CSS has come a long way since the browser wars of the late 90s. What used to be a struggle, is now often a breeze (see box-shadow or border-radius). But the last 2 years have pushed CSS into entirely new territory: with DOM-aware variables and calculations that can drive your design, without all the invasive Javascript.

  • Basics for understanding Custom Properties & Calc().

  • Practical examples and use-cases for data-infused design.

  • Integrating with CSS Grids to build layouts on-the-fly.

11:05am - 11:30am
Morning Refreshment Break
 
11:30am - 12:10pm
Design System Magic with Houdini
 

This talk will focus on a handful of key browser specifications being developed under the CSS Houdini Task Force umbrella, with key interest given to features that can start to be leveraged today in design systems. We will cover briefly what CSS Houdini is and describe these key technologies in relation to common design system problems and patterns, and how Houdini can greatly improve the flexibility, power, performance, and maintainability of these patterns.

Key takeaways include:

  • What is Houdini?

  • Introduction to, and how to leverage the Properties and Values API to enhance CSS “Variables”

  • Introduction to and design system related uses of the Paint API

  • How to leverage the Paint API today and enhance with the Properties and Values API

  • A look to the future with the Layout API

12:15pm - 12:55pm
Getting Personal Projects Made
Nearly every designer, after a few years of working for an agency, begins to think about starting their own business. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a fancy office, work only on the projects that you like, without having to sell your soul to the devilish client and compromise when amending designs? But reality is more complex than that, and definitely less romantic. Irene Pereyra of the design studio “Anton & Irene” will talk about how to put out personal work as a small studio while sharing her experiences including all the successes and failures they went through along the way.
12:55pm - 13:55pm
Lunch 
 
1:55pm - 2:35pm
UX for Lizard Brains

Why humans are confused and what we can do about it

We humans evolved in constraints of the physical world. But digital spaces don’t have to follow all those petty rules of physics. Awesome! In digital spaces, you can teleport with hyperlinks! You can be in two (or more) places at once thanks to video chat and social media! You can undo. Digital spaces make magic possible.

But here’s the thing. Sometimes the magic that digital designers create is confusing and disorienting. Even though our digital world is liberated from physical constraints, perhaps we designers should hang on to some of rules that humans expect out of objects. Sure, let’s ditch the annoying things about meatspace, but let’s keep what works. Mainly, let’s keep what our poor lizard brains are always going to assume about any space — physical or digital.

Based on Sophia’s work in bringing object-oriented principles to UX, this talk explores how to align design with how humans naturally understand environments. We will explore five design principles that will help you create digital products that even a caveman could use.

2:40pm - 3:20pm

Rapid Prototyping with Gatsby

Wireframes and mockups often fail to demonstrate the actual experience of a product. Sometimes the released product doesn’t look anything like the designs that were approved. This happens due to technical constraints and edge cases that appear during the development process. We are also seeing an influx of design tools that are promising to improve the design and development workflow but do we really need them? Should we add another tool into our complex workflow, or is there a way we can design quickly and collaborate with our colleagues without disrupting the design process?

Enter the front-end prototype, a sample application that designers can use to build new features in the browser. Speed is very important when prototyping, and the tools we use need to empower us to validate our solutions early and often. With the power of Gatsby and a data API, you can build data-driven prototypes that bring the experience into user experience. Learn how you and your team can leverage the JAMstack to improve the product development process and break down the barriers between designers and developers.

The audience will learn:

  • What is the JAMstack and why it’s great for front-end prototypes

  • How to set up a front-end prototype with Gatsby

  • How a front-end prototype can improve collaboration and communication within a team

3:20pm - 3:45pm
Afternoon Refreshment Break
 
3:45pm - 4:25pm
Groundwork: Building Foundations for High-Performing Teams
 
As our field grows, technology advances and users develop new expectations for the products they use, we are challenged to build teams that produce best-in-class products and services. When you look at what it takes to build successful, high-performing teams, you see that our opportunity for success doesn’t solely lie in the skills we hire for. We set a foundation for successful outcomes by building a foundation for our teams to do their best work and be their best selves. 
    
In this talk, Aaron will share thoughts, tools, and techniques (gathered from personal success and failures) for building teams that perform at a high level without high anxiety. 
 
Key takeaways include: 
  • Insights into creating a foundation for your teams to do their best work

  • Building strong partnerships with cross-functional teams

  • Increasing team communication and collaboration

  • Creating a shared vision that supports team member autonomy in decision-making and execution

  • Dealing with conflict within teams and with partners (navigating workplace politics).

4:30pm - 5:10pm
Everything You Know About Web Design Just Changed

We've recently seen a sea change in web layout, one that few of us have truly come to grips with. We’re standing at the threshold of an entirely new era in digital design—one in which, rather than hacking layouts together, we can actually describe layouts directly. The benefits will touch everything from prototyping to custom art direction to responsive design. In this visionary talk, rooted in years of practical experience, Jen will show you how to understand what’s different, learn to think through multiple stages of flexibility, and let go of pixel constraints forever.
 
5:10pm - 7:00pm
Networking After Party