Every year I start writing one of these end-of-the-year posts and never finish them. I decided that I’m going to finish this one, even if it is a bit late. So here is my first annual (hopefully) year in review.
Just as mobile defined the last decade of digital products, machine learning is set to define the next. 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. 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. The challenges and opportunities of machine learning are plenty; learn to handle this powerful new design material with care and respect.
Design is a medium for communication, and to do it well, we must cultivate our own communication skills. Within design teams, we do our best work when we create a culture of feedback shaped by our creative space and our design review process. Beyond the design tribe, our work thrives when it’s communicated in language that aligns to the goals of the business and invites participation early and often. In this presentation, Aarron will share the experiences of real design teams at Apple, Spotify, and other organizations to show how to improve the communication of design both inside your team and with key outside stakeholders. You’ll see how to run effective design reviews and retrospectives which will help you create a culture of feedback that produces better work, helps designers sharpen their skills, and communicates the value of design by making it more transparent and inviting.
How many third-party scripts are loading on our web pages these days? How can we objectively measure the value of these (advertising, a/b testing, analytics, etc.) scripts—considering their impact on web performance, user experience, and business goals? We’ve learned to scrutinize content hierarchy, browser support, and page speed as part of the design and development process. Similarly, Trent will share recent experiences and explore ways to evaluate and discuss the inclusion of 3rd-party scripts.
From one designer to a front-end developer: I’m so grateful for you. You take my pretty pictures and turn them into real-live websites and applications; you convert ideas and sketches into real things that people can use. And even despite that superpower, you rarely get the respect you deserve. It’s time for that to change. No longer will I throw my comps over the proverbial wall for you to blindly build. I’ll change my process for you. Let’s sketch together more to be more efficient and effective as a team. Let’s decide in the browser more. I’ll learn to write JSON for you. Let’s share stories about new, more modern ways of shipping products at higher quality in record time. This is gonna be great!
We’ve come such a long way in the last 20 years from a grass-roots web standards movement to Wired magazine launching a standards-based interface in 2003, to today, with all the tools and methods that inform current web design. But, where next? This talk makes a radical argument for recidivism in our design thinking; a return to durable, aesthetic, and inclusive web design. Through evidence and examples, you’ll learn to design for serendipity, for speed, and for economy of time, resources, and attention. Durable design is responsive design for the next decade, and it starts now.
The products we design today must connect with customers across different screen sizes, contexts, and even voice or chat interfaces. As such, we create emotional expressiveness in our products not only through visual design and language choices, but also through design details such as how interface elements move, or the way they sound. By using every tool at our disposal, including audio and animation, we can create more expressive products that feel cohesive across all of today’s diverse media and social contexts. In this session, Val will show how to harness the design details from different media to build overarching themes—themes that persist across all screen sizes and user and interface contexts, creating a bigger emotional impact and connection with your audience.
By now, ’most every in-house team has some form of design system initiative underway. Yet many designers and developers on those teams still struggle to make the system really take root in their organization. Working together, designers and developers create wonderful, reusable components, tools, guidelines, and documentation. But if those elements don’t reflect the reality of how the organization builds its products, all their effort is for naught. Having spent years creating, evangelizing, and teaching design systems and corporate integration of same, Brad Frost is here to share strategies and methods to ensure your design system stands the test of time. You’ll learn how to keep your system and the products it serves in sync, and you’ll understand how to maintain and evolve your design system to give your users get the best possible experience.
Design systems are hot right now, and for good reason. They promote a modular approach to building a product, promote organizational unity, and ensure stability via reusable code snippets and utility styles. They make prototyping a breeze, and provide a common language for both designers and developers. But sometimes design systems are underutilized within organizations. Why is that, when they’re so darn useful? In an engaging hour, Una will draw on years of experience to explore what makes design systems successful, analyze real examples of success and failure, and show how to make sure your design system has the building blocks it needs to grow into a successful product.