Build Tools Notes

I’ve been working on our build tools at work. Our tools were somewhat outdated, and we were wanting to move away from Grunt. I ultimately decided to go with npm scripts (although the speed of Gulp was tempting). Now that I’m wrapping up, I wanted to write down some notes for things that took a bit of research to figure out. Continue reading Build Tools Notes

macOS Local Development Setup

A couple weeks ago I decided to replace MAMP on my MacBook with free tools for local PHP development. I didn’t find a guide online that was perfect for what I wanted, so here are the steps I used, pieced together from several other guides.

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An Event Apart: “The New Design Material”

Josh Clark speaking at An Event Apart Orlando 2018 on October 10, 2018

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.

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An Event Apart: “Leveling Up Your Design Communication”

Aarron Walter speaking at An Event Apart Orlando 2018 on October 10, 2018

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.

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An Event Apart: “Name That Script!”

Trent Walton speaking at An Event Apart Orlando 2018 on October 10, 2018

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.

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An Event Apart: “’Til Launch Do Us Part”

Dan Mall speaking at An Event Apart Orlando 2018 on October 9, 2018

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!

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An Event Apart: “Durable Design”

Jon Tan speaking at An Event Apart Orlando 2018 on October 9, 2018

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.

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An Event Apart: “Building More Expressive Products”

Val Head speaking at An Event Apart Orlando 2018 on October 9, 2018

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.

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