An Event Apart: “Designing an Intuitive Navigation”

Gerry McGovern speaking at An Event Apart Seattle 2018 on April 4, 2018.

Confusing menus and links are the number one issue people have in getting stuff done in digital. Sure, search is critical but even the best search usually only jumps you down a few levels in the navigation hierarchy. To complete your task you nearly always have to click more, and selecting the right link is where so many people get frustrated, confused and annoyed. Learn about methods to reduce confusion and increase speed and simplicity for your customers. Learn how to use evidence to uncover the core navigational mental models within people’s minds and to create intuitive interfaces based on these mental models. Learn how to apply essential navigational principles such as: Familiarity, Unity, Essentiality, and Forward-Focus.

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An Event Apart: “Inclusive UX: Techniques for Everyone”

Derek Featherstone speaking at An Event Apart Seattle 2018 on April 4, 2018.

You and your teams are doing the things that need to be done to create inclusive designs. You’ve been using meaningful, semantic markup from the get-go. You stopped using light grey on slightly darker grey text years ago. Designing and building your apps and sites in an accessible way is just how you work now—you have to try really hard to make things that don’t work with a keyboard. So, what’s next for you? How can you make sure that you’re delivering on the promise of the web by delivering an inclusive design that can be easily used by people with disabilities? In this talk, Derek will tackle the tougher problems through design approaches and practical development techniques that you need to create accessible, modern web sites.

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An Event Apart: “Responsive Content Models”

Steve Fisher speaking at An Event Apart Seattle 2018 on April 4, 2018.

Responsive Content Models describe all of the content types on a target site, the elements of each, and then prioritize the content type that should appear on a specific page type. They help us define the content creation, design, and user experience concepts for the new or refreshed site. This is especially important for the responsive web—because layout and user context is constantly changing, we have to make sure that content priorities are represented consistently across all platforms. In this engaging talk, Steve Fisher will show you how to find the core piece you need, prioritize for multiple devices, and sketch out the solution to your responsive-content woes.

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An Event Apart: “Tech Humanism: Data, Meaning, and Human Experience”

Kate O’Neill speaking at An Event Apart Seattle 2018 on April 4, 2018.

With so much emphasis in business on artificial intelligence, automation of various kinds, and digital transformation, the future of human work — and even humanity itself — can feel uncertain. And while we often talk about user experience, customer experience, patient experience, and so on, we rarely consider what a truly integrated human experience might look and feel like. But “Tech Humanist” Kate O’Neill presents the case for why the future of humanity is in creating more meaningful, dimensional, and integrated experiences, and how emerging technologies like chatbots, wearables, IoT devices, and more can be included in this kind of human-centric design. While weaving in examples from a range of industries, applications, and even pop culture, Kate offers an inspiring and useful framework for designers, strategists, or anyone creating experiences for humans.

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An Event Apart: “Mobile In the Future”

Luke Wroblewski speaking at An Event Apart Seattle 2018 on April 3, 2018.

In this session, Luke will take a look at what we’ve learned over the past ten years of designing for the largest, most connected form of mass media on our planet. Have all the mock-ups, meetings, emails, and more we’ve created in the last decade moved us beyond desktop computing interfaces and ideas? If not, can we find inspiration to go further from looking at what’s happening in natural user interfaces and hardware design? Find out in this session from the author of Mobile First.

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An Event Apart: “Performance as User Experience”

Aaron Gustafson speaking at An Event Apart Seattle 2018 on April 3, 2018.

Design is problem solving. Each and every day, we are tasked with finding ways to reduce the friction our users experience on the Web. That means streamlining flows, reducing cognitive load, and writing more appropriate copy, but user experience goes far beyond the interface. Our users’ experiences begin with their first request to our servers. In this intensely practical session, Aaron will explore the ins and outs of page load performance by showing how he made the web site of the 10K Apart meet its own contest rules, by having a site that was functional and attractive even without JavaScript, and was less than ten kilobytes at initial load. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of the page load process as well as numerous ways you can improve the projects you are working on right now.

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An Event Apart: “The Way Of The Web”

Jeremy Keith speaking at An Event Apart Seattle 2018 on April 3, 2018.

Do you ever get overwhelmed by the ever-changing nature of web design and development? Exhausting, isn’t it? How are you supposed to know which technologies and tools you should invest your time in? Will they stick around or will you just have to relearn everything in another few months? Join Jeremy as he takes a tour of the past, present, and future of working on the web. From the building blocks of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript through to frameworks and libraries right up to the latest and greatest Progressive Web Apps, this talk will examine our collective assumptions with a critical eye. By learning from the past, we can make sensible design decisions today to build the web of tomorrow.

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An Event Apart: “Beyond Engagement: the Content Performance Quotient”

Jeffrey Zeldman speaking at An Event Apart Seattle 2018 on April 2, 2018.

Our products are tasked with providing ever-higher levels of “engagement.” But should they be? For many sites, analytics demonstrating high levels of “engagement” may actually be signs of failure. AEA co-founder and longtime web designer Zeldman introduces a new measurement of design success: the content performance quotient. Learn how relentlessly cutting needless content and architecture, fine-tuning UX and UI, and shoring up technical performance can create improved experiences that are better attuned to today’s web… and how to sell this profound change in design thinking to your bosses, clients, and colleagues.

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An Event Apart Orlando 2016

Photo source: Zeffrey Zeldman
Photo source: Zeffrey Zeldman

I was fortunate enough to attend An Event Apart in Orlando this month. I’ve posted my complete notes separately, but below you will find some of the key themes from the conference as well as an overview of each talk. You can also take a look at Articles, Links, and Tools From An Event Apart Orlando 2016 for more information and resources.

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