Explore the Future of the Web


Be Here Now

Every day we move through dozens of spaces and places. We participate in lots of inter-personal interactions, conversations and (god help us) meetings. And we spend bursts of time working alone. But how much awareness do we bring to the spaces and places we inhabit while we're in them? How much intentionality do we bring to our inter-personal exchanges? How much creativity do we foster in our own solo working situations?

Often, not nearly enough. Focus is limited, attention is split, and opportunities are lost. This session will explore purpose-driven approaches to the places, people and situations we encounter every day. With an emphasis on how to be truly engaged in where we are, mindful of what we're doing and focused on helping creativity flourish.

Attendees will come away with ways to be better observers, practitioners, facilitators, managers and leaders. Whether they're commuting to the office, in a conference room full of colleagues, meeting with clients, or alone at a screen.

Because McLuhan

Dan Klyn

Folks from within the community of UX practice have been calling for the death of the wireframe since the early ‘oughts. And now with the rise of Agile, the death-knell is ringing from without. Just so you know: they are coming for the rest of our deliverables. How in today’s Lean world do we situate / talk about / sell / teach the role of documentation in our process? If in the past we were doing it wrong, how do we go forward doing it right?  If, as McLuhan insists, the medium is the message, how do the media we employ in developing and communicating design work in tandem (or at odds) with our content?

Better Living Through Design

Paul McAleer

As UX designers, we seek to relate to our users through empathy and understanding. But what about ourselves? What happens when we take the processes and tools we use in our work in product design and apply them to our lives? In this lively talk, Paul McAleer shares his story. He'll take you through each phase of the iterative, ongoing project that is his life: research (gathering input from stakeholders), strategy (coming up with an overall goal and plan), execution/experimentation, and getting feedback.

Brain Science and Web Marketing

Call it neuromarketing. Call it behavioral economics. Call it Jedi mind tricks. Whatever you call it: brain science and marketing go together. And anyone can learn how to do it. In this presentation, Andy will review the research, the case studies and the specific web marketing tactics that work with natural, human behavioral tendencies.

Burn Down the Blocks!Sparking Collaboration Through Creative Play

There’s no shortage of inspirational mantras, but these sayings offer little advice to surmounting departmental silos, generational gulfs, intimidating power distances and other communication roadblocks that stymie creative collaboration in the workplace. These barriers exist because the roles we play in a team environment provide us with a set of rules for interacting with each other. Ironically, these rules often prevent us from doing the very thing we’ve come together as a team to do: Collaborate!

Changing Behavior by Design

Adam Harrell

People are complex creatures. Our behavior is often irrational, idiosyncratic and just plain strange. That's why designing compelling products and interactive experiences is often difficult. Luckily there's concrete steps designers can take to make their designs more effective.

Crafting User Experience for the Fastest Growing Web DemographicOlder Users

Shawn Henry

Long gone are the days when young techies were the primary target audience for websites. Increasingly, a key target for websites is older users, especially as Baby Boomers age. Older users' changing needs significantly impact user experience and the definition of good design. Is your design considering the needs of older users? If not, many of those users will go somewhere else. That pretty little design might get some visual design accolades, but very well could be losing you customers - ones with money to spend.

Creating a Culture of Reinvention

Some of the most popular and exciting brands of today have been built by adopting leaner, meaner approaches to their product development, over traditional production 'processes'. Companies like AirBnb, Netflix, Uber, and Tesla have thrived by thinking differently about how they do what they do. Andrew will cover the tools, techniques and principles we can adopt to prove why it's important to think differently, the benefits of doing so, and how to get the buy-in from others to influence positive change in your organization.

Death to All Devices

Digital screens are now as thin as paper, as we often wished for and ultimately expected. These paper-thin displays are referred to as AMOLED and are currently used in some mobile devices and televisions. In my session I will examine the brief history of flexible screens, discuss their current use in the context of a phenomenon called Device Disappearance and explore new uses, interfaces and possible design patterns for this technology in the near future.

The Designer as Artist

Gabe Kean

With greater frequency, designers are shifting the "art experience” paradigm; creating new opportunities for institutions and brands to leverage what is perceived as public art. Learn how designers are engaging with audiences by blurring the lines between marketing, branding, and art—acting as culture makers, storytellers, and visual artists. Belle & Wissell founder Gabe Kean explores this new category with examples of how designers can help their clients hire them to make art instead of advertising.

Digital DiegesisMultiplatform Story-World Development

We no longer develop content strictly for a television series, a feature film, or a single interactive experience. Today, story content must be developed for multi-platform media systems consumed through a variety of experiences. Although at first glance this may seem to complicate the development process, through deeper exploration of the relationship between story and discourse, we can better understand the nature of transmedia narrative.

Digital Fluency and User Experience

J Cornelius

People have explored the globe since the beginning of history, and have encountered new languages and methods of communication. The Web has done great things to bring us together across languages and cultures, but that doesn't mean we all understand things the same way, even if we are speaking the same language. This new digital landscape still has much to be explored. In this talk we'll look at the idea of digital fluency and how different levels of understanding can impact experience in ways we might not have considered before.

Future 2040How Design, Technology and the Web Will Reshape Cities

Join an awesome panel of experts as they discuss and explore the future of cities, and how the web, technology, design and communication will reshape cities and drive innovation and act as drivers for local economies, education and quality of life/livability.

Future of Omnichannel Immersion

Meaningful experience innovation can be found at the point where emerging technology, customer needs and business strategy converge. Big box retailers are in a precarious state today, evolve or die, resulting in substantial innovation across the domain. This evolution moves well beyond the retail domain, however, and will likely impact any organization that plays across physical and digital touchpoints.

Innovative ExperiencesBuild the Future, Don't Just Talk About It

Dan Gardner

In this talk, Dan Gardner explores the evolution and future of digital news publishing. Solving the problems that plague publishers requires a systems approach that goes beyond page templates and ad maps. The solution should consider everything: The role the publication plays in the lives of its readers, identifying differentiated subject matter coverage, offering the right set of functionality to readers, assessing the workflow needed to support it, as well as re-imagining the content strategy that takes into account device, location, personalization and pathing.

Joining Accessibility and User Experience for Accessible UX

Why is accessibility a separate discipline from user experience? Why are some people working hard to provide access to products and services for people with disabilities, while others are concerned with designing successful and enjoyable experiences for “normal” people? It’s time for the accessibility and user experience communities to take an inclusive approach to accessibility and adopt Accessible UX as a shared practice.

Lean UX and Roller DerbyMore in Common Than You Might Think

Being able to quickly iterate, thriving in a collaborative environment, and conducting retrospectives; all are very important to both Lean UX and Roller Derby. In this session we will explore some surprisingly similarities between being a designer on a Lean UX team and being a skater on a roller derby team (pro tip: it has nothing to do with throwing elbows or hip-checks).

The MARS ProjectTeaching Afro-Futurism as Methodology of Liberation

What is Afro-Futurism? It’s a creative theory, rooted in history and African cosmologies. Afro-Futurism uses pieces of the past, both technological and analog, to design the future. As an engaged creative practice, it moves people to consider different possibilities for themselves, their visual design, and their communities. Afro-Futurism rethinks and remixes concepts of identity, hybridity, states of alienation, and belonging. By creating interactive visual and performance art, we allow designers, students, and audience members to step outside of their daily confines, and into ‘remixed’ alternate environments.

Minimal Viable Behavior’ and its Impact on the Future of Social Innovation

George Aye

When tackling social issues such as access to clean drinking water in Haiti or improving education for youth along the autism spectrum, we often see what we call a Minimal Viable Behavior. It’s the kind of irrational but habitual behaviors that resource-constrained populations often perform in order to get by on a day-to-day basis.

The Pixel-PlagueFinding Balance in the Techpocalypse

There is plague that has creeped it's way into our culture...a pixel plague. We have slowly been tricked into thinking that late nights, pounding down energy drinks, and neglecting the relationships around us is something to boast about. It is essential that we as designers, entrepreneurs, and creatives understand the need for balance in our profession. With many years in the tech industry working with leading tech companies, Joel shares some of the patterns that have been beneficial not only in producing, but growing, and growing. Balance is crucial, and we must fight this plague of imbalance that has become the expectation.

Rebounding with Web Animation

Nick Snyder

The rise of the mobile web—coupled with Steve Job’s 2010 announcement to not support Flash video on iOS devices—has produced a sharp decline in the development of Flash-dependent web products. While ultimately a good thing for accessibility—specifically for assisted living devices—the decline of Flash has left a huge hole in the animation of content on the web. Nick will spark the excitement of animation once again while showing how it can be used effectively—via JavaScript and jQuery.

Responsive Typography

Your content is probably the most important feature of your website, so it's important to make sure that the text looks good and is easy to read no matter what device type or screen size it's being viewed on. One size does not fit all when it comes to typography, but you can use media queries to adjust type qualities such as size, line height, column width, margins, hyphenation, and even typeface depending on the viewport size. Learn how you can use CSS to apply design rules that will make your typography look better and perform better across devices.

The Science of Art

Sarah Hall

Beautiful design activates the pleasure receptors in our brain.   Smart user experience shapes human behavior.  Elegant strategy creates a perfect marriage between the two. As technology and data analytics evolve, we gain richer and deeper insight into how we do what we do.  The first iteration of this involves understanding basic human action: did the design and the placement of the button encourage people to click? Did they click more often if it was moved it from left to right? Then came a deeper understanding of not only what was done, but who did it. If you’ve ever wanted to leverage human biology and cognition to your advantage in design and creativity, join us.

UX Anti-PatternsHidden Traps in Sites and Apps

Let’s face it, as designers we’ve all been guilty of carelessly adopting popular usability and design conventions from time to time. Usually, we get the benefit of someone else’s thoughtfulness and research - no effort required. Unfortunately, popular solutions to user interface problems are sometimes actually counterproductive.

Working Better TogetherCharacteristics of Productive, Creative Organization

Adam Connor

We’ve all felt the frustration that arises when projects don’t go as planned; when progress seems to stall and teams just don’t seem to work well together. In most organizations, collaboration is a requirement for making or doing anything, whether we recognize it or not. We assemble teams from across the organization, selecting individuals to fill various responsibilities and skills. We purchase collaboration tools and platforms, and pay thousands (and in some cases millions) of dollars to be trained on methodologies and processes that are supposed to improve our collaboration and make projects run smoother. And yet, things still go wrong. Rarely do we step back and look at the realities that make for good collaboration the and the real obstacles getting in our way.