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Sessions

Keynote Sessions

The Axe Cop StoryHow Two Brothers Created a Massively Popular Online Comic Series

The Axe Cop saga began on a Christmas holiday when Ethan Nicolle, a 29 year old comic book artist, and his 5 year old brother Malachai, came up with an idea for Axe Cop, a gruff, tough police officer who wields an axe to battle bad guys.

The Chroma ZoneEngineering Color on the Web

Lea Verou

We use color every day, but how well do we really understand it? More often than not, we are merely scratching the surface of a large and complicated discipline. In this dynamic session, we will scratch a little deeper, and you will be surprised at how deep the colorful rabbit hole goes. How does color work on our screens? What’s the difference between color models and color spaces? Which existing features of CSS Color are we underutilizing? What’s in store for CSS Color level 4? This is not a design talk, it’s a technical talk about the inner workings of one of the most important design aspects. Whether you identify as a designer or a developer, you will walk out of this session with a newfound confidence about anything color related.

From User Experience to Customer Experience

Kerry Bodine

We've entered the Age of the Customer — an era where a focus on customers matters more than any other strategic business imperative. With this shift, the business discipline of customer experience (CX) has emerged. There are very real and beneficial connections between CX and user experience (UX) – however, there’s been little to no convergence to date.

The Future of the Web is Video

By 2014, Cisco estimates that 56 percent of all Internet traffic will come from viewing Internet video and Internet video-to-TV. This makes sense considering that people prefer video content to text content at a rate of 2-to-1. As the demand for video continues to surge online, there is another video-centric platform that will have a resurgence in the next few years: the television.

Innovation Starts at the TopThe Role of the DEO in Creativity and Business

Just as we took our cues from MBAs in casting the ideal CEO of the 20th century, we can look to design - in its broadest form - to model our future leader, the DEO. The DEO (or Design Executive Officer) looks at every business challenge as a design problem, solvable with the right mix of imagination and metrics. Rise of the DEO explores the intersection of creativity and business acumen, explaining how and why this unlikely coupling produces leaders most capable of solving our increasingly complex business problems.

Let’s do Humanity in the MachineWhat Comes After Greed

Brian David Johnson, counters the myth of runaway, soulless machines, by investigating how technology reflects the mission and values of the societies that create it. From high-speed NASCAR racing to high-speed financial trading, we explore our intimate relationship with our machines and how we incessantly tune them for success, for profit, and routinely for greed. But what comes after greed? Understanding that we imbue our technology and machines with our humanity means we must think more closely about what we are building, why we are building it, and what we want our tools to accomplish.

Making MakersNew Tools and Ideas that are Fueling a Movement

Starting with a brief but colorful history of 19th and 20th century making, I'll present the new tools and technologies that are driving innovation and giving individuals and small groups the ability to create amazing things that would've been out of their reach a few years ago. I will present new, inexpensive, and effective ways to conduct research and development, design prototypes, and set up manufacturing on the desktop or in the garage.

Making Meaningful Design with the Internet of Things

Carla Diana

As people continue to interact with data in all aspects of life, they will expect their digital devices to deliver real-time, visualized, networked feedback. Collectively, this “Internet of Things” will provide cloud-enabled experiences that can profoundly change many aspects of everyday life both in and out of the home. As designers, this presents a juicy opportunity to pioneer new territory in rich interaction, but it also can backfire, filling people’s lives with more frustrations over technology than ever before.

News for Web Lovers

Tim Bray

Is this a good time or a bad time to be a Web Person? On the downside, there’s a real risk that the whole Internet vanishes into one App Store or another. On the upside, there’s an explosion of new browser-based development and design tools. But explosions are dangerous to be near! I tend to pessimism, and think we’re in danger of losing some of the goodies that the browser as universal-interface brought to the Net, and to the people round the world who use it.

Present ShockWhen Everything Happens Now

Our society has reoriented itself to the present moment. Everything is live, real-time, and always on. It's not a mere speeding up, however much our lifestyles and technologies have accelerated the rate at which we attempt to do things. It's more of a diminishment of anything that isn't happening right now - and the onslaught of everything that supposedly is.

Science, Art, and MagicThe World Is A Wunderkammer

Have you ever encountered a work of art that in an instant changed your perception of the world? Or watched a magician do something you know is impossible yet just appeared to happen before your very eyes?  Can you recall that feeling of awe, inspiration, and wonder? There was a time when science did the same thing, simultaneously sparking our curiosity, our passion, and our intellect. And now, more than ever, our future depends on re-inspiring people of all ages to engage with science and technology, to be part of the conversation about what's possible, probable, and desirable.

The 21st Century CampfireHow Modern Stories are Told Across Multiple Platforms

John Hartman

From our earliest moments in life it is story that connects us. Once story was only spoken, then it colored the walls of the caves. We huddled around the campfire and the stories of our ancestors were told and retold. As story grew it was bound to a page and then given voice through radio and TV. As story matures even still, along with its media savvy consumer, story now springs forth story worlds across media platforms. Media is ever changing and that evolution only seems to be accelerating. Traditional media, new media and social media these paradigms are now an amalgam of multi-platform media consumption referred to as Transmedia.

Adaptive Images for Responsive Web Design

The open web doesn't stop at our desktop. Smart phones and tablets not only contain more computing power and better browsers than the computers that started the Internet economy, they have better displays.

Adaptive Input

Windows 8. Chromebook Pixel. Ubuntu Phone. These devices shatter another consensual hallucination that we web developers have bought into: mobile = touch and desktop = keyboard and mouse. We have tablets with keyboards; laptops that become tablets; laptops with touch screens; phones with physical keyboards; and even phones that become desktop computers. Not to mention new forms of input like cameras, voice control and sensors.

American ComicsHistory, Technology, Culture

Let's take a very brisk look at the first 75 years of the fascinating home-grown art form known as graphic storytelling. Discover how comicbooks have evolved as a medium and what has been its impact on America and the world.

Amp Up Your CodePerformance-Driven HTML5 and CSS3

Shay Howe

There are a million ways to write HTML and CSS, and everyone has their own, but is there a right way? Our code needs to be well structured, written in an organized manner, and performance driven. Sharing code with others should be a joyful experience, not absolute terror.

Anti-Patterns that Stifle Lean UX Teams

Bill Scott

What happens when you take teams that have traditionally not worked together closely? Teams that are used to the "delivery mindset" and instead try to bring great experiences to life in a collaborative manner? All hell breaks loose!

The Art of ExplanationBecause Design and Technology are Not Enough

Lee LeFever

The biggest barrier to people adopting your product or idea may not be design, engineering, price point or UX, but a lack of understanding. If you can’t explain your product or service, or why anyone should care, they won’t be motivated to take the next step.

Audio for the Masses

Music is ubiquitous. It is inherent to our very nature. Where there's mankind, there's music. However, both music schools and musical instruments are expensive, and hard to get access to. But maybe we can use the power of the web to bring music to more people than ever. What happens when you give powerful tools to people who've never been exposed to the same culture that you've grown with? Can we turn consumers into creators? Can anyone even try to fathom the result of this unpredictable combination?

Balancing "Science" with Person-Focused Research

Indi Young

Because of reliance on numeric quantification during the industrial and technology ages, many cultures hold science and numbers in high esteem. It’s “the truth about the way things are.” This implicit, complete trust in science bleeds out of institutions and into society at large. Marketing pitches and sales slogans are full of words like “proven” and “scientific” because those words instill trust. When you hear phrases like “evidence based,” “based on the calculations,” or “we did a scientific study,” they are meant to persuade. The phrases usually do not refer to an actual scientific process.

Banish Burnout

If you have recently become cynical about your work, it may be a cry for help. Nearly one third of US workers between the ages of 25 and 39 experience job burnout. A condition the Mayo clinic describes as a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and value of your work. As members of a field that often expects long hours and selfless dedication, we in the tech industry are at particular risk. In fact, few of us recognize the warning signs before it is too late.

Be a Creative Superhero. Save the World.

Eve Simon

The battle for purposeful website design is on, and the future is in your hands! Will you let buzzwords and bad creative decisions be your kryptonite or can you save the day with your superpowers of visual narrative? Don that cape, grab a sidekick, and learn how to change the world through design that is both beautiful and meaningful.

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?

Behavior Change as Value Proposition

Chris Risdon

Design to support behavior change is getting increased exposure as technology has allowed products and services to have a more pervasive role in people's lives. What impact does the ability to passively collect data and present it back in a meaningful way have in people's lives?

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.

Big BioDataThe Story of Us

Evidence-based medical practice is seen as a potential game-changer for both the research and the practice of healthcare as we currently understand it -- especially as healthcare shifts from reactive to preventative medicine. At the heart of this transformation is the rapid formation, and analysis, of Big BioData sourced from areas such as health records, medical devices and scientific research.

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.

Bridging the GapWomen in Technology

The recent article notes the next generation’s leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Within the next five years, STEM jobs are projected to grow twice as quickly as jobs in other fields according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics. But we have a shortage on the number women graduating with the STEM major. Where are the discrepancies? How do we expose STEM educations to more girls at a very young age?

Bring Down the Silos

Designing in the browser, ditching Photoshop for Sketch, unicorn developers, and other folk stories of the web in the past few years, have shown us that the distinction between thinkers and implementers that we inherited from the print age is beginning to diminish. As the Agile process dictates, we know very few things in the beginning of a project, so the traditional static design deliverables are inadequate. The Design and Development principles need to work together on the same features, from inception all the way towards the day of launch, and even after the post-feedback tweaks. In order to achieve that, more efficient tools, workflows, skillsets and even work set ups have changed.

Build Your Brand the Rock Star Way

Rafa Soto

Most brands spend an insane amount of money in advertising. They read a ton of books on marketing and churn out a ridiculous number of powerpoint presentations.  As a result, their consumers become more and more skeptical. Rock Bands on the other hand, despite having never read a single marketing manual in their lives, have die-hard fans, waiting in line for hours in order to catch a glimpse and buy a t-shirt.

Building Mobile Applications with Web Standards

Kevin Hoyt

If you are building for iOS, the you use Objective C and Xcode.  If you are building for Android, then you might use Java and Eclipse.  And if you are building for BlackBerry, you will find yet a different Java.  But all these devices have a modern browser capable of leveraging many of the emerging web standards.  So why not use that browser to build applications that you can deploy in the various application stores?  Welcome to PhoneGap.

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!

The Business of Play

Play isn't just for kids and heavy gamers. Anyone with a FourSquare account knows that - and the stickiness of a badge and a leaderboard. But a good, playful user experience isn't about those surface elements either- it's about creating an environment with well-understood rules, meaningful objectives, and a sense of fun.

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.

Changing Content, Changing Culture

Responsive. Adaptive. Mobile first. Cross-channel. We all want a web that's more flexible, future-friendly, and ready for unknowns. There’s only one little flaw: Our content is stuck in the past. Locked into inflexible pages and documents, our content is far from ready for today's world of apps, APIs, read-later services, and responsive sites—much less for the coming one, where the web is embedded in everything from autos to appliances. 

Choice…The Gateway to Engagement

Our lives’ are full of choices, and the number of choices we get slammed with everyday is becoming more difficult to manage than ever — especially as the human experience moves more and more to the digital space. The days of having a small set of options available have gone the way of the dodo and, sadly, this isn't for the betterment of mankind.

Collaborating with Constraints

Shay Howe

We’re quite often encouraged to jump in a room with like minded individuals, put our heads together, and brainstorm on different ideas. We call it collaboration. However, is this type of “collaboration” really that beneficial? Does it yield the highest number of ideas or the best quality ideas? Most commonly, no. Collaboration truly succeeds when approached with constraints that allow the right people to get together at the right time. One constraint may include ensuring participants have varied skillsets. Another may include requiring participants to bring ideas into the brainstorm rather than using the time for ideation alone.

Collaboration HacksLet's Do Great Together

Design is about envisioning a better future, and working towards making it happen. Changing the world around us by creating things is innately human. When we create together, magic can happen - or disaster can strike.

Communicating Design in a Multiscreen World

Much of the conventional design process and documentation we rely on is ineffective when it comes to communicating how we want our designs to translate across a wide range of devices and screen sizes. This talk is all about producing effective, efficient deliverables for an increasingly mobile-accessed Web, and practical design methods you can put into use right away. But there's a catch: shaking up convention doesn't always come easy.

The Components of Sustainable Web Design

Tim Frick

The internet uses a lot of electricity: as much as 30 nuclear power plants or a small country like Sweden, by some estimates. Very little of this power—less than 15% in the U.S.—comes from clean or renewable sources. Meanwhile, web pages are six times the size they were ten years ago and require far more calls to external libraries, custom web fonts, social sharing widgets, and so on.

Connected ThinkingKill User-Centric Design

Scé Pike

What is Connected Thinking? Put very simply, it is the next evolutionary step of Design Thinking, which has been preached about and in practice for the past 20 years. It defines the same process that all design firms use, which usually goes something like this - Discover/Immerse, Define, Design, Iterate, Test, Refine, etc. Connected Thinking takes the traditional Design Thinking and evolves it by looking at the rapid changes that is happening to humanity today.

The Content Competitive Advantage

Scott Cowley

Real content strategy produces competitive advantage. In this session, we’ll discuss effective strategy, drawing upon some of the latest academic business, marketing, and psychology research that most “content strategists” will never read.

Content Strategy for Multi-Touchpoint ExperiencesA Facebook Case Study

When people experience a design through multiple touchpoints, they embark on a journey. UX professionals are tasked with making that journey feel coherent and directed each step of the way. To do this, we need to know what story we’re trying to tell through the journey. And we need a good content strategy to plan how it’ll unfold at each touchpoint.

Context is KingUsing Visualization to Tell a Story Consumers Can Trust

Jason Lankow

A new generation of consumers are more cynical than ever with regard to brands and their messaging. Reaching them is challenging, appealing to them is a formidable task. The way to their hearts is through their curiosity - they crave new information and knowledge, presented in a unique and engaging ways.

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.

Creating Animated Music Videos with CSS3 and HTML5

Rachel Nabors will show you how to make a browser-based music video using the HTML5 audio, JavaScript and CSS3 animations. Load assets, loop music, and fire events using JavaScript. Animate images and backgrounds with CSS3. Even if you never need to make a music video, you’re sure to come away with a head full of ideas.

Creating Wholehearted Experiences

Steve Fisher

A wholehearted content and design process connects a web project to the vision, audiences, and goals, but more importantly brings the extended project team together by connecting heads to hearts. Finding and creating wholehearted experiences requires a new approach to web projects. We need to open up and have the ability to connect deeply with everyone on our project teams: client, vendor, and audience. Looking at things through a vulnerable lense of being willing to be imperfect and fight through those moments together. By letting go of our usual ways of holding back and protecting ourselves, we free our project teams to express true creativity and bonding. Letting go of control and coming together to solve our content problems allows our projects to be more than we ever thought they could be.

Crowd-sourcing the Feminine Intelligence of the Planet

Increasing access to digital media technologies is enabling women from some of the remote regions of the world to organize across borders, obtain vital development information, and generate new solutions to the planet's most pressing problems. World Pulse Founder, Jensine Larsen, shares her personal journey designing an interactive global media enterprise uniting women from over 190 nations, and the big lessons learned along the way. 

Data as the New Creative Raw Material

The creative industry has always embraced new technologies and materials as a source of inspiration for innovation. We are at junction where we as a society and business are drowning in vast amounts of data. Making sense of all that data and using it meaningfully is one side of the coin. Being able to harness the data explosion as a raw material for new and innovative products and services is the other side. Vinay's talk will focus on how the data can become a raw material for new product innovation spread across furniture, web apps and business solutions.

Data Visualisation with D3

In the world of Big Data, data visualisation is becoming more and more important. Richard will show you why solid design principles, great libraries, and firm grasp of code are at what's needed for showing data in a way that's intriguing and valuable.

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.

Death to Pixel Perfect Design!Prototyping for the Real World

UX Designers spend hours iterating around visual comps created in applications designed for print production, trying to create high fidelity visual prototypes, but for the wrong medium. Instead of drawing prototypes, we need to start working in HTML and CSS as quickly as possible to realize our visions in the medium for which it will be produced.

Deciphering Development Technologies

Do know the difference between Backbone and Bootstrap? Do you consider “Grunt” and “Gulp” guttural sounds? The array of technologies a web developer is expected to master is daunting if not absurd. This session offers a high-level overview of everything from frameworks to automation tools to package manages by providing conceptual models that ensure you understand what each technology offers.

Deep Impact or Armageddon?Moving from Idea to Design

When two businesses have the same idea at the same time, what determines the "winner"? Often the greatness of the idea alone is not enough to predict success, and being first to market can be overrated. If you can connect your idea with the lives of your customers, and craft an experience that's useful and enjoyable, you can create something that's truly unique.

Design for Loading

We've managed to change completely the way we design websites: learnt how to do it in a responsive way, make the websites adapt to different devices, screens and environments. But somehow, there's still something left to be fixed: what happens when a website is still loading, but the user can interact with it… and starts reading the content? How does a website behave when the JavaScript main file is not loaded yet?

Design for loading is one step further in the progressive enhancement way of development: it means caring about having all the content accessible all the times, but it also means making the website look and behave nearly as completely loaded as possible. Structure, navigation, images… can the Web really compete in the User Experience race?

Design Is How It WorksPrototyping the User Experience

Interactive Prototyping is the next big Ux skill, but many designers may avoid embracing it. Prototyping can become needlessly complex, requiring designers to know when they've designed enough, and it's time to start building. In this session, Jason will explain some of the most common pitfalls with Interactive prototyping, how they can be avoided, and why it's never been more important for designers to learn how to create working prototypes.

Design Methodology and the Science Behind It

Dave Thomsen

It’s no surprise that every consumer experience around us is strategically designed. Today’s successful, forward-thinking companies, in turn, have become a growing source of inspiration. How does great innovation begin? And what can companies do to foster further creativity to ensure the greatest design impact?

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.

Designing a Culture of Design

Workplace culture doesn’t start with beanbags, foosball tables, or a beer fridge, and it doesn’t end with neckties, PCs, or big corporations. It’s the unwritten rules, behavior, beliefs, and the motivations that enable good work to get done, or it’s what stifles a workforce. For design to be most effective, and for designers to feel valued, we need to work in a culture that embraces design and allows it to succeed. Chris' session will explore how to recognize the traits of organizations that *get* design, both large and small. They’ll share what those teams, departments, and companies have that others don’t. And more importantly, how to begin to change your own workplace’s culture. Once you’ve worked within a culture of design it’s almost impossible to imagine yourself anywhere else. 

Designing a Killer First-Run Experience

Someone just signed up for your software - what happens now? This is a 45-minute guide through designing an amazing first experience in your product - an absolutely critical experience to design for, but also one that's often neglected. We'll cover awesome ways to gain user insights, common interface patterns, and industry best-practices for getting your users from signup to all-star.

Designing Cognitive Engagement For Everyone

User experience design has a great body of work on how to create simple designs, remove abstraction, develop patterns that users are familiar with, and generate flows that make sense. All of these great steps toward better usability and experiences that fit the expectations of the user, however, are geared toward users who are able to comprehend these UX elements, but what if the user’s cognition differs from the norm? What happens if a user is dyslexic? How do user experience designers begin to design for users with medical conditions affecting cognitive ability?

Designing Effective Collaborative Environments

Humans like to collaborate and help each other. We do collaborate everyday with our friends, family and coworkers. That’s how we arrived to the place we are right now, but we need to go one step further and adapt to new and changing environments. We need to understand what is collaboration and what does it mean on a digital world and business.

Designing for Failure

Ben Fogarty

Planning for a flat tire is easy. You have a spare. But what do you do if the "flat tire" is actually an entire 4G network crashing after an earthquake? Or a tree blocking a critical satellite feed? Failure - both planned and unplanned - is a valuable and inevitable element of creating anything significant. You have the guts and curiosity to try something wildly outside of your comfort zone, but you failing the end user isn’t an option. Join Ben Fogarty, founder of The Brigade, as he discusses how he approaches designing for failure.

Designing Life & Brands Through Aspirations

Mel Lim

Moving from the micro to the macro, Mel Lim teaches through storytelling. As the Designer of her life and brand, she takes her audience through real life moments where she applied design thinking to solve challenges. We meet Mel Lim the Daughter; Mel Lim the Immigrant; Mel Lim the Entrepreneur; and Mel Lim the Wife/Mother.

Designing New Experiences, Capabilities and Business Models in the Internet of Things

Aldo de Jong

Discussion around the Internet of Things (IoT) often gets caught up on resolving issues of interoperability, battery life and security. However, in this session we will shift the focus to the enormous potential of valuable services built by designers, developers and users on top of the connections, data and networked objects.

Designing our Digital Future

Andy Goodman

Mobile is reshaping the digital economy. Well-designed mobile services are taking the world by storm, and most companies are scrambling to get into the game. But at the same time, our lifestyles are transitioning into a new phase in digital, and the distinction between the Internet and the real world is blurring as the two increasingly merge. This is the next stage in the digitisation of everything.

Designing with SensorsCreating Adaptive Experiences

How do we utilize sensor and user data to create experiences in the digital world? We all know that smart devices have sensors, but how can we use this as a resource to acquire information about the user and his environment? And how can we use this information to design a better user experience that is both unobtrusive and transparent? The simple answer: we create adaptive systems.

Digital Democracy & Startups

From the outside, the 2012 Presidential campaign’s digital presence and online tools were flawlessly coordinated and immaculately prepared, easily connecting voters and volunteers with the campaign. On the inside, a mission-driven team fought through long hours, chaos, creativity, laughs, and tears with a scrappy work ethic like you’d find at a great startup.

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.

The Digital EternalMemory, Nostalgia and Connected Thinking in the Digital Age

The rise of digital media has irreversibly transformed the way we experience memories and nostalgia. Once rooted in multi-sensory physical experiences, our memories and longings for the past are now generated, stored, and mediated by computers and mobile devices, which are increasingly dispersed among intangible servers and file formats.

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.

Doing Your Best Work for Social Good

Working for social good is not only a great way to share your talents with non-profits and community groups, many of which cannot afford to hire experienced professionals, but it's also a way to help build communities of practice that are able to solve problems and develop collaboration skills. Join a panel of social goodniks, non-profits and professionals for a panel discussion on how to do work for social good with best practices for delivering awesome projects.

Don't Believe Your Ideas, Prove Them!

Tae Won Ha

The Lean Startup methodology instructs us to validate our ideas and not blindly believe them. As Tim O'Reilly says, "The Lean Startup isn't just about how to create a more successful entrepreneurial business... it's about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do...(these) principles can be applied to government programs, to healthcare, and to solving the world's great problems. It's ultimately an answer to the question 'How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn't?"

Don't get BootslappedHow to Avoid Common Pitfalls with CSS Frameworks

Ronnie Duke

In the good ‘ol days, as a front end developer, we were handed a design and we would build our CSS layout and structure from scratch. Ah, how good it felt to reinvent the wheel every time! </sarcasm> Enter the age of CSS frameworks. We started with grid systems such as 960 and Blueprint, which introduced developers to the column & grid format. Now, we have added full layout and UI into frameworks such as Foundation and Bootstrap; the options are endless.

Doors, Walls and Old TreesPrioritizing to Get Simple

We live in a world of increasing complexity, time challenges and utter distractions. As designers, we're routinely called upon to create digital experiences that help reduce perceived complexity, remove unnecessary "noise" and potential frustration for our users. It's an attempt to create a bit less stress, ease decision making and perhaps even instill a bit of surprise and delight.

Down with Directories

Mara Zepeda

Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp: these social media platforms and many others put a user's persona at the center of, or on equal footing with, the content a user generates. The sites become glorified directories of outdated, irrelevant information. As users, we waste time populating fields and indicating preferences. One example of a platform that has never done this is Craigslist. We never think to ourselves, "You know what I'd love to know? Where the person who is selling this couch went to college." You need a couch and you find a couch.

End of Story

Join in a lively conversation that explores how technology is expanding and challenging our ideas of narrative, authorship and community with a panel that features Brian Newman (Sub-Genre Media), Casey Pugh (Star Wars Uncut), moderator John Carlin (Funny Garbage) and other special guests. Hear how technology and digital media have empowered creative people to do new thing, and the challenges to some of our most cherished ideas about authorship, content and how art should provoke, engage and amuse us.

Envisioning the Future of the Future

How do we imagine the future of the future? How can we traverse the rich set of technological potentials contained within current and emerging technologies to imagine new, compelling landscapes? What methodologies, ideas and processes will allow us to synthesize, project and transform the world of technology, and by extension, the world we live in? In this talk Jonathan Cluts and Ana Pinto da Silva of Microsoft’s Strategic Prototyping team will share their journey imagining the future of the future, sharing insights, lessons learned and tall-tales along the way.

The Fine Art of Accessibility

Building web sites and applications is a pursuit where we learn a great deal and can be reasonably successful in a very short period of time. But to become true masters of our craft, we investigate subtleties and nuance in an effort to perfect our work, aiming for constant improvement. We specialize in areas of performance, scalability, maintenance and more. It is part of what we do as dedicated professionals who are committed to our craft. Accessibility is one of many areas where details matter.

Form Following Function

Gabe Kean

How do we ensure that our project outcomes are always successful? Designer Gabe Kean will walk us through a proven, step-by-step approach to ensure that projects stay true to their goals, function as beautifully as they look, and ensure that teams collaborate successfully with their clients along the way. Also covered will be how to adapt to each new assignment, regardless of content, team, and medium...so that the process doesn't ever become procedural.

From Muppets to MasteryCore UX Principles from Mr. Jim Henson

Russ Unger

Jim Henson started working as a puppeteer in 1954, a fair 40-50 years before many of us even considered User Experience as a career. He did, however, take it upon himself to apply many of the core principals that UX Designers are falling love with today (or are at least using as part of our everyday lives).

From Organic to DigitalApplying Nature's Complexity, Symmetry and Beauty

Design benefits "non-designers" like scientists and engineers all the time in the field of Biomimicry a discipline that aims to innovate materials engineering and improve existing machines by copying nature which for millions of years has been manufacturing products without polluting the environment and producing strong materials.

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.

The Future of Comics

While blockbuster films based on comic book characters have been a box office bonanza, the comic book industry as a whole has experienced radical change. Industry powerhouses like Marvel have diversified their non-print offerings by unveiling Infinite Comics, a new digital format targeting mobile devices. For smaller publishers and independent artists, the future of comics will be built on the shifting sands of change, but opportunities abound for self publishing, crowd sourced funding and digital distribution.

The Future of Interactive Culture

John Carlin

We are now almost a quarter century into the digital age, but we are still listening to music and watching videos in the same way people did in the age of mechnical reproduction. We use laptops and mobile devices more like tape decks than as platforms to enable new kinds of cultural expression and experience. Now is the moment to perceive and provoke an interactive, intrinsically digital, culture to emerge and take center stage for creative people and popular culture.

The Future of Making

From handmade to micro-manufacturing, the Maker Revolution is using digital design and rapid prototyping to push the boundaries of Making to new and exciting territories. Open source software, 3D printing, Maker spaces (like Portland's own ADX), and communities that offer ideas, advice and support are getting tinkerers out of the garage and on to the front lines of a new industrial revolution.

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.

Future Web Layouts

Chris Mills

We've been publishing documents, pages, apps, books and cat pictures on the Web for around 20 years now, so it is very surprising that we've never really had much in the way of easily manipulable, proper tools for creating web layouts. For years we relied on spacer gifs and horrible abuses of table markup, because nothing else had anything approaching cross browser support. Yes, we've had CSS for a long time, but positioning doesn't have all the answers, and using floats for multiple columns is a hack. In 2012/2013, we are just starting to see proper layout tools for the web emerge and get support in browsers.

Getting Paid in 7 Inches or Less

Many of us now hop out of cabs without handing anything to the driver. We walk away with our morning coffee, offering the barista only a smile in return. We purchase sofas while riding the bus. The growing ubiquity of mobile devices is causing the biggest shift in commerce since the dawn of the web. Only this time, it’s escaping the confines of our computers and spilling out into every aspect of our daily lives. As designers and technologists, we need to consider the implications of this shift on the things we build, and the people who use them.

Gone HomeA Conversation with Steve Gaynor

Steve Gaynor

In 2013, the game Gone Home won “Best Independent Game” And “Best PC Game” at Spike's VFX video game awards. A touching first-person exploration game set inside a mysterious home, Gone Home lets players discover the life of young girl through her teenage years in the 1990s through the various possessions in the house and the story they each tell. Steve Gaynor, co-founder of The Fullbright Company, and WebVisions' Brad Smith will discuss Gone Home's design, narrative and game play and explore the future of gaming and new techniques for storytelling.

Hackathon for Social Good

Join web and mobile experts in an all day Hackathon for Social Good. Hackathons are events when programmers and designers meet to work collaboratively to build programs and applications.

The day will begin with short presentations by the non-profit organizations, followed by planning, design and programming work to develope mobile and web applications to help each of the non-profit groups to achieve their mission.

Hammering Responsive Web Design Into Shape

Ken Tabor

This talk isn’t about deciding if responsive web design is a good idea or worth pursuing. We’re assuming you’ve already made up your mind that it is. This is a session dedicated to helping you develop, and more importantly debug, RWD. Why? Because it’s not easy! The speaker will share nuts-and-bolts concepts helping audience members more safely navigate one of the most difficult things we tackle - building websites that respond to a world of device sizes.

Holistic UXDesigning Ubiquitous Multi-device Experiences

It's the user who's mobile, moreso than the device, and users will turn to the best screen available when they want to get things done. Will your product work on that screen, whatever size, shape, or capabilities it offers? Can a single information architecture serve multiple device types? How do you design simultaneously for portrait and landscape orientations, and multiple device types, sizes, and screen resolutions? How are digital experiences like products and how are they like services?

The Honey Badger WayOr, How I Learned To Get Things Done

HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Responsive Design, Mobile First, Content Strategy — Honey Badger Don’t Care!  Sure, it’s important to keep up with the latest and greatest technologies, design patterns, and trends, but they can far from guarantee your success in the real world. It is your ability, or lack thereof, to understand and work with other people —your project team, stakeholders, and users — that often determines the success of your project, as well as how you feel along the way. And chances are, it is the skill that you spend the least amount of time working on because it's the "soft skill" that's really the hardest one.

How to Make Awesome Sauce!Putting the Messaging in the Experience

We spend much needed time and effort in designing and building the optimum experience for our users and visitors. We do usability testing to make sure the user understands the navigation and interactions related to the design. But, why aren't we asking them or testing if the content makes sense to them in the design? The messaging is often not there or it's ineffective, and we don't even realize it.

How to Revive a Design Language to Get to Awesome Products

Maybe your company has been around a while. Maybe you have a once successful product that's not growing so fast anymore. Maybe you realized you needed to refresh that product, so you hired an outside agency to inject some needed design attention. Maybe that agency came up with some really good designs but didn't quite get your product's use cases, and didn’t quite get to detailed design. Result: pretty designs that aren’t finished. How would you move forward?

How to Run 100 User Tests in Two Days

Over the past two years, the Puppet Labs UX team has run user tests en-masse at our annual conference in San Francisco. The first year, we ran almost 50 user tests, and made a lot of mistakes. This past year, we took those lessons, improved our testing process, and ran twice as many user tests, successfully.

Hyperlinks and StoryarcsBuilding Non-Linear Digital Narratives

Our storytelling tools are increasingly fragmented in the digital world but, at the same time, the web is opening up all sorts of exciting possibilities. What does it mean to build a non-linear story in the 21st century? Senongo will show examples of beautifully crafted non-linear digital narratives: disjointed stories, parallel narratives, even embedded memories. 

Identifying Your Team's North Star

Paul Bryan

User experience is gradually finding its way into the C-suite in the form of program vision, marketplace direction, and long-term planning. How can UX leaders and senior professionals prepare for this new stage they find themselves on? UX Strategy communicates vision, priorities, design direction, and a roadmap, serving as a North Star for everyone involved in designing and producing digital products.

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.

Insight, Design and Bruce WillisHow John McClane Helps Us Help You)

You have probably found yourself in a bit of a fix before - you have a great idea but are faced with many questions or obstacles. It’s time to look up, take stock of the situation, start connecting the dots and bring your design to life. The team at Evolve Collaborative will walk you through a few rules of creative play that combine tips, tools and tricks with knowing when to run away at the right times - whatever it takes to get the job done properly. Yippee ki-yay, Portland.

Introducing UX to Decade Old Applications

Matt Lavoie

User centered design has gained a lot of traction, and great success has been seen by tightly integrating it into the development lifecycle of new products. There is a wealth of information about UX in the startup world, but what about for those of us working on decade old applications? Well old dogs can learn new tricks.

It's Not a Sabbatical!

Jenn Downs

Jenn will share an honest look at what it takes to leave a successful popular company with an amazing team to go chase your dreams and learn new skills - even if you don't know which of your dreams you're chasing or which skills you're learning. Through sharing her journey she'll help you see that you aren't crazy for wanting to leave a good thing to face an unknown.

IT ConnectBridging the Generational Gap Through Technology

On May 7, in conjunction with WebVisions Portland, a panel of IT and HR leaders at some of the state’s largest employers, will talk about strategies and technologies they are using to bridge generational divisions among employees throughout several industries. Attend this event to learn how large employers are balancing demand by their younger employees for the latest devices and technologies and managing risks associated with integrating newer technologies with legacy systems.

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.

Just Make It FunWhat Designing For Kids Can Teach Us About User Experience

Debra Gelman

When designing digital experiences for adults, we focus on the “destination,” making sure our users can complete key tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. When designing for kids, however, we get to focus on the “journey,” and all the adventure and excitement that come from the experience itself.

Keep Asking Why

The most subtle skill that designers develop in their careers may be the most powerful: the ability to ask Why? Critiquing work, learning from others, engaging with clients, mentoring their juniors, evolving their organizations, and changing the world all depend on a calm, supportive, and engaging ability to ask Why?

Leading Projects Through Danger

PJ McCormick

We're very passionate about our work in this industry, and we'll go to great lengths to defend its integrity. Unfortunately, the businesses in which we work are complex systems- politics, conflicts, budgets, and time restraints are all very real components of these systems, and they can be very dangerous to the quality of our projects. However, losing sight of the fact that people make up the core of these complex systems can seriously impede our ability to lead our projects safely through danger, especially as the nature of our work itself becomes more abstract.

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).

Lean UXCreating a Shared Understanding Between UX and Developers

The basic tenets of Lean UX are treating design ideas as hypotheses, and replacing giant spec docs with a shared understanding. Many UX professionals and teams still have trouble bridging the gap with development teams when working toward this shared understanding.

Less Is MoreHow Constraints Cultivate Growth

Shay Howe

Imagine a playground with no rules. The never-ending dodgeball game would dominate the entire blacktop space, pushing out the jump ropers and Red Rover players. It would never be your turn to go on the swings. And try as you might to remain honest, you'd still catch yourself cheating at Hot Lava Tag.

Machinimas as a Political or Artistic “Detournement” of Video Games

By using virtual spaces and changing the perspective as an artistic strategy, machinima allow a distanced critique of a simulated world. They tend to erase the boundaries between reality and fiction and redefine the transgressive power of the game.

Make Some Space for the Next Few Billion Users

There is a strange phenomenon with us. Give us a lot of space and we fill it up until there is not much left. There is even a recognised psychological condition about it now called hoarding. Well, we've done the same to the web over the last few years. We pack in lots and lots of not really needed effects and libraries just to cover an environment to come in the future. And by doing so we start catering to a smaller and smaller market of the technological elite of the western world. A market that more and more cares about native apps instead of the web.

Make the Web Beautiful

Rafa Soto

Beauty's relationship to the Web is paramount to success. The goal of any tool, app or platform is to help solve a need. And if the experience of solving this need is smooth, sensual and beautiful, it will make you happy. A physical example of beauty relates to architecture: Every building is functional. They keep you protected, warm and provide shelter. But if a building is beautiful inside or outside, it will not only be functional, it will make you feel good. If a city is full of beautiful buildings, walking around the city will also make you feel fantastic.

Making 101Rapid Design with Data

A world of data, services and devices at our fingertips has fueled a making economy. We're now inspiring ourselves and each other to craft meaningful, exciting, entertaining and socially responsible experiences out of this unprecedented access to information. Unfortunately, while "at our fingertips" implies within reach, the reality is that this world is barricaded behind a wall of disparate APIs and their associated learning curves.

Managing a Design Team

Why can't we all just get along and do great work? What are the popular myths and misconceptions about managers and designers and how awesome teams can be set up? Join Jesús in an interesting (and international) viewpoint on how managing a design team can work.

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.

Misconceptions on Perception

Users are not like us — they view the world with a completing different filter. As designers, we’ve trained ourselves to notice every little detail about a design — everything grabs our attention. We assume that users do the same when coming to a site or using an application for the first time. We assume that all those details that took us, as the designers, hours to figure out just right will catch a user’s eye and invoke pleasant thoughts and emotions that go along with facilitating a positive user experience.

Mobile Web Design Anti-Patterns

Dave Shea

Mobile design is necessarily about embracing constraints, but sometimes we go too far. We strip down our content to a bare minimum in pursuit of misguided ideals about mobile context. We provide 'useful' mobile UI components that immediately proceed to get in a user's way. We make improper assumptions about a user's environment. Let's place dozens of these mobile design anti-patterns under the microscope and talk about why they don't work, and what we should be doing instead.

Modern Style Guides for a Better Tomorrow

Shay Howe

Times are changing and so must the process in which we design and build websites. The days of designing static compositions in Photoshop are a thing of the past, instead, responsive design within the browser is the future. This new world is not without its own risks, but if we focus on maintainability, organization, and modularity we can achieve a better tomorrow.

Motivational Technology

As designers, we create products and systems that influence the way we interpret our world, the decisions we make and actions we take on a daily basis. Engaging with interactive technology is a communication between human and artifact (or human and human) through which we cannot not influence behavior. As designers, behavior is our medium. How we choose to affect the lives of our users through design requires careful consideration of the methods we employ to move our users into action.

Mr. Know-It-AllBrainy B2B Brands for a Social, Mobile Planet

David Smith

Technology brands face a paradox in B2B markets: techies hate marketing, yet they are constantly on the prowl for fresh information to help them do their jobs better. The trick to engaging with these highly educated, skeptical audiences has always been the same: be in the right place at the right time with the right answer.

The Nuances of UX

Nick Finck

When doing any kind of design work, the devil is always in the details. It is easy and often important for us to quickly rush through our wireframes and prototypes to meet a client deadline, but as professionals we must not overlook the subtleties that can turn a good experience into a great experience. This talk is about the little details we see in apps and websites we use every day, but often fail to notice. We fail to notice them because they provide for a much smoother user experience. You will learn how to design for these experiences even with a tight deadline and within an agile workflow. After this presentation you’ll never look at another app or website the same again.

Obama for America 201210 Lessons Learned from Real-Time Design for High Stakes

Jason Kunesh

Being the first director of user experience in US Presidential campaign history presented a unique set of challenges, goals, and constraints. I'll share best practices and methods that helped Obama for America build winning social, mobile, e-commerce and in person experiences for as many people as possible. Tall tales, examples & plenty of QA to go around.

One Size Fits None

Marta Armada

There's an ongoing pressure to produce faster, easier, reusable code and websites: boilerplates, frameworks, bootstraps, grid systems... This usually leads to cookie-cut, one-size-fits-all websites. Design patterns are repeated over and over, code snippets are introduced into our projects without second thoughts. It's time us web designers regain control over our tools and start using them for the purpose they were created in the first place: producing tailored experiences for our users.

Overcoming Resistance

The value of User Experience and related practices is continuously overlooked by most corporations. As a result, released products & services fail to meet end users' requirements and lack competitive advantage in already saturated markets.

A People Centered Approach to Data and the Internet of Things

Aldo de Jong

We produce vast amounts of data in our daily lives. Email, text, search, check-in, photos, payments – all these activities create a trail of digital exhaust. This massive output of data has been triumphantly declared a “new asset class” by the World Economic Forum, and compared to oil as the world’s newest economic resource. This economic promise has sparked the "big data boom" and a frantic race to gather and monetize our personal data. This presentation argues that this gold rush obscures the real value of personal data and forgets the fundamental rule of innovation: start with the person. Why has this basic principle been largely absent from our obsession with big data?

Picking up the right stones

One of the greatest fears when starting a new endeavour, whether that is a new product or a change within an organisation, is that either it will not be perfect or we don’t have the right tools to start with. As it will become apparent through the course of the workshops, it is not the start—incepted in the form of an idea, or in the end—shaped in the form of a product, where innovation happens but in between—the work. And while the abundance of sophisticated tools, free or cheap, is enabling us to accelerate our productivity it can also become overwhelming.

Pixel "Pretty Damn" Perfect

Design is not just about the pixels. It is about fast prototyping, defining success, and quick iteration in order to make profitable and beautiful products that are pixel (pretty-damn) perfect.

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.

Polish: The Last 20%

Dan Saffer

The difference between a good product and a great product is often the last 20%, the polish. This talk will examine how you go about polishing your product: what issues to look for and how to improve them. We’ll cover focusing on moments of delight, preventing edge cases, writing copy and labels, and creating signature moments using microinteractions. We’ll take a deep dive into product flow, and what you can do to improve yours, from transitions to smart defaults to creating shortcuts. Polishing your product is difficult and time-consuming, but it’s the only way to achieve a quality result that users can feel.

Pricing for the WebHow to Do Great Work Without Losing Your Shirt (and Soul)

Brad Weaver

Most of us who are any good at design, development, or UX got into this because we love it, not because we saw dollar signs. But what happens when you've been at this for a while and you're still making fry cook wages (or so it seems)? Let's have a chat about real dollars, real projects, and real solutions to figure out how we can do what we love without losing our shirts and souls.

Product OwnershipIt's About Owning and Shipping

A familiar problem with projects is that rather sooner than later things tend to go different than planned: deliverables are late, what seemed easy to code turns out to be a real challenge, your team lost it's spirit, the project seems to be stuck  and your client comes up with new requirements in the middle of all. There is no simple cure to solve these issues, but in this talk Michiel and Konrad will share some tools that help you ship your next product more easily - disregarding whether it's a concept, design, some code or a complete project.

Pseudo-Element Master Class

A challenge that faces modern front-end designers often is the balancing act between semantic code and code that does all the things we need it to do. We need separators between nav items and breadcrumbs, or icons after links; little pieces of non-semantic code that mess with accessibility and make our markup ugly and unweildy.

Fortunately, with the rise of modern browsers, we have tools at our disposal to keep little bits of extra styling enclosed in our stylesheets, instead of muddying our markup with empty divs and spans. We can now add all those cool flourishes and extras while keeping our markup semantic and accessible: enter pseudo-elements. 

The Psychology of Design

Chris Sutton

Have you ever wondered how celebrity endorsements really work? Or why a pseudo-science like astrology can seem so accurate? Some basic psychological tenets can explain a lot of seemingly odd human behavior - and help you design better experiences. Learn about the power of “because”, just how far we go to fit in, and dozens of other ideas that will improve the way you approach designing a web experience, a pitch session or even a family outing.

R&D (&P)Research, Development and Play

In this session, Thomas will provide insight into how Second Story Labs process of research, development and play influences the creation of innovative interactive experiences and how this delivers increasing levels of engagement.

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.

Redeeming Image Editors for Mobile Web Design

Dan Rose

Know what's exciting? We're smack in the middle of figuring out how to design for the mobile web and have had some major success. Responsive Web Design is solid, CSS3 is increasingly useful, and SVG is downright amazing. So what the heck are Photoshop and Fireworks still doing in our docks and not our trash?

Reinventing Mass Media with 10,000 Little Jon Stewarts

Emily Long

Despite the potential for media as a tool for engagement and democracy, the media industry today acts largely as a one-way flow of information and ideas. News, advertising and entertainment reflect only a handful of dominant narratives, and messages countering those narratives are easily shut down by corporations with the money and influence needed to shape the conversation. Major copyright and patent holders can – and do – intimidate those who challenge their products, and a lack of rights awareness combined with a tightly centralized media industry put innovation and freedom of speech in jeopardy.

Reinventing the InternetDecentralisation & The Age of Empowerment

Today, individuals have become empowered and it's the catalyst for a whole new wave of technological innovation that is changing everything. First we had the decentralization of information. Then our relationship with brands and products changed, we became informed and demanded quality and ethics. Social media empowered people around the world to overthrow corrupt governments. Peer to peer lending and crowd funding are empowering people globally to innovate, allowing access to finance that was previously controlled by third parties like banks. As designers, developers and innovators, we must prepare for and embrace the potential of this opportunity. The internet is being reinvented, and it could be the platform for a better world.

Researching with a Team That is New to Research

Russ Unger

For design teams that lack experience, user research can be fairly intimidating, if not a big, scary thing to tackle. How can you get a team out of the office and out into the field with your customers when time and resources are constrained?

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.

Responsively Responsive

Responsive design has changed the way websites are built and experienced. But how do we designers and developers adapt to this ever changing environment? Our old tools are falling short and we need to reinvent ourselves again; it's time to bring the responsive flexibility into our workflows.

Retention HackingWhat Makes Customers Stay - and What Makes Them Leave?

Happy customers are loyal customers: If they keep on giving you money, it's a good sign you're doing something right. But what if they aren't coming back? What if they're leaving in droves and you don't know why? How can you find out? And what can you do to fix it?

The Rise of Content MarketingWhy B2B Needs To Pay Attention

Anoop Sahgal

Storytelling, creativity and connecting audiences to a brand are all things marketers can relate to – but what is the relevancy to B2B when it’s not about pushing collateral and specifications? Content marketing is not new, but in the new world, it’s not just about the company.  It’s about engaging your audience throughout their journey and delivering the desired information at the right time.

Rules of Thumb for Design Chicanery from Obama for America HQ

Jason Kunesh

Being the first director of user experience in US Presidential campaign history presented a unique set of challenges, goals, and constraints. I'll share best practices and methods that helped Obama for America build winning social, mobile, e-commerce and in person experiences for as many people as possible. Tall tales, examples & plenty of QA to go around.

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.

Science Up Your Designs

User experience research is a contact sport. When you understand your users - or potential users - you can build better products. Data doesn't explain attitudes, so we'll explore ways to science up your designs by talking to users.

Secrets RevealedWeb Development is For Everyone

Jeff Cohen

Front-end designers and UX specialists can build web applications as well as anyone else. Professional web developers aren't "better at math" or "abstract thinking" than the rest of us. Crazy jargon and intimidating user groups keep outsiders away, but here's the truth: coding isn't just for the chosen few. 

SHIFT DeluxeAn AIGA Portland presentation

Thought leaders of the design community and AIGA Portland will showcase examples of intentional design and processes that are making the world a better place environmentally, economically, culturally, and socially. Join us for this concentrated version of SHIFT that will include brief, inspiring presentations followed by panelist and audience discussion on how to make design for positive change actionable.

Should Designers Code?

Tami Evnin

More and more designers are becoming empowered to build interactions through code. Rather than delivering wireframes that only describe proposed interactions, designers can deliver artifacts that developers can actually use in the product being created. Sounds great, but how does this process fit into traditional product development? Does it slow development down if designers are concerned with writing clean, production-ready code? Does it distract design from focussing on user goals and vetting solutions? Are designers getting in their own way?

Side Projects That Ship

Tyler Sticka

Starting a side project is easy. Finishing one? That's a whole lot tougher. Is there a secret to being prolific part-time? What separates the countless projects languishing on hard drives from the few that see the light of day? In this dynamic session, you'll learn how to identify your best ideas, focus on the right goals, eliminate cruft and maintain your interest level so you can complete your labor of love without losing sleep, your job or your mind.

A Simplified UX Formula

Ronel Mor

The session attempts to distill “the elements of user experience” into a simplified formula. This formula may perform as a measure for evaluating the quality of an experience of any sort (digital or physical). When projected on known products like the iPhone, services like eBay, Twitter, Google or mobile apps like Instagram:  this formula highlights the factors which possibly account for the successful experiences these deliver.

Simplify the Handshake Between Humans and TechnologyKnow Your Product, Know Your People, Design with Purpose

Mark Wyner

As interactive designers we spend a lot of time trying to court the people who will use what we design. We are hunters for the ultimate romance between products and people. This is natural because we’re inventors and thinkers—we want to delight. And we should. But when we reach the pinnacle of our creation we must ask how many people actually want to climb to the peak with us.

A Sketch is Worth a Thousand WordsUsing Sketching as a Communication and Collaboration Tool

Product teams often consist of team members with various disciplines and approaches to product design, this can often present communication hurdles with team members (designers, devs, product managers, marketing,research, etc) as well as kinks in team collaboration. In this talk, Aaron will provide tools, tips, and insights into using sketching to help improve communication and collaboration within product teams.

Snackable Content

In this session, we begin with an examination of what “snackable” means to our culture in a positive way (think baby carrots, baked-not-fried chips, and Sesame Street) and how to apply that premise to producing material for today’s web, social media, and mobile landscape.

Social Experience DesignShifting The Focus Where Really Matters

Too much focus on external metrics will harm in the long term the effectiveness of your social strategy as well as your company as a whole. Changing the focus to deal properly with social dynamics requires a deep understanding of a few critical factors. This talk will show a hands-on social experience design method to deal with this complexity and achieve the change projects need, plus some supporting use-cases supporting them. It will provide you a grounding in how to manage projects with social dynamics, how to properly use motivation and how to design for it.

Solving the Right Problem

A byproduct of design research, if performed well, is a deeper empathy with the people who use what we build. This connection with them drives a desire to solve their problems and solve them now. Deciding what problems can truly be solved—and which one's should be solved—stands between building a good product for your current patrons and a great product for all.

Space MattersOffering the Living Room Experience

Going into a research study is often similar to going to the doctor. You wait alone in a room, unsure of what’s going to happen or who will be watching. To top it off, you have a giant camera overhead capturing your every move. No wonder recruiting is difficult! Setting up a comfortable UX research lab that recreates the living room experience or user habitat results in better feedback, as participants are more willing to share in a relaxed environment. Learn what basic elements you need to simulate the home user experience to gather better qualitative data and retain thoughtful participants.

Speed Mentoring for Future Digital and Technology Leaders

Ivo Lukas

Speed mentoring is a great way for young women to get feedback on your strengths and professional challenges from an industry expert - it's an efficient and effective way to learn, connect and network.

Startup! Real Stories and Life-Saving TipsA Panel Discussion with Leading Entrepreneurs, VCs, Angel Investors

In many ways, it's never been easier to start a company. Bootstrapping is often a viable choice, but some businesses are almost impossible to launch without capital. There are endless books and blogs from the viewpoint of VCs espousing philosophies about how to raise venture capital, but the actual process from Day One of making the decision to raise money is still a black hole, left to private meetings, phone calls, and known to a relatively small population.

The Story of the Internet of ThingsWhat happens when your home remembers you?

Scé Pike

What can the Internet of Things become when a platform is established that allows for a true ecosystem of compatible devices? Sce Pike, Chief Experience Officer of Citizen, Inc. will look at strategies, objectives, and values to consider in the creation of IoT products and services, to drive the industry towards mass adoption and truly needed problem solving.

Storytelling on the WebNew Techniques and Ideas

What does storytelling mean in a digital world? We have augmented reality, touch screens, and even geolocation technology to tell everything from mysteries to children's stories to our audiences. The proliferation of screens also means we can spread our narratives across multiple viewports. In this session, Nigerian-born designer and illustrator Senongo Akpem gives you 5 powerful techniques for telling engaging multi-screen narratives.

Sustainable Design is Not an OxymoronPushing the Boundaries of Sportswear Manufacturing

Bergmann will lead the audience through a journey at Nike where he has worked with some of the best innovators, scientists, chemists and athletes in the world, and he will provide examples over time where a small company that was focused on performance gave it’s employees permission to push the edges to improve performance and quality in an environment that many times pushed the technological edges of possibility. Presented by AIGA Portland.

Teach Your Clients All of Your Tricks

The client services world is changing.  Instead of a perpetually renewed contract or no-end-in-sight retainer, today it's all about building your clients' capacity to manage their own services, communities, and knowledge.  This mirrors the world's move from proprietary ideas to shared economies, from private ownership to collaborative networks.  Learn how building your client's capacity is the best business development strategy to ensure your continued growth beyond the long term renewal.

Thinking Beyond the Device

Responsive Web Design is just one of the tools we use to create better designs. In this session, we'll explore what "better" design is, and apply that in new ways as we craft interactions between people and web sites and applications.

This is Not Your Parents' Pattern LibraryA Fresh Approach in Defining Corporate Design Standards

Think pattern libraries are outdated? Think again. We'd like to challenge the perception of what makes a pattern and a pattern library. In this talk, Carrie and Erica will discuss the fading relevance of traditional pattern libraries and show you what they've done to reinvigorate the Design Standards hub at eBay, making it more engaging and maximizing its usefulness.

Threedee Tales of Urban Bohemia

Vicent Marti

Computer Graphics, particularly 3D, is a discipline of computer science with decades of tradition and research behind it. As we keep struggling to master the world of 3D rending on the desktop, a whole new world of possibilities is now arising on the web thanks to the WebGL Javascript APIs, which allow us to harness the full power of a computer's graphics stack from inside the DOM.

Transforming Mass MediaHow It Changes To Adapt Or Dies

Technological advances have changed most (2D) creative and informational mediums, some with dire impact (news) and others with grand opportunity (visual storytelling). Richard discusses the powerful changes on these forms of communication, with a focus on narrative and graphic storytelling.

Tugboats and TankersContributing to Longterm Organizational Change

Contributing to longterm change in organisations and their service offering involves serious committment and stamina. You seldom see radical changes just on the basis of a single project. The results of that project might be mind blowing in itself, but in the longer term the effect of it on the wider organisation might seem disappointing.

Turtle Design in a Rabbit Age

Mel Lim

Would you let someone who speed-read a book on cardiology perform open-heart surgery on you? If you were attending a state dinner in Washington D.C. would you expect a gourmet meal prepared by the White House chef or would you be happy with a fast-food quarter pounder with cheese? When it comes to the products and services that we typically signify as having value, prestige, and even longevity, one single element factors into their creation: time. So why is it that design and the design processes, from ideation to development to implementation, are all happening on the fast track?

Typography is the New Black

In recent years web and motion designers have woken to the power and centrality of typography in visual communication. Phinney presents an array of of the best cutting-edge typography, alongside a few cautionary tales of how crap typography can contradict a message or damage a brand.

Uncovering UX of the FuturePractical Tips On How to Do Research in the Field

The average UX expert is becoming more and more interested in learning about qualitative research methods that reach "beyond the lab." While it may seem hard to believe, some of our most valuable research is being done in diverse locations such as vehicles, the living room, and even the operating room. UX practitioners must understand the practices, beliefs, and emotions of people in their everyday environments in order to successfully design future technologies. Field research helps provide insights into what and how products and services people will most likely incorporate into their lives. Uncovering UX is a journey with unexpected twist and turns. As researchers, we will travel outside of our comfort zones, speak to respondents who say unexpected things, collect large amounts of ambiguous data, synthesize information into meaningful patterns, consider tradeoffs, and finally tell a coherent narrative. This talk will discuss how we managed to navigate through this journey while discovering areas for innovation.

A Unified Innovation Process

Tae Won Ha

Agile, Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and whatnot: How can we combine
these powerful principles and methods to achieve faster improvements and
innovations?

More and more organizations are adopting agile development practice. To
be agile is all about iterations, continuous improvements and self
organization, just to mention a few principles. However, most of the
times the whole value chain remains in a water fall structure which is
the main obstacle for faster innovations. Having a working agile team is
a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for the product and, for
that matter, the whole organization to become agile.

Using CSS Regions to Create Magazine-like Layouts for Any Screen

Publishers are targeting mobile devices with their digital publications. But the current approach of rendering fixed layouts for each screen size and orientation out there is a major, time-consuming problem. There really is no "one-size fits all" solution, so let's get rid of it!

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.

Viewport

Viewports are hard. Don't let anyone tell you they aren't. Although desktop browsers have only one, and it works pretty intuitively, mobile and tablet browsers have three. And sometimes they don't work intuitively - or at all. What are the three viewports? (Spoiler: layout, visual, and ideal.) Why do we need all three? Why does responsive design work? (Not how. Why.) What happens when you set the meta viewport? How do browsers go wrong? (Spoiler: in plenty of innovative ways.)

Visceral Brand Perception and Typography

Jim Kidwell

Creating and maintaining a strong and lasting brand is all about the details. Every decision, all the way down to your brand’s typographic selection has a visceral affect on public perception. Join typography expert Jim Kidwell for this whirlwind tour of how various brands have utilized typography throughout the years. Learn from the real-world examples from both current and historical typographic successes and failures.

ViziCitiesBringing Cities to Life Using Big Data

Imagine being able to explore any city in the world in 3D in your browser. Now imagine being able to overlay data onto your city - transport, crime, pollution, social data and weather - all live and in real time…and it was open source! In this session Peter and Robin will talk about how they're creating ViziCities, an open-source, 3D visualisation platform, combining cutting-edge web technologies with open data to create beautiful visualisations. If you can’t imagine it…imagine SimCity for real life.

Walt DisneyThe World’s First User Experience Designer

We all know that Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and a world-wide entertainment empire. But did you also know that he could also be considered the world's first user experience designer?

Watch Your Wearables Disappear

2014 is shaping up to be the Year of Wearable Computing, and the tech community is currently focused on trying to figure out what form it will take: smart watches, augmented reality headsets, jewelry, toothbrushes, and dog bibs - what experiment with hardware form factors could be truly shocking from this point forward?

Web+Can the Web Win the War Against Native Without Losing its Soul?

Bruce Lawson

Native apps are eating web apps’ lunch. Why? We’ll look at attempts by browsers and standards bodies to close the technical gaps from “there’s an app for that” to “there’s an API for that;” examine how some recent attempts to compete with native have actually abandoned the web’s core strengths; and suggest a “Web+” path of righteousness for browser makers, standards wonks, and web designers and developers—a path that will help your website compete against native apps without sacrificing what makes the web great.

Web Standards for Cross-Device DesignWhat Next?

Bruce Lawson

Since Facebook announced that betting on HTML5 was its "biggest mistake", the "native vs web apps" debate has reignited with greater heat, but very little new light. In this session, Bruce will look at what's coming up in web standards that will bring greater capabilities to web apps that work across mobiles, desktop, TV - things like webRTC, CSS Flexbox, new CSS Units, CSS Device Adaptations and a peek at what's being discussed for Media Queries level 4.

Welcome Makers!

Kevin Hoyt

Thank you Makers for coming to WebVisions!  Wait, what?  You are not a maker yet?  Perhaps you should be!  With the decreasing cost of electronics, and the increasing availability of Internet access, there is no better time to start.  And even if you do not have a project you want to put on Kickstarter, taking things apart or making physical things that work for you on a personal level is not only vastly gratifying, but downright fun!

Welcome to the Ludic Century

Why do we play?  That is the essential question.  In answering it we discover not only where we have come from, but where we are going.  Environmental circumstances have remained constant for several thousand years (arguably since the dawn of mankind) and certain games have arisen to either mimic or supplement our daily routines (whether warfare or other, more collaborative thinking, activity).  However, now, we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory.  It is for this reason that we are, truly, at the dawn of the Ludic Century.

What Designers Can Learn From Filmmakers

Adam Connor

Films succeed in evoking responses and engaging audiences only with a combination of well-written narrative and effective storytelling technique. It’s the filmmaker’s job to put this together. To do so they’ve developed processes, tools and techniques that allow them to focus attention, emphasize information, foreshadow and produce the many elements that together comprise a well-told story. Let's consider how web designers can look to the tools of filmmakers for inspiration.

When Business Culture Kills Experience Design

Tim Loo

As experience designers, we’ve all been there. The business brief to improve the customer experience is clear. The insight from the customer and the business points to obvious opportunities. As a team we’ve designed innovative solutions creating a win/win for the organisation and their customers. And then, like a patient rejecting the life saving transplant from an organ donor, the solution doesn’t take. Or worse they do nothing. In most cases, it’s not the design but the culture of the organisation that is the barrier to step change improvement.

Who Will Create the Future? Superman, Robots...YOUSurvival Tips for of the Everyday Humanist

We live in the era of services and creativity. Even though your company or your clients are struggling to understand their customers, you are supposed to design and create customized solutions that work perfectly for everyone, everywhere on every device. Even though your organization or your client is working in silos and with sometimes poor communication, you are supposed to "know everything about everything" and act just in time, if not in advance...Don't get stressed. It's about Multidisciplinary, Interactions and Soul. 

Why are Some Startups More Successful Than Others?

Neal Cabage

Many startups are formed every year, but few ever reach profitability, and even fewer sustain profitability for more than a few years. With so much at stake, wouldn't it be nice to understand why some businesses are so much more successful than others?

Windows of Opportunity (WOO)

Windows of Opportunity is an experimental research project initiated by General Motors R&D and the Future labs of the Industrial design M.Des program at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, aimed at conceptualizing new ways to help rear seat passengers, particularly children, have a richer experience on the road and potentially have a positive impact on the driver and driving behavior. The project was the winner of the 2013 Netexplo award.

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.

The World Is The ScreenUnderstanding the Ecology of Context

As mobile and cross-channel challenges become even more complex, we find ourselves chasing an endless explosion of devices, app platforms and operating systems. Meanwhile, user context is becoming more ambiguous and varied than ever. What if, rather than starting with the device, the content or the software, we started with fundamentals about how people perceive their environment?

Your CSS is a Mess

CSS is easy? CSS is messy! And as a project grows, it only gets messier. You find yourself throwing !important at everything or fighting with long selectors just to get a style to overrule another. This session looks at a few quick tips to help bring things under control.

Your Responsive Tool Box

Jacob Surber

Web designers today face many challenges, several of which cannot be solved by their current set of tools.  These challenges get amplified when your goal is to create a 'responsive design'. Using techniques like CSS layout and media queries may solve this challenge, but not in a very visual or creative way.

Your Web Font is Crap.Here's How to Choose a Better One

Jim Kidwell

Text is the lifeblood of the web. And when you choose an inferior web font to display it, your project is going to bleed all over the cyber-verse. To keep your projects from hemorrhaging unnecessarily, ensuring that your web font, CSS and html are up to the task is critical. All fonts are definitely not created equal, and depending upon how they are used, some can even be downright problematic. To top it off, as designers & developers, we love pushing the limits, frequently making our tools beg for mercy. Learn some common sense ways to identify and eradicate problematic code that just might be giving your text show more than a few blemishes.