Explore the Future of the Web


Keynote Sessions

A New Dawn of the Human ExperienceArtificial Sentience and Fabricated Empathy in Cognitive Computing

Mark Wyner

In what is being called the “third era of computing,” cognitive computing is revolutionizing the relationship between humans and computers. Internet of Things is only the beginning. Artificial Intelligence is finally sprouting out of science fiction and blossoming into palpable technology. Cognitive systems are able to learn independently, build upon pre-programmed knowledge, understand natural language, and interact with human beings with reasoning and logic.

This is the Golden Age of Design! …and we’re screwed

Everywhere I look companies are hiring designers! Two hundred over here! A thousand over here! We need a lot of them and we need them fast. Finally! Companies have come to understand the importance of design in building successful products and services. Isn’t that great?

Throwing Rocks at the Google BusHow Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity

The digital economy has gone wrong. Everybody knows it, but no one knows quite how to fix it, or even how to explain the problem. Workers lose to automation, investors lose to algorithms, musicians lose to power law dynamics, drivers lose to Uber, neighborhoods lose to Airbnb, and even tech developers lose their visions to the demands of the startup economy. Douglas Rushkoff argues that it doesn't have to be this way. This isn't the fault of digital technology at all, but the way we are deploying it: instead of building the distributed digital economy these new networks could foster, we are doubling down on the industrial age mandate for growth above all.

Activism × Technology

What happens when the digital tools and platforms we make and use for communication and entertainment are hijacked for terrorism, violence against the vulnerable and nefarious transactions? What role do designers and developers play? Are we complicit as creators of these technologies and products? Should we police them or fight back? As a leader of gravitytank's interaction design discipline and social innovation practice, Antonio García will share a mix of provocative scenarios torn from today's headlines and compelling stories where activism and technology facilitated peace—and war.

The Business of Beacons

Kevin Hoyt

Built on BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons get a lot of press, and have seen increasing deployment around the globe, adding value to business and consumers. In this session, join IBM Developer Advocate, Kevin Hoyt, on a journey through beacon opportunities you may not have considered. Practical, real-world, references will be highlighted as we examine innovative use-cases for beacons in your business.

Equipping the Next Generation of Designers

Paul Trani

The web has changed plenty in the past 5-10 years. We’re no longer dealing with browser wars, plugins, or slow desktop Internet connections. Our challenges are much different and center around devices, screen sizes, resolutions, frameworks, apps, and the Internet of things. So as things have changed how have your tools evolved? In this session, Evangelist Paul Trani will show how our tools have changed to meet the challenges of the modern web designer. Someone not afraid of code, who deals with frameworks, responsive design and hi-dpi images. Learn about how the tools you know and love have evolved to meet these new challenges, and get introduced to new tools that make UI and UX design easier than you’ve ever anticipated.

Rules, Hunches, and Coin Flips

In a world looking for rules of thumb, checklists, best practices, and guarantees, how do we know what we know? Even worse, how do we choose when every rule has an equal and opposite position? As knowledge increases and every dissenting opinion is available for citation, it becomes more important to set aside the mundane challenges … at least that’s what we’re told by a succession of books, speakers, and multimedia campaigns. How can one be expected to produce a manifesto, let alone get work done, when every other day someone else is muscling up to the church door with a new sheaf of papers to share with the world?

Tall Tales from a Large Man

Using scientific proof and state-of-the-art multimedia techniques, Aaron James Draplin of the Draplin Design Co. delivers a suckerpunch of a talk that aims to provide bonafide proof of work, the highs and lows of a ferociously independent existence and a couple tall tales from his so-called career in the cutthroat world of contemporary graphic design. Just a regular guy with a trajectory a little dirtier than yours, his talk is open to all oncomers brave enough to show up. If you are a youngster, you may find yourself inspired to attack your design future in a different way. If you are established, you may just leave feeling grateful you don't have anything to do with him. Hard to say. Be there!

Users are People Too

Too often we create brands, experiences, and content that sacrifice humanity on the altar of conversion optimization. In this session, we’ll explore how to make our products feel less like a business transaction and more like a conversation through human-oriented brand, marketing, and experience design. Don’t worry, this won’t be a stern sermon about user personas or focus groups – Meagan knows that conference attendees are people too. Instead she’ll share some of the practical hows and whys of designing for people, not customers.

What Happens When You Donate Your Career To Science

Thea Boodhoo

New giant dinosaurs. Mountain ranges on Pluto. Gravity waves from other galaxies. We live in a golden age for scientific discovery, and it’s hard not to wonder, as we pry ourselves away from Mars panoramas back into the earth-bound corporate things waiting in our other browser tabs, what it would be like if we’d gone into that science field we really like instead. Thea will share what she learned about the reality of modern science, what it’s like working with scientists, how she overcame the hurdles of being an outsider, and how you, too, can apply your skills as a creative professional to science projects where they are, truly, needed. Without having to dissect a pigeon.


Join us in Portland

Awesome speakers and attendees. Chewy sessions and workshops. An awesome city with food, art, culture and outdoor activities… book it, Dan-o.

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