An Event Apart 2015 – Atlanta: Day One

My notes from An Event Apart 2015 – Atlanta:

General Links


Jeffrey Zeldman
The Work That Dare Not Speak its Name

  • “They still see you as how they hired you. First impressions are forever”
  • Great work + bad attitude = fired
  • Tell the story of the project’s success.
  • Dare to speak. Unlock your inner voice. Blog!
  • “Expert” just means you started before someone else.
  • How to be You
    • Know yourself; change yourself
    • Manage your managers
    • Blogs and side projects show what you can do

Talk Links


Sarah Parmenter
Designing for Social Behavior

  • Why do people comment?

    • Is it doing any good?
    • People comment due to “Participation Media” -> people want to make ripples
    • Tribe Behavior/Mentality
    • People will find loopholes. ALWAYS!
  • Never had a crisis meeting about anyone’s genitalia
  • Lovers and haters are always the quickest to become known
  • How to Capture Users

    1. Commitment to the Cause

      • consistency (relied upon to keep producing)
      • Show up and do it…again and again and again
    2. Authenticity

      • give users something they can’t get elsewhere
      • be honest, brutally honest
      • real always wins out
    3. Emotion

      • free people prime example
      • use user-generated content (viewed as very authentic)
      • tweets are very positive and airy
      • blog: constantly updated (most posts are aspirational)

Talk Links


Samantha Warren
Change or Die: Creating Successful Design Methods for a Multi-Device World

As designers, we are set in our ways
As designers we tend to get set in our ways, we need to adapt to the users context instead of our own
Yet, we are in a constantly changing profession (especially devices)
Blindsided by Context
Reasons People Don’t Change
1) Fear
2) Time
3) Comfort (we must empathize)
Passion is infectious. Change is infectious if passion is there.
cnn.com responsive re-design
Tactics for executing change:
1) Plant the seed
2) The Already Done (just do it)
– A prototype can save a thousand meetings
3) Money Talks
– Speak the language of business (convincing for change)
– How can it impact money, bottom line, sales, etc
– Process Change: Design = Time = Money
4) Share
– Internally (Basecamp, Yammer, blogs, emails, etc)
– Publicly (conferences, blog posts, white papers)

“If it’s not in the wiki, then it doesn’t exist.”

Talk Links


Yesenia Perez-Cruz
Design Decisions Through the Lens of Performance

No one sets out to design a slow, heavy site
– poor planning, communication, awareness
Design is a balancing act (help users build up brands and goals vs business goals)
Consider overall user experience (not just visuals)
What is performance?
– how quickly web pages load
– how quickly content is delivered to intended audience
Why design for performance?
– online users allow 1-2 seconds of load time
– users go to competitors if loads 250ms faster
– global network speeds vary significantly
How do we do this?
1) Think about performance from beginning
– make performance a project goal (in requirements doc)
2) Establish performance budget
3) Communicate and document.

Talk Links


Tim Brown
Typesetting Body Text Like a Pirate Jedi with a DeLorean

Talk Links


Dan Mall
So…What Do I Make?

Designers Plan

  • Interview (ask the users; after all, they use it)
  • Write Manifesto
    -Creative Direction (point of view): says what you’re going to do AND what you’re NOT going to do

Designers Inventory

  • Interface Inventory
    – take an interface inventory; consolidate, consolidate, consolidate
    – makes user’s cognitive load smaller
  • Performance Budget
    – it does matter! (sometimes life and death -> Radio Free Europe)
    – take an inventory of now: cut it to 80% of current load time -> goal
  • Visual Inventory
    – Find examples of “other” ways to view their business/brand
    – Look for color, concept, and tone for the client

Designers Sketch

  • Element Collage
    – listen to the client; listen for phrases
    – turn those powerful phrases into visual hooks
    – show different variations to show possibilities
  • Prototypes
    – Each prototype must take less than 1 hour
    – 1st prototype should be something anyone can build
    – build ugly (always come back to the ugly to polish)
    – every prototype should solve one problem and one problem only

Designers Assemble

  • Mise en place (everything in its place
  • Libraries (building a comp is dragging elements in)
    – Pattern Lab (atomic design framework idea)
  • Ultimate Tool for Designers: Empathy

Talk Links

  • Torre Kean’s Notes
  • Ommwriter
  • Visual Inventory
  • Typecast
  • RIF
  • Photoshop Creative Cloud Libraries
  • Advertisements

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