July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Design conference sessions

It’s critical for success; learn how to incorporate design best practices from the beginning of your project rather and all the way through.

1:30pm–5:00pm Monday, 07/20/2015
C Todd Lombardo (Fresh Tilled Soil)
Design sprints are a time-boxed, disciplined way to get validation on a concept so you write code that gets used and not trashed. This workshop will take you through a mini-design sprint so you can get first-hand experience of what it's like to participate in one. You’ll walk away with ideas and the knowledge of how to implement these frameworks in your organization. Read more.
1:30pm–5:00pm Monday, 07/20/2015
Robert Gallup (XOBXOB)
Prototypes allow us to see, touch, feel, and refine ideas and designs. Starting from zero, this hands-on workshop explores smart hardware prototyping using a micro-controller and basic electronic components. You'll connect LEDs, buttons, and knobs, then program a micro-controller to define behavior. Through this you’ll better understand the tools and process of designing smart, connected products. Read more.
9:00am–12:30pm Tuesday, 07/21/2015
Julie Steele (Manifold), Susie Lu (Silicon Valley Data Science)
This tool-agnostic tutorial is for those with the software chops and interest to create data visualizations, who want to elevate the look and feel of their work. Attendees will workshop an in-progress data visualization. They will learn design best practices and how to navigate the critique process, and then develop their own work on-site with guidance from two experts. Read more.
1:30pm–5:00pm Tuesday, 07/21/2015
Jen Kramer (Harvard University Extension School)
Sass, the CSS preprocessor, is increasingly an important tool for creating websites. In this tutorial, you'll learn the basics of structuring your Sass files, creating variables, writing if/else statements, working with mixins, and more. Read more.
10:40am–11:20am Wednesday, 07/22/2015
The design of an open source project will greatly effect a user's experience, and open source typically lacks solid design. In this session we'll talk about the current state of design and how we can raise the bar in an open source community. Read more.
11:30am–12:10pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Scott Cranfill (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), Mollie Bates (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
Keeping code and design in sync across large teams and multiple projects can be a big challenge. At the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new federal agency, the in-house design and development team has created its own modular front-end framework and style guide. Team members will talk about how this has fostered cross-team collaboration and improved the consistency of their products. Read more.
1:40pm–2:20pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Tom Greever (Bitovi)
Every designer has had to justify designs to non-designers, yet most lack the ability to explain their choices in a compelling way. Effectively articulating design decisions is critical to a project’s success because the most articulate person wins. This session offers practical advice for talking to managers, developers, and other stakeholders to win them over and create the best user experience. Read more.
2:30pm–3:10pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Julie Cameron (Articulate)
This talk will look at how taking a modular, object-oriented approach to CSS can turn frontend woes into frontend wins. We’ll examine modern CSS approaches like OOCSS, SMACSS, and BEM and demonstrate how they will help to not only decouple your CSS styles and reduce specificity conflicts, but how they will also help to decouple your CSS and HTML from your JavaScript and feature specs. Read more.
4:10pm–4:50pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Portland 255
Lucy Wyman (Puppet)
This talk will start off with the basics of what Syntactically Awesome StyleSheets are, what features and functionality they have to offer, and why they're a great tool to have in your arsenal. We'll then delve into how to use Sass in developing your own sites and which tools you'll want to use alongside it, complete with a live demo and some in-production examples. Read more.
4:10pm–4:50pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Dave Rauchwerk (Next Thing Co)
1GHz ARM Cortex A8, 512MB RAM, 4GB NAND Flash, WiFi, Bluetooth - and it's completely open source. Also, it costs $9. See how, why, and what it means for the future of open hardware. Read more.
5:00pm–5:40pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Tim Nugent (Lonely Coffee)
Board games are hard at the best of times – you have to find friends who have the free time to play, find a game everyone is happy to play, and more! When friends move elsewhere, things get even harder! This sessions explores the challenges of telepresence board gaming. Learn why and how you should care, how the problems are being addressed, and how it’s relevant to remote collaboration. Read more.
10:40am–11:20am Thursday, 07/23/2015
Portland 255
Patrick Fox (Razorfish)
Building modern, accessible web apps can be daunting. This talk goes beyond the foundational aspects of accessibility to discuss higher-level concepts and challenges for making modern web UI accessible, demonstrating specific solutions and best practices for: -Common UI components(modals, form validation) -Single-page architecture -Summarizing complex content -Providing accessible help text Read more.
1:40pm–2:20pm Thursday, 07/23/2015
Paris Buttfield-Addison (Secret Lab), Jon Manning (Secret Lab), Tim Nugent (Lonely Coffee)
In this session, you’ll learn about game design: the art and science of constructing enjoyable, engaging games. We aren't doing any coding, and we’re not talking game engine development - instead, we’ll be taking a deep dive into game design theory, using it to understand how people interact with rules, and how to use it to improve your community, your company, your project, and your software. Read more.
2:30pm–3:10pm Thursday, 07/23/2015
Kipp Bradford (The Kippworks)
So you want to turn your cool hardware device into a new product—what could possibly go wrong? If you’ve ever helped crowdfund a hardware product, then you’ve probably gotten some insight into many of the things that do go wrong. This talk will explore some common mistakes and why, despite the challenges, an open-source approach to hardware manufacturing makes sense. Read more.
4:10pm–4:50pm Thursday, 07/23/2015
Joe Wagner (Puppet Labs)
At Puppet Labs, we’ve adopted and developed techniques for getting our ideas in front of our community in a manner that leads to reliable feedback. Join us to learn about what we’ve found to be effective, and how that has affected the way we plan, design, and build. Read more.
5:00pm–5:40pm Thursday, 07/23/2015
Amber Case (MIT Media Lab)
Technology shouldn't require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary. This talk will cover how to use principles of calm technology to design the next generation of connected devices. We'll look at notification styles, compressing information into other senses, and designing for the least amount of cognitive overhead. Read more.
10:00am–10:40am Friday, 07/24/2015
Nicolas Steenhout (Part of a Whole)
Without firsthand experience, it is difficult to understand the barriers that exist for screenreader users on the web. Many developers have told me they were curious to "see" a screenreader in action. This is your chance! Using a combination of real-world examples and code snippets, we will use a screenreader to go through common barriers and discuss them. Read more.
11:10am–11:50am Friday, 07/24/2015
Portland 256
Caleb Madrigal (FireEye)
You’ve got mad computer hacking skills, and an app idea to take over the world! But there's one problem: you’re not a designer and need your app to look stunning. This talk will show you how to quickly build a beautiful, modern user interface without having to hire a designer. Read more.