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Enough Design to be Dangerous

Jonathan Julian (410Labs)
Location: Room 345
Average rating: ****.
(4.43, 14 ratings)

Lucky developers get to work on a team with a full-time designer. But many of us become responsible for the design of our sites – even if we don’t necessarily have an “eye” for design.

Great design is hard; mediocre design is easy. I will give beginner developers enough information to be “dangerous” with design.

  • choosing colors, css gradients
  • styling form elements
  • sexy buttons
  • choosing typefaces, text-shadows
  • styling Rails form errors
  • leveraging view helpers
  • using JavaScript

Developers will be able to apply these recipes to their projects immediately, to achieve some of the polish found on sites that were designed by a professional team.

Photo of Jonathan Julian

Jonathan Julian


Lead developer at 410Labs, building awesome products in Baltimore like shortmail.com and replyz.com. Active Bmore on Rails member, and coworker at Beehive Baltimore.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Dustin McCraw
05/23/2011 8:03pm EDT

A great talk! I really liked the high level concepts and then the specific css styles. Made me rethink a lot of my designs.

George Anderson
05/20/2011 8:53pm EDT

Really solid presentation. Jonathan presented excellent material in a clear, concise, organized manner. He solicited appropriate feedback from experts in the audience (that says something that professional designers attended as well) while managing the conversation and working it into the flow of the presentation.

Can’t wait to see how this talk evolves. Great job!

Picture of Jonathan Julian
Jonathan Julian
05/20/2011 7:54am EDT

Thanks, Mark. Your comment made my day! So glad you enjoyed it.

Picture of Mark Simoneau
Mark Simoneau
05/20/2011 7:03am EDT

This was my favorite talk of the entire conference… not without mistakes or room for improvement, but an excellent introduction to design for developers who are timid about it. Just having the confidence that this is learnable was worth it.