August 27–28, 2007
Chicago Marriott Downtown
Featured Speakers for An Event Apart Chicago
An Event Apart Chicago runs from 9:00 am–5:30 pm. We have a lot to cover, so the event will start promptly each day. Arrive early to get a good seat! Doors open at 7:30 am; for best results, plan to show up by 8:00 am.
Secrets of the CSS Jedi
How much time do you spend either desperately fighting or blindly accepting browser defaults? More than you might think. Truly understanding both sides of this struggle is critical for anyone who wants to be a CSS Master. This will be an in-depth exploration of how CSS really works, and how this knowledge can make your work easier.
Be Pure. Be Vigilant. Behave.
Writing the User Interface
Drop-shadows don’t fill shopping carts. Aside from a few buttons and arrows, nearly all of the work of a user interface is performed by words. Yet most designers don’t question the text their clients dump on them, and most budgets don’t cover editing and writing. Learn how word choice can drastically improve design, branding, and usability—and how to edit web content effectively, even if you’re not a writer.
Best Practices For Form Design
Forms bridge the gap between people and your site. From registration to checkout, web forms make or break interactions. Learn best practices culled from international usability testing, eye-tracking studies, and over ten years of designing web applications. See how different forms, fields, labels, calls to action, and visual elements can support or impair user behavior. You’ll never look at your web forms the same way again.
Design Your Way Out of a Paper Bag
Rethinking an existing brand can be a designer’s most exciting (and most perilous) challenge. Happy Cog’s Jason Santa Maria should know, having recently redesigned AIGA and A List Apart. Learn how color, typography, and visual metaphors can change the way people experience even the most familiar sites.
Accessibility: lost in translation
Developers, designers, and information architects work together to translate wireframes, prototypes, and mockups into functioning sites and applications. Examine the accessibility challenges presented by common design patterns. Learn practical solutions that translate an interface’s nuances and the intent of the design into meaningful code—to help ensure an accessible user experience for people with disabilities.
Co-sponsored by Adobe
Search analytics for fun and profit
Any site with a search engine logs user’s search queries. This is real data that’s plentiful and inexpensive to acquire, and not necessarily difficult to analyze. Search query data tells you what users really want from your site—in their own words—and how well you’re meeting those needs. This session covers the basics of search analytics for web designers, showing how you can diagnose and fix major problems with your site’s content, metadata, navigation, and search functions.
The State of CSS in an IE7 World
After five quiet (and increasingly frustrating) years, the 800-pound gorilla is awake once more. We know that Internet Explorer 7 fixed a lot of bugs and added new support, but with IE6 still hanging around like an annoying party crasher, has anything really changed? We’ll take a look at where we are and where we’re going in an IE7 world.
The Seven Lies of Information Architecture
Watch out for dangling participles! Never end a sentence with a preposition! Rules like these governed our young lives in grade-school grammar class. As grownups, we now know that they were only guidelines disguised in rules’ clothing. Information architecture has been relying on the same disguised guidelines, and we’ve been blindly following them. Learn from seven examples when it’s best to stick to the IA rules and when it’s better to break them.
It takes talent, knowledge, and experience to design great websites. But what’s the use if your client (or boss) consistently kills your best work? Great design requires great clients, and they are made, not born. Learn to identify receptive clients and bosses and develop an inclusive, collaborative process that builds the level of trust needed to sell great work.
Interface Design Juggling
Keeping all the right pieces in play when designing for the web can be a balancing act. This session will focus on being an independent interface designer in a complex world of endless choices. Learn how streamlined process and smart approaches can make for compelling, adaptable designs with XHTML and CSS. You’ll soon be juggling microformats, typography and flexible design with ease.
Dealing With the Both of You
Personal projects are filled with risk-taking, passion, experimentation
and the thrill of invention. By comparison, the projects we do for clients
and bosses can seem, well, boring. The trick is to get some of that creative inspiration into the practical framework of the client work... and vice-versa. Find the right balance between both sides of your personality. Make your personal projects more successful and your daily work-for-hire more fulfilling.
Opening Night Party
Sponsored by (mt) Media Temple