January 6, 2016 — Development is clear cut. It works or it doesn’t. The code is well-written or it’s a mess. Design on the other hand, is subjective, with the success of a project often based on the client’s ideas, perceptions, opinions, and personal experiences of what good design is.
As a freelancer, I have sold well over a million dollars in design services alone, and the journey has been good, bad, and at times, down right ugly as I learned along the way.
In this session, we’ll skip the sugar coating and I’ll share with you the mistakes made, lessons learned, and contract changes implemented. You’ll walk away with a deeper understanding of the role design plays in business, how to sell design, and how to navigate the sales process with clients.
If you’re a designer who rocks at design but feels a little less confident selling your services, you’re a business or agency owner who now find themselves selling design, or you’re a developer who wants to better understand pitching design to clients, this talk is for you.
December 20, 2015 — No matter who you are, everyone seems to need a website, and that often means hiring a designer, developer, or agency to do some work for you. But how do you communicate about something that is outside your realm of experience, much less help direct the project to suit your business? That’s why you hired someone, after all! We’ll unmask the “magic” of web design and learn to ask constructive questions, give useful feedback, and develop a collaborative relationship that will benefit both of your businesses.
December 20, 2015 — Join WordPress designers Sarah Whinnem, Michael Arestad, and Mel Choyce, along with moderator Mikel King, as they chat about designing modern WordPress websites and applications. What tools do they use? What are their thoughts on design trends? What do their design processes look like? What are the best techniques for designing responsively?
December 19, 2015 — In art class we were taught to copy the masters such as Da Vinci, Van Gough, and Caravaggio. This taught us skills like technique, form, & contrast. The same principle applies to learning any skill – steal from the masters and learn from it.
In this design-focused talk, we’re going to explore a few methods of sharpening our skills and intuition. Design, code, & user experience can all be improved when we take a deeper look into successful implementations. We’ll analyze some methods and steal a few things along the way – learning how to truly make it our own.
December 19, 2015 — This talk brings the focus of web design back to its core subject: How to communicate with people. You’ll learn about user research, empathy in the design process, communication patterns, real-world testing, and designing from the content out. Web design is about empathy for the user, and the users who visit your site are people. This talk will teach you how to prepare, design, and build websites with user experiences that communicate clearly and make the people who visit the site the top priority.
December 17, 2015 — One of our goals as WordPress developers should be to build user friendly websites and admin interfaces. In many cases once we’ve added custom post types, taxonomies, plugins, and other features required by a site’s design and structure, the WordPress admin panel can become unwieldy and may be confusing to site managers. In this session we’ll explore a number of strategies and techniques that will help make site administration an empowering experience for your clients. We’ll discuss modification of the admin panel, strategic use of custom fields, managing permissions, use of labels and help text, and more, all with the goal of making hand offs to non-technical website managers stress free.
December 17, 2015 — Ben Usher Smith looks at three adapted techniques used by web professionals to help projects run smoothly and successfully:
1. Finding a common language to talk about design that involves everyone.
2. Understanding how using stories can help you manage your project.
3. Adapting modern project management techniques (Agile-ish).
December 16, 2015 — Design is everywhere: including in the films of Baltimore’s filthiest person alive, John Waters. Chris Ford explains what Divine, Domino Sugar and dog poo can teach you about becoming a more confident, creative and effective designer. Let your freak flag fly!
December 14, 2015 — Typography is a foundation of design. It can make or break your website. My aim with this talk is to point out some really basic, timeless typography rules that can help beginners to avoid classic mistakes and create better themes.
The talk will be useful not only for web designers but also for WordPress users because they will get a list of things to check typography-wise when choosing a new theme for their next project.
December 12, 2015 — Integrating Accessibility (a11y) into the project process can be downright scary. In this session, I’ll cover basic web accessibility principles for web designers, developers, and site owners, then show how to turn seemingly daunting and confusing accessibility requirements into understandable, actionable tasks and techniques. The talk will cover some of the accessibility-specific WordPress plugins and themes available, as well as some quick, easy tests to integrate into design and development workflows.