An Event Apart Chicago has sold out. If you wanted to join us in Chicago on October 12–13 for two days of design, code, and content, we’re sorry to announce that the show has completely sold out. There’s not a spare seat to be had.
That means, if you don’t already have a ticket, you won’t be able to watch Jason Santa Maria, Kristina Halvorson, Dan Brown, Whitney Hess, Andy Clarke, Aaron Gustafson, Simon Willison, Luke Wroblewski, Dan Rubin, Dan Cederholm, and your hosts Eric Meyer and Jeffrey Zeldman share the latest ideas in design, development, usability, and content strategy.
We’re sorry about that.
But, hey. If you can’t be with us in Chicago next week, please join us in San Francisco later this year. Or come see us in 2010 at any of these fine cities:
Join Tantek Celik Wednesday 12 August at the first-ever microformats workshop to be held in New York City. An Event Apart fans get 40% off the advance price of $195 (regular $375) with discount code aea40 when you order by midnight tonight.
In the past year, microformats support has been launched and built into products and services by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Yelp and numerous other companies, as well as nearly every new social network website.
Taught by industry leader Tantek Çelik, the workshop will cover just about everything you need to know to get started with microformats.
In half a day you will learn how to add key well-established microformats to your website to benefit your users, help your website’s findability in search engines, and provide a standards based API for web developers.
You will learn not just the theory of microformats; you’ll also get down and dirty with some hands-on markup:
What are microformats? Get a good grounding in the kind of problems microformats are designed to solve… and find out where the limits of microformats are (by design).
Foundations for microformats. it’s important to understand the value of meaningful markup before implementing microformats. This will get you thinking about how you should be marking up your content using plain ol’ semantic HTML before adding any microformat enhancements.
Incremental building blocks. From simple elemental microformats that consist of nothing more than adding an attribute, right up to compound microformats that can be mashed up together, you’ll meet them all.
Smell the microformats. Just as you can develop a nose for wine tasting, you can also develop a sense for spotting which content is just crying out to be microformatted. Once you’ve learned to see these patterns, you’ll never surf the web the same way again.
Add microformats to your sites. Using a combination of exercises, this workshop will teach you to how to spice up your content with semantic goodness. If you’re up to the challenge and bring your laptop, by the end of the workshop you’ll have added microformats to your site in HTML4, XHTML, or HTML5.
Powerful user experience enhancements. Add powerful one-click contact info download and event subscription functionality for your users to easily add your site to their address books and calendars.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With both Google and Yahoo now indexing microformats and using them in search results, it’s critical to make sure your site properly marks up contacts, events, and reviews with microformats for search engines to discover, index, and display better results to users.
Armed with nothing more than a keen eye, a good seat, a fine camera, and the ability to use it, An Event Apart Seattle attendee Warren Parsons captured the entire two-day show in crisp and loving detail. Presenting, for your viewing pleasure, An Event Apart Seattle 2009 – a set on Flickr.
When you’ve paged your way through those, have a gander at Think Brownstone’s extraordinary sketches of AEA Seattle.
Join Eric Meyer and your humble host with truly special guest speakers Jason Santa Maria, Jeremy Keith, Joshua Porter, Whitney Hess, Dan Cederholm, Daniel Mall, Derek Featherstone, Aarron Walter, Scott Thomas, Heather Champ, Andy Clarke, and GoodBarry’s Brett Welch for two days of design, code, and content.
An intensely educational two-day conference for passionate practitioners of standards-based web design, An Event Apart brings together thirteen of the leading minds in web design for two days of non-stop inspiration and enlightenment. If you care about code as well as content, usability as well as design, this is the one you’ve been waiting for.
There’s a new aneventapart.com in town, featuring a 2009 schedule and a reformulated design. I designed the new site and Eric Meyer coded. (Validation freaks, only validator.nu is up to the task of recognizing the HTML 5 DOCTYPE used and validating against it; the validator.w3.org and htmlhelp.com validators can’t do this yet. Eric chose HTML 5 because it permits any element to be an HREF, and this empowered him to solve complex layout problems with simple, semantic markup. Eric, I know, will have loads more to say about this.)
Family branding concerns drove the previous design. Quite simply, the original An Event Apart site launched simultaneously with the 2005 redesign of A List Apart. Jason Santa Maria‘s stripped-down visual rethink was perfect for the magazine and is imitated, written about, and stolen outright to this day. It was a great design for our web magazine because it was created in response to the magazine’s content. It didn’t work as well for the conference because its design wasn’t driven by the kind of content a conference site publishes. But it was the right conference design for 2005 because the goal at that time was to create a strong brand uniting the long-running web design magazine with the new web design conference that sprang from it.
New goals for a new environment
In 2009, it’s less important to bolt the conference to the magazine by using the same layout for both: by now, most people who attend or have thought about attending An Event Apart know it is the A List Apart web design conference. What’s important in 2009 is to provide plenty of information about the show, since decisions about conference-going are being made in a financially (and psychologically) constricted environment. In 2005, it was enough to say “A List Apart has a conference.” Today more is needed. Today you need plenty of content to explain to the person who controls the purse strings just what you will learn and why a different conference wouldn’t be the same or “just as good.”
The redesign therefore began with a content strategy. The new design and new architecture fell out of that.
Action photos and high contrast
The other thing I went for—again, in conscious opposition to the beautifully understated previous design—was impact. I wanted this design to feel big and spacious (even on an iPhone’s screen) and to wow you with, for lack of a better word, a sense of eventfulness. And I think the big beautiful location images and the unafraid use of high contrast help achieve that.
Reinforcing the high contrast and helping to paint an event-focused picture, wherever possible I used action shots of our amazing speakers holding forth from the stage, rather than the more typical friendly backyard amateur head shot used on every other conference site (including the previous version of ours). I wanted to create excitement about the presentations these brilliant people will be making, and live action stage photos seemed like the way to do that. After all, if I’m going to see Elvis Costello perform, I want to see a picture of him onstage with his guitar—not a friendly down-to-earth shot of him taking out the garbage or hugging his nephews.
So it turns out I’ll be speaking about web design this Saturday at the sold-out AIGA Gain Conference. Yes, that conference.
[tags]AIGA, GAIN, events, speaking, design, business, conference[/tags]
An Event Apart Chicago sells out
An Event Apart Chicago, the final AEA event of 2008, has sold out. If you’ve already secured a seat for this remarkable two-day web design conference, we look forward to seeing you October 13–14 at the Sheraton Towers Chicago—along with Andy Clarke, Sarah Nelson, Robert Hoekman Jr., Jason Fried, Cameron Moll, Rob Weychert, Derek Powazek, Curt Cloninger, Jason Santa Maria, Jeffrey Veen, and your hosts, Eric Meyer and Jeffrey Zeldman (that’s me).
If you’ve missed the opportunity to join us this year, we’ll announce An Event Apart’s 2009 schedule on Wednesday, October 1, 2008. Stay tuned.
But in reading the mini-biographies of the presenters, I can’t help noticing that for all the brand directors, creative directors, Jungian analysts, and print designers, one rather significant specimen of the profession is missing. Where are the web (or if you insist, the interaction) designers?
I am probably missing someone, but I count two people with web experience, and neither gets more than 60 seconds of stage time.
In my years as a web designer, I’ve worked with dozens and met thousands of gifted, passionate design professionals who would surely love to spend three days soaking up graphic design brilliance at an event like Gain.
But if no one on the stage shares their experience—and if one of the two speakers with web experience thinks the web is a crude medium where second-rate designers create unmemorable and mediocre works—AIGA is unlikely to reach this audience.
I need hardly add that this audience makes up an ever increasing percentage of the design profession, and performs work that is global in impact.
If you exclude us from the conversation, the conversation may end up excluding you.
Comments are now closed, but you can read what other people had to say.
[tags]AIGA, webdesign, GAIN, conference[/tags]
Photos from An Event Apart San Francisco
Take a dip in the Flickr photo pool from An Event Apart San Francisco 2008. Day Two is about to begin.
Darden Studio has relaunched its website and released Jubilat, a fabulous slab serif. We’ve been beta-testing Jubilat all year; it’s my principal typeface for An Event Apart in 2008. (Last year’s principal An Event Apart typeface was Darden Studio’s Freight Sans.) New to Joshua Darden’s work? Try Birra Stout, a free font.