Pittsburgh Web Design Day 2012

Web Design Day 2013

October 25 & 26, 2012 Pittsburgh, PA


Aaron Draplin

draplin.com | @Draplin

Located in the mighty Pacific Northwest, the Draplin Design Co. proudly rolls up its sleeves on a number of projects related to the Print, Identity, Illustration and Gocco Muscle categories. We make stuff for Coal Headwear, Union Binding Co., Richmond Fontaine, Field Notes, Esquire, Nike, Wired, Timberline, Chunklet, Incase, Giro, Cobra Dogs, Burton Snowboards, Hughes Entertainment, Megafaun, Danava, Ford Motor Company, Woolrich and even the Obama Administration, if you can believe that. We pride ourselves on a high level of craftsmanship and quality that keeps us up late into the wet Portland night.

Our Proud List of Services: Graphic Design, Illustration, Friendship, Clipping Pathery, Garying, Jokes/Laughter, Campfire Strummin’, Gocco Dynamics, Road Trip Navigation, Trust, Guitar Tuning, Gen’l Conversation, Culture Critique, Color Correcting, Existential Wondering, Bounty Hunting, Heavy Lifting, Advice, A Warm Meal, Simple Ideas and Occasional Usage of Big Words.

Photo of Aaron by “Sandip Patel”

Aaron’s rockin’ design session is TBA, but we’ll post the details soon.

aaron draplin

Brian Warren

begoodnotbad.com | @mrwarren

Brian is a designer with over 15 years of experience designing, building, and writing for the web. For several years, he ran his own shop, Be Good Not Bad in Colorado, and in 2009 joined up with Happy Cog in Philadelphia. These days you can find Brian in sunny Seattle, as Design Lead at Onehub. Brian has worked with clients big and small including Fonts.com, McGraw-Hill, They Might Be Giants, and Mozilla.

When he's not geeking out about typography, Brian often is finding something more analog to be excited about. This usually involves brewing beer, doing crossfit, and best of all, hanging out with his family.

“Jots & Swashes”

Look around you! Type is everywhere. A passion for typography gives both designers and developers a huge leg up in their practice. Let’s talk about some ways typography can help get our designs in line, improve collaboration with our teams, and all-in-all make our sites more awesome.

brian warren

Josh Clark

globalmoxie.com | @globalmoxie

Josh Clark is the founder of Global Moxie. Josh is a designer specializing in mobile design strategy and user experience. When he’s not building friendly interfaces, he writes about them. In Josh’s books and blog, he explores humane software, clever design and the creative process. Josh is the author of four books, including Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps (O’Reilly, 2010), all of which aim to help you harness technology to make your work easier, more beautiful, more awesome.

“Beyond Mobile: Where No Geek Has Gone Before”

Everyday technology is hurtling into the realm of science fiction, even magic, with new devices that are as surprising and delightful as they are useful. Developers and designers are running hard to keep up with this warp-speed pace of tech innovation, and for now, mobile devices are at the forefront. But what's next? Trends are emerging at the hazy edges of the tech universe that hint at the future of computer interfaces, including computers without interfaces at all.

Designer Josh Clark, author of “Tapworthy”, takes you on an expedition of this final frontier. Learn how smartphones and other sensor-rich devices have changed how we approach computing, and explore how we can better design for sensors. Learn how dumber machines will make us smarter, and how our current work lays the groundwork for a future of social devices. Along the way, you’ll see how games lead the fleet, how robots can help us build our software, and why post-PC computing is about far more than phones and tablets. Finally, understand how a smart approach to technology choices now will better prepare you for the future, to boldly go where no geek has gone before.

josh clark

Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Content strategist, writer, and editor

sarawb.com | @sara_ann_marie

Sara Wachter-Boettcher is an independent content strategist, writer, and editor. She’s lived in both the Arizona desert and Pennsylvania Dutch country, but she’s still an Oregonian at heart. When she's not fretting over where her husband's academic career will make her move next, she’s helping clients design systems for flexible, adaptable, mobile-ready content.

She’s the author of Content Everywhere, out now from Rosenfeld Media; the editor in chief of A List Apart, a magazine about web content, culture, and code; a contributor to publications like Contents and the Pastry Box Project; and a speaker at web conferences worldwide.

Previously, Sara has spoken at Confab, Breaking Development, and Mobilism.

“Content and Control”

Content problems. We all have them: Your clients can't get you copy on time. Marketing's massive paragraphs break your tidy designs. Or maybe your site's overflowing with stuff, and no one's responsible for keeping track of where things are and why they're there.

Content strategy to the rescue, right? Well, sorta.

It'd be nice if a few well-placed deliverables could solve the problem. But editorial plans and style guides won't change things. Neither will structured content and a custom CMS. We can't mastermind solutions and expect them to stick in organizations full of complex people, histories, and challenges.

When it comes to improving content, it's not about fixing. It's about facilitating—helping organizations adapt, so their content can adapt with them.

If you're used to designing and building, this is a big shift. This talk will help you get started by showing you:

  • Where you can fit into the content strategy process
  • How to facilitate tough conversations and get people talking about content early and often
  • How to empower people to work together across departments, disciplines, and teams
sara wachter boettcher

Stacey Mulcahy

Technical Evangelist Microsoft

thebitchwhocodes.com | @bitchwhocodes

Stacey Mulcahy is a technical evangelist for Windows 8 with Microsoft. Previously she was the Lead Developer with Brooklyn based interactive agency Big Spaceship. She has worked at Teknision and Fuel Industries in Ottawa, Canada and IQ Interactive in Atlanta in a variety of development roles. A public speaker, technical editor and instructor, Stacey enjoys sharing her love for her work in interactive development. Stacey considers her lack of verbal filter and extreme candor just a small part of her womanly charms.

“Herding Cats 101”

This session will look at what it means to work on a multi-disciplined team. Common issues in the project process including planning, scoping, workflows, communication or team dynamics will be discussed, presenting possible solutions or obvious considerations. Starting at ideation and ending at Agile, we’ll discuss the favorite elephant in the room – process.

stacey mulcahy

Jenn Downs

UX Research at MailChimp

beparticular.com | @beparticular

Few people know MailChimp's users better than Jenn Downs, the company's first customer support specialist. A key player in creating the best email company ever, she has since helped create and shape the MailChimp Research Lab. Seeing and resolving user frustration first-hand fueled her passion for user experience and helped to hone her acclaimed “punk rock usability” style.

Outside of being a web nerd Jenn is a songwriter and loves Rock and Roll!

“Empathy Cannot Be Automated”

Working at MailChimp I've seen thousands of interactions between companies and their customers. I've seen the conflict between marketing and design when trying to automate the relationship between company and customer. Automation is a powerful tool that bosses are starting to demand we use, but used incorrectly automation can reduce empathy for the customer or email subscriber.

Using technology to manage relationships isn't a replacement for human to human contact. You still have to talk to people and you still have to treat them with respect and dignity. No person should be reduced to just a number, a twitter handle, a "targeted segment", or a blip on a chart.

Let's explore how to let the automation guide you, give you data, feed you information, but use it to be more relevant, more human and more empathetic.

jenn downs

Jen Meyercheck

UI Designer, EDMC

big {happy} wall | @bighappywall

Jen Meyercheck is a UI designer and front-end developer who spent the majority of her professional career (15+ years) in corporate marketing departments in sunny Pittsburgh. Over the past 4 years, she's expanded into UX/UI work for web software and services in a corporate IT department, and actually likes it (imagine that!). She's passionate about user experience, and spends many work hours evangelizing the cause to anyone who will listen.

A mommy blogger dropout (ain‘t nobody got time for that), Jen and her husband also own a lifestyle photography business, big {happy} wall, and enjoy making beautiful things and laughing. They currently call the North Side of Pittsburgh home, with their two kids (ages 4 and 1 1/2) and a cat who may or may not have a chemical imbalance. She also hates Twitter (gasp!).

While this is her first time as a conference speaker, Jen regularly gives presentations and training classes to large groups, and has been known to make guest appearances at her daughter's preschool, where she gives riveting and animated readings of such classics as We're Going on a Bear Hunt and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

Lightning Talk: “How to Design for the Man (and not lose your soul)”

Everyone needs a creative staff. Whether your organization has a team of one or 20, there's value in having in-house designers. But what if you're one of the countless creatives not working in an edgy, fast-paced agency setting, or freelancing for cool clients who give you complete creative freedom? What if you spend all day in a corporate cube farm? How do you find not only contentment, but also genuine professional growth, challenge, and satisfaction in a place that seems to lack the diversity you may find in an independent agency? It's possible. Let's talk.

jen meyercheck

Rob Wierzbowski

Web Developer

robwierzbowski.com | @robwierzbowski

Rob Wierzbowski is a Pittsburgh based web developer who spends his free time building tools that help people build websites. He's the co-founder of @SassyPgh, is addicted to learning, and eats Github issues for breakfast.

Lightning Talk: “Open Source Life Lessons”

Contributing to the open source projects we use, or releasing a project of our own, is one of the most rewarding things we can do as developers. But the road to Github glory can be a bumpy one. I'll share some of the lessons I've learned the hard way — by making mistakes — and give you a head start on becoming a productive member of open source society.

rob wierzbowski

Catherine Farman

Front End Developer, WebLinc

cfarman.com | @cfarm

Catherine Farman is a Front End Developer for eCommerce software firm WebLinc in Old City, Philadelphia. She spends her days building standards-based interfaces with the latest and greatest HTML, CSS, and Javascript tools for awesome clients like BHLDN and Free People. At night she teaches classes for Girl Develop It on topics ranging from Sass to Javascript to responsive design.

Lightning Talk: “5 Essential Responsive Design Patterns Made Faster with Sass”

You already build responsive websites whenever possible - high five! But can you do it faster & more flexibly? Level up by using Sass for layouts & common RWD patterns. We'll look at how to use Sass to make essential RWD patterns like navigation, fluid grids, and tables.

catherine farman

Chris Cashdollar

Vice President of Design, Happy Cog

chriscashdollar.com | @ccashdollar

Christopher Cashdollar is a graphic designer and team leader with web design experience dating back to the mid 1990s. In his career, he has provided consultative strategy and design direction for clients such as LG Mobile, Northwestern Mutual, GlaxoSmithKline, T. Rowe Price, Ford Motor Company, Verizon, and Zappos.

Chris brings a keen eye and creative focus to defining how user-experience successfully marries beautiful, purposeful design. He earned his undergraduate degree from Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design and briefly studied abroad at The University of Northampton in the United Kingdom. Exhibiting a passion for educating, Chris returned to Drexel where he’s an adjunct professor tasked with introducing students to the fundamentals of smart digital design.

A seasoned speaker, Chris enjoys sharing his experiences and work processes with professionals all over the country. He has enlightened audiences for SXSW, AIGA, RefreshPhilly, Web Design Day, and PhillyCHI.

When not working or teaching, Chris loves illustrating, painting, record shopping, and spending time with his daughter and his Italian Greyhound, Penny.

Lightning Talk: “Getting to Sign-off”

There is no magic bullet for getting your client to say "Yes, we love the design!" I'll explore the various process steps and deliverables that allow you to keep your process malleable and your customers happy.

chris cashdollar

Brad Frost

bradfrostweb.com | @brad_frost

Brad Frost is a web designer, speaker, writer, and consultant located in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA. He is the creator of This Is Responsive, a collection of patterns, resources and news to help people create great responsive web experiences. He also created Mobile Web Best Practices, a resource site that lays out considerations for creating great mobile web experiences. He curates WTF Mobile Web, a site that teaches by example what not to do when working with the mobile web. He is passionate about the Web and is constantly tweeting, writing and speaking about it.

Previously, Brad has spoken at Mobilism, An Event Apart, SXSW and Breaking Development.

ziggy frost

Matt Griffin

Principal, Bearded

bearded.com | @elefontpress

Matt Griffin is a designer and founder of Bearded. He has a great love for letterpress printing, which he acquired while attending Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he received a BFA in Graphic Design. Matt is an avid advocate for collaboration in design, and has been published in A List Apart and .net magazine.

He is one of the creators of Wood Type Revival, a successfully Kickstarter-funded project which seeks out lost historic wood type and converts it into digital fonts for modern designers.

Previously, Matt has spoken at Articfact, and the Responsive Web Design Summit.

matt griffin

Patrick Fulton

Front-End Developer, Bearded

bearded.com | @patrickfulton

Patrick Fulton is a front end developer who has been working with the web since 1998. He understands that the Internet, like the universe, is expanding at a startling rate, and that clean, semantic mark-up and content-driven, responsive layouts are the way forward. He believes in building sites that are device-agnostic, adapting layouts and experiences to a user's viewing environment.

Patrick employs the ideals of progressive enhancement in his work. This ensures solid fundamental experiences in older web browsers, while using the latest web technologies to further enrich interactions in more modern browsers.

Workshop: “Extensible Working Processes in Responsive Design ”

Like the universe itself, the Internet is constantly expanding, and the devices we use to access it are multiplying by the day. It should be clear by now that our attempts to match the pace of new Internet-enabled devices is a losing battle.

Responsive design has given us a sane path in an insane world, but keeping our footing in an ever-changing landscape requires us to embrace flux. We must plan flexible, modular solutions; with both our code and designs.

In this workshop Matt Griffin and Patrick Fulton (both of Bearded) will present a new mental model for approaching design problems on the multi-device web, as well as practical applications for our designs and code. We'll look at some of the approaches we use at Bearded to help solve these problems, and delve into the inner workings of incorporating Sass, Compass, and Breakpoint into your workflow so you can:

  • Jump-start every project with a reusable starter kit
  • Be kind to your future self with more organized, maintainable code
  • Modularize your code to make it more friendly to future expansion
  • Come up with a design process and deliverables that allow for flexibility
pat fulton