An Event Apart: Austin

Earlier this month I attended An Event Apart in Austin, Texas. It was a great conference, the content, organization, and fellow attendees were all wonderful. I really enjoyed myself and learned a lot while there. A few highlights come to mind:

  1. Jeffrey Zeldman’s talk was very timely for me. It was about how to build a career and spoke in a straightforward way about a lot of the non-task oriented challenges in working in our industry (or any probably).
  2. Jen Simmon’s talk about modern layouts on the web was very entertaining. I use that word deliberately because although the techniques and technologies she was highlighting were informative, her presentation style was just great.
  3. Cameron Moll’s talk on Cohesive UX was really great because it really demonstrated how the web can and should be thought of as a single touchpoint that should seemlessly interact with other platforms. He used some real world examples that really effectively drove his point home.
  4. Karen McGrane’s talk about content stood out to me because of her focus on decoupling content from its rendering. Headless CMSs seem like a clear step forward for managing content in a world where more and more people will need to support multiple platforms.
  5. The sessions were broad enough in their content to appeal to anyone, which was great. This isn’t a conference that will go over newbies heads. There’s something in every session I heard that would appeal to anyone.
  6. The speakers were all very accessible and it was fun to get to meet some people that can be seen as minor celebrities in the techno-centric world.
  7. I loved the fact that the conference was single track. The stress of choosing sessions at a conference and the loss-aversion it entails should not be overestimated. The program was intentional and tight. I loved it.

An Event Apart was great. I would recommend it to anyone who works on the web.

Conference Web Design