dsgn​day 2015


We’ve carefully selected our speakers so that we can give our attendees a combination of visual design, design process, typography, and more. The day has been designed with web designers in mind, and every session will, like last year offer practical advice that you can start using right away.

08:15Doors openBreakfast, coffee & registration
09:00Simon CollisonThe Designer’s Guide to Being Essential
09:50Susan RobertsonCollaborative Style Guides
11:10Geri CoadyHow to Design for Colour-Blindness
12:00Bram SteinThe Science of Typography
13:50Ida AalenGetting to business while making friends
14:40Stephen HayFrom Deception to Clarity
16:00Trine FalbeDesigning Web Interfaces for Kids
16:50Dan MallSo… what do I make?
17:40Drinks & discussionsAn afterparty without music, by design

Coffee, tea, lunch, and drinks afterwards were included in the ticket price.

Ruben Bos: Your host for the day

Ruben Bos registered his first when he was 12 years old, and he has been obsessed with the web ever since. As Creative Director at Mangrove his focus is on creating the best digital UX for their clients, who range from the ICRC to the Dutch Heart Foundation. Ruben regularly writes about UX design, web & app development and client work. In 2007 he published a book about webdesign aimed at clients of digital agencies. He has been a speaker at events like Appsterdam, Fronteers and SXSW interactive.

Simon Collison: The Designer’s Guide to Being Essential

“I move things around until they look right,” confessed veteran designer Milton Glaser. This is delightfully unpretentious — and Simon’s favourite quote — yet it’s not quite so easy for today’s digital designer. He or she must not only make things look right, but also embrace new methodologies, new tools, be essential to a team, be mindful of limitations, and wrestle with the suggestion that websites are all but redundant. As this practical argument will explain, there’s nothing for any of us to worry about, so long as every thing — and every one — is a module.

About Simon

Simon Collison is a designer who has worked in a variety of situations for bands, record labels, governments, polar explorers, and most other things. He’s written books about web design and regularly talks at conferences around the world. He’s a proud partner with Fictive Kin, and also organises the occasional New Adventures in Web Design events in his hometown of Nottingham. Simon is married to Geri, and owned by Bearface the cat.

Susan Robertson: Collaborative Style Guides

Ever wondered how to get a style guide into your process? Heck, even wondered what a style guide is or what it can be? Even if you don’t like to open up the text editor, you can help form and shape a guide by working with your team to make sure it works for both designers and developers. We’ll look at different types of guides and how to work in a collaborative process to make the guide work for your entire team and your process.

About Susan

Susan Robertson is a front end developer working with Fictive Kin who focuses on CSS, style guides, responsive, and accessibility. In the past, she has worked with clients such as FiftyThree, Imprint, Cloud Four, and worked for Editorially, The Nerdery, and Cambia Health.

Geri Coady: Don’t Believe Your Eyes! How to Design for Colour-Blindness

We often take colour for granted when choosing palettes for our designs, assuming the appearance will be the same for everyone. In reality, the choices that look appealing to people with good colour vision could cause serious usability problems for people affected by various forms of colour-blindness—a type of disability that occurs in a surprisingly large percentage of the population.

In this practical talk, you’ll learn how to create designs that are accessible to people with colour-blindness without sacrificing aesthetics.

About Geri

Geri Coady is a colour-obsessed illustrator and designer from Newfoundland, Canada, now living in Nottingham, UK. She is a former Art Director at a Canadian advertising agency and is now pursuing her own clients through her website at Geri loves chatting about nerdy things on Twitter and has shared her thoughts in publications such as net magazine, 24 ways, The Pastry Box Project, and Digital Arts. She’s the author of the Pocket Guide to Colour Accessibility from Five Simple Steps, a sometimes-illustrator for A List Apart, and was voted Net Magazine’s Designer of the Year in 2014.

Bram Stein: The Science of Typography

This is going to be a weird talk. You’ve probably all seen automated “design” software and algorithms come and go. They promise the sky but often restrict you and produce bland and generic results. Should you not use such software at all? What if there are tools that analyse and guide you to create better designs? This talk will explore typographic analysis and what we as designers can learn from math and computer science.

About Bram

Bram Stein is a web developer working on web font serving at Typekit. He cares a lot about typography and design on the web, and is happiest working at the intersection between design and technology. In his spare time he runs the State of Web Type and maintains a collection of JavaScript libraries for improving web typography. He writes about web typography for several magazines and is a contributing author to Smashing Book #5.

Bram regularly tweets about web typography at @bram_stein and almost never updates his personal website.

Ida Aalen: Cores & Paths: Getting to business while making friends

Regardless of what kind of work you do on the web, chances are good you’ve spent some time debating (arguing?) over what homepage should look like, or which department gets to be in the top-level navigation—perhaps forgetting that many of the site’s visitors might never even see the homepage. But nobody comes to your website just to look at your homepage or navigate your information architecture. People come because they want to get something done. With the core model, you’ll be able to include both stakeholders and people from different disciplines at an early stage, finding the sweet spot between business goals and user needs. Ida promises actual, hands-on examples and results from several projects.

About Ida

Ida Aalen is a senior UX designer at Netlife Research, a Norwegian consultancy. At least she used to be. These days she meddles with both content strategy and digital strategy. Because what good does the great form design do, if can’t find it because it’s buried in needless content and a complex information architecture?

Ida has worked in Netlife Research since 2010, and has previously worked for two of Norways largest online newspapers. She has published two books on social media.

Stephen Hay: From Deception to Clarity

There’s a fine line between persuasion and deception. On the web, that line is frequently crossed. Sometimes purposefully, sometimes unwittingly. Find out how people deceive through design, why these practices eventually fail, and how you can make your work persuasive without being deceptive.

About Stephen

Californian by birth and Dutchman by choice, Stephen is a designer, consultant and author of Responsive Design Workflow (New Riders, 2013) and contributing author to Smashing Book #3. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and has written for A List Apart and other industry publications, including his popular-but-sparingly-updated blog The Haystack. While spending an increasing amount of time leading workshops, writing, and speaking, Stephen still spends the majority of his time working with clients large and small through his consultancy, Zero Interface.

Trine Falbe: Designing Web Interfaces for Kids

Through her research with children, games and learning, which she has done for a number of years, Trine Falbe has found that the way kids use interfaces differ a lot from adult interaction patterns. They have different search patterns, language skills, cognitive skills and motor skills. And this has a big impact on the way we should design interfaces when the users are children.

This subject is important, because kids these days use online tools from before they can read. They are growing up in a new paradigm - they have not known the world before the Internet. And this impacts the way they act on, interact with, and perceive the web.

In this talk, Trine will share her insights about the way kids interact with interfaces, how it differs from the interaction patterns of adults, and provide some guidelines on how to design web interfaces for kids.

About Trine

Trine Falbe has been working professionally with Internet related things since 2001. She is a senior lecturer and currently teaches UX, IXD, UID and presentation skills at the Multimedia Designer Program in Denmark. Alongside her teaching, she works on (mostly digital) projects as a UX consultant. She has spoken at various conferences in Europe about UX and presentation skills.

Dan Mall: So… what do I make?

Reports are in from Twitter, Medium, and the like: we can’t make full comps, use Photoshop, or even utter the phrase “visual design” anymore. What’s a designer to do? Has our role evaporated? Fear not: Dan Mall will help redefine the tasks of the modern day designer in light of the multi-device world that snuck up on us.

About Dan

Dan Mall is an award-winning creative director and advisor from Philly. He’s the founder of SuperFriendly, a design collaborative that brings exquisite creative direction & design to organizations with the most complex problems involving people, content, and devices. Dan is an enthralled husband & dad and co-founder of Typedia (an encyclopedia for typefaces) and Businessology (a podcast and workshop series teaching designers how to run better businesses). He writes about design and other issues on Twitter and on his industry-recognized site,

“Thank you @dsgndayconf for making diversity a priority (you rock!).” — Trine Falbe