An Event Apart Seattle 2009

an event apartGoing to a conference or some annual event you have never been at is always a good thing. If it’s good you’re sure to learn something, meet with people and discuss web and everything that goes with it. In case it’s not so good at least you’ll change usual routine a bit and visit a new place or try out a new restaurant, serves almost as mini-break of sort.

Joking aside, we decided to go to An Event Apart from May 4th till May 5th, 2009 in Bell Harbor Conference Center this year (Seattle - Washington State). I had pretty high expectations from it and I can safely say I wasn’t disappointed which isn’t really surprising considering that An Event Apart is organized by Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer.

First day was dedicated mostly to website redesign, usability and content.

First speaker was Jeffrey Zeldman with “A Site Redesign” session that was focused on how to approach a new website design especially in regards of preserving brand that was partly built on existing design. He emphasized listening to client and being aware of content while creating design as fundamental to achieving good results. Part of his presentation I especially liked was about blog redesign and how to make content much more readable and better looking.

After Zeldman it was Eric Meyer’s turn. The master of CSS presented nice tricks that he was using for aneventapart website and browser computability problems that they had.

Personally I liked Web Form Design in Action session by Luke Wroblewski. He showed us lots of tricks about forms, how to position labels for different purposes and how to reduce time for form completition. What Luke didn’t mention was implementation of “evil” captcha in forms and how to make them more user friendly.

I would also like to mention Jared Spool and his “Revealing Design Treasures from The Amazon” session. Jared presented ideas and experiments inside Amazon and secrets that every designer should know about. He present lots of A/B testing results and whole evolution of Amazon during the last 10 years. Jared also revealed some parts of Amazon’s business model and explained how they can have lower prices of Apple products then apple.com.

Comments of Opening Night Party I would like to keep for myself :)

Second day of the conference was little more theoretical and started with Brett Welch and an idea that is behind web design and development. Brett analyzed the challenges faced by web designers and developers with client’s requests being more and more advanced and demanding.

“Change the World” by Scott Thomas revealed Scott’s experience in Obama’s campaign and approach that they had. It was really interesting to hear how they managed to engage community and coordinate big teams.

With “The Wisdom of Communities” Derek Powazek shared his experience and some practical tips and tricks how to create positive participation on your site and how to deal with negative vibrations and spammers.

All in all An Event Apart is conference that you should visit if you get a chance. I heard some really great and interesting presentations and met a lot of interesting people from the industry. Went back home really feeling that time was in Seattle was well spent.

Jeffrey Zeldman

Tags: , conferences, , , Jeffrey Zeldman,

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One Response to “An Event Apart Seattle 2009”


  1. Edwin Says:

    This was an awesome event - an event apart :)

    What was interesting, was how much we actually knew and how much we need to improve on to deliver a perfect synergy between the Client and the Project Team.
    This clearly shows that it is not just copy and paste.

    We will attend the one in 2010 in San Diego for sure.

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