I recently had the pleasure of joining Dave Rupert, Chris Coyier, and Chris Ferdinandi on the Shop Talk Show to talk about the upcoming ARTIFACT Conference (Austin, TX on Sept. 30 – Oct. 1, 2019). ARTIFACT is an intimate gathering of web designers and developers where we discuss ways to build web sites that work for everyone.
This isn’t our first rodeo! I started ARTIFACT back in 2013 with Christopher Schmitt and Ari Stiles (the team behind the legendary In Control and CSS Dev conferences). At that time, the sudden avalanche of web-enabled mobile devices was throwing the web design community for a loop. How do we best leverage the recently-introduced Responsive Design techniques to adapt our designs to a spectrum of screen sizes?! What does that do to our workflows?! What happens to our beloved Photoshop comps?! How do we educate our clients and structure our billing cycles?! It was an exciting time when we needed to adjust our processes quickly to take on a radically new web viewing environment.
Is our work making the web better done? Not by a long shot! Now that we’ve got a handle on the low-bar requirement of getting something readable on all those screens, we can focus our energy on higher-order challenges. How do we make our sites work easier for people of all abilities? How do we make our content, products, and services welcoming to everyone? Does our code need to be so bloated and complicated? How can we make our sites simpler and faster? How can I put new tools like CSS Grid, Progressive Web Apps, static sites, and animation to good use?
To that end, this time around ARTIFACT is expanding its focus from “designing for all the devices” to “designing for all the people.” Simply put, we want a web that doesn’t leave anyone out, and we’ve curated our program to address inclusivity, performance, and the ways that new possibilities on the web affect our workflow.
Inclusive design—including accessibility, diversity, and internationalization—has been bubbling to the top of the collective consciousness of the web-crafting community. I’m incredibly encouraged to see articles, conference talks, and podcasts devoted to improving the reach of the web. At ARTIFACT, inclusivity is a major theme that winds its way throughout our program.
The web can always do better to serve the people who use it. We’re proud to provide an occasion for designers and developers who care about putting their users front and center to mingle and share ideas. And yes, there will be milkshakes! The very best milkshakes.
ARTIFACT takes place in Austin, TX from September 30 to October 1, 2019 with workshops on October 2. Group discounts are available.