Below you'll find the schedule of the Smashing Conference Oxford. And we do have some surprises for you—but they are not included in the schedule, of course. Stay updated.

Tuesday, 15th | Wednesday, 16th

08:00 Doors Open
09:00 Welcome and Introduction!

Building Great Design Teams

Want to make great products? You'll have to build a great team first. Great teams are comprised of people with complimentary skills, but more importantly, complimentary personalities. Savvy leaders select the right personalities and skills knowing that their strength is greater together than apart. Once the team is assembled, the challenge of orchestrating diverse skills begins.

Building a great design team is an art not easily mastered. After nearly a decade of leading design teams at MailChimp, Aarron Walter has wisdom to share that will help you navigate these murky waters. In this talk, Aarron tackles the skill seeking, personality sussing, and crystal ball gazing that are part and parcel of building a killer design team.


Atoms, Modules and Other Fancy Particles: Building a Pattern Language For The Web

As many of us move away from designing pages toward designing systems, one concept keeps coming up: modularity. Modular systems promise to be scalable, maintainable, and easier to work with – but what if the “system” we end up with doesn’t perform as well as we expect? What if the result is disappointing – an overly simplistic “patched together” design, that’s not nearly as scalable and adaptable as we’d hoped?

In this talk we’ll look at what it actually means to have a resistant design system and a shared pattern language in your team. We’ll talk through the steps to get there, as well as mistakes, stumbling blocks, and lessons learnt.

11:00 Morning Break

SVG in Motion

SVG has proven itself an essential tool in our design toolkits. And one of its most exciting features is the broad range of animation effects that can be achieved due to its nature and the ability to style and script the contents of the image with CSS and JavaScript. However, how and when you can animate an SVG depends on many factors, ranging from embedding techniques, to animation gotchas, among others. Even optimizing an SVG image which is almost always recommended, has a direct effect on the SVG code and therefore influences your animation capabilities.

In this talk, we will go over everything you need to know before and during your attempt to animate SVG images. We will look at the different embedding and animation techniques, gotchas and prerequisites, and take a quick glance of the future of SVG animation.


Embracing the network

The network is intrinsically unreliable. More so, the network is out of your control as a developer. Therefore, we must design systems which embrace the unpredictability of the network and defend against it all costs. How can you prioritise the delivery of your core content? What best-practices can you use to optimise your assets? How can we design interfaces which adapt and respond to changing network conditions? And finally, how are new APIs such as ServiceWorker changing the way we think about the network?

During this talk Patrick will share his experiences delivering high-performance websites to millions of users over the past 3 years at The Guardian and Financial Times. Which – most importantly – are resilient to the network.

13:10 Lunch Break




Alice in Web Animation API Land

Animation is back in the web development tool chest! We know of declarative CSS Animations and Transitions and fully featured JavaScript animation libraries like GreenSock, but there's a third, dynamic option: the Web Animation API!

In this talk Rachel will take you on a magical journey with Alice from Wonderland to show you how this new API is used to run the CSS Animations in your browser and how you can use it to generate and manipulate animations in your project. Colorful, interactive, useful fun for all disciplines.

16:30 Afternoon Break

Look, no mediaqueries!

Media queries gave us the power to create responsive layouts that work on all kinds of screens: from small to huge. Without media queries the web would be much less flexible. But media queries are hard work. We have to decide when a breakpoint occurs, we have to decide how it looks at that breakpoint, and we have to write the code to make it so. Wouldn’t it be better if we could simply tell the content to behave? To behave in a matter that makes sense, according to a set of rules, a system, we come up with. In other words: instead of crafting every possible layout by hand, wouldn’t it be better if we go home early and let the computer do the work for us?

It turns out that CSS gives us quite some tools to create super flexible, responsive layouts that don’t use media queries. Some are old, like floats and CSS columns. Some are newer, like flexbox and viewport relative units. And some are not implemented (yet), like paged media and element queries. In this talk I explain the many ways to use these techniques to create flexible, responsive design systems.


Joining Up The Dots

Brain function, language and the World Wide Web are all systems constituted by dots - notions, signifiers, locations - joined up with lines - synapses, relationships, links. In fact, the expression "connecting up the dots" is synonymous with making and completing something meaningful.

This talk explores the Web as the ultimate outcome of our unique impulse to make systems of shared meaning, and addresses threats to the Web's public and interconnected nature from within and without its technical development. Deforestation, Hegelian dialectics, sharks, Waldorf salads, positivism and Kanye West are all part of the talk's own highly precarious, though still ultimately interrelated, content.

18:30 Closing Remarks
21:00 Party Time!

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