Smashing Conference


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

Wednesday, 10th | Thursday, 11th

8:00AM Registration & Doors Open
9:00AM Welcome!

Good is the enemy of great: On designing, and then undesigning, a perfect link underline

It took Marcin thirty-one days to design a perfect underline for Medium, the popular publishing platform. Alright, so it was more like a few days, and the underlines are far from perfect. The point remains. And that point might be: craftsmanship is hard and it will break your heart – and learning when it’s important to keep it up, and when it’s okay to leave it behind, might be one of the harder things to master as a designer.

Let’s talk about craft, maintenance, old typewriters, how CSS gradients are always a solution to every single goddamn problem, and how much fun working on typography is in a modern web product.

Did I say “fun”? I might have meant “pain.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure I did.


Style Guides: Why bother?

Style guides often seem like a lot of work, why would you want to bother doing one? A style guide can increase performance of your site, the quickness with which you can add on new features and sections to your site or application, and it's great documentation for new team members to get up-to-speed. In this session we'll take a look at the benefits of creating and maintaining a style guide. In addition, we'll take a look at a few different case studies of style guides; how to create them, how they were useful in cutting code, and how they were used to do design changes quickly.

10:45AM Morning Break

Responsive Images are Coming to a Browser Near You

After over 2 years of community effort, we have finally reached the stage where a native responsive images solution is right around the corner. Major browsers and the Responsive Images Community Group are working hand in hand on the picture element specification, and implementations are under way.

In this session we will discuss the various use cases the specification handles, the native solution for them, the matching syntax for each one, do’s and don’ts when it comes to polyfilling, and the state of current implementation efforts.


A Web for Everybody

To be truly innovative, we must build accessible prototypes, websites, web applications and platforms. Sometimes we make incorrect assumptions about our users, which can negatively impact usability through short-sighted interaction design & execution. In this talk, learn about accessibility through modern web techniques that engage your brain as well as your compassion muscles: Sass for keyboards, focus management, accessible responsive images, text alternatives and more.

12:45PM Lunch Break (lunch provided)

The Developer’s Ampersandwich

Ever spent countless hours crafting a totally awesome type system for your beautiful design, only to have it lost in translation when it goes to development? Examine type and icon fonts through a developer lens, and learn how designers and front-end developers can work together to get everyone on the same (elegantly designed) page!


Better @font-face with Font Load Events

@font-face is an established staple in the diet of almost half of the web. According to the HTTP Archive, 47% of web sites make a request for at least one custom web font. What does this mean for a casual browser of the web? In this article, I make the argument that current implementations of @font-face are actually harmful to the performance and usability of the web. These problems are exacerbated by the fact that developers have started using @font-face for two completely different use cases: content fonts and icon fonts, which should be handled differently. But there is hope. We can make small changes to how these fonts load to mitigate those drawbacks and make the web work better for everyone.

3:45PM Afternoon Break

Easing the Pain of Designing in the Browser

Perhaps you already “design in the browser”, or you see the advantages and would like to get started. If you already design in the browser, you might feel that Photoshop is quicker and easier. If you still design in Photoshop, you could have the idea that designing in the browser seems a bit too much like development. Luckily, there are ways to make the process easier and take advantage of the real benefits of this new approach.

Join Stephen as he walks through a browser-based design from the ground up, demonstrating the thinking, tips, and tools you can use as you follow this process to a finished product.


The Web's future is offline

The Web is in most people's mind synonymous with the internet. And that of course means no internet connection, no Web. However this association is holding back how, and what, we build for the Web.

Just as native apps can, once installed, run on a device even with poor or now connectivity, it's a little known fact that so too can Web sites and apps. In this session, John will look at the technologies that enable the offline Web, including AppCache, Web Storage, and Service Workers, and more importantly the philosophy behind, and opportunity presented by the 'offline first' Web.

Whether you're a developer who build for the Web, or someone who designs Web experiences, you'll come away with a whole new understanding of what we can build using Web technologies.

5:45PM Short Break

Rolling your own CSS architecture

Over the past year or two there’s been a relatively large shift in the way we, as web developers, write and organise our front-end code, mainly HTML and CSS. No doubt it’s thanks to languages like Sass and LESS.

The big shift in the way we code has been to take the standard of coding page by page and start coding piece by reusable piece. Instead of have a load of home page related CSS and also a load of about page CSS etc… We make our code more modular and maintainable by using components and modules so all pages use the exact same HTML markup for certain areas, which then results in only one piece of CSS per component. So instead of thousands of unneeded class declarations we only have one.

8:30PM Party Time!

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