There's nothing like your first time. The inaugural ARTIFACT took place in Austin, TX on May 13-15 at the very hip Alamo Drafthouse Theater. It was thrilling to see our planning come together: the amazing speakers who all brought their A-games, the marvelous venue, the excellent food, the lively parties. We were blown away by the overwhelmingly positive response.

We'd like to extend a heartfelt "thank you" to our Speakers, Sponsors, and Attendees for making the very first ARTIFACT a huge success.

What People are Saying

And Other Good Stuff


Flickr set (by Jeff Robbins)

Opening Night Party

Closing Party Photos


Day One / May 13, 2013

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Andrew Pratt

Evolving the Digital Style Guide

Many digital style guides are ancient relics, created for the designer as a way to properly dictate the use of visual elements. However, we live in a world where our digital products and services are judged not just how they look, but by what they do and how they behave. So a relevant style guide needs to speak to a larger audience, including the UX designer and developer, to create the attribute that all brands should strive for: consistency.

We will explore:
• The problems with current style guides
• What other companies are doing
• The essential components
• Where to go next

SLIDES: Pratt: Evolving the Digital Style Guide (PDF)

Lunch (12:30 PM - 1:30 PM)

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Jared Ponchot

How to Prototype Using Responsive Frameworks

It’s becoming clear that it’s preferable to transfer your designs into code as early in the process as possible, and using a grid or a framework can give you a head start. But how do you use them? Jared introduces the best options and translates a sketch to an HTML prototype before your eyes!

SLIDES: Ponchot: How to Prototype Using Responsive Frameworks (PDF)

4:15 PM – 5:30 PM

Jen Simmons
Kristin Ellington
Drew Clemens
Matt Griffin

How to Set Client Expectations

We designers aren't the only ones needing to adapt to a changing web ecosystem. Our clients and bosses also need to change their expectations around what a "site design" entails today and what deliverables will be provided during the design and development process. Every member of our panel has experience selling responsive design to clients and adjusting deliverables and payment schedules in an appropriate way. They'll share their experiences and welcome questions from you and your fellow attendees.

SLIDES: Alexander, Clemens, Griffin, Simmons: Setting Client Expectations (PDF)

Day Two / May 14, 2013

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Trent Walton

Goonies, Conquistadores, and Astronauts

The shape of the web is changing, and with a spirit of bold ingenuity we must adapt our roles, tools, and processes to forge ahead. Within all this uncertainty lies the core of why we love working on the web: the opportunity for discovery and creation.

9:45 AM – 11:15 AM


Responsive Layouts Beyond the Sidebar

When approaching the design of a responsive website, old habits might focus you on sidebars and footer regions for placing content. It's natural to assume the best responsive solutions are to be found in moving those regions around the page as whole units. But that way of thinking could lead you miss the best stuff about responsive design. Let go of the old habits, and discover how focusing on content can drive far superior responsive layouts.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Christopher Schmitt

GitHub for People Who Don't Code

As code becomes an integral part of the designer's toolbox, it becomes increasingly important for designers to "play well with others." Git is the most popular version tracking system in the web development world and you'll learn how to use it! This session gives you basic Git training including what Git is, how it looks on the command line, how to find your way around GitHub, and services that provide a friendly front-end interface.

Lunch (12:30 PM - 1:30 PM)

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Dan Rose

Photoshop’s New Groove

Not too long ago, being the best web designer around was synonymous with having serious Photoshop skills. But having to design for a bajillion devices, you've likely been told "you can't use Photoshop anymore". In a HTML5 and CSS3 world, is there any room for our old friend? Absolutely. This session is chock-full of ideas, including an in-depth look at some great tools for repurposing Photoshop in your Responsive Web Design workflow.

SLIDES: Rose: Photoshop’s New Groove (PDF)

Social Break (3:30 PM - 4:30 PM)

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Sophie Shepherd
Kevin Sharon

A New Toolbox: Secrets from Happy Cog

Kevin and Sophie reveal Happy Cog’s design process through their experience building a responsive site from beginning to end, including: kicking off the project, the collaborative design process, and the tools they tweaked along the way. Find out what worked and what they learned. In the end, it should be clear that this is a time for experimentation and finding new approaches for new tasks.

SLIDES: Shepherd, Sharon: A New Toolbox (PDF)

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Brad Frost

Closing Words:

Brad wraps up the first ever ARTIFACT Conference by reminding us that the web is about people.

VIDEO: Brad Frost, Closing Words


Day Three / May 15, 2013

10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Ben Callahan

Build Responsively Workshop (Full Day)


Build Responsively introduces workshoppers to the mindset and techniques necessary for embracing the fluid nature of the web. The full-day workshop provides a broad sweep across the major topics involved in building responsive websites, including:

  • Responsive Web Design 101
  • Web Design Process for Responsive Sites
  • Project Deliverables
  • Techniques for Structuring Code
  • Flexible Content Considerations
  • Shifting Interaction Models
  • Navigation on Responsive Sites
  • Performance Considerations
  • Responsive Thinking

Across each topic, Ben Callahan from Sparkbox will provide a good starting point of best practices, relevant examples, recent industry developments, and challenging hurdles. Throughout the day, workshoppers will have opportunity to dig into code examples and exercises, but content will also be accessible for non-developers.

We ask that all workshoppers bring at least a basic understanding of HTML/CSS, a laptop, and an opinion.

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Brad Frost

Responsive Design Patterns (1/2 Day)


As responsive web design continues to evolve, we’re confronted with difficult problems about how to create adaptive interfaces that look and function beautifully across many screen sizes and environments. How do we handle navigation that’s four levels deep? How do we deal with large data tables? How well do modules like lightboxes, tabs, embeddable maps and more translate to various contexts?

This workshop will take a detailed look at the pros, cons and considerations of many emerging responsive patterns, and will explain how to incorporate them meaningfully in your projects. You'll come away with plenty to think about and plenty to implement when you get back to work.

2:00 PM &ndash 5:00 PM

Jennifer Brook

Designing for Touch (1/2 Day)


For more than a decade and a half designers have used the same tool to make the web that we’ve used to interact with it, namely the mouse.

The emergence of mobile and touch devices presents us with both an opportunity to step away from our desks and explore new ways of thinking, creating, and working, as well as responsibility to cultivate empathy and contextual awareness for the specific needs of mobile users.

In this workshop, we’ll challenge the idea that the laptop or desktop & mouse should be our primary creation tool when designing for touch and through pairing sketching with various tools and apps available on iOS devices, we’ll tap, swipe, and pinch our way to interactive touch prototypes.

Evening Events

Sunday, May 12, 2013 / 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Check-in and Welcome Reception

at Capital Factory

Come by and meet your fellow conference-goers while you enjoy a drink and one of the best views in Downtown Austin! Pick up your conference gear and badge, too.

Monday, May 13, 2013 / 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Opening Night Party

at Gingerman

Sponsored by Sparkbox.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 / 7:00 PM   9:00 PM

Closing Party

at Buffalo Billiards

Enjoy free arcade games, photobooth, food, and more with colleagues from the Refresh Austin community group.