What’s not to love about Austin? Balmy weather, lots to do in town, and tacos! ARTIFACT is held in the very cool Alamo Ritz Drafthouse movie theater/restaurant, featuring comfy seats, made-to-order food, a killer location on 6th Street, and the largest screen of any tech conference we’ve ever seen.


Day One / May 5, 2014

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Jennifer Robbins

Welcome to ARTIFACT

Jennifer will get you settled in and provide an overview of what we'll be covering over the next two days.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Jeremy Keith

KEYNOTE: Enhance!

We're working on increasingly complex websites. There's a tempting to match this growth with increasingly complex solutions. But there's a real value in keeping things simple ... or at least starting things simple. If you can build a solid robust foundation, there's a good chance that your work will be future-friendly.

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Stephen Hay

Power Tools for Browser-based Design

Now that responsive design has rendered web-based design mockups more commonplace, there are plenty of tools formerly within the front-end developer's domain that can serve designers just as well. In this session, Stephen introduces you to a handful of these powerful tools and demonstrates how they can apply to browser-based design—and hopefully add a few extra to your toolbox.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Justine Jordan

Responsive Email: It's Not As Bad As You Think

Nearly four full years after Ethan's now infamous article was published, the idea of responsive email is still misunderstood at best and abhorred at worst. Having drank the "fluid + flexible kool-aid," inspired email designers have successfully applied responsive concepts within the constraints of a famously standards-adverse email universe. Set aside your cans of spam and learn how to whip your tables into submission.

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

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

James Williamson

Hooray Icon Fonts!

Icon fonts are becoming an increasingly popular way to delivery iconography for websites. They reduce HTTP requests, provide a resolution-independent way to scale icons, and are often smaller than sprites. In this session we'll explore what icon fonts are, the pros and cons of using them, how to make your own, and best practices for deploying them.

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM

Rob Huddleston
Brian Dillon
Scott Childs

CASE STUDY: Turning the Ship Overnight: A Responsive Retrofit at an Enterprise Scale

In April 2013, Capital One launched a site-wide responsive web strategy, becoming the first Top 10 bank to do so, and joining the small list of Fortune 200 companies to embrace responsive design. Learn how this effort was brought to life through firsthand accounts by the three UI Design team leaders who developed strategy, oversaw implementation, and socialized the project through the political minefield of a large-scale enterprise.

4:15 PM – 5:00 PM

Val Head

All The Right Moves: Putting Your UI In Motion

Animations are a powerful option to add both design details and functionality to your work. When used well, motion can bring delightful moments to a user interface and improve interactions. In this session we’ll look at CSS in a whole new light and use it to craft interactions that bring our web-based work to life.

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Matt Griffin

SNEAK PREVIEW: What Comes Next Is the Future: a Film About Building a Better Web

Matt Griffin and the Bearded team have been collecting interviews with some of the finest people working on the web today to discuss our changing internet landscape, how we got here, and what we're doing about it now.

The resulting documentary, What Comes Next Is the Future, collects the thoughts and experiences of web luminaries such as Ethan Marcotte, John Resig, Jeffrey Zeldman, Luke Wroblewski, Stephen Hay, Sara Wachter-Boettcher, Josh Clark, Jenn Lukas, Greg Hoy, Jennifer Robbins, Val and Jason Head, Jason Grigsby, Stephanie Hay, Kevin Hoffman, and Ben Callahan – with many more to come.

At Artifact, we'll be previewing a portion of the in-progress film, and Matt Griffin will answer audience questions.

Day Two / May 6, 2014

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Stephanie Rieger

KEYNOTE: The Emerging Global Web

The web was first conceived 25 years ago, by an Englishman. Fifteen years later, as the first crop of dot.coms were going bust, close to 60% of its users (and all Alexa "top 20" sites) came from developed nations. Fast forward to today, and the picture is strikingly different.

Almost half the Alexa "top 20" now comes from emerging economies. Economies where close to 3 billion people have yet to use the web, but thanks to mobile — won't have to wait much longer to discover it.

This presentation will introduce you to fascinating and innovative services that are re-shaping the web to serve the consumers of tomorrow. Driven by mobile, the power of personal relationships, and the breakneck pace of globalisation, these services provide a glimpse into the business models, opportunities and challenges we will face, when growing a truly global web.

9:45 AM – 10:30 AM

Eileen Webb

Wait what? How to Enhance your Responsive Process with Content Questions

Many of the challenges that come from building a responsive site are based not in the technical implementation, but in the content. All your copy is now readable on a small screen, but is it useful there? Is it still serving the site and business goals? Who's actually going to write those blog posts?

We’ll talk about some approaches that content strategists use to figure out how (and if!) content should be displayed on your site, whether you’re dealing with a heavy archive of articles or a nimble webapp. We’ll explore common techniques and questions you can integrate into your workflow that will help you and your client think through the long-term content needs and goals of a new site.

10:30 AM – 11:15 AM

Todd Parker

Leaving Pixels Behind: A Vector Workflow for Designers

The future is resolution-independence: designs that are crisp, scalable, and fast loading on every device. To get there, we need to leave our pixel-pushing days behind us and embrace the vector. In this talk, we'll cover how to decide which artwork is best as vector and when to stick with bitmaps, pros and cons of icon fonts and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), how to create and export your SVGs in Illustrator, techniques for adding SVGs to your markup and styles, and working with fallbacks for devices that don't get SVG.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Trent Walton


There's no shortage of advice when it comes to process and Responsive Web Design. In real life, however, that advice is rarely plug & play. We’ll talk about addressing the inherent variability of the web through device-agnostic design: how to specifically handle things like hostile browsers, tiny screens, slow connection speeds, and a variety of input methods all while navigating process and collaboration. Trent will share stories and anecdotes from the last year’s worth of responsive projects he and his team at Paravel have worked on.

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

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Dave Rupert

Automating Your Workflow

The front end web designer and developer tool chain has become more and more sophisticated over recent years. It's not easy to keep up especially if you have a fear of the command line. We'll take a look at just some of the things in the modern web toolbox covering things like the command line, Git, Grunt, and more.

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM

Josh Clark
Brad Frost
Jonathan Stark

Behind the Scenes: The making of TechCrunch and Entertainment Weekly

Josh Clark, Brad Frost, and Jonathan Stark share a case-study presentation of their work designing responsive websites for TechCrunch and Entertainment Weekly. This is straight talk, with a focus not only on what worked, but what didn't—and how they bounced back from gnarly pitfalls. Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at their entire process from kickoff to early comps to finished product and working code.

Spoiler: there’s lots more to responsive web design than technique and markup. It requires a dramatic shift in design perspective, strategy, process, and the way you communicate within the design team as well as with clients and stakeholders. This crew will do a show and tell about how they set expectations, crafted a new process, and used a new set of tools to deliver great responsive websites on time and on budget.

Break (4:00 PM - 4:30 PM)

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Josh Clark

CLOSING KEYNOTE: The Web Gets Real: Designing for the Internet of Things

Sure, sure, multi-screen design is a must-have as we try to cram our content into many different screens. But get ready for the next wave of design: no screen at all. As everything becomes connected, a new kind of interaction design is emerging to help us transfer not only data but behavior, control and intent between the physical objects and smart devices in our lives. With a rich trove of examples, this talk explores the passive cues and active gestures that turn us into wizards slinging bits and bytes between gadgets. Grab content from thin air and throw it into your tablet. Flick content from one device to another. Create a pied-piper cloud of data that follows you through mere proximity. This new class of physical offscreen interaction is enabled by technology that's already in our pockets, handbags, and living rooms. That means it's not a challenge of technology but of imagination. Time to start thinking in an entirely new way about what you do and where the web is headed.


Day Three / May 7, 2014

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Responsive Design Workflow (1/2 Day)

at Capital Factory

Forget fixed-width Photoshop comps and overproduced wireframes. Yesterday's web design deliverables fail to take into account the demands of responsive web design. Stephen will introduce a new workflow for today's web.


  • A content-based approach to designing for the web
  • The why and how of *low-fi* responsive wireframes
  • How to "design in text" and use plain text markup as a base for design mockups
  • How making a "linear design" can simplify the responsive design process
  • How to determine breakpoints, as well as how to visualize and design for them
  • How responsive, web-based design mockups are an effective alternative to Photoshop comps
  • How to present your web-based design mockups
  • A strategy for creating and automating a style guide for your design

This workshop is geared toward designers who aren't afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone, as well as front-end developers who are heavily involved in the design process. Designers will be encouraged to consider using code and other developer tools in order to make their work easier and their design deliverables more effective.

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Cross-Platform Perfection (1/2 Day)

at Capital Factory

Traditional RWD techniques work great in many cases, but when you really need that extra level of cross-platform polish, media queries et al will only get you so far. Follow along as Jonathan walks you through a range of tools and techniques that allow you to return highly-optimized, custom markup, css, and javascript to users on any device.

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Everything You Wanted to Know about Responsive Design...And Less! (Full Day)

at Capital Factory

Everything You Wanted to Know About Responsive Design...And Less! is a full-day workshop that takes a deep dive into the world of responsivewebdesign, covering everything including broad concepts, strategy, how responsivedesign affects process, responsivedesign patterns and principles, and development best practices and considerations.

Oh, and the "...And Less" part? Responsive design is a huge topic so unfortunately it's impossible to pack everything about it into a single day. But that doesn't mean we can't try, right? Here's what will be covered:

  • The ever-shifting landscape - The web landscape is getting more diverse every single day, and this section will address why responsivewebdesign is becoming increasingly essential
  • Approach - There's more than one way to skin this mobile web cat. We'll look at the various strategies being used to address the zombie apocalypse of devices
  • Foundations of Responsive Design - Responsive web design 101. Fluid grids, flexible media andmedia queries make up the core of responsive web design
  • Principles of Adaptive Design - What beyond layout do we need to concern ourselves with when creating great multi-device web experiences? We'll cover how ubiquity, flexibility, performance, enhancement and future-friendliness are powerful principles for making great adaptive web experiences.
  • Atomic Design - Atomic design is a methodology to help you create robust design systems. We'll go over how to break an interface down into its atomic elements, and why that matters for designing for the multi-device Web
  • Strategy and Workflow - Our new reality means that we need to adapt our process and workflow to match. This section will tackle thorny areas like convincing your clients, changing the behavior of your colleagues and designing in the Post-PSD Era.
  • Responsive Patterns - Creating adaptive interfaces is challenging, but thankfully the web community is hard at work creating flexible, downright innovative design patterns. We'll look at how to tackle layout, navigation, images, tables and more.
  • Development Best Practices - The way we build websites has changed. This section will discuss mobile-first development, conditional loading and more to help you develop future-friendly web experience

Evening Events

May 4 / 5:30 PM – 7:30

Check-in and Reception

at Capital Factory

701 Brazos Street, 16th floor

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.

May 5 / 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Opening Night Party

Sponsored by:

at Buffalo Billiards

201 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

Enjoy free arcade games, photobooth, food, and more with colleagues from the web and design community.

May 6 / 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Closing Night Party

Sponsored by:

at Ginger Man

301 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701

Celebrate the end of ARTIFACT Austin with fellow attendees at Gingerman, a local tech scene institution.