Our East Coast event takes place in Providence, RI with its acclaimed arts/design community, growing tech scene, great restaurants, and convenient location between Boston and New York. ARTIFACT sets up shop at the historic Biltmore Hotel. The Grand Ballroom offers stunning views of the city and fall foliage in all directions.


Day One / September 29, 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


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

One Web for All

Session information forthcoming.

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

Designing Animation Awesomeness

Gone are the days of being stuck with nothing but hard-cut transitions on the web! The future of web design includes sophisticated animations in its interactions, and it’s up to us as designers to make them both meaningful and awesome.

In this session we’ll cover where animation can add important detail and inform UX; how to get animation ideas out of your head; and techniques for prototyping animations as part of our design process. Just like typography, colour and others, animation is an element of design that can speak volumes in our work. Considering it early in the design process means we’ll be designing the best kind of animations. The kind that can take our work beyond good, to great!

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 / September 30, 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

Jason Pamental

Type, Responsively: Design for Readability and Meaning on Any Screen

Responsive web design is one of the most significant advances in web design. But what about your type? Changing floats and widths isn't enough. We'll look at screen size, relative proportion, device norms and compatibility in order to best present our design and convey its meaning and intent across devices and screen sizes. We'll see how typographic scale changes across screen sizes, talk about measurement units and which ones work best, and look at how @font-face works and what tricks are being used by font services to serve your fonts faster. Explore the future of fonts on the web, and learn about tips & tools to ease your process and get more beautiful results.

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 / October 1, 2014

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Stephen Hay

Responsive Design Workflow (1/2 Day)

at Biltmore Hotel (room to be announced)

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

Jonathan Stark

Cross-Platform Perfection (1/2 Day)

at Biltmore Hotel (room to be announced)

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

Josh Clark

Designing for Touch (Full Day)

at Biltmore Hotel (room to be announced)

Touchscreens are everywhere now, even the desktop, and this workshop tells you what you need to know to make the most of them. Fingers and thumbs turn desktop design conventions on their head, with the ergonomics of handheld devices demanding entirely new design patterns for both web and apps. Handheld touchscreen design introduces ergonomic concerns that are new to many digital designers; it’s no longer just how your pixels look but also how they feel. At the same time, touch gestures have the opportunity to sweep away away buttons, menus and windows from mobile devices, but gesture design takes care and education. Find out how to do it the right way. This workshop takes a hands-on approach (*ducks*) to touchscreen design with practical guidelines, rich examples, exercises, and a bunch of new rules that bust the “settled” conventions of the desktop.


  • Layout and sizing guidelines for touchscreens on phones and tablets… and desktop, too.
  • Emerging gesture conventions and design patterns for both apps and web
  • How to make gestures discoverable by educating users with contextual cues
  • Techniques for making touch interactions fast and efficient
  • How to cope with the reduced real estate left in the wake of giant touch targets
  • When the best touch UI is no touch at all; how to use sensors to speed or replace touch input
  • Opportunities to push frontiers with entirely new interactions through touch

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Brad Frost

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

at Biltmore Hotel (room to be announced)

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

September 28 / 5:30 PM - 7:30

Check-in and Reception

at Bilmore Lobby Mezzanine Balcony

11 Dorrance Street, 2nd floor

Come by and meet your fellow conference-goers while you enjoy a drink in the gorgeous historic Biltmore lobby on the Mezzanine floor! Pick up your conference gear and badge, too.

September 29 / 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Opening Night Party

Sponsored by:

at Aurora

276 Westminster Street, Providence

Enjoy music from our in-house DJ, photobooth, food, and more with colleagues from the web and design community.

September 30 / 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Closing Night Social

at The Salon

57 Eddy Street, Providence

Bring ARTIFACT to a close properly with drinks, arcade games, ping pong, and your good company and conversation.