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Washington DC 2015

The Venue

reception area

1776 Crystal City

Address is 2231 Crystal Dr., 10th floor, Arlington, VA 22202

BD Conf DC will be held at the 1776 Crystal City. At its core, 1776 is a global incubator and seed fund that helps engineer the success of the world’s most promising startups tackling important challenges in areas like education, health, energy & sustainability, and transportation & smart cities. Official listing of BDConf on the 1776 website.
Hotel info coming soon!


October 22


Letting Go of Workflow Baggage

Ben Callahan

Pretty much every company out there already has a website. That means pretty much every customer you take on has been through a web design and development process already. That also means they'll all bring their baggage from past experiences to your project. In this session, Ben will share how the flexibility we build into our web work needs to filter into every part of what we do--from writing code to writing estimates. You'll learn techniques for managing the expectations of your customer which will result in better communication and better work.

Beyond Static: The New Design System

Lea Alcantara

In today’s mobile world, providing design deliverables within the browser creates a more productive experience for your clients and your team. And while this means a shift from Photoshop to Sublime, it isn’t just a code shift. The design process remains integral and informs every web-based deliverable. Using a real client case study, Lea will explore Bright Umbrella’s design deliverables in and out of the browser and explain how their in-house “framework” has ultimately saved them time and money.

Badass Motion Design for Interactive

Ron Edelen

My early career started as a motion designer for ABC, Discovery Channel, FoxSports, AMC and the NFL Network. Fast forward 10 years and I am now carving out best practices for motion design as a driving force for UX. This talk will focus on achieving new interactive paradigms by dissecting large and small format touch and gestures experiences for Volvo Trucks, Honeywell, BMW, Wake Tech and others.


A catered lunch will be provided so you don't have to venture far from the networking and can hang with the speakers.

Designing Together Apart

Jared Ponchot

Whether you call yourself a designer or a developer or a strategist or something else, the work we do is creative work. Many teams are now doing this work from multiple locations, spread out across cities, states and even countries. In this session we’ll look at the fundamental building blocks for creative work, and how you can create and nurture these things whether you’re working together in the same room, or in teams spread out across the world

Discussing Design

Aaron Irizarry

Collaboration requires us to share our work; to communicate our ideas with one another and to collect other’s thoughts to know whether the designs we’re producing are meeting the objectives of the project. But often we wrestle with collecting feedback. We get comments that are less then helpful because they seem irrelevant or unclear. Or we find that we’re getting feedback and reactions at inopportune times rather than points in the process where they would have been useful in informing design decisions. Our ability to critique speaks directly to the quality of the conversations we have with teammates, whether they be designers, developers, stakeholders, etc. Designers frequently complain about the quality and uselessness of the feedback they are given, but we rarely examine our own processes to identify how to collect useful feedback and make the discussions around our designs more productive. In This Talk… We’ll explore critique as both an activity and an aspect of any communication or collaboration. Attendees will walk away with: · A clearer understanding of critique is and why asking for “feedback” is problematic. · Methods for gathering useful feedback from clients and teammates. · Ideas on how to introduce team members to the idea of critique and get everyone using it. · An understanding of where critique fits within the design processes and how to incorporate it into projects.

Responsive Color

Clarissa Peterson

Color is one of the first things we learn how to do in CSS — and yet many of us don’t ever go further than typing hex numbers handed to us by a designer. But getting colors to appear on a screen is just the beginning. Discover the secrets behind CSS color values, and how to adjust color attributes like saturation and brightness using Sass. Find out how user context, perception, and color blindness affect what people see, and what you can do to make the colors on your site more accessible. Learn why colors look different on different devices and how you can ensure your color choices make your site look good for all users.

What Comes Next Is the Future

Matt Griffin

Matt Griffin (founder, Bearded) has been thinking about what it means to be a "web designer," grappling with the many (and sometimes misunderstood) disciplines that come into play. In undertaking a task no less than defining an industry, he does not dare to go it alone. Instead this talk draws heavily on video interviews shot for his documentary film What Comes Next Is the Future, capturing the thoughts and experiences of industry leaders Trent Walton (founder, Paravel), Irene Au (operating partner, Khosla Ventures), Ethan Marcotte (author, Responsive Web Design), Indi Young (founder, Adaptive Path), Brad Frost (author, Atomic Design), Yesenia Perez-Cruz, Kelly Goto (founder, gotoresearch), and many more.

Speaker Wrap-up Panel

The day's speakers will assemble for a wrap-up session where you can ask questions and they discuss various topics.

October 23


Building World Class Product

Martin Ringlein

Lessons learned within top product teams from Twitter to The White House; from ideation to launch. Short stories on working within different product teams on launching "world class product". Each story will be from a different company on a different stage of the build process from Mashable to Apple to Oracle to Twitter to The Washington Post to Adobe to The White House.

A more beautiful & accessible web for all!

Megan Zlock

With an aging population and possible legislation changes around the corner, it's more important than ever that we build a more beautiful, accessible web for **all** our users. It's a responsibility that goes beyond government agencies and 508 compliance. With a little education and creative thinking, accessibility is achievable without changing our tools, our budgets, or our designs. I'll be breaking down WCAG 2.0 Level A standards with a focus on easy, approachable ways you can build sites to be more accessible.

Element Queries

Patrick Fulton

A good comprehensive intro to Element Queries. How to use them, where to use them and some pitfalls to look out for.


A catered lunch will be provided so you don't have to venture far from the networking and can hang with the speakers.

Native or not? The untapped power of web apps.

Dan Tello

There are countless articles touting the superiority of native apps over web. “60fps", full access to hardware, “jank free”, and so on. While these points are certainly valid, I think the hype has skewed the public perception of the potential power of web-based apps. Sure, we can’t do access everything from the browser, but we can access a whole lot. We can design for a touchscreen, a motion sensor, geolocation, audio, and general mobility—instantly accessible across platforms without needing to make room on your phone for yet another app. Through a behind the scenes look at the experiment and other examples, we’ll remind ourselves of what’s possible in a web app, and take critical look at the pros (and cons) of non-native development.


Modular Front-End Development with Sass

Bermon Painter

Discover the benefits of using Sass, a CSS pre-processor, along with Compass to help streamline front-end development, collaborate with other developers, and overall to help you enjoy writing CSS. The workshop will be divided up into 4 sections: basic, intermediate, advanced and tools of the trade and other fun tricks. You’ll need to bring your laptop with Sass and Compass installed.

What You'll Learn

  • Pre-processor basics & setup
  • Sass vs. SCSS syntax
  • Basic DRY concepts with variables and nesting
  • Functions and operations
  • Expanded DRY concepts with mixins, extend, and placeholders
  • Media queries
  • Lists and new Sass 3.3 features
  • Structuring Sass files and directories
  • Using Compass
  • Other frameworks
  • Front-end performance
  • Questions and tinkering

React.js: Thinking State First

Douglas Neiner

This talk will be an introduction to React, an ultra-fast, somewhat opinionated user-interface library from Facebook. React is a joy to use and boasts great performance on both desktop and mobile devices. More than just another library, React encourages developers to take approaches that make the resulting code simpler to understand, more predictable in behavior, and easier to test. Dive into using ReactJS and learn how thinking state first will change how you approach front end javascript development.

Speaker Wrap-up Panel

The day's speakers will assemble for a wrap-up session where you can ask questions and they discuss various topics.