#ux-special + .css-day {
  June 14 & 15, 2018;
} /* SOLD OUT! */

Compagnietheater, Amsterdam

See our 2024 edition!


UX Special, Thursday 14th of June

Your MC: Ruben Bos

Ruben is a lecturer in Creative Technologies and advises companies about UX, web & app development. Before that, Ruben was Creative Director at Mangrove. His work includes launching a responsive ICRC.org. In 2007 he published a book about webdesign aimed at clients of digital agencies. He has been a speaker at events like Fronteers, SXSW interactive and host at our conferences.

From Purpose to Patterns

At the heart of every well functioning design system there's a set of design principles — a shared criteria for what good design means for a particular team and a product.

In this talk I’ll share insights from my long-term research on what makes effective design principles, how to define them, and how principles manifest through design patterns.


Alla Kholmatova

Alla is a UX and interaction designer with a nine-year experience of working on the web, for a range of products and companies. She’s particularly interested in design systems, language, and collaborative ways of working. In the last two years this interest has led her to spend a huge amount of time working on and researching the subject. She’s been sharing her insights with people through articles, workshops, projects, and most recently – a book. Alla contributes to design publications, such as A List Apart, and speaks at conferences around the world.

The Accidental Leader

Andy first came to prominence in our industry as a designer and web standards enthusiast. He was driven by a desire to improve and professionalise the industry, which is how he came to start the UKs first user experience consultancy, Clearleft. He never set out to be a design leader, but now find himself leading a team of thirty people, almost by accident.

In a quest to understand what makes a great leader, and help his friends in newly minted leadership positions, Andy started the Leading Design conference and Slack community in 2016. Over the past couple of years, Andy has interviewed dozens of prominant leaders and listened in on hundreds of Slack conversations about the art and craft of leadership.

In this session, Andy recounts his journey into leadership, shares his successes and failures, and the important lessons he’s learned on the way. The result is a talk packed full of design leadership heuristics suitable for anybody who is a leader, wants to be a leader, or has a leader.

Andy Budd

As a renowned UX Designer and CEO of Clearleft, Andy helps companies like The BBC, John Lewis and Penguin Random House with issues of digital transformation. Andy is a regular speaker at international conferences like SXSW, An Event Apart and The Next Web. He also curates the UX London, dConstruct and Leading Design conferences. In 2011, Andy co-founded the Brighton Digital Festival, a citywide celebration of digital culture attracting 40,000 visitors and over 190 events. Andy is a serial entrepreneur, dabbles with Angel investing and mentors at Seedcamp. These are just some of the reasons his company has won Netmag Agency of the Year on several occasions, and he's appeared on both the Wired 100 and BIMA 100 lists. Never happier than when he's diving some remote tropical atoll, Andy is a qualified PADI dive instructor and retired shark wrangler.

Motion & Playfulness

While everyone enjoys delightful interfaces, polishing the user experience is rarely the priority when building new products. Animations are more often than not considered as superfluous, with every interaction effect or visual feedback not strictly required to makes things work considered as low priority. However, a human-centered design process is, in fact, key to a product's success. It contributes to create products people don't only need to use, but want to use, driving up user satisfaction and engagement. In this session, Benjamin will share real-world examples and best practices on how to deliver efficient and enjoyable experiences, build a brand that conveys trust, and make customers happy.


Benjamin De Cock

Benjamin (@bdc) is a Belgian user interface designer and front-end developer at Stripe. He is also a member of the CSS Working Group as part of a broader involvement of Stripe in the W3C.

User testing on any budget

Most of us will agree user testing is a good idea. So how come we don't do it more often? In this talk, Ida will show you how to do user testing even on tiny budgets and with almost no time available. She'll share practical tips and tools, as well as hands-on examples. We've even heard she swears that everyone will find at least one technique they can start using tomorrow. Bonus? She'll share arguments to convince your boss to spend more resources on user testing.

Video, slides & resources

Ida Aalen

Ida Aalen is Chief Product Officer and co-founder of the video conferencing startup Confrere. Ida has 10 years of experience with UX and content strategy. Before joining Confrere, she worked for seven years at the consultancy Netlife Design.

She’s especially happy when she gets to work with people from other fields than her own. She’s passionate about user testing and user research, and has made it her mission to prove that there’s no such thing as no time or no resources for user testing. You can check out her writings on Medium or A List Apart - and she’s always happy to chat on Twitter.

10 Easy Ways To Irritate Your Design Team

How can good design be integrated into your business profitably? Jane will answer this question by considering the ‘anti-problem’. She will share 10 ways designers and business people can guarantee their behaviours and activities will ensure they never see eye-to-eye, their efforts will be wasted and everyone involved will know it is not their fault. You will probably recognise most of these techniques in action in your own organisation. That is the anti-pattern.

If things are going to change for the better, do the opposite.


Jane Austin

UX Specialist Jane Austin is Director of Design and User Experience at MOO, the fastest growing print business in the world.

Jane currently works as Director of Design and UX at MOO, the online print business that is passionate about great design and the difference it can make to its customers and the world. Prior to this she was Head of UX at Telegraph Media Her skills have been developed with time at Government Digital Service (GDS), IG Index and various startups and agencies.

Her biggest passion at work is for building high performance teams and demonstrating the value that design can bring to an organisation.

Build bridges, not walls—Design for users across cultures

As Internet access expands to the far corners of the world, product makers have the chance to see their work used by millions of people worldwide. To create products for international users, we must be aware of the full range of human diversity with respect to language, culture and other forms of human difference. If the product doesn't adapt to users' differences and the rapidly changing world, our work will not truly meet the users' needs. Join this talk to hear how Jenny designed for users in Europe, North- and South America, Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Video, slides

Jenny Shen

Jenny (@jennyshen) is a Senior UX/Product Designer at Toptal who creates digital products for companies across the globe. She has worked with over 20 clients, from innovative startups to brands like Neiman Marcus, eBuddy, TravelBird, Randstad, Deskbookers and more. With a passion for helping newcomers in UX to grow, she mentors designers under her mentorship program. In her spare time, she is advocating for diversity and empowering women to succeed as the founder of Ladies that UX Amsterdam, the largest women in the tech community in The Netherlands.

Data Sketches: a year of exotic data visualizations

"Data sketches" was a year-long collaboration between Nadieh Bremer and Shirley Wu, both freelancing data visualisation designers. Each month they chose a topic and visualised it in an overly elaborate & geeky manner. But besides sharing the end result, they also wrote extensively about the creation process. In this talk, Nadieh will share her most important lessons learned in the fundamental areas of data, sketching & coding. About how some months became favourites, what mistakes were made, and how they were overcome. She'll highlight that many visualizations had humble, ugly duckling beginnings, but that through many (embarrassing) iterations they were turned into unique and, hopefully, compelling results.


Nadieh Bremer

Nadieh is a graduated Astronomer, turned Data Scientist, turned self-taught Data Visualization Designer. After working for a consultancy & fintech company where she discovered her passion for the visualization of data, she's now working as a freelancing data visualization designer under the name "Visual Cinnamon". She focuses on uniquely crafted (interactive) data visualizations that both engage and enlighten its audience. Secretly, she wouldn't mind venturing into data & generative art as well.

Dirty Little Tricks From The Dark Corners of eCommerce

An average abandonment rate in eCommerce is around 65–68%. Often it’s caused by ambiguous buttons, labels or copywriting as well as severe problems related to finding or understanding products as well as slow and painful checkout experience. We can’t bring the abandonment rate to 0, but we can shave off at least 10% with some minor and straightforward optimizations.

In this talk, we’ll look into the psychology of eCommerce and common ways to improve conversion, authentication, product listing and filtering, checkout optimizations, payment flows, optimizations for mobile and new opportunies. Let’s get to the bottom of a perfect eCommerce UX: that means removing distractions, minimizing friction and avoiding disruptions and dead ends caused by the interface.


Vitaly Friedman

Vitaly loves beautiful content and does not give up easily. From Minsk in Belarus, he studied computer science and mathematics in Germany, discovered the passage a passion for typography, writing and design. After working as a freelance designer and developer for 6 years, he co-founded Smashing Magazine, a leading online magazine dedicated to design and web development. Vitaly is the author, co-author and editor of all Smashing books. He currently works as editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine in the lovely city of Vilnius, Lithuania.

CSS Day, Friday 15th of June

Your MC: Rachel Andrew

Rachel is a front and back-end web developer, author and speaker. Her 22 published books include The New CSS Layout for A Book Apart. Rachel is co-founder of the CMS Perch, is Editor in Chief of Smashing Magazine, a Google Developer Expert, and an Invited Expert to the CSS Working Group where she is co-editor of the Multi-column layout spec. In all her spare time she is learning to fly aeroplanes. She writes about business and technology on her own site at rachelandrew.co.uk.

CSS-in-JS: FTW || WTF?

Everyone's talking about CSS-in-JS. It's the Kim Kardashian of web development. And, as with Kimmie, opinions are polarised. To some, CSS in JS just makes sense: it's local to your component, it can't leak and, hey, I know how to write JavaScript and CSS is weird.

To others, CSS-in-JS is an abomination that makes them want to emulate Kimmie and "release a fragrance" in disdain. Why are scripters so afraid of the cascade? Why the hesitance about inheritance?

Let's look at what CSS seems to lack, what the CSS-in-JS libraries can teach us, so we don't do as Kim's buttocks did and "Break the Internet".

Video, slides

Bruce Lawson

Bruce is a web standards consultant for Wix Engineering. He’s been involved in web standards since 2002 (which is why he looks that bad). He was in the Web Standards Project’s Accessibility Task Force, was a member of the W3C Mobile Best Practices Working Group and co-authored the first full-length book on HTML5. Follow him @brucel, or brucelawson.co.uk

(Photo by Seb Lee-Delisle)

Box Alignment

The web is fundamentally boxes. Every element in the document tree is a box. A lot of frustration with CSS often arises from trying to wrangle all the content on the page into their proper locations. CSS has gradually expanded over the years, granting us an increasing degree of control over the alignment, positioning and layout of these boxes.

CSS is ultimately a holistic technology, in that, even though you can use properties in isolation, the full power of CSS shines through when used in combination. This talk will not only dive into how box alignment works, but also cover its interactions with other key parts of CSS layout, like display and writing-mode, as well as show how this module will continue to evolve, making layout even easier moving forward.

Video, slides

Chen Hui Jing

Hui Jing is a self-taught designer and developer with an inordinate love for CSS. Reducing lines of code in her web projects makes her extremely happy. She used to play basketball full-time and launched her web career during downtime between training sessions.

The Friction of Web Standards

In March 2017, four major browsers shipped stable, consistent CSS Grid implementations in the span of just three weeks. That's amazing-- but wait, why aren't ALL new feature debuts like that? And why does it take so darned long to ship new features after implementation is begun, like the literal years it took to ship Grid? In this talk, Eric will focus on one of the biggest and least appreciated reasons: the growing friction of specification interaction. He'll not only explore some of the challenges specification authors and implementors face, but also how we all can help overcome that friction and keep the web interoperable.

Video, slides

Eric Meyer

Eric (@meyerweb) has been a burger flipper, a college webmaster, an early blogger, one of the original CSS Samurai, a member of the CSS Working Group, a consultant and trainer, and a Standards Evangelist for Netscape. Currently, he is technical lead at Rebecca’s Gift and co-founder of An Event Apart with Jeffrey Zeldman. Among other things, Eric wrote Design For Real Life for A Book Apart and CSS: The Definitive Guide for O’Reilly, created the first official W3C test suite, and assisted in the creation of microformats. Eric lives with his family in Cleveland, Ohio, which is a much nicer city than you’ve probably heard.

Solving container queries today

Container queries (a.k.a. element queries) are a concept that behave like CSS media queries, but rather than only changing styles based on the conditions of the viewport; allow them to change based on the size of the container. The request for container queries from web developers and designers seems to be everywhere. Why then, for something that is so commonly requested, not being solved? Or isn't it…?

In this talk we'll explore the problem space that CSS based container queries creates for browsers due to the architecture of the pipeline. More importantly, we'll utilize some newer JS APIs and clever CSS techniques to solve container query use cases - because is it really the width that we want to trigger the query on?

Video, slides

Greg Whitworth

Greg works on the rendering engine (EdgeHTML) of Microsoft Edge and is an avid advocate of enriching the web platform to empower web developers. He is a member of the W3C CSS Working Group and the CSS Houdini Task Force. He really enjoys trying to go after interop between web browsers in hopes of making the amazing experiences that web developers create, just work for their users. Prior to working with Microsoft, he was a full time web developer for over a decade working on small/medium sites and web applications.

The web is ready for great graphic design

Some of the world's greatest print design was made on known canvases, with known content using known color options. On the web, we have more flexible tools. Media queries, flexible units, Grid Layout and Flexbox let us do great graphic design. With flexibility.

In this talk, I will show some of the CSS that puts great graphic design into practice on the web. Get inspired by some of the icons from the history of graphic design, while learning new properties that you can use in projects today.

Video, slides

Hidde de Vries

Hidde (@hdv) is a front-end web developer. On his blog he writes about HTML, CSS, JavaScript and accessibility. As a freelancer, he helps governments, organisations and companies with fast, scalable and accessible front-end solutions for their end users.

CSS for the next billion users

There’s been a lot of talk lately about developing for the “next billion users”, which essentially means targeting users who are coming online for the first time in developing countries. This talk will be about different ways we can write CSS for the “next billion users”. I will talk about my experience developing websites for users in Nigeria and cover areas such as performance, accessibility, and progressive enhancement.

Video, slides

Ire Aderinokun

Ire is a self-taught Frontend Developer and User Interface Designer based in Lagos, Nigeria. She currently works as a Software Developer for eyeo, the company behind products like Adblock Plus and Flattr Plus, building open source software to make a better internet. Ire specialised in all things HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but is passionate about all aspects of technology. She has written over 100 articles on these topics on her blog, bitsofco.de, and has spoken at conferences around Africa and the world.

Web Typography

Typography is what comes between the author and the reader. This is as true on the web as it is in any other medium. If a text has anything at all significant to say, it needs a typographer’s care, which will in turn be repaid by the reader’s attention. If you design websites or use CSS then you are a typographer whether you know it or not. This talk will give you will give a set of guidelines that deftly combine implement­ation details with typographic theory and set you on the road to designing beautiful and effective responsive typography.

Video, slides

Richard Rutter

Richard is a founding partner of Clearleft, a digital design consultancy based in Brighton, UK. Richard is an accomplished technical author and has spoken around the world about web typography and user experience design. In 2009, Richard co-founded the web font service Fontdeck as a way to unite web designers and type designers in introducing rich typography to the web. Richard recently crowd-funded and self-published his book, Web Typography.

SVG Filters — The Crash Course

When it comes to graphical effects on the Web, CSS has already come a long way in the last few years, with the introduction of CSS filters and blend modes a few years back. However, when compared to effects available in graphics editors such as Photoshop and the likes, CSS is still behind, by far. But SVG, on the other hand, is not that far behind.

SVG comes with a set of filter primitives that enable you to recreate Photoshop-grade effects in the browser, using a few lines of code. While the syntax and attributes of these filters may seem intimidating and not very friendly at first, once you get a grasp of how they work, you'll have a very powerful tool in your arsenal, that allows you to push the boundaries of what is possible on the Web.

In this talk, Sara is going to give you a crash course on SVG filters — why they are awesome, how they work, and examples of powerful effects you can create with them, in an friendly, easy-to-follow approach. Brace yourself, and get ready to set your imagination free and expand your creativity for what's possible on the Web today.


Sara Soueidan

Sara is a Lebanese freelance front-end web developer working with companies across the globe, building clean, responsive front-ends for Web sites and applications focused on accessibility, progressive enhancement and performance. She also runs workshops on front-end development and writes technical articles on her blog and for various big publications. Sara wrote the Codrops CSS Reference, co-authored the Smashing Book 5, and has been voted the Developer of the Year in the 2015 net awards.

“I find it amazing to see the folks who actually build the specs and browsers discussing about the inner parts of the CSS rendering.” — Eduardo Shiota