Environments for Humans
twitter icon facebook icon flickr icon feed icon linkedin icon email icon

Responsive Web Design Summit 2013 logo

The 2nd annual online, live responsive web design conference

In-kind Sponsors

Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web's most notable experts in Responsive Web Design and Performance for an all-new, three-day online conference, the Responsive Web Design Summit 2013! Bring the experts to your desktop April 16-April 18, 2013 from 9AM to 4PM (CT).

Don't miss this great event and purchase your tickets now!

Performance \\ Apr. 16, 2013 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

Measuring Web Performance 9am CT

by Dave Olsen, Creator of Mobile in Higher Ed

Today, a web page can be delivered to desktop computers, televisions, or handheld devices like tablets or phones. While a technique like responsive design helps ensure that our web sites look good across that spectrum of devices we may forget that we need to make sure that our web sites also perform well across that same spectrum. More and more of our users are shifting their Internet usage to these more varied platforms and connection speeds with some moving entirely to mobile Internet.

In this session we’ll look at the tools that can help you understand, measure and improve the web performance of your web sites and applications. The talk will also discuss how new server-side techniques might help us optimize our front-end performance. Finally, since the best way to test is to have devices in your hand, we’ll discuss some tips for getting your hands on them cheaply.

This presentation builds upon Dave’s “Optimization for Mobile” chapter in Smashing Magazine’s “The Mobile Book.”

About Dave Olsen

Dave Olsen has been a developer and project manager with the University Relations - Web unit at West Virginia University (WVU) for the last nine years. Over that time he has worked on and led projects that range from developing a university-wide CMS to creating award-winning marketing websites. For the last two years he has also worked on implementing mobile solutions for the University. These include SMS-based services as well as WVU's central mobile web portal.

In addition to his work at WVU, Dave has released and currently maintains the open source project Mobile Web OSP. Mobile Web OSP is designed to make it easier for higher education institutions to launch their own central mobile web portals. It is currently being used by a number of institutions around the world.

Dave shares what he's learned about mobile, as well as his reactions to mobile trends, on his blog, Mobile in Higher Ed.


CSS & Mobile Performance 10am CT

by Estelle Weyl, Author of HTML5 and CSS3 in the Real World

Your phone and tablet are likely newer (and cooler) than your laptop. Their browsers are as advanced or possibly more advanced than your computer's.

However, your phone and tablet may have similar memory and bandwidth constraints to the computer relegated to your garage, donated or recycled 5 years ago.

While your desktop and mobile users may be using equally modern browsers to access the web, the devices themselves create various constraints that you need to consider.

As we create more complex web applications, we always need to think about battery life, latency, memory and UI responsiveness limitations that come with mobile devices. In this session we'll discuss best practices to make sure your site's CSS, JS and HTML perform, no matter how your user is accessing your content.

About Estelle Weyl

Estelle Weyl started her professional life in architecture, then managed teen health programs.

In 2000, she took the natural step of becoming a web standardista. She has consulted for Kodakgallery, Yahoo! and Apple, among others.

Estelle shares esoteric tidbits learned while programming CSS, JavaScript and XHTML in her blog at http://evotech.net/blog and provides tutorials and detailed grids of CSS3 and HTML5 browser support in her blog at standardista.com.

She is the author of HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for Mobile and HTML5 and CSS3 for the Real World. While not coding, she works in construction, de-hippifying her 1960?s throwback abode.


Maximizing Performance with SPDY & SSL 11am CT

by Billy Hoffman, Founder and CTO of Zoompf

SPDY is a new protocol for delivering web content which addresses many of the short comings of HTTP. SPDY can deliver a fast browsing experience for your website visitors, especially for those using mobile devices, but can be tricky to configure properly.

In some cases, existing performance best practices, such as domain sharing, actually make performance worse when using SPDY. SPDY also requires the use of SSL, which comes with its own performance challenges when implementing it for your website.

In his talk Billy will explain how to properly configure SSL and SPDY to ensure your website stays fast and performant. Optimizations like strict OCSP stapling, HTTP Strict Transport Security, False Start, session resumption, session tickets, and preferred algorithm selection will all be discussed.

About Billy Hoffman

Billy Hoffman is the founder and CEO of Zoompf, a web performance scanning vendor.

Prior to Zoompf, Billy Hoffman was the lead researcher at web security firm SPI Dynamics and served as the research manager for Hewlett-Packard's Web Security Research Group following Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of SPI in 2007.

Billy's work in the field of web security has been featured in Wired, Make magazine, The Washington Post, Slashdot, and in various other journals and Web sites.

Billy has presented his work internationally at security conferences including RSA, Black Hat, and AJAXWorld, and is also the author of the book Ajax Security, published by Addison Wesley in December 2007.

As Billy conducted web security analysis throughout the globe, he consistently noted that the performance of most websites was suboptimal.

He also noted that this lack of optimization resulted in both poor user experiences and lost revenue for website providers.

Recognizing an opportunity to apply his extensive web development skills in this exciting new area, Billy founded Zoompf to develop technology and services specifically designed to optimize website performance.


Image Optimization Methodology 1pm CT

by Tobias Baldauf, Freelance Web Performance Consultant

Images make up 62% of average total page size: 812kb of a total 1311kb as recorded by Steve Souders' HTTP Archive as of March 2013.

As the major part of total page size, images have a high correlation of 0.71 to total page load time. This makes them an ideal target for performance optimization.

But despite the high ROI of image optimization, average total image size has grown considerably: in 2012 the total image size grew by +28%.

While reasons for this growth vary, ranging from large header designs to retina displays, its consequence is simple: image optimization is becoming ever more important.

After this talk you will be able to:

  • achive optimum compression for each image format
  • judge upcoming formats as future alternatives for your images
  • easily automate the image optimization process
  • serve HiDPI and mobile devices

About Tobias Baldauf

Tobias Baldauf is a freelance web-performance consultant with a passion for full stack web development. He created vital interfaces for European train-operations, tools for the world's largest peering exchange, gives talks on web performance and organizes the Cologne Web Performance Meetup.


Optimizing Media Queries 2pm CT

by Kimberly Blessing, Director at Think Brownstone

CSS media queries have revolutionized web design -- nowadays, if your site isn't responsive, it isn't cool. But page speed is also critically important and media queries can have a negative impact on performance and the user experience if not executed carefully. Learn how to optimize your media queries to keep your site both responsive and fast with Kimberly Blessing, who has focused on CSS architecture and performance for over 10 years.

About Kimberly Blessing

Kimberly Blessing a Web developer, standards evangelist, and technology executive who has worked with numerous organizations to successfully make the transition to Web standards.

Kimberly has helped organizations large and small in converting their table-based markup to CSS-driven, progressively enhanced layouts. Her first experience with this was at AOL, where she led standards-compliant redesigns of AOL.com in 2004 and 2005.

She also had a hand in the 2007 redesign of PayPal, where she led the team which was responsible for driving the creation and adoption of standards.

Through her consultancy, KimmieCorp, she?s helped a number of organizations do the same.

Kimberly currently leads the front-end development team at Comcast Interactive Media, which produces the comcast.net site.


Strategy Track \\ Apr. 17, 2013 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

Mobile Development on a Shoestring Connection 9am CT

by Jenifer Hanen, Mobile and Web Designer/Developer

When developing a mobile web site or a native/hybrid mobile app, how do we account for the performance constraints that our mobile app or site can't control, like connectivity, bandwidth, and battery life?

An inconsistent or bad connection can be a real issue whether one is in San Francisco or Hyderabad, an app that drains a smartphone battery can make for for a frustrated user, and why can't the app on a mobile be as perfect as it is in my dev sandbox?

Dedicated mobile minimalist, Jenifer Hanen, will discuss application design, development techniques, and a few testing tips on how to develop for mobile on a shoestring, be it a connection shoestring or a budget shoestring.

About Jenifer Hanen

Jenifer Hanen is a mobile designer and developer with strong ideation, human | user experience design, project management, information / systems design skills with 10+ years of mobile & web experience.


The New Responsive Web Design Workflow 10am CT

by Trent Walton, Founder & 1/3 of Paravel Inc.

As a designer transitioning from old school web design workflow to Responsive Web Design workflow, Trent Walton and Paravel Studios have adapted to meet the needs of "everywhere web" for their clients and personal projects. In this session, Walton shares the insights he and his company have gained by changing to this new workflow.

About Trent Walton

Trent Walton is founder and 1/3 of Paravel, a custom web design and development shop based out of the Texas Hill Country. In his spare time, he writes about what he learns at his website, and is co-creator of and contributor to TheManyFacesOf and DesignSwap.


Reports from the Trenches 11am CT

by Dan Mall, Founder of SuperFriendly

Things sure have changed! In a multi-device world where waterfall methodologies and full page comps don't cut it anymore, how are we expected to know how to build modern, responsive websites when everything we seems to be wrong?

Fear not: Dan Mall will share a few stories about how to make sense of it all, get clients to trust you more than ever, whip Photoshop back into the right tool for the job, and get back into the groove of owning the internets.

About Dan Mall

Dan Mall is an award-winning designer from Philadelphia, an enthralled husband, and new dad. As the Founder & Design Director at SuperFriendly Dan and his team defeat apathy and the forces of evil with heroic creative direction, design, & strategy.

He?s also co-founder of Typedia and swfIR, and sings/plays keyboard for contemporary-Christian band Four24. Dan was formerly Design Director at Big Spaceship, Interactive Director at Happy Cog, and a technical editor for A List Apart.


Content Strategy for the Future 1pm CT

by Sara Wachter-Boettcher, Author of Content Everywhere

Responsive. Adaptive. Mobile first. Cross-channel. We all want a web that's more flexible, future-friendly, and ready for unknowns. There's only one little flaw: our content is stuck in the past. Locked into inflexible pages and documents, our content is far from ready for today's world of apps, APIs, read-later services, and responsive sites--much less for the coming one, where the web is embedded in everything from autos to appliances.

We can't keep creating more content for each of these new devices and channels. We'd go nuts trying to manage and maintain all of it. Instead, we need content that does more for us: Content that can travel and shift while keeping its meaning and message intact. Content that's trim, focused, and clear--for mobile users and for everyone else, too. Content that matters, wherever it's being consumed.

About Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Sara Wachter-Boettcher is an independent content strategist based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she helps clients stop creating endless content and start building strategies that are sustainable, meaningful, and future-ready.

She got this way after stints as a journalist, copywriter, and web writer, during which she became increasingly dissatisfied with the chaos typically found in web content projects. In 2008, she launched the content strategy practice at her past agency, Off Madison Ave, and started working closely with IA and UX teams to build a better way forward.

Sara is the editor in chief for A List Apart magazine, where her writing has also appeared. She also contributes to Contents and blogs sporadically on her personal site, sarawb.com. You can see where she'll be speaking next on Lanyrd.

Sara has helped these organizations: Northern Arizona University, CBS, and Nike.


Universal Typography 2pm CT

by Tim Brown, Type Manager at Adobe Typekit

The web is universal and, in this talk, Tim Brown shows us how to practice typography in a way that is equally universal. Focusing on traditional typographic principles, while also embracing progressive enhancement, Tim explains how fonts, CSS, web-enabled devices, and user contexts coexist. Together, we will reevaluate what it means to successfully set type -- and inform our routine decisions about typefaces, font sizes, and white space.

About Tim Brown

Tim Brown is a designer, writer, speaker, and toolmaker, with a focus on typography. Formerly a web designer at Vassar College, he is now Type Manager for Adobe Typekit, a curator for A List Apart, and the author of Nice Web Type (@nicewebtype on Twitter).

After making Modular Scale and Web Font Specimen, Tim wrote about each in two all-time staff favorite A List Apart articles. His ideas about Molten Leading inspired jQuery plugins for fluid line-height. He has spoken at Inspire and Build, participated in AIGA Breakthroughs, and appeared on The Big Web Show with Jeffrey Zeldman.

Tim lives and works in New York State?s beautiful Hudson Valley with his wife and college sweetheart, Eileen, their two daughters, and two dogs.


RWD & Client Management 3pm CT

by Matt Griffin, Founder of Bearded

When you step into the room with a client, you are a visitor from the future. As your client's forward-thinking emissary from the world of tomorrow, it's up to you to give them the knowledge and context they'll need so that they can make informed decisions and contribute meaningfully to the project.

  • Assessing the client / designer communication gap
  • Building a common context and vocabulary for designing for the multi-device web
  • Establishing project goals, process, and expectations for responsive projects

About Matt Griffin

Matt Griffin is a designer and founder of Bearded. He has a great love for letterpress printing, which he acquired while attending Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he received a BFA in Graphic Design. Matt is an avid advocate for collaboration in design, and has been published in A List Apart and .net magazine.

He is one of the creators of Wood Type Revival, a successfully Kickstarter-funded project which seeks out lost historic wood type and converts it into digital fonts for modern designers.

Matt believes that bringing together the knowledge and expertise of designers, developers and their clients is of paramount importance for the creation of successful designs. His work is governed by the idea that design should be driven by a clear user-centric purpose, rather than by subjective aesthetic concerns.

Previous to entering the world of graphic design, Matt was an active musician in Bloomington, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois. He performed on a number of records for various bands, and toured extensively in North America and Europe. Somehow his college band got sort of famous in Japan, which is a long story.


Technical Track \\ Apr. 18, 2013 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

Fractal CSS 9am CT

by Ben Callahan, Co-founder of Build Responsively Workshop Series

As designers and developers, content authors and content strategists, it's in our nature to try and control the web in a way it doesn?t want to be controlled.

We've been doing this as long as we've been fixing widths. The past two-and-a-half years have been encouraging as our industry has taken steps--some large, some small--toward embracing the web's fluidity more fully. In this presentation, we'll examine our assumed best-practices for implementing responsive media queries and look at how these standard approaches may be flawed.

We'll explore ways to think at a more component-based level, even in how our styles are structured and applied. Additionally, we'll review some techniques to implement in this way and still serve larger layouts to user agents that don't support media queries.

We'll examine:

  • the evolution of media query implementation in RWD
  • approaches for determining breakpoints
  • a new perspective on breakpoints
  • performance concerns in removing standard systems of breakpoints

About Ben Callahan

President of Sparkbox and co-founder of the Build Responsively workshop series, Ben shares his ideas about the web on the Sparkbox Foundry and other industry blogs.

His leadership at Sparkbox has driven the team to be a pioneer in responsive web design techniques, and he continues to push for great user experiences outside the context of specific devices.


RWD with Sass+Compass 10am CT

by Sam Richard, Sr. Front End Developer for NBCUniversal's Publisher Team

Responsive Web Design is hard. Hell, modern web development is hard.

From front-end optimizations like spiriting images together and optimizing for a browsing device’s features to ensuring cross-browser compatibility for your CSS3 and, of course, writing and managing fluid grids across multiple breakpoints all based on your content.

What if I told you I could ease that pain? Enter Sass+Compass, leave happy.

About Sam Richard

Sam Richard is the Senior Front End Developer for NBCUniversal’s Publisher team where he waxes philosophical about Sass+Compass, Responsive Web Design, Drupal, Photography, and, on occasion, bacon. He also makes all of the above, occasionally dipped in chocolate He organizes the New York Responsive Web Design meetup and co-organizes the New York Sass meetup and has spoken at a number of local, national, and international camps and conferences. He also maintains a number of open source projects to make designing in browser and build responsive sites easier.


Responsive Layouts Beyond the Sidebar 11am CT

by Jen Simmons, Host of The Web Ahead

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.

About Jen Simmons

Jen Simmons is a designer who builds stuff, too. She?s best-known as the host of The Web Ahead, a weekly podcast about changing technologies and the future of the web. Creating websites since 1996, Jen is currently designing innovative websites and products using the latest technologies, pushing the envelope of what's possible. She's also an independent consultant and trainer, helping teams transition to a responsive design process and envision implementations of the HTML5 APIs.


Navigation in RWD 1pm CT

by Erick Arbe, Founder of Golf Web Design

This session covers the many options of how to format navigation when building a responsive site. It would include user research and case studies on navigation for different devices that may or may not support fixed positioning, pros and cons of dropping typical navigation into list views, modern techniques and new interesting ideas on navigation for mobile and touch devices. It would cover the CSS and JS used to deliver these concepts, as well as how they affect websites at larger desktop screen sizes.

About Erick Arbe

I am a self taught web developer. I founded Golf Web Design. I'm a huge WordPress user. I continue my education daily. My company is currently the leader in website design for golf professionals (yes, it's a niche).


Rebuilding a University Homepage to be "Responsive." Twice. In Less than a Year. 2pm CT

by Erik Runyon, Manager of Interactive Development at Notre Dame

There's no doubt Responsive Web Design is a hot topic in the web community. You know you should be considering RWD, but where do you start?

Is hacking your current site to make it "responsive" enough? What about "mobile first" and "RESS"?

Should you hide content from your mobile visitors? What pitfalls can you expect throughout the process?

In the past year, Notre Dame has faced and worked through all of these questions with two redesigns of ND.edu and numerous client projects.

During this overview of RWD we'll cover terminology, approaches, best practices, the issues we faced while building a mobile-first ND.edu and the solutions we implemented.

About Erik Runyon

A full-time web developer with University Communications at the University of Notre Dame, Eric's days are spent with my acronym laden friends HTML, CSS, JS, RoR and PHP. His evenings are spent with his wonderful wife, three kids and two vomit-happy cats.


Responsive Web Apps 3pm CT

by Dave Rupert, Lead developer for Paravel, Inc.

What is this mythical beast? Do they even exist? How is babby formed? Building a responsive web app is difficult and complex task, but we'll examine how it can be done and identify some of the challenges, solutions and needs along the way.

About Dave Rupert

Dave Rupert is the lead developer for Paravel and host of the ATX Web Show, a podcast about the local web design and development scene in Austin, TX. Most of his attention is focused on current buzzwords: HTML5 / CSS3, Javascript, Rails, Sinatra, and the Mobile Web.


About the Responsive Web Design Summit 2013

Now that the growth of the mobile Web has outpaced the desktop, Web designers and developers are at a crossroads. The race to keep up with every new device dimension and interface could easily dwarf the pain of dealing with browser quirks, but only if we let it! Take a day to discover the newest Responsive Web Design techniques and change the way you build the Web.

Why attend the online conference?
  • Attending a conference online means no travel hassle!
  • Bring the experts live to your desktop!
  • Time spent on the road is better spent instead in the office or with family, friends!
  • Sessions are developed to dive deeper into the material!
  • Ask questions directly to the speakers!
  • Can't make it the day of the conference? Watch the recordings whenever you want!
Testimonials from
This conference was a load of fun. I loved the instant feedback from the speakers and the atmosphere.

John-David Dalton
Web Application Developer
& Web Performance Summit Attendee

I love these online conferences. It's convenient and you can still learn a lot from the comfort of your home or at work.

Candi Ligutan
5by5.tv Producer

An absolutely fantastic event. Well done—will definitely be back for more!

Russ Weakley
Chair of Web Standards Group
& CSS Summit Attendee

I can honestly say I've learned more attending E4H's virtual summits than I've learned attending real life conferences.

Glenda Sims
Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque Systems, Inc
& Accessibility Summit Attendee

Satisfaction Guaranteed 100%

Buy Tickets


Once you are registered, you will receive a follow-up email to confirm your reservation. Later on, as the event draws near, you will receive a more detailed message, with the full schedule and other helpful information to help you take full advantage of your conference-going experience and plan your day.

On the day of the conference, you will receive an email invitation about 45 minutes before everything starts. Click on the enclosed link to sign in and enter the virtual meeting space. Once you are signed in, you'll be able to see and hear the presentations as they happen, ask questions as needed and chat with the other attendees if you like!

Technical Specifications: to attend The Summit, you will need a modern web browser (Firefox 1.5, IE 6 & Safari 2 or newer, for example) and a recent version of the Adobe Flash Player. Follow this link to run our system diagnostic (opens in a new window). It will let you know right away which plug-ins, if any, you will need to update before the event.

Still have questions? Drop us a line or contact us at e4h@heatvision.com if there's anything else you'd like to know.