Environments for Humans
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RWD Summit 2015 logo

The 4th 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 web performance for an all-new, three-day online conference, the RWD Summit 2015! Bring the experts to your desktop March 10-March 12, 2015 from 9AM to 4PM (CT).

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

Performance \\ Mar. 10, 2015 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

State of the Union for Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance 9am CT

by Tammy Everts, Solution Evangelist for SOASTA

Tammy Everts dives into latest research into the performance of the world's most popular ecommerce sites to answer the question: In the fight to offer shoppers the richest possible content, are retailers helping or hurting the user experience?

We look at web page metrics such as load time, time to interact (the amount of time it takes for a page to render its feature "above the fold" content), page size, page composition, and adoption of performance best practices. Our goal is to obtain a real-world "shopper's eye view" of the performance of leading sites, and to track how this performance changes over time.

About Tammy Everts

As a senior researcher, writer, and solution evangelist for Radware, Tammy Everts has spent years researching the technical, business, and human factor sides of web/application performance. Before joining Radware, Tammy shared her research findings through countless blog posts, presentations, case studies, whitepapers, articles, reports, and infographics for Strangeloop Networks.

Tammy continues to deepen the publicly available body of web performance and UX research by regularly contributing her insights and research findings to the Radware blog, as well as the performance blog Web Performance Today.


20 Tips for Writing Persuasive Web Content 10am CT

by Jeff Stevens, Assistant Web Manager for UF Health

Responsive Web Design presents new challenge for content strategists: determining what content is presented and in what format. While each site and situation is unique, it's clear that your content needs to be tailored specifically to your audience's needs.

In this session, Jeff will discuss twenty tips for writing targeting, persuasive content for your audiences and look at examples from current web sites to help develop best practices for your organization.

About Jeff Stevens

James. T. Kirk once said "Let Me Help." These are perhaps the most important words ever said by a human. Jeff Stevens agrees. In his thirteen year career at the University of Florida, he’s worked to bridge the gaps between students, alumni, faculty, and the public, as webmaster for financial affairs, liberal arts and sciences, and now as assistant web manager for the academic health center, where he is responsible for content strategy and usability for over 450 websites. He is passionate about cooperative development, iterative improvements, social media, and the Silver Surfer (not necessarily in that order). You can find him on the web under his alias @kuratowa.


The Path to Performance 11am CT

by Katie Kovalcin, Designer at Sparkbox

Performance is a rising requirement for building successful websites, but successful performance begins far earlier than development. So how do you get your entire team excited by it, specifically aesthetic-heavy designers? We'll discuss:

  • Why entire teams should care
  • Everyone's role in creating and maintaining a performance budget
  • How to get designers excited by performance budgets
  • How to begin incorporating performance budgets into projects

About Katie Kovalcin

Katie is a designer at Sparkbox. She is the 2014 Net Awards Young Designer of the Year, a teacher for Girl Develop It, and a writer for various publications. She strongly values collaboration with her teammates, performance in design, and beautifully smart design systems. She loves her dog and iced coffee more than anything formerly mentioned.


Container-based RWD with Element Queries 12pm CT

by Philip Zastrow, Web Designer at Sparkbox

The onset of the mobile web has challenged and changed our thinking about how we create websites. We build responsively by default, and now we are starting to build atomically, recognizing the value of the design system.

The way we handle images has even changed with the introduction of srcset and the <picture> element. To continue pushing the envelope, we'll get into the concept and application of element queries and see what happens when we localize responsive principles to the components of a page.

  • Overview of what are Element Queries
  • How Element Queries are used
  • The current state of Element Queries
  • Ways to use Element Queries now
  • How you can be involved

About Philip Zastrow

Philip is a developer specializing in frontend design, CSS, and HTML. As a member of Sparkbox, Philip works with his teammates to build a better and unconstrained web. Philip has also maintained a reputation of moving while working and wears white glasses.


Enabling HTTPS Without Sacrificing Your Web Performance 2pm CT

by Billy Hoffman, Founder and CTO of Zoompf

A fast website is a crucial component of a great user experience. So much so that a few years ago Google announced that they were using page load time as a factor in search engine rankings.

More recently, Google also announced that they would be favoring websites that use Transport Layer Security (TLS) in its search rankings. TLS encrypts a website's traffic preventing other entities from monitoring its communications.

However, adding this protection introduces more complexity to your website and how it communicates with your visitors, potentially slowing things down and negatively affecting the user experience.

In this session, Hoffman will show you how to implement TLS on your website while keeping it fast and responsive.

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.


RWD Bloat 3pm CT

by Dave Rupert, Lead developer for Paravel, Inc.

Dave Rupert shares his thoughts on website performance in responsive web design and his approach for reducing the problem.

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.


Strategy Track \\ Mar. 11, 2015 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

Responsive Web Design Adoption 9am CT

by Guy Podjarny, Web Performance Researcher and Evangelist

Responsive Web Design is hot. Practically every company I speak to, around the globe, is either going responsive, has gone responsive, or--at the very least--giving it serious consideration. So, with all this buzz, how many websites are actually responsive?

To answer this question, I ran a test on the top 10,000 websites (per Alexa), and checked if they are responsive.

About Guy Podjarny

Guy Podjarny (Guypo), is a web performance researcher and evangelist, constantly chasing the elusive instant web.

Guy focuses heavily on mobile web performance, and regularly digs into the guts of mobile browsers. Guy is also the author of Mobitest, a free mobile measurement tool, and contributes to various open source tools.

Guy was previously the co-founder and CTO of blaze.io, recently acquired by Akamai.


RWD Typography 10am CT

by Laura Franz, Author of Typography for Web Designers

Applying time-tested typographic theories and practices, today's web designers can help readers find, understand, and connect with the words, ideas, and information they seek. A crucial step in designing a successful site is understanding how and why people read online content.

We'll cover:

  • The affect of typographic elements -- line-length (measure), font, font-size, line-height, vertical spacing ("chunking"), word shape, and alignment -- on reading
  • Developing a responsive structure (a.k.a. responsive grid) based on what we know about reading
  • Styling responsive typography based on what we know about reading

About Laura Franz

Laura Franz is a Professor at UMass Dartmouth where she teaches a wide range of typography classes. Inspired by the intersection of tradition and technology, Laura shares her carefully tested web font recommendations on goodwebfonts.com. She also shares her typography knowledge via the book Typographic Web Design: How to Think Like a Typographer in HTML and CSS (Wiley); the online video course Typography for Web Designers (lynda.com); and the online video course Choosing and Using Web Fonts (lynda.com). A presenter at the 2012 HOW Magazine Interactive Design Conferences, she writes for SmashingMagazine.com and contributes to practice.Typekit.com.�


CSS Grids & Flexbox 11am CT

by Rachel Andrew, Author of CSS Anthology

This presentation will take a look at the Flexible Box Layout Module (Flexbox) and the upcoming Grid Layout Module. I'll be explaining what they are and how they work together.

After this session you should:

  • know what these two modules are
  • understand the problems they were designed to solve
  • have access to some simple examples of these modules independently and working together
  • understand when - assuming there is browser support - you should use one or the other
  • understand current and upcoming browser support and existing polyfills

About Rachel Andrew

Rachel Andrew is a web developer and Director of edgeofmyseat.com, a UK web development consultancy and creators of the small content management system, Perch. She is the author of a number of web design and development books including The CSS3 Anthology for SitePoint and the CSS3 Layout Modules Pocket Guide published by Five Simple Steps.

Rachel writes about business and technology on her blog at rachelandrew.co.uk.


Modern Layouts 12pm CT

by Jen Simmons, Host of The Web Ahead

In the early years of the web, there was a lot of variation and experimentation with where to put content on a web page.

Then, it seems we all settled into a handful of patterns and stayed there for over a decade. It wasn't until the arrival of responsive design that new ideas for page layout started appearing.

Now with new CSS properties for layout landing in browsers, we may be about to see a bigger renaissance in layout design patterns.

How can we better use the space inside the glass rectangle? What layout innovations could help users better find and focus on what they want? Take a walk through where we've been, where we might be going, and how we can better design for the true medium at hand.

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.


Letting Go of Workflow Baggage 2pm CT

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

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.

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.


Responsive Web App Patterns 3pm CT

by Geoff Kimball, Product designer at ZURB

Web Apps pose a new frontier for the responsive web and as similar as they can be to marketing sites, they require patterns of their own. We'll explore some of the patterns we've been using in Foundation for Apps.

  • Look at what patterns didn't translate from Marketing Sites
  • Building collapsing panels
  • Reorienting and reordering menus
  • Full width and full height layouts

About Geoff Kimball

My name is Geoff Kimball. I live in San Jose, California and I work at the agency ZURB as a product designer. I design and I code, but whichever I'm doing, I just want to make awesome things for people. I'm interested in the ways we incorporate technology into our lives, and my ambition is to work on products and services that affect millions of people.


Technical Track \\ Mar. 12, 2015 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

Mobile Retrofit Boot Camp 9am CT

by Jonathan Stark, Mobile Application Consultant

Can’t do a mobile-first responsive redesign of your desktop website right now? Retrofit it! In this talk, Jonathan will share a half dozen simple tips and tricks that you can use immediately to make your desktop website more mobile friendly. Each tip covers a straight-forward tweak that you can implement in an hour or less.


  • Setting appropriate input types
  • Adding password visibility toggles
  • Configuring auto-fill options
  • Making tap targets more finger friendly
  • Managing hovers on touch devices

About Jonathan Stark

Jonathan Stark literally wrote the book on building mobile apps with open web technologies. His monthly webinars on topics like HTML5, CSS, JS, responsive web design, PhoneGap, and more regularly attract 1000+ registrants. Jonathan is a sought after speaker on the subject of the mobile web and has given sold out talks on three continents.


RWD & Flexbox 10am CT

by Zoe Gillenwater, Author of Stunning CSS3 and Flexible Web Design

Flexbox and responsive web design go great together, like peanut butter and jelly. Flexbox gives you more control over the things you care about in a responsive layout--like order, alignment, and proportional sizes of your boxes--and lets the browser figure out the rest--the math-y stuff that computers are good at, like the exact dimensions that are needed on the boxes to perfectly fill the available space. You can create much more complex and reliable layouts with flexbox than you can with floats, table display, or inline-block, all with far less CSS.

In this talk, you'll learn which features of flexbox are particularly suited to responsive layouts and how you can harness them today by applying flexbox as progressive enhancement. We'll look at examples of responsive page components and patterns that you can enhance further by layering flexbox on top of other layout methods, ensuring all users get a good experience.

About Zoe Gillenwater

Zoe is a freelance graphic and web designer, developer and consultant. She is the author of the book Flexible Web Design: Creating Liquid and Elastic Layouts with CSS and the video training title Web Accessibility Principles for lynda.com, and is working on the upcoming book Stunning CSS3: A Project-based Guide to the Latest in CSS.

Zoe is currently a member of the Web Standards Project (WaSP) Adobe Task Force and was previously a moderator of the popular css-discuss mailing list. Find out more about Zoe on her blog and portfolio site at www.zomigi.com or follow her on Twitter @zomigi.


SVG is for Everybody 11am CT

by Chris Coyier, CSS-Tricks Web Design Community Curator

While SVG isn't exactly new, browser support is at the point that we can use it without much worry. Even if we do need fallbacks for older browsers, modern tools make it easy. This makes now the perfect time to learn about SVG and how it can help you in everyday web design. Perhaps the most compelling reason: SVG images look sharp at any dimension with tiny file sizes--which is great for making responsive websites responsibly.

You'll also learn how SVG helps make otherwise awkward shapes easy to make, and how to use it to make icons that are more accessible than with any other web-based icon creation technique. You'll learn how SVG can make customized complex graphics on the fly, create compelling animations and other interactions, and empower some pretty great designerly effects. We'll end by discovering a cornucopia of SVG source materials that are easy to find and even easier to work with.

About Chris Coyier

Chris is a web designer and developer. He writes about all thing web at CSS-Tricks, talks about all things web at conferences around the world and on his podcast ShopTalk, and co-founded the web coding playground CodePen.


Scaling Up (and Down) SVG 12pm CT

by Amelia Bellamy-Royds, Co-author of SVG Essentials, 2nd Ed.

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) are resolution-independent, which makes them great for responsive web sites. But getting SVG to scale just the way you want can sometimes require creative coding. SVG is both an image format and a document layout language, and it doesn’t behave quite like other graphics or like CSS documents.

This talk will describe different strategies for making SVG scale in different ways to suit your web design, without resorting to JavaScript:

  • Fitting SVG into a limited-size area
  • Scaling icons with the surrounding text
  • Scaling SVG like an image
  • Stretching separate parts of a graphic independently
  • Keeping text legible as a diagram changes size
  • Using media queries to hide or reveal details, or re-arrange entire layouts, at different scales

About Amelia Bellamy-Royds

Amelia Bellamy-Royds is the co-author of SVG Essentials, 2nd Edition (with J. David Eisenberg) and the forthcoming Using SVG with CSS3 and HTML5 (with Kurt Cagle). She’s also a freelance writer specializing in scientific and technical communication, with a particular interest in data visualization.

Amelia has a B.Sc. in Bioinformatics, a Master’s in Journalism, and an unending desire to discover new things. Online, you can find her as AmeliaBR on Codepen, Stack Exchange, or Web Platform Docs. Offline, she lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. If she isn’t at a computer, she’s probably either out on the town grooving to a great band or out in the yard digging in her vegetable garden?when it isn’t frozen solid, that is.


Vector Design Workflow with Sketch 2pm CT

by Clark Wimberly, UX at The Zebra

As the lines continue to blur between design software and browser, raster pixels seem like a worthy first casualty. With a bit of retraining, any designer or front-end worker can be poised to drop Photoshop (and pixels) forever.

Topics include:

  • artboards, pages, and slices
  • raster design gotchas
  • exporting from Sketch
  • pulling CSS from Sketch
  • getting ready to build / handoff

About Clark Wimberly

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.


RWD: The Hard Parts 3pm CT

by Matt Griffin, Founder of Bearded

Responsive web design is swiftly becoming the de facto approach for designing on the web. And in this crazy multi-device world we live in, why wouldn't it be? RWD has made our sites and our lives better, and our jobs more interesting. But frankly some things are still--well--hard.

In this presentation, Bearded founder Matt Griffin will take a close look at some of the more nuanced and challenging design problems that come up again and again in RWD, and present practical solutions. Items covered will include:

  • Data Tables
  • Navigation
  • Graphical "pickers" (e.g. state or province selection via a country map, or event seat selection by a venue map)
  • Select inputs and related user selection UI patterns

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.


Architecting Code on Large RWD Projects 4pm CT

by Ben Frain, Author of Sass and Compass for Designers

When architecting CSS for a large scale project it's a common aim to abstract visual patterns for re-use, DRY out code and normalise our designs as much as possible. However, for rapidly changing projects, I'm no longer convinced those principles should necessarily be followed to the nth degree, nor that they offer the biggest wins.

This session covers what I consider the most advantageous practices and approaches when authoring CSS for a rapidly changing, large scale web project.

About Ben Frain

Ben Frain is a front-end developer and author living in Cheshire, UK. He works for the worlds largest online gambling company, bet365.com and his books, Responsive web design with HTML5 & CSS3 and Sass and Compass for Designers are available now. You can follow him on Twitter @benfrain.


speakers from:

many fine organizations and companies

About the RWD Summit 2015

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

Satisfaction Guaranteed 100%

Buy Tickets

RWD Summit 2015 Recordings


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 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.