An Event Apart Minneapolis
August 20th, 2011 by Kyle Larson
Last week I had the opportunity to attend An Event Apart (AEA) when it stopped by Minneapolis. AEA is a conference “for people who make websites” taught by some of the best known names in web design. I had seen Jeffery Zeldman, Jason Santa Maria, Jeremy Keith, Jared Spool, Kristina Halvorson, and Luke Wroblewski speak at various trips to Austin for South by Southwest (SXSW), but all these talks were fresh content.
Every speaker did a great job and had tons of good information, but a few of the talks stood out and got me really excited about what I was learning. The talks that were the most inspirational for me were Eric Meyer’s talk about using flexible boxes, Nicole Sullivan on optimizing CSS, and Ethan Marcotte on responsive web design. The future of designing sites for multiple devices looks very promising with the combination of the flexible boxes and responsive design (media queries). The great part is that the boxes allow content to be reordered for different purposes where it has previously been difficult to do using floats (without absolute positioning). If you don’t know about media queries check out the original responsive design article.
If you’ve got a chance to attend An Event Apart I’d highly recommend it. While it didn’t have the variety, scale, or full immersion in a sea of web geeks like SXSW, it had many of its own benefits. At AEA there weren’t giant lines, missed panels that were at capacity, or most importantly – panels that didn’t have any valuable content. There wasn’t a session here that didn’t deliver! Overall it was a much more focused and professionally delivered effort (food was also great and I got to sit next to Zeldman at lunch!).
I put together a PDF of my AEA notes if you’d like to get an idea of what was covered.