Design 4 Drupal, Boston is celebrating its 11th Anniversary this year and we have a great lineup of sessions for all attendees.  An incredible selection of design-focused sessions over the years have helped keep D4D, Boston on people's list of must-attend Drupal events each year.  

 

Keynotes

User Unfriendly: A practical guide to losing control

The web is more than a technology, it was created with a mission statement. Design and code trends also come with attached philosophies, often unstated. As designers and developers, it’s important that we think clearly about the underlying implications of our products and our processes. We’ll explore various approaches and lessons from Miriam’s experience with creative process and audience interaction in theater, writing, art, and software. How do we balance creativity, expertise, and expectations? What does it really mean to be user friendly?

Uncertainty Principles

Topics to be discussed:
- Introduction: impostor syndrome – uncertainty at a personal level, and its parallel to uncertainty at a business level
- What do I mean by “uncertainty”?
- Getting comfortable with uncertainty
- How is our discomfort with uncertainty failing us?
- Where do we go from here? Well, resolving uncertainty is all about asking questions ...

UI/Visual Design

Design Systems Are Coming, Is Your Team Ready?

Design Systems have been gaining ground in site development as a means to provide design consistency and reduced time/cost for the organization. While the benefits are numerous, the organization of the team to properly roadmap and execute the work must be well structured to handle the challenges.

Design Systems: A Product that Serves Products

Really exploring what a Design System is and why they're important. Dive into how Design Systems work with Drupal and create a better overall experience. This could likely fit under Visual Design or the UX track.

Design to inspire, motivate and win.

Whether you are using Drupal or not your project will be judged on one thing: Does it inspire your audience? We know that Drupal can deliver, but are we really using the the tool to deliver memorable experiences?

Designing for Images in Drupal

Did you know you can use tools inside of Drupal to process and create derivatives of the original image? This session will review how we can ensure the focus of the image is maintained across different sizes and ratios, add filters and effects, complex watermarks, image layering, and more.

Essential Sketch skills: From branding to development

Sketch provides the flexibility and speed needed to intuitively create functional, interactive prototypes that can be sent directly to development. Consistency in branding is important, find out how Sketch offers shareable libraries that keep everyone on board with updates and branding elements.

Pattern Lab: The Definitive How-To

Hosted by Evan Lovely, the Pattern Lab PHP maintainer, creator of the original Phase2 Pattern Lab Starter that launched in 2015, and the CTO of Basalt, a company focused on building Design Systems. Evan has architected Design Systems using Pattern Lab for Drupal sites for Pinterest, MAC Cosmetics,

UX Design Principles

In this session, you will discover the foundation principles for creating successful user experiences. Participants gain experience in planning and prototyping as they are taken through a typical UX workflow, from concept to prototype.

UX/Project Strategy

Better than luck: Product building for idea people

Don't move straight from idea to code. Plan and test your idea before beginning your next project to ensure long-term success. In this session, learn the essential blueprint to ensure your product's success, all before writing any code.

Can't We All Just Get Along? Design & Development Collaboration

Myth-busting collaboration challenges between development and design.

Customer Journey Mapping: Building Sites That Make Perfect Sense to Users

We often *think* we are designing sites for our users, only to find that they are confused by the end product. Enter empathy-driven design. Using customer journey mapping, we'll understand our users more deeply than ever, leading to better UX and happier users. Put yourself in your users' shoes.

Dealing with Mental Illness, or How I Learned to Dislike Myself Less

In this session, I talk about how I live with mental illness and how it took me a long time to understand that I'm not damaged goods; I'm sick. More importantly, I'm not alone. I will go over some statistics, some resources, and some things that helped me get from where I was to where I am now.

Designing Your Purpose

I apply my experience teaching college students about design in order to clarify and explore a variety of foundational ideas in the design world. What is design? Why does design matter? What should be designed? I attempt to answer those questions and many others in new, unexpected ways.

Getting an angry wet cat to purr: turning an unhealthy client relationship into a productive one

High demands, high anxiety clients are a reality of agency life. Together we’ll discuss common challenges and the strategies that satisfy the

Great Drupal Websites Are Made Before The First Line of Code is Written

The world's greatest Agile process can't save a project that was a bad idea from the start. In this session, we will review the principles of Human Centered Design, and how applying these principles well before you even install Drupal 8 core can dramatically improve project outcomes.

It's a Match: Project Mgmt + Design Systems #SwipeRight

Nam will walk folks through what a design system is, as well as how to plan and implement one. Nam will describe a simple methodology that can be used for planning, building and maintenance in his presentation.

Leveraging Qualitative Research to Power Your Brand

In this session, we will explore the value of interviewing stakeholders and other users before rebranding, redesigning, or starting any major project work that involves your end users.

One Usability Step At a Time: Improve Your Website with a UX Audit

Start off on the right foot when planning website improvements. We'll show you how to objectively assess a UI compared to standards and best practices to uncover the most common pain points in the user journey, and how to use the results to maximize clients' design buy-in early on.

Preventing Burnout

We all deal with challenging, high-stress situations. Everyone has their limits and too much stress leads to "burnout", a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It takes a toll not only on the individual but also co-workers and teams. But there are ways to identify, treat and prevent burnout.

Rain: A New Tool to Streamline Design with Reusable Components

Want to add quality, flexibility, and consistency to a project? Component Based Design with Rain is a developer-friendly, user-centered approach. Hear about specific deliverables used to link digital strategy, design, and development together to deliver ROI to clients and engage and delight users.

So another client ruined their website. Here's why it's your fault.

In this session, I will walk through real examples of practical ways designers can equip their clients with the skills they need to be successful site builders.

Three UX Guidelines for Designing a Better Backend

Learn how to apply UX thinking to content authoring experiences and create usable systems for your clients. Attendees will walk away with three specific guidelines that they can leverage within the backend interface to optimize the authoring for their own projects.

Theming

Audit Your Theme

Themes can become a beast. Over time, features get added and new patterns are introduced. Or, you inherit a project and need to size up the theming effort. This session explores tools and methodologies to keep themes manageable and introduce concepts to establish metrics within your theme.

Introduction to CSS Grid

Still not comfortable using CSS grid? This session will provide a beginner's overview of how and when to use grid, including some conceptual tips and technical tricks.

Prevent visual regression with Backstop.JS

As development timelines get tighter and tighter the last thing you want to spend time doing is tracking down regression issues on your website.

Putting the "C" Back in CSS: Modern Techniques for Today's Website

This session will go over why plain old CSS is still relevant in a world filled with CSS-in-JS. I'll talk about why the cascade is still beneficial, why Sass is still useful on web projects, and how to use the BEM syntax to effectively write easy to read, minimal CSS.

Responsive Design 2.0

Learn the latest methodology for creating responsive layouts, combining CSS Calc, CSS custom properties, and either Flexbox or Grid, creating layouts with less code and less repetition than previously possible.

Themes: Standardize Without Compromise

Automatically selecting a theme from your last project is dangerous. Rolling your own custom theme from scratch every time is extremely inefficient. Would standardizing a theme alleviate the pain? In this session we will establish criteria to select a standard theme and create a theme plan.

Site Building/Front End

Accessibility Newbie to Ninja - 10 Steps

In this session, we'll aim to crack the nut of how to be both efficient and creative in your Drupal projects. The session will be co-led by a UX designer and Drupal developer.

An Intro to Service Workers

Progressive Web Apps are all the rage these days and we're just beginning to see the emergence of the offline web. Key to building PWAs, service workers enable features like offline fallbacks. This session will give you enough to get started building your own service worker-enabled sites.

Beg, Borrow and Steal: What can we learn about Content Admin from other CMSs?

Let's compare Drupal's admin UX to other popular CMS interfaces. What can we learn? What can we use? What can we steal?

Drupal and SEO: Designing and Building with SEO in Mind

When designing and building Drupal sites, SEO can be easily forgotten until the addition of the Metatags module. While that module is FANTASTIC, there is more to Drupal SEO than that, and we will cover how you should be thinking about SEO from design to launch!

Dynamic CSS (live-code)

The world needs more UX designers. You don't have to be good at the visual design to be part of the process, anyone can contribute to the User Experience process. This talk shares ten top essential UX methods and processes required to launch thoughtfully designed digital experiences.

From User Acceptance Testing to Automated Testing

Development workflows, continuous integration and automated testing are a hot topics, and should be. As teams rush to implement and improve their DevOps strategies, one thing hasn't changed, testing is an afterthought. This session will explore a proven strategy to implement Behat into workflow.

Frontend Architecture For Scalable Design Systems

How do you build and manage a design system's frontend architecture that is both scalable and maintainable?

Gatsby & Drupal Sitting in a Tree

Are you considering using Drupal with a modern Javascript frontend framework? Learn how to build a blazing fast statically-generated Gatsby site while using Drupal as a backend content source.

How Drupal as a Service Can Save Our Livelihoods and our Lives

Drupal's own power and complexity discourages new users and contributors. Proprietary platforms, increasingly squeeze out custom web development. Can Drupal as Software as a Service (SaaS) make it a designer's and themer's delight and make it fun and a strong, growing community again?

Introduction to React

Heard about React and want to know more? This session is for people who have heard the buzz about React, have no idea how it works and want to find out.

Layout Builder in the Real World

Is the Drupal 8's new Layout Builder UI the holy grail of editor user experience? We'll talk about the new version of Lullabot.com using Drupal 8 and layout builder that empowers our technical and non-technical editors.

Layout Builder: A paragraphs killer?

Now that Drupal 8.7 is a full release with a stable version of Layout Builder, will the paragraphs module be put to pasture? Find out from Oomph, the creators of the Oomph Paragraphs module, why our latest projects are being built with Layout Builder.

Making A Tour: Leveraging The Tour Module For A Better User Experience

Don't you wish there was a way you could give each and every user of your module's admin experience a quick and easy way to learn what each setting really did and why it was there? Good news Drupal 8 users, this is actually in core. The Tour Module has been in core since the release of Drupal 8

SEO and UX Go Hand in Hand

UX and SEO are sibling user focused disciplines whose goals are to connect people with the correct content. Search engines rank content and pages for query terms they feel the user will get the most value out of. Join us to learn the SEO and User Intent basics that every design should have.

Understanding Drupal

Learn how Drupal assembles pages by combining different concepts like nodes, content types, fields, blocks, and views.

Webforms for designers

This presentation will introduce designers to the Webform module for Drupal 8.

Case Study/Panel Discussions

5 awesome ways to streamline your process & create unique site designs

Building reusable components into a Drupal project saves time during design and development and makes it easier for the content team to manage the site later on. But once you’ve streamlined those processes, how do you carry that savings over to an entirely different project? By using a co-owned strategy, UX, design, and development process, We’ll show you how to come up with unique, strategic solutions throughout the project lifecycle with real-world examples.

Architecting an Ambitious Student Experience in Drupal 8: Cornell's Opportunity Marketplace

A case study describing how Cornell University and Message Agency transformed a complex user journey into a streamlined experience for finding study abroad opportunities and managing applications across Drupal and Salesforce.

Collecting and using feedback on Mass.gov

Find out how Mass.gov hears from site visitors, from how we designed a feedback interface to how we get that feedback to the people that need to see it.

Hot JAMS(tack): Building a Music Discovery App with Drupal and React

Learn from one developer's experience building a music discovery app with Drupal 8 and React, soundtracked by the hottest jams of the year.