An Event Apart: Our Favorite Quotes

An Event Apart is about designers and developers coming together to share their newest and greatest ideas on how to make the web a better place. It’s one of the most exciting conferences on the circuit and luckily for us, it was hosted in our hometown of San Francisco this week.

Here are some of our favorite quotes and takeaways from the last 3 days. Hope you find them useful.

Gerry McGovern (Founder and CEO of Customer Carewords) spoke about task management and how to prioratize better.

“Worst way to design a website is to put 5 smart people in a room drinking lattes.”
“If you solve the customer’s problems, they’ll solve your problems.”
“You are what your customers think you are. Not what you think you are.”

Take a look at Gerry’s SlideShare from the talk here.

Jen Simmons (Designer) spoke about how to revolutionize your webpage with real art direction”.*

“You don’t have to make everything a rectangle anymore: object-fit property, clip-path,css shapes…etc.”
“You don’t have to put the beginning of things in the top, left corner.”

You can see Jen’s slides and her filmed talk on her website.

Krystal Higgins (UX Designer) spoke about why new users matter and how to shape your onboarding experience.

“Many people will leave or give fake information if you try to get them to sign up before they know what they’re getting.”

After her talk, Krystal received lots of ideas from her audience about experiences that allow new users to interact with a portion of a product’s value proposition before committing to an account. You can check out these ideas on her website.

Eric Meyer (Author of ‘CSS: The Definitive Guide) spoke about compassionate design.

“What if you’re wrong about the type of user you are designing your site for?”
“Always think about how your product could be used to hurt someone or plan for the worst case scenario when you design.”

Jeffrey Zeldman (A List Apart, A Book Apart, An Event Apart) spoke about how to design with web standards in 2016.

“We measure our speed. How quickly did we launch? We should measure our customers’ speed. How quickly can they achieve their goals?”
“90% of design is typography and the other 90% is whitespace”

You can find more about Jeffrey Zeldman at

Sarah Parmenter (Founder of You Know Who) spoke about practical branding.

“Happy accidents and zero research often make for the best design.”
“If you don’t define which social media channel you intend to use for user support, your users will define it for you.”
“Design research is like jury duty. It only takes one dominant personality to throw the whole result off.”

You can find more about Sarah Parmenter at You Know Who.