Sam Kapila is a design educator & designer in Austin, TX. She grew up on the Dutch island of Curaçao. Her design work has been recognized by national and international publications and competitions such as the American Advertising Federation and CMYK Magazine. She left the brand and advertising world, because she fell in love with web design (again) while living in awesome tech scene in Texas. Sam has spent the past few years developing and teaching Responsive Web Design and Web Typography university courses. Besides teaching, she also is a weekly guest on Transmission, and co-host of the ATX Web Show and Non-Breaking Space podcasts.
Sam will help us understand the why and how of traditional education in how it relates to the Web design and development industry. Why it so often fails to keep up with the pace of inspiration and invention.
Soul-stirring, interdisciplinary work has garnered Al Letson national recognition and devoted fans. Early in his career, Letson established himself as a heavyweight in the Poetry Slam community and went on to be a featured performer on stages across the country. Drawing on his background as a performance poet, Letson seamlessly weaves spoken word into the fabric of his theatre work. In 2008, Letson was one of three finalists out of more than 1,500 applicants to win the Public Radio Talent Quest. The Talent Quest was an effort by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Radio Exchange to find new voices and innovative programming to launch nationally on public radio. Since that time Letson’s program State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) has become one of the fastest growing shows in public radio, airing on more than 300 stations, receiving critical acclaim and national awards.
Raised in the Michigan Northwoods, schooled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and currently hunkered down in the mighty Pacific Northwest, the Draplin Design Co. proudly rolls up its sleeves on a number of projects related to the Print, Identity, Web Development, Illustration and Gocco Muscle categories. We make stuff for Coal Headwear, Union Binding Co., Field Notes, Richmond Fontaine, Nike, Wired, Timberline, Ford Motor Co., Viva Voce, Hutchco, Patagonia, Chunklet, Incase, Giro, Cobra Dogs, Burton Snowboards, Hughes Entertainment, Megafaun and even the Obama Administration, if you can believe that. We pride ourselves on a high level of craftsmanship and quality that keeps us up late into the wet Portland night.
I am a work from home entrepreneur, Founder, co-Owner, and CIO of a distributed company that has made the Inc 5000 3 consecutive years. We concentrate on providing the best, fun and even life changing events and communities. We just happen to be in the Kickball & Social Sports business, providing social sports leagues and events around the country.
In a previous life I worked in a small software company and at America Online in Quality Assurance Automation, and Instant Messenger and Connectivity Operations. Working at AOL from 1996 to 2004 gave me a front row seat to the rise of the consumer internet and the roller coaster rise and fall of AOL as it's center. While at AOL, I started the World Adult Kickball Association with a few friends as a hobby, and an excuse to be out on weeknights. Through hard work, guesswork, trial and error and a ton of fun, we built it into a business and left 'the real world' behind.
"In everything we do, life should be fun and people should be happy"
You can read this on the back of tens of thousands of WAKA Kickball & Social Sports player shirts across the country, on WAKA's core values page of their website, or you can live it every day. Meet Johnny 'Kickball' LeHane and hear how one of us (a software QA engineer) and a few friends used their spare time to re-purposed a kids game for the fresh-out-of-college set and turned it into the focal point of a thriving night life and social scene in cities across the country. Along the way, what started as a hobby became a business. Built on their terms and with a hackers mindset, they set the rules and changed them as they went, creating a product, a company and a lifestyle of fun for their customers, their staff and themselves.
Pamela is founder of Change Sciences, a user experience research and strategy firm for Fortune 500s, startups, and other smart companies. She's got some credentials (MS in Information Science from the University of Michigan, MA in Comparative Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill) and has worked with lots of big brands (Ally, Corcoran, Digitas, eMusic, IEEE, NBC Universal, McGarry Bowen, NYPL, Prudential, VEVO, Verizon, Wiley).
Plus, she has UX street cred. She's logged thousands of hours in the field trying to better understand how people use technology and run hundreds of UX studies on almost every type of site or app you could imagine. When She's not talking to strangers about their experiences online or sifting through messy data for patterns, She's busy writing and speaking about how to create better user experiences using data of all shapes and sizes. Once in a while, she can also be found re-reading a Russian classic, stacking wood, or narrating the thoughts of her dog.
So much of the news about technology tells us that the Internet makes us anxious, our smartphones take us out of the present moment, and social media ensnares us in a dopamine loop. If you look at what makes people happy, rarely is an app or a website in the mix. Happiness, it seems, is not a screen.
Yet, delight is something of a holy grail. Clever, shiny, a little self-referential and certain to win hearts and minds. Of course, the sad truth is that most online experiences are just OK, and most sites and apps don’t make people very happy. So what does make people happy? And how much does it matter anyway? Based on data from a large-scale study, combining online studies, interviews, and social experiments, this session will look at happiness online and the implications for the user experience. Come away from the talk with guiding principles for practicing happiness first design.
Wil Reynolds has dedicated his career to driving traffic to websites and analyzing the impact that traffic has on the bottom line. He founded SEER Interactive, an online marketing agency, in 2002. The company now employs 90 people with specialties including SEO, PPC, and Analytics. SEER Interactive has been among the top 100 fastest growing companies in Philadelphia for five straight years, and Wil was personally awarded the Philadelphia Small Businessperson of the Year award in 2012. In the search industry, Wil is known for dynamic, actionable presentations and his ability to connect traditional marketing goals with tangible online results.
Claire Lew is the CEO of Know Your Company, a software tool that helps business owners get to know their employees better. The software was originally built by Basecamp. (formerly 37signals). Since then, Know Your Company has helped over 5,000 people at companies like Airbnb and Kickstarter.
Claire's mission in life is to help people become happier at work. Previously, she co-founded The Starter League, a beginner-focused software school in Chicago, and founded ClarityBox, a consulting practice for CEOs. Claire is also a proud Northwestern University alum. Say hi to Claire at @cjlew23.
James White is a visual artist and designer from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, and is the one-man wrecking crew behind the Signalnoise Studio. Drawing since the age of 4, his career started very early and now with 14 years of design experience, he has worked with clients such as Nike, Google, MTV, Diesel, VH1, Wired, Universal Music, and more. On top of that, James prides himself on the many personal art projects he endeavours in order to keep evolving as a creative person, including alternative art movie posters. James has been featured in many international design magazines and has spoken at several conferences around the world.
Gabe, aka @MyLawyerGabe, is a New Media attorney, who specializes in representing web and software designers and developers. He's well known for his role in Mike Monteiro's Fuck You Pay Me Creative Mornings talk, as well as for his blog and podcast.
Gabe is a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Levine & Baker LLP, and has been recognized as Super Lawyers Rising Star six years in a row.
Before becoming a soldier of justice and right, Gabe spent some time goofing off in Santa Barbara (where he "earned" a bachelor's degree from UCSB and drove a cab for a year)... and then he basically kicked law school's ass. Gabe also runs a lot, and is a Coach for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training.
Greg Storey is President of Happy Cog where he oversees marketing, strategic partnerships, product development and events through the Bureau of Digital Affairs. He got his start in web design professionally in 1994. Since that time he has lead a number of design and development teams, creating websites for everything from NCAA sports tournaments to AAA game titles; telemedicine to Fortune 100 brands.
At the behest of his friend and mentor Jeffrey Zeldman, Greg started his own design studio, Airbag Industries LLC in 2005. Four years later, he merged Airbag with Happy Cog and joined a partnership with Jeffrey Zeldman and Greg Hoy. In 2011, he moved the Happy Cog San Francisco office to Austin, Texas where he enjoys living in a rapidly expanding metropolis.
Greg is the CEO of Happy Cog, a boutique consultancy that designs and builds beautiful and highly usable digital experiences. Happy Cog's clients include MTV, Zappos, Nintendo, Ben & Jerry's, Thomson Reuters, and many of the world's most prestigious colleges and universities.
Greg received his BA in Management from Gettysburg College, where he now serves on the college's board of Marketing and Communications. He has worked in interactive design since 1994, and has been managing teams for 15 years. Greg and industry pioneer Jeffrey Zeldman extended Happy Cog's footprint in 2006 to Philadelphia, and later expanded further west with Greg Storey in 2010. Happy Cog now has three offices and employs 25 of the industry's best and brightest.
John is a hacker, writer, entrepreneur, engineer and future venture capitalist. He has an insatiable curiosity for online technology, digital publishing and many forms of entertainment. He has worked as an engineer and executive for Fortune 50 companies and has exited a handful of bootstrapped and VC-funded startups. He serves as a partner and Chief Strategy Officer for us, setting the tone for how our organization grows and builds culture. He's also the chief hacker at his newest startup, Pressgram.
Jen Dary helps organizations work better. She is the founder of Plucky, a talent strategy consulting firm based in Brooklyn, NY. On a daily basis, Jen coaches, guides, listens closely and finds ways forward.
Nicole Cendrowski is a partner with Sandler Training. In her role, Cendrowski is responsible for business development, client coaching, and sales/sales management training. She is a highly trusted and respected professional in her field, known for her discernment and listening skills, positive energy, fearless attitude, and a keen ability to quickly get in tune to prospects' and clients' needs. Prior to joining Sandler, Cendrowski was the founder and creative director of Big Gnome, a communications and brand development firm. She also was a member of Sandler Training's President's Club, which consists of business owners, managers, and sales professionals that meet weekly for training, reinforcement and coaching.
Brian is on a mission to bring good beer to the people. UntamedBeer.com is his megaphone to the world. He's also not afraid to evangelize on a local street corner.
A Certified Cicerone and seven-time homebrew competition medal winner, Brian has been a beer blogger and brewer since 2007. Brian's devotion to the creative aspect of hand-crafted beer and the tight-knit brewing community borders on obsession. Fewer things get him more fired up than introducing people to new beer, finding the perfect beer and food pairing, or pouring beer at a festival.
When not brewing, drinking or dreaming of new recipes, Brian is pulling the strings on website and mobile app development as a project manager at Haneke Design in Tampa, Florida. Beer and mobile apps, what a pairing!
Carl Smith is an irreverant ditcher of the nine-to-five and mortal enemy of the overworked lifestyle. Owner and founder of nGen Works, Carl’s role is that of an advisor, to nGen and other companies, on how to create self-sustaining teams that perform at the highest levels. Carl has made a name for himself by creating a new framework for how we get things done, and by enabling us to realign our creative communities. When he’s not conducting business experiments with companies around the world, he’s busy sculpting a new face for the world of work... and play.