Day 1, November 10th

8:00 am



Serving barista coffee to get your heart started

9:00 am


John Allsopp , Web Directions

9:15 am

Magical UX and the Internet of Things

Josh Clark , IxD, Big Medium

"What if this thing was magic?" Designing for the internet of things means blessing everyday objects, places, even people with extraordinary abilities—requiring designers, too, to break with the ordinary. Designing for this new medium is less a challenge of technology than imagination. Sharing a rich set of examples, designer and author Josh Clark explores the new experiences that are possible when ANYTHING can be an interface. The digital manipulation of physical objects (and vice versa) effectively turns all of us into wizards. Sling content between devices, bring objects to life from a distance, weave "spells" by combining speech and gesture. But magic doesn't have to be otherworldly; the UX of connected devices should build on the natural physical interactions we have everyday with the world around us. The new UX must bend technology to the way we live our lives, not the reverse.

10:15 am

Morning Break


Fully catered, with great coffee, and the chance to connect with your peers

10:45 am

Tragic Design: The real cost of bad design & how to fix it

Jonathan Shariat , Product Designer

Jonathan will be discussing the concepts in his book Tragic Design, published by O'Reilly Media. Bad design can have very real costs outside of just lost revenue. Bad design can harm physically, emotionally, by excluding, and by causing injustice. Jonathan challenges designers to rise to the challenge to avoid and fix these problems and put their design skills to use for good!

11:35 am

Beyond Helvetica–everything you always wanted to know about fonts* But were too afraid to ask

Wayne Thompson , Founder, Australian Type Foundry

Fonts, particularly for Web and digital design have typically been a simple affair. We choose among the fonts most likely to be on most user's devices (with fallbacks to "similar" fonts to ensure coverage of as many devices as possible). The rise of Web fonts, and services like TypeKit opened up a far wider palette of possibilities. But how much do you really know about the fonts you're choosing?

Wayne Thompson knows about fonts, and typography. He's designed numerous typefaces, and custom type for leading global brands. In this session he'll bring you up to speed with what you need to know about fonts as a user of them. About various font formats, hoe they actually work on screen, and how to use this knowledge to improve the legibility of your type. Not only fascinating in its own right, the quality of your work will improve though the application of Wayne's ideas.

12:00 pm

Design by numbers: how to practice effective data-informed design

Lucinda Burtt , Head of Product Design, Fairfax Media

“Data-driven” is the adjective on everyone’s lips—but can this truly apply to the creative space? Can we solely rely on numbers and evidence-based decision making to shape great product experience?

This talk will cover the two sides of data-informed design—both qualitative and quantitative approaches—with practical insight into key techniques including MVT and Design Thinking principles. Through a product and design lens, we’ll discuss how to achieve user-centred outcomes, deliver compelling experiences and collaborate with creative teams on product optimisation.

12:25 pm

Making things for people to do things with things we're preserving for them

Seb Chan , CXO, ACMI

Museums are great storehouses of knowledge, and, importantly, things. They are also, when they are at their best - curiosity engines. Many have and continue to be radically reshaped by the opening up that the internet has brought with it. Seb Chan will talk about his work over the last decade in helping different types of museum transform and reimagine their possibilities through visitor-centric, technology-enhanced design interventions.

12:45 pm



We've got something very special lined up for lunch. But you'll have to come to find out,

1:45 pm

Designing Civility

Caroline Sinders , Machine Learning Designer, Buzzfeed

For much of the history of the Web, conversations and other digital analogues of real world social interaction have been a key part of user engagement. From Usenet, IRC to AOL Chatrooms and now Github, Reddit, and Twitter, design patterns like threaded commenting, liking and favoriting, up (and down voting) lie at the heart of social media, online platforms like Stack Overflow (and GitHub) make up our communication tools. With digital literacy at an all time high, new communication models are starting to usurp SMS messages.

Digital interactions, so utterly commonplace, when given not much additional thought can seem overall benign. But in the era of the Arab Spring, the current US Election, Gamergate, and the Panama Papers, digital tools are the catalyst and common grounds of "robust discussions". But do they really give rise to civil behavior, and benign outcomes? Or are they fundamentally problematic? Can we design our way to better, more healthy online behavior? Can empathy really be designed for web?

2:35 pm

Scaling Walls: The Barriers to Female Representation and How Atlassian is Eliminating Them

Aubrey Blanche , Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Atlassian

It's not a secret that women are extremely underrepresented in technical fields around the world. In this talk, you'll see scientific evidence of the barriers that women face in the technical workplace, and hear about concrete strategies to overcome them. Collaboration software company Atlassian has used this knowledge to develop tactics and initiatives to overcome these barriers, resulting in >46% female technical hires in their last three intern and graduate cohorts. Join Atlassian's Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion to learn about what you can do to overcome the gender gap. The talk will include a Q&A session, so please bring questions!

3:30 pm

Afternoon Break


Need more coffee? Or an increasingly hip tea? We've got you covered, plus a sweet afternoon pick-me-up

3:50 pm

What Comes Next Is?

Matt Griffin , Film Maker, Designer

Matt Griffin (founder, Bearded) has been thinking about what it means to be a "web designer," grappling with the many (and sometimes misunderstood) disciplines that come into play. All of the rapid changes in technology we grapple with every day have resulted in a shifting landscape of skills and responsibilities. What’s a designer to do? Luckily, Matt is in the unique position to answer this question from a variety of perspectives and experiences.

To create his documentary film about the web, What Comes Next Is the Future, Matt conducted dozens of hours of interviews, many of which could not make it into the final film. This talk draws on that additional footage, capturing the thoughts and experiences of industry leaders Trent Walton (founder, Paravel), Irene Au (operating partner, Khosla Ventures), Ethan Marcotte (author, Responsive Web Design), Indi Young (founder, Adaptive Path), Brad Frost (author, Atomic Design), Yesenia Perez-Cruz, Kelly Goto (founder, gotoresearch), and many more.

With Matt as a guide, these luminaries' perspectives create a cohesive, multi-faceted view of the modern web industry and a designer’s place in it.

5:00 pm

Happy Hour


Share a drink, a bite, and a chat with your peers, right here at the venue, before our first ever evening session.

6:00 pm

Let's Get Weird

Jenn Bane , Community Director, Cards agains Humanity

People often hear about Cards Against Humanity's crazy stunts and pranks (like the time 30,000 fans ordered a box of poop as part of a Black Friday sale), but are left with a million questions. How did they come up with the idea? How were they able to execute it? Is it even legal to send poop in the mail? Learn the behind-the-scenes stories from community lead Jenn Bane, who is delighted to share Cards Against Humanity's best and worst ideas. This talk is weird.

7:30 pm

Speaker Dinner


Gold and ticket holders join our speakers for fine food and conversation a short walk away.

Day 2, November 11th

8:30 am

Heart Starting


Serving barista coffee to get your heart started for another day of amazingness

9:00 am

Welcome back

John Allsopp , Web Directions

9:15 am

Many hands — one voice

Anna Pickard , Editorial Director, Slack

Every interaction matters. Every line of marketing copy, every error message, every release note of every update is a chance to build a stronger relationship with your users. When building a personality for your company or your brand, how do you create or nurture a sense of the real people behind the product - and how do you scale it?

Over the last couple of years at Slack, Anna Pickard has been wrestling with how to solidify, sharpen and scale the brand voice: From style guides to grammar-bots, workshops to weekly office hours — to tapping into the shared characteristics and values, and the cultural channels and stories that help unlock them. So that users know they’re hearing from the same company — even if several people are typing.

10:15 am

Morning Break


10:45 am

WebVR: Building and Browsing Cyberspace

Mark Pesce , Inventor, VRML

Cheap, accessible mass-market virtual reality systems - from Google Cardboard to HTC Vive - can explore a 3D web built in WebVR. Using the latest JavaScript APIs, WebVR provides a open and neutral platform for the authoring and delivery of richly interactive virtual worlds. It’s universe next door, and it’s already here.

11:35 am

Change your game (aka: the good the bad and the playful)

Jennifer Wilson , Director, The Project Factory

Behavioural Science, Persuasive Technology, Gamification, Behavioural Change. Some of the key concepts in the new digital focus on health are coming straight out of the entertainment and gaming sectors. This short session will look at a few examples of this, with a focus on one key app to show how the right balance of nudge, nag and failure can generate real success.

12:00 pm

Virtual Reality as used in our reality. (or Virtual Reality as used in the Real World.)

Aaron Spence , Founder, CEO and Lead Photographer, Panedia

Listen in as Aaron, a 15 year veteran in the VR space, details how clients Qantas, Monaco (The Country), Olympus, P&O, Cruiseabout and more are using Virtual Reality right now to assist their clients with branding, training and buying decisions.

12:25 pm

Letting the kids run the show: Retail Experience & Design

Ben Hawkins , Director Retail Design, Optus

Kids don’t want to go shopping and parents don’t want to take the kids, but out of the necessity the two must co-exist. So the CX team at Optus asked themselves "what if we focus less on selling stuff and more on creating an environment where families want to shop"?

With this in mind they placed children at the heart of creating the experience – by speaking, engaging, prototyping and asking kids what they want, they created a space where parents can relax, and kids can have a little fun. Utopia.

Hear about the process, what they learned, and how you can involve kids, and the not so young, in the creation of retail spaces, products and experiences.

12:45 pm



Like everything else we do, expect the best conference food you'll have anywhere, and plenty of it.

1:45 pm

Art directing web design

Andy Clarke , Legendary Designer & Art Director

For years we’ve been told that websites shouldn’t make people think, that they should be accessible, easy to use and fast. But what if that isn’t enough?

In this talk, art director and designer Andy Clarke explores how art direction can make designs that are visually distinctive and more effective by using design to communicate the essence and purpose of our our content.

2:35 pm

OK, Dracula, let's make a video game

Jacob Bijani & Pasquale D'Silva , Product Designer/Engineer, Tumblr

Pasquale D'Silva and Jacob Bijani show and tell their first indie game, "OK, Dracula". Learn what they learned, as they made an ambitious passion project. They'll be giving out free blood if you bring your own syringe 💉.
3:30 pm

Afternoon Break


Need more coffee? We've got you covered, plus an awesome surprise sweet afternoon treat.

4:00 pm

Who Will Command The Robot Armies?

Maciej Cegłowski , Founder, Pinboard

It’s a rant about chatbots, machine learning, and the issues of accountability and power that go with automation.

5:30 pm

Closing Experience


As with everything else we do, we close with much more than just your formulaic drinks. From 4pm, bring your kids for coding, making and other activities, then when we wrap at 5pm, there'll be conversation, board games traditional and new, local craft beers and other drinks, and more.

About Web Directions

Co-founded and now run by John Allsopp, Web Directions has for over a decade brought together leading developers, engineers, visual, IxD, UX and product designers, Art and Creative Directors, indeed everyone involved in producing web and digital products to learn from one another, and the World's leading experts across this vast field.

We spend our lives thinking about what comes next, keeping up with trends in technology, practices and processes, and filtering the hype, to make sure you don't miss trends that matter, and don't waste time on hype that doesn't.

We promise attending one of our events will leave you significantly better versed in the challenges you face day to day, and in solutions for addressing them.

John Allsopp

John Allsopp has been working on the Web for over 20 years. He's been responsible for innovative developer tools such as Style Master, X-Ray and many more. He's spoken at numerous conferences around the World and delivered dozens of workshops in that time as well.

His writing includes two books, including Developing With Web Standards and countless articles and tutorials in print and online publications.

His "A Dao of Web Design" published in 2000 is cited by Ethan Marcotte as a key influence in the development of Responsive Web Design, who's rightly acclaimed article in 2010 begins by quoting John in detail, and by Jeremy Keith as "a manifesto for anyone working on the Web".

Code of Conduct

For over a decade, we've worked hard to create inclusive, fun, inspring and safe events for the Web Industry.

As part of our commitment to these values, we've adopted a code of conduct for all involved: ourselves, our speakers, our partners and our audience.

If you have any concern or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact us.