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Below you’ll find the first confirmed talks for SmashingConf Toronto 2018. We’ll add more talks throughout the next couple of weeks, so be sure to keep checking in! Stay updated.

Tuesday, 26th | Wednesday, 27th

08:30 Doors Open
9:30 Welcome and Intro

The First Minutes of Design

How do you start from nothing but requirements into something tangible? In this session, Dan Mall will explore and expose the nuances of one of the most difficult parts of design: the beginning. Follow along as he shares tips, tricks, and principles he’s learned over his career for overcoming the tyranny of the blank page.


CSS (Variable) Secrets

You may have heard about CSS Variables (aka CSS Custom Properties), but think it’s not something you can use yet. Plus, you already have your preprocessor pipeline in place, why should you care?

This talk will show how CSS Variables are much more powerful than static preprocessor variables and can be used today without compromising progressive enhancement.

You will also learn several creative tips and tricks to take full advantage of them. As is customary with Lea’s CSS talks, expect a swath of live demos to demonstrate the material.

11:30 Coffee break!

Building an SVG Animation from Start to Finish

In this talk, Sarah will start with only an Illustrator document and by the end, make it move! It's not clear what exactly will move and how- this is something she and the audience will discover together. The talk will be completely unique- the plan will not be set in stone. She'll live-code (warts and all) and you'll see her process as she'll animate an SVG in the time allotted. She'll optimize, work with styles, and create an animation with javascript, and even ask for audience participation at times to decide what happens next. Come watch for a one-time show!


Performance Audit (live)

Tim will be looking into a workflow for finding and dealing with performance bottlenecks and explore common performance problems appearing in websites and apps. We’ll dive deep into different tools, patterns and common strategies for faster and resilient experiences on both stable and fragile connections.

13:40 Lunch Break and Lunch-time Session

Applying Psychology And 13 Years Of UX To Get The Details Right And Leapfrog The Competition

Mr Joe will take you on journey, showing how to take an average website and make it exceptional. Joe will talk through a framework for looking at the interactions you design everyday and making them as good as they can be. Then we’ll look at how to take your site to the next level 💥, redesigning the experience live based on psychology and UX theory.


You can sketch. (You might just not know it yet.)

Sketching is a great tool for designers (well, actually for anyone who needs to think about complex problems and communicate with others) to have in their skill set. It’s fast, efficient and everybody can do it. Everybody? Yes, everybody… even you.

In this hands-on session, Eva-Lotta will show you some basic techniques to start sketching your ideas. You'll get some hands-on practice on how to sketch simple pictures to inject into your everyday notes and work. She’ll show examples of how easy-to-do sketches can help make your thoughts clearer, your notes more structured and your communication more engaging.

You are invited to sketch along, learn-by-doing right in the session and walk away with a neat little visual vocabulary that you can use straight away in meetings, workshops or your secret notebook.

If you think you are rubbish at sketching and want to get a fun kick-start to getting into using pen and paper (again), this session will be just right for you.

Get your pens ready!

16:50 Coffee Break

Designing Across Cultures

In this talk, Yiying Lu will share her 10 years of cross-cultural design practice for global brands such as Disney, Twitter, Wasabi Warriors and so on. She will tell the visual stories of the Twitter Fail Whale and the official Dumpling Emoji. She will also share her creative process on how she overcomes design challenges when working on bilingual creative projects such as the Shanghai Disney Recruitment Campaign, Australian-Chinese real estate brand Home789, and localize global brand 500 Startups for the Korean and Indian market, and so on. Join Yiying on a journey of exploring cross-cultural creativity through colorful logos, whimsical illustrations, symbolic typography designs with occasional puns & jokes.


Things That Don't Have A Thing To Do With Graphic Design

As a graphic designer, I'm lucky to make things for all kinds of things. But more and more, I'm realizing the profound impact it has on the things in the rest of my life. Things in my backyard. Things that holds things. Things on the open road. Things in my bank account. Things for my nephew. Things for people I'll never meet. And things on one of the saddest days of my life. That's a lot of things. Plus, we'll update you on all the things we've been up to, aside from all these things. Tons of new things to talk about!

19:00 Closing Remarks
20:30 Party Time!


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