16 November 2017

Pixel Pioneers Belfast


A one-day conference of practical and inspiring talks, featuring eight world-class speakers, sandwiched by a Shopify side event on the Wednesday and a choice of two full-day workshops on the Friday. 

Register Now

Join us for our first ever Belfast event featuring these lovely people:


All sessions and timings are subject to change, and we will update the schedule as soon as we confirm talks and side events. 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

  • Shopify side event

Thursday, 16 November 2017

  • 8:45

    Registration and Welcome

  • 9:30

  • 10:15

    Talk Details

    Laura Elizabeth

    Launching Your First (Side) Product

    Many people, whether it's freelancers or business owners, in-house designers or developers, make products in their spare time. But have you ever thought about selling your product to others who would find it useful? In this talk, you'll learn how you can successfully launch your first product and start creating an income from it. We'll go from finding and validating your idea, building the product, all the way to getting your first customers.  

  • 10:55

    Morning Break

  • 11:20

    Talk Details

    Harry Roberts

    Why Fast Matters

    We’re all — hopefully! — well aware that performance is important; it’s great for business and it’s great for our users. But things are still not fast enough. With more and more emerging markets coming online, and more and more apps moving to the web platform, we’re reaching an intersection where connections are getting slower and websites are getting heavier. In this talk, we’ll learn just what these emerging markets mean to us, and how we can begin to move in the right direction.

  • 12:05

    Talk Details

    Chris Armstrong

    Creating an App on a Shoestring Budget

    The workflows and processes preached by Google and Facebook (eg their five-day design sprint) work great if you have a team of 20+ and/or $2million in the bank, but how about when you’re bootstrapping and can only afford a couple of days a week?

    Chris will talk about lessons learned developing creative collaboration platform Niice with a part-time team and no investment.

  • 12:45


  • 14:00

    Talk Details

    Eva-Lotta Lamm

    Visual Literacy and Visual Fluency
    Why expressing our thoughts visually is a superpower we should master

    We are visual creatures by nature. We start to look at the world around us and make sense of what we see before we start to speak. We consume hundreds of images every day: photographs, infographics, diagrams, maps, icons, emoticons. We are pretty much experts when it comes to understanding information presented in a visual way. But when it comes to expressing ourselves visually, we are often not as well versed. We might pick some emoticons to add a personal touch to messages or share a photo, but we still too rarely (or never) use the full potential of visual expression to make our important ideas and thoughts heard and understood. We talk at length but we don't get up often enough to sketch out our ideas on a whiteboard in front of our colleagues. We write a lot, but we don't use the power of visual structure and spatial arrangement enough to give our words an extra layer of meaning and make them quicker and easier to scan.

    In her talk, Eva-Lotta will show why visual literacy and visual fluency matter and how images, visual structure and spatial arrangement can complement words in a powerful way. She will talk about her experience in using pen and paper (or marker and whiteboard) to explain complex problems and share the insights she gained in the process.

  • 14:45

    Talk Details

    Sareh Heidari

    Scaffolding CSS for Scale

    Ever thought about localising your site, but realised it led to a lot of messy duplication? Do you want to re-use component styles, but have some styles overwrite others due to that cascade? Not sure where to start with CSS architecture?

    In this talk, you'll learn how to get started with your own lightweight, localised CSS setup. We'll go through how we use Grandstand, a CSS framework built by BBC Sport, as the scaffolding for our CSS. Starting with bare bones of just ~10kb, it has the flexibility to allow layouts in 10 scripts for 20+ languages, and we’re using it across the BBC News & Sport sites.

  • 15:25

    Afternoon Break

  • 15:50

    Talk Details

    Sharon Steed

    Cultivating Community: Building Powerful Relationships by Communicating with Empathy

    One of our most valuable commodities as humans is our ability to build relationships — both personally and professionally. And the key to any successful relationship is empathy: being able to understand someone, connect with someone and view the world through their eyes. The problem is that the empathy needed to cultivate relationships, foster collaboration and build strong communities is often times lacking, especially when we are around people who are different from us. If empathy is the tie that binds us, then vulnerability is the thread that holds that rope together.

    It’s time to change the status quo in tech. Let’s explore the impact of empathy on communities. We’ll discuss how communication plays a role in building successful relationships; how empathy fosters highly collaborative teams; and finally we’ll talk about true accessibility. Why? Because innovation is at its best when it’s inclusive. And to be inclusive, you must be empathetic.

  • 16:35

    Talk Details

    Una Kravets

    The Power of CSS

    CSS and HTML alone are much more powerful than people tend to give them credit for. From fauxtoshop to recreating common UI elements and querying for browser information via at-rules, CSS gives you a lot of control. This talk will go over some of these superpowers, patterns and capabilities, keeping accessibility in mind along the way. You’ll definitely learn some tricks and hacks and why you should or shouldn’t use them.

  • 17:15

    End and Drinks!

Friday, 17 November 2017 (Workshop Day)

  • 10:00

    Talk Details

    Harry Roberts

    Front-End Performance: Building Faster Websites

    Every case study, every report, and every bit of feedback always tells us the same thing: speed matters. It’s good for users, it’s good for accessibility, and it’s good for business. But why are modern browsing experiences so slow? If technology is getting better, why are websites getting worse?

    In this workshop, we’ll take an in-depth look at:

    • how the network really works, and how to design around it
    • how to keep websites fast whilst keeping clients and stakeholders happy
    • how to optimise our assets for faster delivery
    • how to trick the browser into delivering assets with different priorities
    • how to measure and profile performance wins and losses
    • a whole host of tips, tricks, and techniques to help us deliver the same experiences in record times
    • a bunch of fascinating little factoids and trivia which help shine a light on what’s really going on under the hood
    • how to prepare for the web (and its users) of tomorrow
    • lots of naughty little micro-optimisations, just for fun
    • and a lot, lot more.

    This workshop is targeted at intermediate to advanced front-end developers, web designers, and software engineers, or anybody who writes code. There will be resources and case studies for you to take back to non-technical stakeholders to help convince them of the power of performance.

    You will need a laptop, and something for making a lot of notes.

  • 10:00

    Talk Details

    Eva-Lotta Lamm

    Sketching Interfaces
    Rapidly develop and iterate website designs and app interfaces, alone and in groups

    Sketching is a core skill and tool of any designer. It is a quick and cheap way to ideate, develop and iterate on possible design solutions, both alone and with a group.

    In this workshop, we will take a closer look at when and how to use sketching in the design process, how to make your sketches communicate more clearly and efficiently and how to run a collaborative sketching session with a group of people. We will start with basic sketching techniques and build up the pace through a mix of theory, exercises, practise sessions and group critiques.

    What you’ll learn

    • when to use sketching in the design process
    • sketching out flows to provide an overview
    • sketching detailed screen designs
    • sketching interactions and transitions
    • labelling and annotating your sketches
    • how to decide on the right level of fidelity for your sketches
    • how to run a sketching session with your team
    • tips and tricks to enhance your sketches

    Who should attend

    This workshop is ideal for designers, developers, product managers or anyone who is involved in creating websites or applications and wants to add sketching to their range of tools.

    All skill levels are welcome and no previous sketching skills or knowledge are necessary.

  • 17:00

    Workshops end


Pixel Pioneers Belfast 2017 will take place right at the harbourside in the heart of the city. We've put together a little guide to places to stay and eat to suit all tastes and budgets and some great things to do in Belfast!

Belfast Waterfront
Conference Venue

Belfast Waterfront

2 Lanyon Place, Belfast BT1 3WH, United Kingdom

The iconic and recently expanded Belfast Waterfront is Northern Ireland's only purpose-built conference centre in the heart of the city, just a 5-minute drive from the airport and 2-minute walk from the train station. 

Don’t miss a thing!

Stay up to date with the latest Pixel Pioneers event news and blog posts. Our regular newsletter is packed with practical and inspiring content, handpicked by Oliver Lindberg, and it’s here that you will also find out first about any discounts and offers that we have lined up for you.

Huge thanks to our partners

  • Shopify
  • Craft CMS
  • SiteGround
  • Mozilla
  • Balsamiq
  • GURU
  • GatherContent
  • SitePoint
  • Creative Bloq
  • Confwall
  • Stickermule
  • ReactiveConf
Partner with us

Without the stellar support of our partners, it wouldn’t be possible to run these events, and even if it was, the experience just wouldn’t be the same. If you’re interested in getting involved, just drop us an email and we’ll discuss how we can team up.

Get in touch