23 November 2018

Pixel Pioneers Belfast


A one-day conference of practical and inspiring talks, featuring eight first-class speakers, preceded by a full-day workshop, plus side events.


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

Thursday, 22 November 2018 (Workshop Day)

  • 10:00

    Talk Details

    Vitaly Friedman

    Smart Responsive UX Design Patterns

    In this popular workshop, Vitaly Friedman, co-founder of Smashing Magazine, will cover practical techniques, clever tricks and useful strategies you need to be aware of when working on responsive websites. From responsive modules to clever navigation patterns and web form design techniques; the workshop will provide you with everything you need to know today to start designing better responsive experiences tomorrow.

    Most techniques are borrowed from mid-size and large-scale real-life projects, such as large ecommerce projects, online magazines and web applications. We won't cover the basics, but rather advanced and innovative examples of RWD in action.

    In the workshop, we'll be taking a closer look at:

    • Effective tools and techniques that can support and enhance your personal workflow when working on any responsive design project
    • An overview of clever practical techniques for improving UX of responsive sites incl. navigation and search
    • Responsive Design Patterns and innovative approaches to designing "responsive modules" such as mega-drop downs, tables, calendars, multi-level menus, maps, carousels and forms
    • How to apply clever patterns such as improved off-canvas navigation, assistant pattern, smart URL design, priority+ pattern, vertical media queries, “view mode” approach, lazy loading, autocomplete, type-ahead search, filters, portrait/landscape orientation change, inventory-based sliders, the country selector and responsive iconography
    • How to craft delightful interfaces with smooth transitions, clever animations and improve perceived performance along the way
    • How to optimise responsive websites for better mobile UX, faster data input and higher conversion rates
    • The anti-patterns to avoid when designing a responsive site to not run into performance issues and “slow UX decay”
    • How the design processes should adapt in terms of the project management, deliverables, performance budgets, team organisation and strategy

    Whatever your role on the front-end team, you'll get tremendous benefit from this masterclass with one of the world's leading experts.

    What hardware/software do you need?

    You'll need to bring a lot of creativity with your preferred coffee mug. We’ll be spending a lot of time drawing, sketching, designing and thinking. Laptop is preferred but not absolutely necessary. You’ll need a lot of sleep reserves since it’s going to be a packed day. Bring a lot of attention to detail and non-standard thinking to this one! ;-)


    Please note this workshop will take place at the MAC: 10 Exchange St West, Belfast, BT1 2NJ.

    Lunch, snacks and tea and coffee are included. Save £45 when signing up for the workshop and the conference!

  • 17:00

    Workshop ends

  • 10:00

    Talk Details

    Mattia Compagnucci

    What's in it for me, Adobe XD?

    2018 looks like a showdown year for design and prototyping systems, and presumably sometime soon there will be a handful remaining go-to solutions for digital design professionals amidst the vast array of offerings on the market today (last time we stopped counting there were round about 60...)

    In this deep dive, we encourage you to take the time and Adobe XD for a thorough spin, discuss with the extended XD team and learn about its powerful capabilities, which are continuously expanding every month, based on the direct input and requests from our users – you!

    Chances are, that if you have checked out Adobe XD some time ago, there are many new features that will help you to rapidly design, prototype, and share interactive experiences at the speed of thought.

    If you are completely new to XD, this hands-on lab lets you immerse in a new tool and learn powerful tips and tricks to remove friction from your digital design process.

    Mattia Compagnucci will provide unique insights into the roadmap and the user centric design process at Adobe and explain how the XD team manages to deliver quality releases across five platforms on a monthly release cadence. Ask any question, and discuss best practices in product design and development with Mattia, who is a member of the XDI Team.


    After an introductory discussion including proper expectation management, we’re going to dive into bringing a simple user flow to life. Attendees will create an interactive prototype from scratch, which is shared for feedback and delivered to production. Attendees are to touch every feature of the software and will leave the workshop ready for production work using Adobe XD.

    Throughout the workshop, attendees will discuss common (and maybe even completely new) additional ideas and feature requests with the extended XD team and the group, and gain a good understanding on how XD can help solving day to day challenges now and in the future.

    Target audience

    This workshop is for designers working on all kinds of products that (also) live on a screen, and for people of various related job roles e.g. product owners or developers, who want to prototype and communicate ideas quickly on all levels of fidelity.

    It is suitable for both beginners and experienced users of XD.

    Attendees are required to bring their own macOS or Windows 10 computer and an iOS or Android device. Detailed instructions will be sent to attendees in good time before the workshop.


    Please note this workshop will take place at the MAC: 10 Exchange St West, Belfast, BT1 2NJ.

    This half-day workshop is more or less free, we just ask for a small service charge of £25 including VAT and booking fees to cover lunch and tea & coffee.

  • 14:00

    Workshop ends

  • Details

    An Evening With Shopify

    Join the Shopify Partners team for an informal evening of short and informative design-focused talks. Whether you are a seasoned web designer, considering getting started, or just keen to meet other web professionals, you are most welcome to join us.

    Drinks will be provided, and all are very welcome to stay after the sessions finish to mingle and chat.

    Time: Talks will kick off around 7pm (doors open from 6.30pm) and we'll be wrapping up around 9pm.

    Cost: Free!

    Location: This workshop will take place at The Black Box:
    18-22 Hill St, Belfast, BT1 2LA

  • 19:00

    Talk Details

    Barry Adams

    The Web is Totally and Utterly Ruined

    In theory, the world wide web is great. An egalitarian, open, free platform for people and businesses to interact, share, and engage. In practice, the web is chaotic, cumbersome, incoherent, incompatible, and even at times dangerous. Who's to blame for what the web has become? We are. In his customary style, Barry will be ranting about why websites are crap, how designers mess up sites, why marketers are clueless, and how web developers are destroying the web as we know it. And, most importantly, why we are all to blame for this total and utter mess.

  • 19:45

    Talk Details

    Jordan Moore

    A Fireside Chat with Jordan Moore

    Join Dawson Andrews co-founder Jordan Moore for a fireside chat about building successful ecommerce experiences, test-driven design and embracing accountability in digital projects.

  • 20:30

    Talk Details

    Lauren Helstab

    Everything’s Better Working Together

    Lots of designers and agency owners rely on their quality of work and reputation to achieve growth but how can you really take your business to the next level? By forming great partnerships, you can successfully expand your business in a scalable way and, importantly, remain agile in an industry that’s ever-changing and hard to predict. We’ll talk about the power in different types of partnerships and how to network for scalable growth so that you can get to where you want to go, faster.

Friday, 23 November 2018 (Conference Day)

  • 8:45

    Registration and Welcome

  • 9:30

    Talk Details

    Ire Aderinokun

    CSS for the Next Billion Users

    There’s been a lot of talk lately about developing for the “next billion users”, which essentially means targeting users who are coming online for the first time in developing countries. This talk will be about different ways we can write CSS for the “next billion users”. I will talk about my experience developing websites for users in Nigeria and cover areas such as performance, accessibility, and progressive enhancement.

  • 10:15

    Talk Details

    Vitaly Friedman

    Dirty Little Tricks From the Dark Corners of Ecommerce

    When designing ecommerce experiences, we tend to prioritise what we want to say rather than how it’s actually said. It’s not easy because there are literally hundreds of things that can go wrong: from selecting a product, to adding an item to the cart, to getting that final confirmation email, to actually receiving the purchased item. Every step along the way has to be meticulously designed with an eye for error and potential misunderstandings. It affects interaction with filters as much as displaying shipping options or sending a shopping cart abandonment email.

    In this talk, Vitaly will be covering a few design patterns to increase conversion by improving clarity and consistency of the ecommerce experience and sparkling a little bit of delight here and there. You’ll walk away with hands-on tips and techniques for crafting better ecommerce experiences right away.

  • 10:55

    Morning Break

  • 11:20

    Talk Details

    Ada Rose Cannon

    A Rube Goldberg Machine and New Web Technology

    There are some exciting developments happening in the web platform right now: new APIs such as CSS Grid, Web Components, CSS Custom Properties and the Web Animation API. Each on their own is a complex topic worth getting to grips with but what this talk aims to show is how they can be used with each other – when used together the result is greater than the sum of its parts.

    There is only a brief introduction to each topic, so some prior knowledge for Web Animations, Custom Properties, CSS Grid and Web Components would help but is not required.

  • 12:05

    Talk Details

    Jon Hicks

    The Icon Process

    Icons are more than just decorative graphics for sites and applications, they're little miracle workers. They summarise and explain actions, provide direction, offer feedback and even break through language barriers. Whether you design icons yourself or just need to be able to work with them, this session will take you through the whole process of designing and deploying resolution independent icons — from the initial brief to choosing format or method to deploy them. On the way we will cover choosing the right metaphor, achieving visual balance, and how to use SVG for scalable and lightweight distribution.

  • 12:45



    See our location guide for recommendations.

  • 14:00

    Talk Details

    Brendan Dawes

    One Thing Leads to Another

    Brendan Dawes does indeed love the web, but he loves the opportunities the web provides even more. More than a network of machines, Brendan believes it’s a network connecting people to other people, a generosity machine that you can tap into and — most importantly — be a part of. In this personal presentation Brendan talks about some of his highlights born from working in and on the web for the last 22 years and how, simply by putting your work out there, you never know who’s watching and just where things might lead...

  • 14:45

    Talk Details

    Ashley Baxter

    Idea to Execution and Beyond

    A run-through of what it takes to execute and launch your next project. Ashley covers the idea stage, build process, launch, and what to expect post-launch. Idea validation, shipping anxiety, and discovering problems are just a few of the themes covered.

  • 15:25

    Afternoon Break

  • 15:50

    Talk Details

    Jane Austin

    10 Easy Ways to Irritate Your Design Team

    How can good design be integrated into your business profitably? Jane will answer this question by considering the ‘anti-problem’. She will share 10 ways designers and business people can guarantee their behaviours and activities will ensure they never see eye-to-eye, their efforts will be wasted and everyone involved will know it's not their fault. You will probably recognise most of these techniques in action in your own organisation. That is the anti-pattern.

    If things are going to change for the better, do the opposite.

  • 16:35

    Talk Details

    Gerry McGovern

    Designing an Intuitive Navigation

    Confusing menus and links are the number one issue people have in getting stuff done in digital. Sure, search is critical but even the best search usually only jumps you down a few levels in the navigation hierarchy. To complete your task you nearly always have to click more, and selecting the right link is where so many people get frustrated, confused and annoyed. Learn about methods to reduce confusion and increase speed and simplicity for your customers. Learn how to use evidence to uncover the core navigational mental models within people’s minds and to create intuitive interfaces based on these mental models. Learn how to apply essential navigational principles such as: Familiarity, Unity, Essentiality, and Forward-Focus.

  • 17:15


    End and Drinks!

    Join us at 21 Social for a free drink on us!

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Huge thanks to our partners

  • 20i
  • TetraLogical
  • Jack Holmes
  • Interaction Design Foundation
  • GURU
  • State of the Browser
  • DevITjobs
  • Mozilla
  • Adobe
  • proto.io
  • Women Who Code
  • Belfast Design Week
  • Bazaarvoice
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