5 Great Conferences for Web Designers

Professional Web Design Conferences

  • An Event Apart
  • The Women in Tech Summit
  • Hopscotch Design Festival
  • Smashing Conference
  • Front

Over time, when doing similar projects, it can be easy to settle into a particular way of solving problems and using the same general design style, but web design conferences can help break this cycle. With professionals from all over the world coming together to listen to speakers who are on the cutting edge of the industry, these events can spark creative thinking and open doors to new, more efficent design techniques. Plus, conferences are a great way for designers to network and create connections that could lead to future job opportunities. Some exciting design conferences in 2018 are as follows.

An Event Apart

This is a collection of six conferences at different locations, Seattle, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Orlando, and San Francisco. Each of these events lasts for three days with eighteen speakers total, but participants can purchase tickets for just a single day if preferred. Topics include advanced CSS, the evolution of the concept of ‘engagement’ in web design, and trends in user experience-driven design. There are social events scheduled each night as well.

The Women in Technology Summit

According to Forbes, women are underrepresented in technology jobs and are rarely seen as speakers or panelists at conventions. In order to combat that, web design and development conferences like The Women in Technology Summit are emerging specifically to help women advance their careers and break into leadership positions. This event is in June in San Jose, California, and lasts for three days. There are opportunities for small group coaching sessions as well as professional development seminars and an expo featuring products and services geared toward women in technology.

Hopscotch Design Festival

This web design conference is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, on September 6th and 7th. While many events also offer information on web development, the Hopscotch Festival focuses specifically on design. Some of this year’s speakers include Anna Charity, creative director at Headspace, Eric Johnson,VP of Sound at Trailblazer Studios, and DASH co-founders, Mack Garrison and Cory Livengood. In line with their theme of user experience, this event enhances each participant’s experience with creative gourmet snacks and a hands-on Design Playground. Plus, it is scheduled during the Hopscotch Music Festival which features over 100 bands.

Smashing Conference

Located in San Francisco, California, the Smashing Conference is limited to 500 participants and consists of 14 speakers over two days. Topics include advances in JavaScript and CSS specifically related to increaing the speed of webpages with complex designs. There is also a focus on inclusive multicultural design elements with speakers like Joe Leech who describes how psychology can inform design as well as branding expert, Yiying Lu, who specializes in cross-cultural design techniques. For participants who want to add a day or two to the conference, there are also workshops on the day before and day after the event.


The Front UX and Product Management Case Study Conference is an annual event that is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2018. Often, entire product teams attend together because it specifically focuses on design team building and product management. Over two days, each of the fourteen speakers presents an in-depth look at a particular product and how their team curated the user experience surrounding that product. On both days of the conference, there is also a question and answer session with many of the speakers.

Since most user experience and design jobs in tech consist of sitting behind a computer screen and speaking with clients, attending industry events can be very valuable to these professionals. Conferences for web designers provide an opportunity for participants to discuss new ideas and techniques with colleagues from many different backgrounds.

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