Devsigner 2015 in Portland Oregon

Profile picture for user Ryan
Ryan Greene

This past weekend I was able to attend the second annual Devsigner conference in tropical Portland, Oregon. I’ve lived in Portland for four years and this weekend was possibly the hottest and definitely the muggiest I’ve experienced since moving here. So luckily, I was able to escape the weather in the air conditioning at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, which hosted the event.

The Devsigner sessions spanned topics from UX/UI design to new techniques and tools for front end design. Many where aimed directly at Drupal, while some were specifically for designers whether they worked with Drupal or not. The keynote was delivered by Mason Wendell, a name you may have heard if you were looking for better ways to use Media Queries in Sass. He had a visually pleasing sideshow, with most of the slides taking their aestetic from old blue note jazz album covers.

Here’s a few of my favorite sessions:

  • Building a Scaleable and Sustainable Design System - Micah Godbolt discussed the importance of making your css selectors as broad as possible and the many patterns in the layout of the new Redhat site and what he did to make those elements reusable for future projects.
  • 1 Weird Layout Trick UI Devs Use to Avoid Floats! Flexbox will shock you! Devsigners Hate Him! - I have looked at many descriptions on how to properly use flexbox but none of those made it as cut and dry as Scott Vandehey did with his talk. There’s no doubt I will be using some of the techniques he shared in my own future projects. When in doubt, here’s his TL;DR:

parent {
    display: flex;
child {
    flex: 1;

  • The State of Static - Greg Boggs spoke about the popularity, and benefits, of static site generators right now. He talked about how fast, stable and secure they are and what you may not know they were capable of.  With tools like Contentful and Formspree you can basically have a CMS built on a simple html site.
  • Overcoming Impostor Syndrome - My friend at Metal Toad, Dan Linn, gave a great presentation on something that hit close to home. He and I had discussed this topic weeks before, and it was refreshing to hear what he had to say about Impostor Syndrome. Especially in front of many other developers, who may have felt something similar to what I felt after hearing what he had to say.

I’m excited to try the new things I learned about this year and I’ll for sure be back next year.

comments powered by Disqus