Exceptional software balances a delightful user experience and a rich visual style

At Experience and Style: The Design Conference for Developers, you will learn about both.

Day 1: Experience

A Product Designer's Instinct

Ryan Singer, Product Manager at 37Signals

Great product designers cut to the essence of a problem. They have an ability to sniff out what really matters and focus in on what the user wants. How do you do that? Ryan will share a model of the product development process that encapsulates the intuition he built up after ten years of designing easy-to-use software products.

The Foundations of Great Design

Dr. Don Levan, Lead Designer at Vanguard Custom Software

Examining apps that get it right and those that get it wrong Dr. Levan will discuss the key principles and best practices of interaction design, the cognitive abilities and limitations shared by all people that designers must keep in mind, and the modern trends that impact user's expectations.


The Design Master Class For Custom Software Developers

Albert Harum-Alvarez, Lead Designer, SmallCo

Step into the Design Master Class and get honest and direct design criticism of the experience and style in your current project. Presenters have one minute to explain the goals and roles of the existing application and answer the question "Who uses this tool, and what do they want to accomplish?" After the one minute intro, Albert will facilitate a live critique of the solution.

Designing for Mobile: What we can learn from Twitter's 140 characters

Steve Abrahamson, Technologist, UX Designer

Designing for today's mobile environment requires you to balance constraints. This can be frustrating but it can also challenge you to greater clarity - cut out the noncritical and deliver only the core message with brevity and grace. Steve will examine how the user experience and user interface conventions of the past and present, can inform our designs for mobile devices today, and look at where mobile is heading and how this can help us create design plans for tomorrow.

After the Sketch: Using FileMaker Pro to validate your design

Ernest Koe, President and co-founder of The Proof Group

After sketching and low-fidelity mockups are complete, higher fidelity prototypes can help validate the user interface and experience design and how it works with the data model. Ernest will explore how he uses FileMaker to validate the visual design and the solution's data model.

Day 2: Style

Applied Color Theory: Using Color, Gradients, and Translucency in Applications to direct attention and enhance user experience.

Colin Keefe, Visual Artist, Curator, and Project Manager at IT Solutions

Colin will discuss Color Theory first in the context of the underlying science, fine art applications, usage in web and application design and then specifically in the framework of the FileMaker Platform.

Designing with Type: Lessons learned from advertising, newspapers, and the world at large

Bob Shockey, President, Alchemy Consulting Group

Typography is a primary element of graphic design. While our choices are more limited in FileMaker, there are core typographic skills that every developer should have. Join Bob Shockey from Alchemy Consulting Group on a journey through the key aspects of this important subject. Examine what can be learned from magazines, newspapers, and advertising. Learn the essential elements of typographic design. See hands-on techniques for organizing data for a design, and how to arrange, differentiate, and standardize data on a screen or printed page.


The Design Master Class For Product Developers

Albert Harum-Alvarez, Lead Designer, SmallCo

Step into the Design Master Class and get honest and direct design criticism of the experience and style in your product. Presenters have one minute to explain the goals and roles of the existing application and answer the question "Who uses this tool, and what do they want to accomplish?" After the one minute intro, Albert will facilitate a live critique of the solution.

Designing the complex application to run across multiple platforms

Dr. Don Levan, Lead Designer at Vanguard Custom Software

Designing apps that will run on more than one platform can be very challenging. How do you create an environment that is familiar without requiring all elements to look and behave the same way on each platform. Dr. Levan will present a process which developers can use to design the interactions, user flow, and functionality of a complex app that will run with feature parity on more than one platform.

Styles, patterns and experience - a case study of visual interface design

Chih Hsiao, Senior User Experience Designer, FileMaker

Beauty is more than skin-deep. To develop an effective visual style requires an understanding of what humans see, what cues we're used to seeing, and how to apply this to your unique application. Chih will use a FileMaker case study to illustrate the theories, choices, and iterations in creating a visual style guide for your projects.

Meet the Speakers

Ryan Singer

Product Manager at 37Signals

Ryan Singer leads product design at 37signals. In 2003 he worked on a team of three to design Basecamp, their flagship app. As the company gained a reputation for making easy-to-use software, Ryan shaped their development process and made core design decisions on new products. In 2008 he became the company's first Product Manager. He led a complete redesign of Basecamp in 2012.

Dr. Don Levan

Lead Designer at Vanguard Custom Software

Don is president of Vanguard Custom Software, LLC., a New York based FileMaker consulting firm, and the founder of the Design Studio - an intensive, three day, hands-on workshop that teaches a formal process and set of practices for designing exceptional applications. Dr. Levan is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a former photojournalist. He is an accomplished presenter and teacher and has provided design consulting to FileMaker, Inc.

Albert Harum-Alvarez

Lead Designer, SmallCo

Albert Harum-Alvarez is lead designer at SmallCo, an original FileMaker Business Alliance Platinum Member whose clients include Apple, AFLAC, BNP Paribas Investment Bank, Fidelity Investments, Harvard University and other small and large companies on four continents.

Albert offers counsel to software developers looking to improve the quality of their designs. Albert has taught his Design Master Class in Miami, New York, London, Paris, Mumbai, Auckland, Los Angeles and other locales, and offers the same kind of design counsel offered in the Master Class to individuals and development teams through onsite visits and design retreats.

Steve Abrahamson

Technologist, UX Designer

Steve Abrahamson is the founder of Ascending Technologies. He has been working with computers and FileMaker for over 20 years, has received numerous awards from FileMaker, Inc. recognizing his efforts in the FileMaker community, has presented multiple times at the annual FileMaker Developer Conference, and co-founded and led CAFDA, the largest professional FileMaker developers' group in the central United States. These days he writes cool FileMaker solutions for a small handful of clients.

Steve believes strongly in the balance between cutting-edge new technologies vs. reliability, maturity, and stability. He has a talent for design - in usability, structure, and attractiveness. He has envisioned, designed, and written several FileMaker products. Steve lives in Chicago.

Ernest Koe

President and co-founder of The Proof Group

Ernest is the president and a co-founder of The Proof Group. Ernest brings over 10 years of experience with database and web technologies. He is a veteran FileMaker DevCon speaker, a founder of PauseOnError, (the un-conference for FileMaker developers) and co-host of the FMCraft Interaction Design Seminars (with Don Levan).

Colin Keefe

Visual Artist, Curator, and Project Manager at IT Solutions

Colin Keefe is a project manager for IT Solutions Consulting, Inc. He is also curator and visual artist based in Philadelphia PA.

At ITS he's responsible for managing all application development projects, including iOS, .NET and FileMaker efforts. Prior to Colin's PM role at ITS he spent 17 years as a FileMaker developer. Colin is also an Authorized FileMaker Trainer and carries FileMaker Developer Certifications for every version from 7 through 12.

He's done speaking presentations at Apple Stores, FileMaker DevCon, Pause On Error and various user groups in the Northeast US.

Colin's education and background is in the fine arts and he maintains an active studio practice. Recent solo exhibitions include Robert Henry Contemporary, New York, NY, Abington Arts Center, Jenkintown, PA, and RHV Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Village Voice, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia City Paper, Toronto Globe and News, LA Times, Sculpture Magazine, and theartblog. In addition to his studio practice, Keefe has been curating since 1995 - first, as co-director of 57 Hope in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY (1995-2001), and currently as co-director of Mount Airy Contemporary Artists Space (2009-present).

Bob Shockey

President, Alchemy Consulting Group

Bob is a graduate of Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles, where he studied Communication Design. He worked in the field of newspaper, magazine and advertising design for well over a decade before moving into technology. Bob has worked with FileMaker Pro since 1989, and is a FileMaker Certified Developer in every version possible. In 2004, Bob earned the one and only FileMaker "Idol" award. As CEO of Alchemy Consulting Group LLC, he and his team continue to innovate for the FileMaker platform. Bob is a fine artist and a music enthusiast

Chih Hsiao

Senior User Experience Designer, FileMaker

With a background of fine art and human-computer interaction design, Chih has over 13 years of experience in the consumer web industry and is currently a Sr. User Experience Designer at FileMaker, Inc. Prior to joining FileMaker, he worked in the digital media industry at companies including advertising agencies, technology startups, gaming and media companies as a producer and designer (notably Electronic Arts and Yahoo) and has been designing interactive digital content across media types on devices and environments such as TV, browser and mobile and desktop operating systems.

The Pertinent Details


Video package - $149

Video Recordings

The package includes more than eight hours of audio recordings and screen capture video of the sessions. Once your purchase is complete you will receive a download link for the files.

For more information about Experience & Style you can email Don Levan

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