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SmashingConf Toronto 2018

What’s the best way to learn? By observing designers and developers working live. For our new conference in Toronto, all speakers aren’t allowed to use any slides at all. Welcome SmashingConf #noslides, a brand new conference in Toronto, full of interactive live sessions, showing how web designers design and how web developers build — including setup, workflow, design thinking, naming conventions and everything in-between.

What’s a SmashingConf like? We’ve prepared a little elevator speech with photos and videos from past events. Also, here’s a Convince Your Boss PDF (1.1 Mb) to convince you-know-who to send you to the event. Obviously.

Get Tickets ↓

The Speakers

  • Sara Soueidan

Event Schedule

Day 1

  • Doors Open
  • Dan Mall

    Dan Mall will speak on

  • Rachel Andrew

    Rachel Andrew will speak on

    Unlocking the Power of CSS Grid Layout

    In this talk Rachel will show you practical ways on how to unlock the full potential of the CSS Grids, and more.

  • Coffee break
  • Sarah Drasner

    Sarah Drasner will speak on

    Storytelling in the Age of JavaScript

    Many of us are telling stories on the web- whether it be expressing concepts with data visualization, the story of how our product works, or simply writing good documentation. JavaScript is insanely powerful for gradually revealing information through animation, manipulating graphics with SVG, Canvas, and WebGL, or allowing users to guide themselves through interaction. In this talk, we’ll explore how our minds work on the web and how JavaScript can reach to new heights of composing experiences that attach to our limbic system and captivate us. We’ll dive deep into some of the how’s about these type of implementations and create live demos that bring these concepts to life.

  • Tim Kadlec

    Tim Kadlec will speak on

    Once More, With Feeling

    As an industry, we’re starting to recognize that what really matters for performance is how fast the experience feels. While this seems like a relatively minor revelation, in reality it requires a significant shift in the way we approach speed online: everything from the way we measure to the optimizations we use. Let’s look at how to reframe performance on the web, and what techniques and technologies are out there to help us create experiences that feel fast and frictionless.

  • Lunch break
  • Joe Leech

    Joe Leech will speak on

    Psychology and The Perfect Design

    What exactly is the perfect design? Well, that's what you will find out in the session. We'll look at the three aspects that define the perfect design and how you can make it work in your projects.

  • Gemma O’Brien

    Gemma O’Brien will speak on

    Letters From Oz

    Over the past 10 years, Australian designer and artist, Gemma O’Brien, has taken her passion for typography and built a flourishing career around drawing letters. Her bold type and detailed illustration can be seen in work for advertising and editorial clients or painted large-scale onto the walls of galleries, offices and interiors around the world. At SmashingConf 2017, Gemma will tell the story of her big break in the design world, explain how an Australian outlook shapes her work, and consider the importance of analogue craft in the digital future.

  • Coffee & Snacks
  • Aaron Draplin

    Aaron Draplin will speak on

    Tall Tales From A Large Man

    Using scientific proof and state-of-the-art multimedia techniques, Aaron James Draplin of the Draplin Design Co. delivers a suckerpunch of a talk that aims to provide bonafide proof of work, the highs and lows of a ferociously independent existence and a couple tall tales from his so-called career in the cutthroat world of contemporary graphic design.

  • Yiying Lu

    Yiying Lu will speak on

    Cross Cultural Design in the Age of Globalization

    In this talk, Creative Director Yiying Lu will share her branding design, illustration and typography projects from a multi-cultural & linguistic aspect. She will showcase and talk about her cross cultural design practices for global companies and organizations, such as Disney Shanghai, NYU Shanghai, Twitter, Cre8 Summit, 500 Startups, the Dumpling Emoji Project and so on. This talk will take audiences on a journey of exploring creativity within cross-cultural communication in the age of globalization.

  • Closing remarks
  • Party time :-D

Day 2

  • Doors open
  • Welcome back
  • A Mysterious Speaker
  • Sara Soueidan

    Sara Soueidan will speak on


    A brand-new talk on something that can’t be revealed just yet.

  • Coffee Break
  • Marcy Sutton

    Marcy Sutton will speak on

    What’s the Deal With Testing?

    "Software testing? I don’t get it at all.” There was a time when I felt that way, too, but something changed in my career as a web developer, and now I can’t do my job without testing. When should you write tests and when you can get away without them? We’ll cover coding techniques as well as motivations for testing to work better with teams and give ourselves some peace of mind.

  • Eva-Lotta Lamm

    Eva-Lotta Lamm will speak on

  • Lunch time
  • Nadieh Bremer

    Nadieh Bremer will speak on

    Hacking The Visual Norm

    There are so many visualization tools out there today, most with a pre-made set of charts. But trying to wrangle your data to fit (uncomfortably) into the default charts is not the right mindset. Adjust the visual to your data, not the other way around. You don't necessarily have to be a code wizard to let your creativity run free. Even with the defaults, you can become creative by using them in a different way, combining layouts or chart types to create something new, or even changing small pieces of code from existing visualization frameworks.

  • Lea Verou

    Lea Verou will speak on

  • Coffee & Snacks
  • TBA
  • Closing remarks and Goodbye!




TIFF Bell Lightbox

350 King St W Toronto ON M5V 3X5

Our conference venue, the TIFF Bell Lightbox, is located within the center of Toronto, and is well-known as the location where the Toronto Film Festival takes place — needles to say that it’s one of the most iconic cinemas in the world. We are thrilled to be hosted at the venue!




🎟 Get Your Ticket!

Hurry up: Super Early Bird Tickets are only available until the end of January.
We reserved 20 student tickets, too — just send your ID to Mariona.
(Ah, tickets are cheaper with a Smashing Membership, you know.)

Conference Tickets (June 26-27, 2018)

  • Early Bird
    Conference Ticket
    Sold Out
  • Save $100
    Conference + Workshop Ticket
  • Regular Ticket
    Conference Ticket

Workshop Tickets (June 25)

  • Sarah Drasner
    Intro to Vue.js

Workshop Tickets (June 28)

Sponsored by:

Why Should You Attend?

Pretty much because of the value SmashingConf will provide. We’ll explore how designers and developers work, design and build and how they approach problems strategically. Think of it as a playbook with handy rules of thumb for your next projects: it can’t get more practical than this.

Take a look at some of the videos from previous events, and check out some of the photos—The Smashing community is truly smashing, fun, inclusive and a delight to be a part of!

Watch SmashingConf Videos
Registration at SmashingConf SmashingConf Cody look-alike attendee SmashingConf attendees cheering SmashingConf attendee on the Smashing couch SmashingConf attendees with the chocolate fountain Una Kravets in Lego land I heart this Lego SmashingConf attendees using an iMac SmashingConf attendees building with Lego

Conference photos by our good friend Marc Thiele.

Convince your boss (PDF)
“8 reasons why you should send your incredibly hard-working, deserving employee to the SmashingConf” (PDF). Quite self-explanatory, really.

Need to convince your manager to send you to the SmashingConf? No worries, we’ve got your back! We prepared a neat Convince Your Boss (PDF) (0.15 Mb) that you can use to convince your colleagues, friends, neighbors and total strangers to join you or send you to the event. We know that you will not be disappointed. Still not good enough? Well, tweet us @smashingconf and we’ll help you out — we can be quite convincing, too, you know!

Download the PDF