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Nov 18, 2015
Refresh Portland - Benevolent Dictatorship as Creative Practice

Creative leadership is about setting the stage for a team to produce the best work possible. It requires a deft balance between vision and empowerment, a strong strategic mooring with room for others to shine. A tall order, yet most people tasked with leading a team are figuring it out as they go.

Come hear tales from a self-taught benevolent dictator with over 15 years in the trenches producing passion projects and client work with teams of all sizes. There will be Hebrew. There will be Hip Hop. There will be hard won wisdom/stupidity.

Our speaker, Tsilli Pines

Tsilli Pines is the Director of Design Week Portland, the Host of CreativeMornings in Portland, and the Digital Creative Director at FINE. She’s been working as a designer for over 15 years and is passionate about the value of design and the power of creative discourse.

Jan 20, 2016
Refresh Portland - Accessibility is Information Architecture

Information architects talk of information environments as places made of information; we go online, visit sites (and sometimes look at their maps), chat in rooms, add products to carts. Care must be taken from everyone involved in the creation of these places to ensure they’re accessible to everyone regardless of ability.

Designers need to create places are inclusive to as many people as possible. It’s no longer acceptable to exclude aural design in whatever the current definition of UX is. Likewise, front-end developers need to have a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of their craft to create accessible places.

The pattern languages of digital design and development have built in semantic goodness that is frequently missing from modern places of information. Accessible places improve inclusion, diversity, and are almost always a legal requirement. If product teams embrace accessibility from the start, everyone wins and the world will be a better place.

Our Presenter, Francis Storr

Francis Storr is Lead Designer for Intel’s Software Accessibility Program; prior to that he was a senior interaction designer for the company. Francis has been working in technology for fifteen years, starting off as developer and then moving into user experience. Whether developing or designing, he’s always seen accessibility as a critical responsibility in his work, and has very definite opinions on whether designers should know how to code, and developers’ pursuit of the new-and-shiny over acquiring a solid knowledge of the basics.

An ex-pat from the UK, Francis has lived in Portland for five years.

Feb 17, 2016
Refresh Portland - A Skeptic’s Guide to Branding

There are few things given more skepticism by the geeks of the world than marketing. Indeed, we like to see ourselves as above the buzzwords and cheesy stock photographs, safe in a world where the empirically best solution is the one that will win out.

But there’s a problem. Marketing, and especially branding, is critical to the geek’s career. Indeed, geeks from John Gruber to Jeff Atwood have become big names in programming, and it’s not by accident- they know how to make and expose a great, genuine professional identity. Projects turn from hobbyist hacks to enterprise concerns thanks to their clear, strong branding. For the successful geek, branding is essential, but we can be just too skeptical to take advantage.

Well, no longer. I’ve trudged through the marketing landscape and found the bits that anyone can be okay with applying. I’ll go through finding an authentic identity for yourself or your next project, so you can put together an appealing image without having to lie through your teeth. And I’ll back it up not with lofty promises, but with a skeptic’s favorite thing: science.

Our speaker, Zoe Landon

Zoe Landon has been messing with computers since childhood and making them work more or less correctly for the last 8 years. She has a Software Engineering degree mostly used for front-end web development, and a Creative Writing minor mostly used for confusing people. Zoe’s many entrepreneurial efforts have resulted in an interview with Sir Christopher Lee, vulgarities from a British rock band, and other minor successes.

She can often be found partaking in trivia and wearing a silly hat.

Mar 16, 2016
Refresh Portland: Lessons From a Failed Project

Our Topic

What happens when you “fake it till you make it” and then … don't make it? Rarely do you hear about the failures of entrepreneurs until they are distant memories. Kronda will share some hard lessons learned in the past year. What happened, why, and what she learned from it.

Our Presenter, Kronda Adair

Kronda Adair is the founder of Karvel Digital, a WordPress consultancy and development business. In addition to developing websites, Kronda gives business owners the training they need to own and manage their digital presence.

She is a regular speaker at WordPress meetups and Wordcamps and has been invited to speak at Ada Developer Academy, Beyond the Code, Open Source Bridge, Lesbians Who Tech Summit, and others. She has given talks on WordPress deployment processes, successful site planning, starting your own business, and more. Her latest project is a book for business owners on managing your website and other digital assets, to be released early 2016.

When she’s not working, she can be found enjoying time at home with her wife and two cats, reading dead-tree books, riding one of her five bikes, or enjoying the postcard vistas of the state of Oregon.

Follow Kronda on Twitter.

Apr 20, 2016
Refresh Portland—Jane Austen on Python: Tips from an English Major on Writing Better Code

With​ ​two English degrees,​ ​Lacey Williams Henschel has​ ​identified some concrete ways​ ​having a Lit background makes for​ ​a better developer. This talk discusses how developers can take lessons from literature to write more readable code, make better tests, and create more usable websites.

We’ll compare Two Scoops of Django to Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, that familiar Freshman Comp text, exploring how they are more alike than they are different. We’ll discuss the importance of readability, creating a “story arc” in your tests through good user stories, how variables names have characterization, and the importance of whitespace and good formatting to everyone. We’ll also compare PEP8, the Python style guide, to the MLA Handbook; there’s a reason both disciplines have a style guide!

May 18, 2016
Best Practices for Destroying People’s Dreams (And Other Ways UX Can Be Helpful)

Ever been handed a project or had someone come to you with an idea that immediately made you think, “This is probably a waste of time.” What if, instead of taking on the project, you first went to find out if it’s a good idea?

This talk is a mix of stories about people whose dreams were dashed (and they were thankful for it) as well as practical advice for helping you find out if that idea is any good.

The talk title comes from the fact that, over the course of his career, Matthew killed several projects by providing evidence that the project shouldn’t even begin (or should be stopped in its tracks). Twice, he’s had to deliver the bad news to someone who then went on to shutter their entire business. And they thanked him for it. Spending $20,000 to make that early decision meant avoiding spending millions to build something no one would want enough to justify the money, time, and effort.

Our Presenter, Matthew Oliphant

Matthew has been getting people from WTF to FTW since 1999 when he started down the UX road as a Technical Writer. He’s worked as a freelancer, in corporate cube-farms, agencies, and startups. He is currently Director of User Experience at Vadio, an innovative video startup.

Matthew has designed and led the development of several multi-million-dollar products, redesigned large-scale corporate design and development processes, led research efforts to understand the needs of organ transplant recipients, and ghost-edits articles on web design and development on the side.

He continues his mission to Inform and Educate by running Refresh Portland (this site!), a non-profit organization devoted to highlighting new voices and interesting perspectives on all things web-related.

Jun 15, 2016
So You Want to Build a Web Team

When I got my job at Liquid, I was brought on with the task of building a web team from the ground up. When I looked for advice on how to accomplish this, there wasn’t a lot out there. Really, I was flying blind and had to hit the ground running if this was ever going to work.

Over the past 8 months, this humbling, rewarding experience has taught me a lot about what it is to be a better developer, a better leader and overall, a better person.

My goal today, is to share this experience and hopefully help people that are in a similar boat, whether its building your own team, improving your existing team, or simply becoming a better employee.

Join me as I share some anecdotal advice and stories from these past few months about my journey.

Our Presenter, Drew Parroccini

Drew is a seasoned web developer and recent transplant from Pittsburgh, PA. Focusing mostly on front end development, Drew has been building on the web for the last twelve years. Currently, he is the senior developer for Liquid Agency and on his off days, can be found in the woods with his lovely wife and their two great danes.

Our venue, FINE

Thanks to FINE for hosting us this month! FINE is located at 1140 SW 11th Ave, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97205.

Jul 20, 2016
Codepen Show & Tell

Refresh PDX has teamed up with Codepen to do a meet up! Tim Sabat, one of the Codepen founders will be joining us.

Have a pen that you want to talk about? Have something you’re trying to make work in a pen and need some advice and support? Come out to the meet up and share your work. If you know you want to share, please let us know ahead of time, otherwise we’ll be creating a presenting list as people arrive.

Ideas for what to share?

  • A cool pen you made that can help others learn a new technique
  • A pen you may be having trouble getting working and you want to tap into a hive mind
  • Ideas on how to use Codepen in your workflow for your job
  • How you may be using Codepen as a team to iterate over prototypes or design

So come on out to talk pens with us, we can’t wait to see you.

Oct 13, 2016
Refresh Portland — How to Make Sense of Any Mess

Please RSVP on our site.

Our Topic

In a world where everything is getting more complex and we are all experiencing personal information overload, there is a growing need to understand the tools and processes that are used to make sense of complex subjects and situations. These tools aren’t hard to learn or even tough to implement but they are also not part of many people’s education. Information Architecture is a practice of making sense. A set of principles, lessons and tools to help anyone make sense of anything. Whether you are – a student or professional, a designer, technologist or small business owner, an intern or executive – learn how information architecture can help you make sense of your next endeavor.

Abby will have copies of her book, How to Make Sense of Any Mess, for sale during our event.

Our Presenter, Abby Covert

Abby Covert is an independent information architect. She specializes in delivering a collaborative information architecture process and teaching those that she works with along the way. She speaks and writes under the pseudonym Abby the IA, focusing on sharing information architecture content with those working within the design and technology communities.

Follow Abby on Twitter.

Our venue, FINE

Thanks to FINE for hosting us this month! FINE is located at 1140 SW 11th Ave, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97205.

Oct 19, 2016
Refresh Portland — How To Win Friends and Influence Work

Most of us know what it’s like to start a new job with little to no help in getting settled. Ever been told “we’re just going to have you dive into the deep end?” Yeah, that means there was no plan for helping you get comfortable. Unfortunately, that happens to most of us when we start new jobs, and it makes it hard to become productive quickly. It even makes it more likely that we’ll leave our jobs sooner that we would have otherwise.

Sometimes management doesn’t onboard new employees and it can make your job rough when you have to help a newbie. The process of bringing on new people undoubtedly affects your life. Ever get those annoying repetitive emails about how to commit code, or where the XYZ is? Yeah, that can be simplified.

This little how-to is going to show you some really easy ways to make your life, and the life of your company’s new hires, much more awesome. Learn how to shave all that redundant crap off your work day and help out new hires in the process. Come learn how to be a hero at your company!

Our Presenter, Kristen Gallagher

Kristen Gallagher is a learning designer and organizational strategist. She’s pretty interested in helping tech companies create systems and cultures that don’t suck – which she mostly does by helping them learn how to learn. She currently serves as the Internal Learning Manager at Elemental Technologies, LLC, and the founder and owner of Edify Education Design. When she’s not working, she spends her time reading nonfiction about learning, knitting rectangles, sewing stuff, and working on found object sculptures. She’s trying to write a book about treating employees with dignity so everyone can live a happier, healthier, more productive life.

Jan 18, 2017
Refresh Portland — Emotional Intelligence in Design

Data and good intentions are no longer enough in a world where the lines are increasingly blurred between online and offline experiences. People need products that support the broad spectrum of human experience. By practicing awareness we can create designs that help people do what they need to do, even when life is hard.

Our Presenter, Beth Dean

Beth is an illustrator and designer in San Francisco. She currently works at Facebook on transparency in advertising and dabbles in LGBTQ policy advocacy. When she’s not drawing or at a computer she can be found on a mountain peak.

She’s led design and product for analytics and news startups, and worked with big brands like Hotwire, Progressive Insurance and American Greetings. In addition to her own books, her comics have been featured in SPIN, various anthologies, and galleries around the country. She’s spoken around the world about emotional intelligence in design, and queer identity in comics, at places like: San Diego Comic-Con, Stumptown Comics Fest, Alternative Press Expo, From the Front, Industry, and more. She’s been interviewed on NPR’s Marketplace, and recently served as a White House LGBTQ Tech Innovation Fellow.

Follow Beth on Twitter and at her personal site.

Feb 15, 2017
Refresh Portland — The Seven Biggest Myths on the Web

Doors open at 5:30 and close at 6:15. Talk starts at 6pm sharp. Please RSVP on the site.

Our Topic

The web is full of myths. Not just internet memes and fake news, but widely-believed ideas that don't always add up. They get in the way of our best work. Your boss believes some of them. Your clients believe some of them. You might even believe some of them. We will explore seven big myths, how they can lead us astray in our business and design decisions, and some ways you can combat them on your future projects.

Our Presenter, Lisa Wagner

Lisa Wagner is a veteran of corporate web strategy, with almost two decades experience in website definition, design, and management. She spent much of her career helping to run, in a variety of roles from UX leadership to platform design to campaign and product launches.

She currently has her own consulting practice, Xinnia, where she helps a variety of companies from small business, to startup, to enterprise to have more effective websites and digital marketing programs, while also advising on strategy for UX, IA, and digital platforms.

Follow Lisa on Twitter.

Mar 15, 2017
Refresh Portland — A Deliciously Good Chew: Lessons in Digital Marketing and Strategy

After a decade working in digital marketing and strategy, Helen Chang wanted a side project distraction. She set out a few criteria—it needed to take her away from the computer, be tangible, and make for a good conversation starter. All the things that digital marketing and strategy supposedly are not. Driven by nothing more than impulse and naivete, she created 1UP Caramels, which turned out to be a business, which turned out to be a success, which turned out to be not so different from selling a product, design or service in the digital world after all.

In this talk, Helen will share 8 lessons in digital marketing and strategy that she learned and reaffirmed while she took a break from digital marketing and strategy to sling caramels. Bring a friend and cozy up with your peers at this March edition of Refresh Portland.

Our Presenter, Helen Chang

Helen Chang works in digital media and has done the full-gamut: design and programming, planning and execution, production and lead. In her more recent role as a digital strategist, she helps companies build out their digital channels and establish best practices in digital communications, user research and engagement, campaign strategies, and performance measurement. She is also in the process of developing digital marketing courses for a university client.

In her spare time, Helen enjoys nothing more than good food and the company of good people.

Mar 23, 2017
Refresh Portland — Designing Projects to Make Meaningful Work
Refresh Portland is presenting this special event. We're honored to be hosting Daniel Szuc, who is coming all the way from Hong Kong just for us. Tickets are on sale now for $10. Snacks and drinks provided.

What if we could create an ecosystem that encourages people to thrive?

People love …

  • Working with other people and projects that matters
  • Positively influencing and learning from the people they work with
  • Energising people they work with to be and do better
  • Having a shared sense of narrative and purpose
  • Continuously learning from customers.

But sometimes people spend significant amounts of time at work on projects that do not provide meaning for themselves and others.

We all get caught up with the workings, speed and delivery of our projects that we forget about …

  • Our own wellbeing
  • To reflect on our project stories and observations
  • To share those observations with the people we work with on our own teams and on other teams
  • Collate the aggregated learnings from projects to determine what it means for better integrated practices over time.

This results in people feeling purposeless, stressed, unhealthy and in a state of “sleepwalking.”

So this presentation together will help us …

  • Take a step back and breather from our projects
  • Examine the frustrations at work
  • Look at what a successful project does and does not do
  • Examine the soft skills needed to nurture our own capabilities
  • Look at key project artifacts needed to help us prioritise and focus on what matters
  • Look at an integrated framework for make meaningful work

Finally, this presentation will leave participants with a manifesto for make meaningful work and an integrated framework to help us all move from being stuck (“Sleepwalking”) on projects to help us flow (“Sparkle”).

Our Presenter, Daniel Szuc

Dan is a co-founder and principal at Apogee and co-founder of Make Meaningful Work, as well as the co-founder of UX Hong Kong. He has been involved in the UX field for over 20 years, and has been based in Hong Kong for over 20 years. Dan has lectured about user-centered design globally. He has co-authored two books including Global UX with Whitney Quesenbery and the Usability Kit with Gerry Gaffney.

Apr 19, 2017
Refresh Portland — Building Collaborative and Engaged Communities

Doors open at 5:30 and close at 6:15. Talk starts at 6pm sharp.

You don’t have to work at or create a startup to bring your innovative ideas to fruition, and you don't have to survive on Ramen and energy drinks to make impactful products that propel your brand or benefit your community. What you do need is a legit value proposition, passion for GSD, an honorable tribe, and a very particular set of skills.

In this talk, Maigh will share her story of survival and evolution in tech over the last 20 years, with a focus on her experiences as an intrapreneur. She’ll share best practices you can take with you when you leave as she takes a deep dive into her latest adventure: building collaborative and engaged communities within a global technical organization.

Our Presenter, Maigh Houlihan

Maigh Houlihan is a Senior Project Manager for Turner’s Global Technology Office, responsible for conceptualizing, designing and implementing technology advancements for the organization’s “Experiences, Activations and Technology” team.

As a 20-year veteran of the technology industry, Maigh’s expertise includes identifying technology trends and gaps and finding cost-effective, creative technology solutions to drive Turner business forward. Key to her role is relationship management; her team supports all Turner brands and corporate groups, ensuring a holistic approach to technology solutions.

She’s helped create some of Turner’s most innovative technologies, such as the March Madness Instabracket, Boss Button for March Madness, NBA real-time voting and video playout on a seven-screen display in Times Square, a Cartoon Network vending machine that uses tweets as currency, a giant iPad to engage PGA digital users, turning the corporate headquarters stairs into a piano for a fitness initiative, and showing TNT’s live streams, scores and tweets of key NCAA, NBA and PGA sporting events on double-decker busses and subway station signs in NY.

Maigh learned to write code on an Apple IIe in the third grade. She drew a pumpkin. Since then, she's graduated to delivering enterprise solutions as well as consumer-facing quick-hits in the media industry for the last 12 years. Her most recent accomplishment was co-founding Ladies in Turner Technology (LiTT), a community of support for women to form relationships and empower each other as they grow professionally.

Maigh is also a freelance photographer, a former board member of the Atlanta Photography Exhibit and co-host of Likemind. She helped found the Atlanta Tweeters group and is active in the Anita Borg Institute. She serves in an advisory capacity for General Assembly and Iron Yard organizations.

Turner, a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; kids and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

Follow Maigh on Twitter.

May 10, 2017
Refresh Portland — Everything Is Negotiable: Your Power as a Change-Maker

Doors open at 5:30, talk starts at 6pm.

What if you could flow like water around and over obstacles, dramatically transforming the quality and effectiveness of your everyday experience … and even the environment around you? Like a GPS system, we can continuously determine the most advantageous pathways by considering the current conditions and desired destination.

But we are neither water reacting to gravity nor intelligent machines. How do we stay “agile” as human beings? In this talk, MJ will share experiential wisdom gained over two decades of designing WITH people and organizations, in service of the products and services they ultimately create. Prepare to be inspired!

“Agility is the ability to quickly sense one’s environment in line with one’s strategic purpose & identity, and easily execute synchronous (reactively) and asynchronous (proactively, in anticipation) changes in a VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous)” — Vas & Carlier

Our Presenter, MJ Broadbent

As Senior UX Design Director at GE Digital, MJ leads a design team focused on cloud-based apps that connect streams of industrial machine data to powerful analytics and the people who use them, providing companies with valuable insights to manage their assets and operations more efficiently. Prior to switching coasts to join GE in the SF Bay Area, MJ enjoyed a portfolio career as an independent consultant in New York City. Her practical leadership and cross-disciplinary design expertise benefited organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the College Board, Johnson & Johnson, The McGraw-Hill Companies (including Standard & Poor’s), Pfizer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sony Electronics, and the United Nations.

An evangelist for drawing, sketching, and the power of visual explanations, MJ coaches people in reclaiming their innate drawing skills through instructional workshops of her own design. She has been the official sketchnoter for conferences like EnterpriseUX and CanUX.

Active in numerous professional groups online and around the world, MJ is perhaps most well known for her volunteer leadership with IxDA (Interaction Design Association): she spearheaded NYC local event programming (2008-2009); co-chaired the Interaction11 conference (2010-2011); served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer (2011-2014); and co-chaired the Interaction Awards (2015-2016).

May 17, 2017
Refresh Portland — Staying Creative When Your Day Job Is a Grind

Doors open at 5:30. Talk starts at 6pm.

Ask any CEO: the creativity and innovative ideas of their employees are a key driver for business success. So why does so much of our work suck the creative energy right out of us?

It’s not just paper pushers who are struggling with creative burnout – designers, writers, programmers and others in de facto creative jobs find themselves bogged down in repetitive work while their best ideas are rejected by clients and management alike.

Why does this happen, and how can we combat creative burnout to reclaim our spark? From our desks at work to our living rooms at home, Cat will explore ways to conquer monotony, nurture inspiration, and boost our creative output. Oh, and have a lot more fun in the process.

Our Presenter, Cat Rayburn

Cat began her interactive design career making website Flash intros. Clients loved them! Users had no choice but to tolerate them. After a dark night of the soul, she spent the next 15 years trying to atone.

Now she’s a dogged advocate for users and an evangelist for user-centered methods, and recently served as co-leader of IxDA Portland. Cat has traversed design agencies, explored the uncharted territory of a freelance career, knocked about in the belly of the corporate beast, and finally repatriated to agency life. Each new move brought creative challenges, and yes, some creative ruts as well. She is currently a Lead UX Designer and Researcher at Amplified Design where she designs applications for the education, IoT, non-profit, automotive and healthcare sectors.

Outside work she makes costumes with sporks, caution tape, artificial birds, and sometimes fabric.

Jun 21, 2017
Refresh Portland — The Shady Web: How CSS is your brand’s body language

Navigating the web has turned into a treacherous exercise. Between sidebars, popups, scroll overs, and pre-checked boxes, you have to avoid the content you don’t want to unearth the content you do want. As these practices in distraction and diversion become the norm, marketers are pressured to follow suit. Just because marketers can, does not mean that we should. We need to do better. We shouldn’t have to resort to cheap tricks and bait-and-switch tactics to generate sales.

Together we will look at the difference between influencing genuine user behavior and tricking people through the use of CSS patterns and interactions. Learn how you can add motion into your digital properties in a way that builds trust with your users and gives them what they need, and nothing more.

Our Presenter, Heidi Olsen

Heidi Olsen has navigated through the treacherous world of web development for the past 9 years. Her goal is to make the web less shady and more thoughtful. You may find her browsing Twitter, blogs, and Slack channels in search of finding better approaches to our digital space.

Heidi is currently a Senior Developer at eROI, a full-service creative agency in Portland, Ore. eROI partners with innovative brands such as Taco Bell, Nike, and Aramark to craft compelling experiences.

Oct 11, 2017
UX Using Blockchain

Doors open at 5:30pm, talk starts at 6:00pm.

Blockchain technology surfaced with Bitcoin and was first conceptualized by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Bitcoin’s underlying technology is blockchain, one does not exist without the other. However, many individuals soon realized the true power and seemingly unlimited potential of blockchain technology. Over the last 8.5 years, we have seen innovation paving the way for what many deem the second generation of the internet. To many this is still the early days of blockchain technology, even though it has been 8, going on 9 years since introduction. Our understanding of a blockchain, possible applications, and the world of possibilities associated is rapidly evolving and changing.

This talk will discuss the basics of blockchain and touch on the concept of public, private, and hybrid blockchain; specifically, Dragonchain.

Our Presenter, Eileen Quenin

Eileen Quenin is a UX Strategist and tech evangelist for Dragonchain, an open source platform. It’s is best described as a distributed crypto ledger framework protocol that makes it easy to create cost-efficient business networks where virtually anything of value can be tracked and traded.

Eileen is active in the Seattle start up ecosystem. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and a Master of Science degree in Engineering with a focus on Human Computer Interaction.

Prior to joining working on Dragonchain, she spent 3 years in Amazon Global Payments guiding product development for gift cards, AmazonPay and Amazon PayPhrase. She holds a patent on techniques for intelligent selection of a currency preference conversion.

Prior to that, Eileen worked at LexisNexis on fraud prevention, background checks, public records, and identity management solutions was instrumental in bringing to market visualization and drawing tools designed for creating link analysis charts—visual relationships between individuals, addresses, vehicles, corporations, and other items.

May 21, 2015
RefreshPDX - Hello Web App: Learn How to Build a Web App with Python Django

Join us for an afternoon workshop on 21 May 2015...

Have you ever wanted to build something from scratch that other people could use? There are tons of tutorials and instructions for writing your first website using HTML and CSS, but building something that interacts with the user — a full, complete web application — might feel unachievable and out of reach. Not so!

This workshop will walk you through creating a basic web app using Python and Django, from ideation to deployment. Set up your first web product with a database, registration and login forms, and perhaps get on the path to a fun side-project or future startup. Tailored for designers and non-programmers and taught by a designer.

What We'll Cover Installation of Python Django, and deploying your local web app. Setting up static files and templates to make it look like a real website. Creating a database schema. Setting up registration, login, and password recovery pages. Deployment on Heroku (if time allows).

Who Should Attend This workshop is for those who are comfortable with HTML CSS and want to learn how to build a web app with Django.

What You Should Know Experience with HTML and CSS is highly recommended. Very basic knowledge of programming concepts encouraged (variables/loops/etc — easy resources will be given before the workshop).

What to Bring A laptop with your favorite text editor. If possible, a Mac or Linux system.

What to Expect A half-day of workshop learning! Coffee, Tea, and Snacks are provided by Refresh Portland! A copy (digital or physical) of Tracy's new book for each attendee! Other things that warrant an exclamation mark!

The workshop will begin at 1pm and end at 5pm. After the workshop is over, everyone who wants to join us will head to a nearby establishment for drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) on Refresh Portland.

About Tracy Osborn Tracy Osborn is a designer, developer, and entreprenerd living in the Bay Area of California. She's the author of Hello Web App, teaching beginner web app development. Building websites since she was twelve, she always felt an affinity to computers, the internet, and what it brings us.

Tracy graduated with a BFA in Art Design with a concentration in Graphic Design from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and worked as a web designer for five years before teaching herself programming and launching her first startup, WeddingLovely. She's also an avid outdoorswoman and would love to go on a hike with you.

The Venue, Idealist Thanks to Idealist for hosting us this month! Idealist is located at 209 SW Oak, Suite 101, Portland, OR, 97204.

Come on in the front door and go straight back, then left to the meeting room.

Jun 17, 2015
CSS Audits: Take Back Control of Your CSS

Doors at 6pm, Talk at 6:30pm

Dive deep into the nuts and bolts of how to audit your existing CSS. By understanding the reasons for doing it as well as how you can learn, as your auditing, how to keep your CSS lean and mean in the future. You'll leave with tools and ideas for how to do an audit, as well as what to do with the information once you’ve got it. Your audit can even be a springboard to create CSS guidelines and even a style guide.

Our speaker, Susan Robertson

Susan is a front end developer working with Fictive Kin who focuses on CSS, style guides, responsive, and accessibility. In the past, she has worked with clients such as FiftyThree, Imprint, Cloud Four, and worked for Editorially, The Nerdery, and Cambia Health. When not actually writing code, she can be found writing about a wide variety of topics on her own site as well as contributing to A List Apart and The Pastry Box. When not staring at a screen, she reads comics and novels, cooks lots of yummy food, and enjoys her Portland neighborhood.

Sep 16, 2015
Unicorns Are Made, Not Born: The Truths of Designer/Developers — RefreshPDX

Doors at 6pm, Talk at 6:30pm

Please visit the site to RSVP.

Our Topic

Over the years, the internet has had many a debate over unicorns, aka designers that code. In what capacity do they exist? Should more people try to become unicorns? What does it take to be a designer/developer?

Despite what the descriptor might imply, being a unicorn isn’t magic – it’s work. Whether you’re starting a career in design, already designing and coding all the time, or hiring, you’ll have to make decisions about what to prioritize. So rather than perpetuating unicorn myths, let’s talk about what it’s like to jump between two disciplines and what makes one designer better than another.

Our speaker, Elea Chang

Elea Chang is a Bay-Area-native-turned-Portlander who designs for the web and thinks about usability. Previously, she worked for Upworthy, Idealist, and OkCupid Labs. Recently, Elea has written pieces for Model View Culture and The Pastry Box, and is putting together Affect, a conference on the intersection of design and social good.

Jan 15, 2014
Refresh Portland - Get What You Give: Building a Business with Heart
ISITE Design

Reserve a seat

Generosity is a touchy feely word often reserved for the non-profits and charities. But what does it look like to build a profitable business that values generosity? How can we create businesses that facilitate exuberant giving?

In Get What You Give, Mara will share examples of how your brand can succeed with two verbs alone: ask and offer. Through some exercises we’ll explore the many qualities of any ask and offer, and how they can serve entrepreneurs and customers alike.

All attendees will receive one dollar and a personalized zine on the gift economy.

Our Presenter, Mara Zepeda

Mara Zepeda is the CEO and co-founder of Switchboard, a business that arose from solving her own problem, and bootstrapped by designing tattoos. Switchboard is a community-building classifieds platform. On it, members of private networks ask for what they need and offer what they have to give. There are only two types of posts: ask and offer. Switchboard is being used by colleges, summer camps, non-profits, investors, and many other communities that are sick of wading through social feeds, monitoring groups and pages, and ignoring listservs.

Switchboard is part of Wieden+Kennedy’s Portland Incubator Experiment.

Feb 19, 2014
RefreshPDX - Work Life Balance: How to find it when your business becomes your life.
ISITE Design

When you love your job, it's hard to step away, especially if you work for yourself. But focusing too much on work can can be detrimental to your health, your relationships, and even the very work you love. Finding a balance between work and life as a business owner is tough, and gets tougher when various challenges come up. Learn a few tips on how to help strike a good work life balance that works for you. Our Presenter, Angie Herrera Angie has been pushing pixels for roughly 14 years, 11 of which have been running 420 Creative, a tiny design studio based in Portland, Oregon. Having learned many of her business lessons the “hard way” and through some incredible peers, her passion for her work the industry has only strengthened over time. Angie is an avid soccer player, bike-rider, and a not-so-great golfer. When she roots, she roots for the Timbers.

Join us after the presentation for a 1-block walk to The Lucky Lab for food and libation!

Aug 20, 2014
Sass — It’s More Than Just Variables In Your CSS
ISITE Design

Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets (Sass) make working with CSS really freakin’ fun. Although variables (yeah, variables in your CSS, how cool is that!) are often highlighted when talking about CSS preprocessers, Sass is so much more.

We’ll discuss, with practical examples, other major features of the language such as functions, mixins, placeholder classes and selector nesting.

Our Presenter, Taylor Dewey

Giving life to creative ideas is the motivation that has been driving Taylor to make websites since 1998. More recently he is fueled by a goal to work with passionate people to create products that people love to use.

Taylor chose to work with the web because it is a medium where creativity and technology meld and, as a virtual product, constantly evolves into something better. He works for 10up creating user experience strategy, engineering interfaces, developing, and supporting high impact, complex, and innovative content centered digital experiences. Or, in short: he creates really awesome websites that make online publishing simple.

Sep 17, 2014
Animation and the Future of UX!
ISITE Design

Since the Era of Flash, web animation has had a bad reputation: distracting, baroque, decorative, flash without substance. But with web and mobile sites adopting increasingly app-like interfaces, animation has become mission-critical to optimizing the user’s experience.

Learn the science behind “tweening” and offloading mental models to the visual cortex. Discover the secrets animation studios use to coordinate massive efforts when designing in the 4th dimension. See all seven animation techniques working together on actual web sites people use today. Rachel Nabors has traveled the world spreading the philosophy and techniques behind web animation, and she’s bringing it home to Portland.

Our Presenter, Rachel Nabors

Rachel Nabors is an interaction developer, award-winning cartoonist, and host of the Infinite Canvas Screencast. She deftly blends the art of traditional storytelling with digital media to “tell better stories through code” at her interaction studio, Tin Magpie. You can catch up with her at

Nov 9, 2016
Refresh Portland — Ladies Drawing Night, November 2016
Lucky Labrador Brew Pub

Refresh Portland is proud to sponsor Ladies Drawing Night! While a lot of people who attend Refresh events come for the technical and soft skills related to our jobs in tech, this drawing night is for those of you who create art and do it in addition to (or as a salve to) life in tech.

The event is limited to 8 participants so that we can have good conversations and share ideas on our art without navigating 50 people in the room. Bring whatever you are working on. We’ll have table space for working, but bring the supplies that you’ll need.

Refresh Portland will buy the first round of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)!

As the title states, this event is for women only. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Our Host, Susan Robertson

Susan is one of the co-organizers of Refresh Portland. She realized there was a desire for women to get together for some non-tech art creation and had a pilot meetup in the summer of 2016. It went well enough that Ladies Drawing Night is being added to the regular monthly programming for Refresh.

Sep 21, 2016
Refresh Portland: Using Data to Disrupt Your Brain: Less Biased Product Management
New Relic

Our Topic

Did you think you were more healthy before you started wearing a FitBit? In this talk, Laure will review how using data can help to make better decisions for products, software development, and life in general. The human brain depends on a combination of rational processes and gut reactions, and learning how and when to trust them both in concert allows for great decisions.

Our implicit and unseen biases often step from good intuition, but in order to make reality-based choices, it helps to use quantitative and qualitative data to check ourselves and get the facts.

Our Presenter, Laure Parsons

Laure Parsons is a Senior Product Manager at Notion, the analytics layer for intelligent teams. Prior to her work at Notion, she led the marketing-communications efforts at live chat leader Olark, and lead specific projects that spanned product and operations. As a consultant, she also helped a number of startup companies on product acquisition and activation.

Before moving into technology, she held a number of leadership roles in independent film distribution and production. Laure has served on several non-profit boards and, in perhaps the highlight of her career, was a DJ at WFMU, the country’s premiere independent radio station.

Sep 20, 2017
Refresh Portland — Tools in the UX Toolbox: Net Promoter Score
Wacom Experience Center

Doors open at 5:30pm, talk starts at 6:00pm.

How can you influence and shift your organization to embrace a more customer-centered focus? This has been a question and a quest for UX professionals for years. It is a challenging road to be sure. Imagine this challenge at a huge technology company with a deep engineering culture focused on performance data. Qualitative “squishy” metrics may not be persuasive on their own. What can you do to break through and effect change?

This presentation explores how one group at Intel is using the Net Promoter Score metric to spearhead UX changes. NPS is valued by executives as a simple, easy to understand measure of customer loyalty. It can be a useful tool for your UX toolbox. Barbara will show you how Intel uses this metric as part of a UX practice.

Our Presenter, Barbara Holmes

Barbara Holmes has enjoyed a 25+ year career solving problems for clients. Barbara has worked for agencies, for herself as a sole proprietor, for startups, and client side, she is currently a Customer Insights Analyst, Information Architect, with the Intel Corporation.

From filmmaker, to instructional designer, to information architect and writer, to UX, and now a research focus, Barbara brings the needs and wishes of the customer to all her projects. At Intel she focuses on making sure her primary customers, software developers around the world, have an active voice in how we design and deliver our software products.