8th Light Redesigns SCNA Website for Mobile-Friendliness and Fluid Design

SCNA is a conference for software professionals interested in improving their craft, their community, and themselves.


8th Light started the Software Craftsmanship of North America (SCNA) conference in 2009 to fraternize with fellow software crafters and raise awareness about the growing movement of treating software as a craft. Conference attendance has grown annually and attracted some of the most well-known speakers and thought leaders in the Agile community.

Anticipating a mobile-oriented audience and having been to many technological conferences themselves, developers and designers at 8th Light wanted to differentiate the SCNA 2013 website through the use of responsive, mobile-friendly design.

"I wanted the website to shine craftsmanship. I wanted it be an example of responsive design and what 8th Light could do."

— Angelique Martin, Chief Financial Officer at 8th Light


8th Light's experienced team tackled the building of the site with techniques borrowed from the "8th Light style" of design—a strategy encompassing aspects of user experience and stylistic choices.

Sites designed according to the "8th Light style" are simplistic and clean, with an emphasis on ease-of-use for their users. Flashiness and excess are discarded in favor of pragmatic functionality. Stylistically, these sites use clean fonts and typographies.

Though they're admirable principles, it is sometimes a struggle for teams to bring these goals to life while balancing the needs of stakeholders. Challenges faced by the team include:

  • figuring out how to convey lots of information while maintaining a simplistic design,
  • conceiving images that best conveyed the theme of the conference and resonated with its attendees, and
  • maintaining the SCNA brand's integrity, while giving the site a more up-to-date feel.

Chief among these challenges was delivering detailed and verbose information about the speakers, events, sponsors, and venue without cruft.

"It's easy to add too much."

— Adam Kaplan, UX Designer at 8th Light


Designers worked hard to keep the site as simple as possible while conveying the necessary themes of the conference. What resulted from the team's efforts was a sleek, menu-centric site that scaled flawlessly. Other benefits included:

  • Attendees could quickly view schedules from their mobile browsers, saving them the hassle of downloading a separate application and saving 8th Light time and money.
  • Post-conference, speaker videos uploaded to the site could easily be viewed from tablets or mobile phones, making the conference's content more accessible.
  • The new website highlighted 8th Light's superior capabilities as a leader in responsive design.

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