Most Active Speaker

Kathryn Grayson Nanz

Kathryn Grayson Nanz

UI Designer & Front-end Developer

Asheville, North Carolina, United States


In 2013, I graduated with a BFA and took my first job as a Junior Graphic Designer at a small, boutique ad agency. While there, my Creative Director warned me to never let anyone find out I could code, because if I did I'd be stuck doing it forever. I ignored his warning; it turns out he was completely right, but I've never been happier.

I currently work as a developer advocate on a wonderful team where I help people build web applications in React, design and maintain their UI component libraries, and desperately attempt to stop back-end devs from writing any more CSS.


  • Most Active Speaker 2023

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • UI
  • UX
  • Design
  • App Design
  • React
  • JavaScript
  • Angular
  • Advertising
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Developer Advocacy
  • Developer Advocate
  • Design Systems
  • Web Design
  • UI/UX Design
  • Software Design
  • CSS
  • Accessibility
  • UX / Accessibility
  • Accessible Code
  • Digital Accessibility

Case Study: Creating a Component Library in React JS

Building a component library from scratch may feel intimidating, but if you’re willing to put in the upfront time & effort, it pays off in spades.

Over the last year and a half, I’ve been the lead on a project to create and implement a robust Component Library. Our Component Library been a hugely beneficial effort that’s made our suite of React web applications more cohesive, more accessible, and more beautiful. The other (less-frontend-inclined) developers enjoy being able to build without having to worry about UI design decisions or touch any CSS. This talk will address each step of our process from a front-end development & design perspective, as well as some of the things we would have done differently had we known better.

Learn Enough Design to be Dangerous

I hear lots of developers say "Oh, I could never be a designer; I just don't have the eye" – and I'm here to tell you that's BS. Design is a skill that can be learned, just like anything else! A designer's full responsibilities are complex and multifaceted; this talk won't teach you everything you need to know to get a design job. However, it WILL go over design basics in a straightforward way, for developers who want to create UIs that don't look terrible.

Ditch the Media Queries: Modern CSS Replacements for Better Responsive Code

In Ye Olden Days of Webbe Development, device-based breakpoints were the standard…then, best practices shifted to content-based breakpoints. Now, breakpoints are sooo 2010; the era of fluid design is here! Dive into the new CSS that empowers us to write responsive code – without the media queries.

Getting Started with Accessibility in React

Many of us have heard the accessibility basics: use semantic HTML, include alt text, test with a screen reader, etc. However, when we're dealing with React – and JSX specifically – there are a few extra things we need to keep in mind. In this session, we'll discuss the React-specific adjustments we need to make in order to build accessible applications.

Usability Testing Without a UX Specialist

Ask nearly anyone about the process of developing software, and somewhere in the answer they’ll (hopefully) mention the users. User research, user testing, user feedback – the end user is at the heart of everything that we build. However, for many companies, making conversations with real users actually happen is a real challenge – especially if you don't have a UX specialist on your team! If this is all sounding familiar to you, then I have a recommendation: take it into your own hands. In this session, we'll talk through setting up a basic user testing program and growing it, so you – the developer – can feel empowered to start usability testing for your own product!

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Kathryn Grayson Nanz

UI Designer & Front-end Developer

Asheville, North Carolina, United States


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