What’s on the programme?
One full day of workshops, two days of conferencing, and plenty of talking, laughing and eating in between. That’s our programme in a nutshell. For more detail, click on the tabs below.
On the day before the conference, we’ll be offering four half-day workshops, all presented by international content strategy and design experts. Workshop spaces are limited, so if you see a workshop you like, book as soon as possible.
First, some important information about the workshops:
- Workshops are an optional extra – in other words, they’re not included in your conference pass.
- Although the workshops are intended for conference attendees, we have allocated a few spots for people who don’t want to attend the main conference. If this is you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll send you the details.
- You’ll be able to select and pay for your workshop(s) during the registration process. You can also go back and add a workshop to your conference booking at any time, as long as there are still spots available. Just click on the link in your confirmation email to make changes to your registration.
- Morning workshops will run from 08h30 to 12h00, and afternoon workshops will run from 13h30 to 17h00.
- The workshop fee includes lunch, and morning or afternoon refreshments.
Workshop 1: Content in a responsive world
The pace of digital change is so frenetic that even the professionals are struggling to keep up. Responsive design and mobile first are just the first salvos of the revolution. Better networks and cheaper components mean the things we make will soon crop up on a bewildering array of devices, contexts, screen sizes, and formats. Yet many of our processes, workflows, and mindsets are stuck in the last decade.
It’s time to reappraise the way our industry works. This workshop will take a hands-on, collaborative look at designing for a responsive age, discussing new deliverables and techniques that help content thrive through the next phase of the web’s evolution.
- What does the era of content-out design mean for content strategists?
- If the page metaphor is dying, what replaces it?
- What deliverables will we need to create in five years’ time?
- How can we cater to a userbase of exploding diversity?
- How can designers, IAs and content strategists work together more effectively?
- Is Agile the answer to our problems?
- What skills do we need to equip ourselves with today to handle the next decade?
- How can we convince others of the need to change?
Cennydd Bowles is a product designer at Twitter, and the author of Undercover User Experience Design. Over the past decade – including a stint at acclaimed consultancy Clearleft – he has advised dozens of companies on the benefits of customer-focused design.
Workshop 2: The secrets of brand-driven content strategy
Facing feature creep and disagreements among stakeholders? Does your CMO prize modernity and innovation, while the CEO insists on passive voice… but can’t wait to start blogging? Sounds like you need to get a grip on content, the people who make it—and the brand they want to establish.
Brand-driven content strategy can complement your user-centered design techniques, and this workshop will help you get up to speed on the philosophy, questions, tools, and exercises to implement it. You’ll gain practical, hands-on experience by taking sample organisations through a website redesign engagement. First, we’ll conduct a hands-on exercise to prioritise communication goals and develop a message architecture—ideal whether you’re designing for the web, a mobile app, social media, or an offline experience. Discover how a brand attributes cardsort can help you identify potential pitfalls in the engagement and points of disagreement—and then improve organisational alignment around the brand and content.
Next you’ll use this foundation to conduct a qualitative and quantitative content audit. We’ll discuss the content opportunities a gap analysis reveals when we use the message architecture as a metric of quality content. You’ll leave with confidence, savvy, and experience to bring brand-driven content strategy techniques and thinking back to your own organisation.
What you can expect:
- Learn how—and why—to establish a hierarchy of communication goals in a message architecture with a hands-on exercise.
- Discuss the right questions to ask—and how to ask them—to minimise distracting, off-brand features, like the blog no one has time to update.
- Use a content audit to evaluate content against the message architecture.
- Gain additional tools to keep your projects on track, on time, and on budget.
- Inform your work with an air-tight approach to better user experiences.
Margot Bloomstein is the principal of Appropriate, Inc., a brand and content strategy consultancy based in Boston, and the author of Content Strategy at Work (Morgan Kaufmann, 2012). She’s been working as a content strategist for more than a decade, and speaks regularly about the evolving challenges for content strategy.
Workshop 3: Multi-device web design
Gone are the days when the web was contained in our desktop and laptop computers. Today it flows through a sea of unique devices each with their own opportunities and limitations. Leading this shift are mobile computers, whose numbers are growing at an astonishing pace and which are becoming many people’s first (and sometimes only) way of getting online. Designing for this reality requires new ways of thinking and getting things done.
In this half-day session, Luke Wroblewski (author of Mobile First) will walk you through detailed explanations, examples, and design best practices that will shift your thinking about website organisation, layout, input, and more.
You’ll learn how to:
- Organise your websites and applications to deliver immediate value on mobile devices and beyond
- Optimise navigation systems and menus for mobile devices and adapt them to a variety of screens
- Understand the difference and decide between unique solutions for multi-device web design
- And much more!
Luke Wroblewski is an internationally recognised digital product leader. He is the author of Mobile First and Web Form Design, and most recently co-founded Bagcheck, which was acquired by Twitter just 9 months after launch.
Workshop 4: Content modelling for better managed content
Any good content strategy has to align business goals, user needs, and editorial capabilities. And, under the hood, a content management system (CMS) succeeds or fails based on its ability to support all three. How often have you heard content creators say, “This CMS is awful!”?
This may not be because the CMS is inherently bad. Often it’s just not configured properly. We can’t convey every aspect of the content with examples, writing guidelines, and annotated wireframes. Instead, we create models that are used to communicate all the types of content, the elements they’re made up of, and their relationships to each other.
In this workshop a tech-friendly content strategist and a content-sympathetic CTO will help you learn how to create content models that will spur discussion, identify gaps, align teams, resolve issues, and ultimately sit alongside functional specifications to define how a site – and the CMS that populates it – should be built.
What you’ll learn:
- Why content modelling is important, and its role in content strategy.
- How to use content models to enhance collaboration between UX practitioners, developers, and stakeholders.
- How to read, review and create content models.
Rachel Lovinger is an Experience Director/Content Strategist at Razorfish in New York. She’s dedicated to exploring a future in which content is more effectively structured and connections more easily discovered.
Cleve Gibbon is CTO at Cognifide, a marketing technology agency based in London and Poland. With over 15 years delivering digital platforms for major brands and global creative agencies, Cleve’s passion for content architecture focuses on enhancing the author experience and using technology for effective content management.