Day one - talks

25th June 2020

Barbican Centre
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Registration

We'll have fresh coffee to get your day started right! Please bring some ID with you to collect your pass. We can't wait to meet you!

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Welcome and Introduction to Content by Design

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Minimum Viable Content

When it comes to content, what does minimal and viable look like?
How does it vary between different contexts, products and stages of a project? How much is enough and what can't be compromised? And the question on everyone's lips - is Lorem Ipsum ever OK?

In this talk, Amy will take you on a meandering exploration through the content design landscape in search of a universal definition of minimum viable content.

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Strategic Writing for UX

We have visual and interaction design systems, but why not text? In most designs, the words are left until the last moment. Learn how to make those words work as hard as any other part of the UX to drive engagement, conversion, and retention.

The content can be as consistent as the navigational elements, and convey the brand as clearly as the color palette. The words can align with customer goals and business priorities from the beginning, meet heuristic quality goals, and make a measurable impact. In this presentation, Torrey Podmajersky will lead you through the virtuous cycle she introduces in her book Strategic Writing for UX (O’Reilly, 2019) to create content that gets customers doing what they’re there to do while the business meets or exceeds its goals.

Takeaways

Where UX writing fits in (and how it’s different from) other kinds of content
A framework to align UX content voice to business principles
Methods for measuring the impact of content on customer and business goals

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Grab a tea or coffee, we'll start again at 11.30

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Writing is Designing

Without words, apps would be an unusable jumble of shapes and icons, while voice interfaces and chatbots wouldn’t even exist. Words make software human-centered, and require just as much thought as the branding and code. Andy Wefle, co-author of "Writing Is Designing: Words and the User Experience" will show you how to give your users clarity, test your words, and collaborate with your team. You’ll see that writing is designing.

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The Importance of Choosing Your Moments

Every app, service and product seems to want to inject personality and character into its brand, trying to make themselves as human and as chirpy as possible. But while sometimes delighting the user is about making a real, human connection, there are other times when it’s just about getting out of the way.
How do you tell the difference between these moments? How do you design a system to identify them and make them work for everyone?
With guidelines and examples, Anna will explore how types of delight differ, explain why choosing your moment matters, and discuss the concrete effects of identifying these places where brand voice, content and product design meet.

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No one reads: How UX writing and design can create together

For UX writers, collaboration with product design is a work in progress. Learn how a startup welcomed UX writing into its small UX design team, what went right, what went wrong, and how UX writers can collaborate with design to create something better.

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Lunch time!

Join us for a delicious healthy lunch!

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How to Maximize the Impact of Your Content Team

Leaders of content strategy and UX writing teams in product organizations are often asked to "do more with less." So they stretch their teams to cover many products per person—sometimes 5-10 or more. This forces their team to constantly switch contexts, spend most of their days in meetings without reserving "maker time" to do the work, miss opportunities to have meaningful impact on product and design strategy, fail to develop as design professionals, and ultimately to burn out and leave the organization... only to repeat the cycle anew elsewhere.

In 2020 and beyond, we need to change our approach to content team leadership. There's a better way forward for you, your team, and our industry: do less to achieve more. I'll show you how we've completely re-written the content design playbook at Intercom so that everyone works on just one product at a time. You'll see how we hold content designers accountable to work in the same ways and achieve the same results as product designers. And you'll find out how this increases the team's impact, improves their sense of fulfillment, and accelerates their professional growth, all while showing the organization the real-world outcomes of dedication content design work.

You'll learn how to:

Do less to achieve more by shifting your content team to focus on one product at a time
Set up accountability mechanisms to hold content and product designers accountable for the same impact
Justify paying content designers the same as you do product designers
Improve your team's impact, effectiveness, growth, and morale

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Content Design your Self-Confidence

How to practise what we preach and stay sane in the face of FAQs, lorem ipsum and non-believers

Part mediator, part stakeholder wrangler, part jargon buster, part game changer: content designers are a rare breed of unicorn. But even unicorns need to look after themselves in order to maintain their sparkle. In this talk, I'll delve in to how we can apply some of the methods we know so well to our own work wellbeing and look after ourselves no matter how many plates we're spinning.

Expect honest vulnerability, learnings from my own experience and psychological insights. And remember you're a warrior.

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Afternoon Break

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Around 5 things most companies don’t know about words

Harry will use the clickbait structure of a listicle to try to convince you that most companies (even the ones with great UX) routinely under-appreciate the difference words can make. And to make matters worse, they usually invest in the wrong ones too.

We’ll also look at how a Twix can make anyone a better communicator, which drink ruined things for writers everywhere, and what Spanish and German bridges reveal about our biases.

There’ll be anecdotes, good examples, bad jokes, and research respectfully borrowed from people much smarter than him.

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Day Two - Workshops

26th June 2020

Barbican Centre
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Registration

We'll have fresh coffee to get your day started right! Please bring some ID with you to collect your pass.

There are two workshops that you can choose from in the morning and two in the afternoon. You can choose which you attend on the day.

Each workshop will include a break for tea, coffee and rather lovely cakes.

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Accessibility is Usability

This Introduction to accessibility will give your content and marketing teams an idea of what they need to create content that meets the WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

This workshop will cover

  • An overview of the. WCAG 2.1 guidelines
  • What it means for your content
  • Alt text and alternative formats
  • Using colour and type
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Content-First Design for First-Run Experiences

Instead of starting with wireframes, workflows, and journeys, we will start as if the experience is a person, and welcome the new user. Bring your improv “yes” to this workshop that jump-starts designs by developing the right relationship from the start.

In this workshop, Torrey Podmajersky will lead you through the exercise for content-first design she shared in her book Strategic Writing for UX (O’Reilly, 2019). Because onboarding is one of the most critical UX challenges to get right, we’ll start where the user starts: entering the unknown experience. You’ll learn how to lead your team and intended users to find the right conversation for the experience, before wireframes and user flows are imagined. We’ll start by identifying the goals of the experience for the user and for the organization, and then participate in physical acting to create the experience as a conversation. Finally, we’ll create wireframes for the onboarding experience, and determine next steps.

What you'll learn
Practical experience with the process of conversation-first design
A guide to lead your own team through the experience
Example documents of the onboarding flow created in class

Who it's for
Aspiring and current UX designers, writers, and researchers
Product owners and managers

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Lunch

Join us for a delicious healthy lunch!

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How to Build a Brilliant Brand Voice

A simple, collaborative approach to developing and implementing a brand voice that works for UX writing and not just marketing

If your voice guidelines are just six adjectives in the brand book you're not alone, but you’re missing a big opportunity.
Your voice has a huge role to play in conveying what you stand for and communicating with your audience. It isn’t just about brand, marketing, or the emotional side of things. It’s also about the rational: if you’re trying to create a great product or service, your voice - and the tones you use it with - has an impact on your user experience too.

If it’s time to give your voice more consideration and your writers better guidance, this workshop will get you off to the right start.

What we'll cover

What makes a great brand voice and four facets to focus on
The difference between voice and tone
How to use tone to be match user needs in different scenarios
Methods you can use to develop your voice
Lots of examples of brand voice at work in UX writing

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Talking Design: Make Your Content Work in Voice UI

Voice UI is growing fast. Although we’re all competent in person-to-person conversation, designing a good conversation is a new challenge for most organisations.

Modern voice interfaces are an opportunity to create better products in new contexts. Smart adoption of VUIs in the right environment makes interaction simple, pleasurable, accessible and lowers cognitive load.

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn all about the challenges in designing for voice, how it differs from screen, how to make it great, and then put their learnings into practice. Teams will choose from suggested scenarios to explore voice’s potential and create their own prototype.

In addition, we’ll cover how organisations can adapt their content practises to suit multiple channels, starting with voice, and why voice-first is a good foundation for all content.

Each workshop team will test the effectiveness and enjoyability of their prototyped voice interfaces using the Wizard of Oz methods practised by teams at Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. And each participant will take home resources useful for future VUI work.

Side note: Prototyping in voice is both faster, and more fun than prototyping for screen!

Join us to expand your design skills with a new interaction tool that’s as old as humanity: voice.

What you'll learn

  • How to design a voice interface
  • How designing ‘conversation’ differs from screen interactions
  • Key principles and methods for voice design
  • Understanding of how to prototype voice with Wizard of Oz methods
  • How content strategy might differ with voice as one of many channels