Day one - talks

6th July 2021

The first day focuses on UX writing approaches, we’ll hear about inclusive design for specific audiences, understand how to collaborate more effectively, and hear about building design systems.

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Pattern-based strings: Artisanal content at production scale

It’s common for designers to use components, systems, and design patterns to help make consistent, visually coherent experiences. Content hasn’t been so easy to systematize, because each word, each verb tense, and even the punctuation carry such nuance! In this talk, Torrey Podmajersky will present patterns that make initial content adequate, freeing content designers to focus on the text changes that make the most impact.

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Creating a culture of care for language

When you have an environment where everyone from the brand team to backend engineering sees the value in words, good writing is easy... or easier, anyway. I'll use the clickbait structure of a listicle to explain how Monzo's approach to writing focuses on the people who don't think of themselves as 'writers' (which is almost everyone).

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

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We'll take a short break - grab a tea or coffee or stretch your legs!

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Minimal viable content

More details on this talk coming soon!

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Golden Microcopy: How to helps older adults use your product

Many older adults can, know, and want to be digitally active. Technology for them can create a discouraging experience of “I’m too old for this,” but it can also create an empowering “that was so easy for me to do!” type of experience.

We, as writers and designers, have the power to give them an empowering experience.

After a few months of collaborative learning with Michal Halperin Ben Zvi, PhD, an expert in the psychology of aging, I’m excited to share 7 guidelines for writing microcopy that helps older adults use your product.

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Break time!

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Say what? A content design story told by a product designer

Sometimes a product designer's role is to be the wind in a content designer's sails.

Though content design is here to stay, organisations still struggle to truly empower content designers to do their best work. I believe every product designer has an important role to play in being an enabler for great content design.

Say what? Is a candid conversation from designer to designers as to how we can better support each other to do our best work—ultimately leading to optimal experiences for the humans who use our products.

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Networking

More details on this coming soon!

Day Two - Talks & Workshops

7th July 2021

Day two will focus on furthering content design. We’ll discover how to get more embedded into the design process, build your UX writing portfolio, and hear more general tips. You’ll also get the chance to choose one of our practical workshops. Get hands-on with voice and tone, chatbot writing, or accessibility.

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Content design maturity by a team of one

What happens after you've shifted an organization from bandaid copy to awareness and inclusion of content design? We all know the importance of increasing the content designer-to-designer ratio, but that ratio isn't the only way to mature content design as a craft in a company. Learn what content design maturity looks like and how to create it when the content designers in your company are outnumbered.

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How to build and enhance your UX writing portfolio

What do UX writing and content design hiring managers look for in a portfolio? What is a portfolio anyway? If I am just“writing the words,” how do I walk the reviewer through the workflow? Content design manager Andy Welfle breaks it down for you, shows you some good examples of UX writing portfolios, and gives you some thought technologies to build a relevant, compelling narrative that’ll help you get hired.

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The things no one tells you about content design

User needs. Consistency. Sentence case. Active voice. There are lots of ‘rules’ you’ll hear about content design. Useful ones too.

But what about the things you don’t hear about? The behind-the-scenes bloopers. The mascara-running mishaps and soul-shattering self-doubt.

In this talk, I’ll reflect on some of the less than perfect learnings and things I wish I’d know when I kicked off my career in content design many moons ago.

Expect uncensored realness, unpretentious imperfections and a good dose of content design self-care.

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We'll take a short break - grab a tea or coffee or stretch your legs!

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Workshop 1: Voice and tone workshop

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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Workshop 2: Voice UI: creating content for conversation

Voice is no longer a new frontier - smart speakers have sold faster than any previous technology in history, and as a result, more and more of us are using voice UIs as part of daily life. As more and more services reach customers through voice channels, and the reliability of the technology improves, the competitive landscape is heating up. Consumer expectations are increasing, services need to evolve to meet them with voice and conversation.

The approach one must take to voice is radically different to designing for screens: no longer can a designer dictate what a user can do. Instead we must design for open-ended input, i.e. speech, perhaps humanity’s most unique and ancient technologies. Join this session to learn the basics of voice design and conversational content. In this session, Ben will take you through the key differences that distinguish voice design from screen design, how the content differs, the process and principles, and how to prototype and test.

You’ll join a team during this session, and together you will prototype and test a voice experience.

Things you will learn:

  • How the design challenges differ between voice and screen
  • The limits and benefits of voice technology
  • The key concepts unique to voice: intents, slots, utterances, variables, and more
  • Voice design process & principles
  • How to test voice designs
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Workshop 3: Collaboration tools for content-first design

Collaborating with others is hard. And it’s even harder to convince them to try a new approach if they’ve never even heard about it.

As a content designer or UX writer you’ll constantly find yourself as an advocate for breaking silos and content-first design. This is one of our superpowers and a great way that we provide value to our teams and the business.

To help you out with your cause, let’s talk about content-first design and how to introduce it to your team and stakeholders. To get you to enable better collaboration with other content designers or UX writers, as well as your design team, stakeholders or even subject matter experts, this workshop will show you a set of tools and how to put them in practice. The best part is, they’re so simple, you can start using them next Monday.

In this workshop we will:

  • Talk about content-first design
  • Discuss how to collaborate better with peers and stakeholders
  • Share collaboration tools for content-first design
  • Practice how to use them
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Workshop 4: Yippee IA - Information Architecture for content creators

If your content can’t be found does it really exist?

People do two things online. They are either consuming content or navigating to it. As content designers we want people to spend more time engaging with our content and less time struggling to find it.

A great information architecture (IA) tells a story, creates flow and encourages discovery.

Too often information architecture is presented as a mysterious quasi-science. This workshop takes a content-led jargon-free approach.

In this interactive session, Chris will introduce you to some practical tips and tricks to make information architecture one of your superpowers.

You’ll come away from this workshop able to:

  • Organise your content (and many other things in life)
  • Test the effectiveness of your site structure and labels
  • Create interesting connections between pages with metadata
  • Spot the early warning signs for an ailing IA (and how to remedy it)
  • Apply IA thinking to both your whole websites and individual pages

In this masterclass you’ll practice some techniques by working in small groups.

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Workshop 5: Details TBC