Design & Content – Better Together

Back in August, I attended the Design & Content conference in Vancouver BC, which brought together designers, content strategists, and other agency types to talk about how we can better collaborate.

Since the conference, a number of the key videos have been published. I’ll highlight a few here, but many more are available on the conference site blog.

(Note: some NSFW language in this presentations – designers and content strategists can get, let’s say, colorful in expressing their passion. If you are easily offended tread carefully).

Is Design Metrically Opposed?

Jared Spool is a Boston area UX researcher, pundit, and founder of User Interface Engineering (UIE). He’s also a very entertaining speaker, tackling the issue of trying to reconcile metrics-based approaches with how we think about design traditionally.

Accessible User Experiences

Patrick McLean was one of the few speakers I did not know of before the event – but he does a great job explaining the broader notion of accessibility.

Training the CMS: Building a Better Authoring Experience

Eileen Webb is one half of Web Meadow, a content strategy consultancy and small New Hampshire farm. There’s a ton of useful info in this talk for people building sites for clients as well as for WordPress core and plugin/theme developers, in terms of how we can best lead clients to content management success.

Adaptive Content, Context, and Controversy

The ever brilliant and funny Karen McGrane on responsive design and why it is still the best strategy in the great majority of cases even when personalization / contextual presentation is desired. I wish she didn’t keep using WordPress as the strawman representing unstructured content, but she’s always worth listening to, if you ever get a chance.

Everybody Hurts: Content for Kindness

Sara Wachter-Boettcher, like Karen, is a consistently wicked smart voice in the Content Strategy community, and is working on a book on this very subject: the painful intersection of our content with unpleasant and difficult emotional states users might be in. It can be a difficult talk to watch – trigger warning for abuse survivors – as she dissects the assumptions we make in designing platforms and applications.

Honestly, I’d give a blanket recommendation here: any of the talks from this conference are worth watching, and the speakers worth following on twitter or elsewhere.