Content Strategy, Presentations

Content is King, or, if you don’t have a content strategy you’re living in a fairy tale.

This year, I was invited back to Malmö Sweden to give a new workshop at the From Business to Buttons conference. Because I was so close to the home of Hans Christian Andersen, I organized the presentation around a fairy tale. Like most fairy tale people, the ones in my talk made some mistakes.

I’m super excited by all the momentum around content strategy right now. From our local NYC meetups to Kristina Halvorson’s new book, there’s a community of people that I am delighted to be a part of.

Business Models, Presentations

Designing for, with, and around advertising

One day in 2005 I woke up and discovered I worked for an advertising agency. This came as kind of a shock to me, particularly since I was working at the same job I’d always had, leading the user experience practice in the New York office of Razorfish. But through various acquisitions we’d become Avenue A | Razorfish, and now we were in the business of making ads and selling ad space.

I had a tough time reconciling this with my focus on delivering the best possible experience for users. In fact, it’s one of the things that led me to leave and start Bond Art + Science in 2006. But in the intervening years, I have had the opportunity to work with many publishers — large and small, print and online-only — and have gained new perspective on advertising as a business model.

This talk, given at the 2009 IA Summit in Memphis, is my attempt to explain why user experience designers should open their hearts to advertising as a revenue model, and find ways to meet the needs of both users and advertisers.

Computing History, Presentations

Foundations of Interaction Design

In 2007 I conducted a three-hour session on the history of interaction design for Smart Experience in New York. I’m a big fan of teaching about the historical underpinnings of our field, particularly since so many people working today don’t know the background of the discipline. Learning how the field evolved is an important part of education in other design disciplines like architecture or graphic design, and it should be equally important for students of interaction design.

To that end, I will be teaching a longer version of this course in the new MFA program in interaction design at SVA starting in Fall 2009.

Computing History, Presentations

From typing to swiping: interaction design has come a long way!

In July of 2008 I presented at the first Ignite NYC event. The Ignite format is demanding for a speaker: 20 slides which auto-advance after 15 seconds for a total of 5 minutes. It also takes place in a bar, so the environment can be a bit raucous. Someone told me afterwards “if you can do that, you can perform in the Superbowl half-time show.”

This presentation includes both the actual slides and the bullet point speaking script I memorized.

Drupal, Presentations

Creating Usable Websites: Do It With Drupal!

Jeff Robbins of Lullabot asked if I’d speak about ways Drupal developers can learn more about user experience and make more usable websites at their Do It With Drupal conference, held in New Orleans in December 2008.

Since “making more usable websites” is a pretty broad topic, I decided to focus the talk on interaction design patterns, and the many libraries that exist to guide people in making design decisions. This got me thinking about a pattern library that could live on, which I think would be a good way for people to share design solutions and code.


The Users That Use You

I was invited by the IA Institute to speak as part of a full-day workshop at the 2008 IA Summit in Miami. The workshop topic was leadership, and each of the presenters (Mags Hanley, Harry Max, and Chris Fahey) addressed ways that IAs can be leaders within their organization or within the field.

Josh Rubin and I discussed ways that techniques from user-centered design can help people sell their ideas more effectively within their organizations. By thinking of a personal agenda like a product that needs to be adopted by its users, user experience professionals may discover that they already possess skills and perspectives needed to make their ideas reality.