Now What? Conference 2016

Two days of smart workshops and presentations. Two days of notebook-busting, pencil-shortening, brain-enlarging content. We were totally ready to take sail.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

  • 8:00 - 8:30


  • 8:30 - 12:00

    “Defining Your Core Content Strategy”

    Content strategy is about providing the right content, to the right people, at the right times, for the right reasons. Yet, we don’t always make smart decisions about what content we produce and why. Ensure you spend your time and money on content efforts that make sense for your organization and your audiences with a core strategy. In this workshop, we’ll walk through a five-step process for defining it. This is truly a workshop, emphasis on workYou’ve been warned.

    Meghan Casey

    Lead Content Strategist, Brain Traffic
  • 12:00 - 1:30

    Break for Lunch (on your own)

  • 1:30 - 5:00

    “Smooth Sailing Post-Launch: Managing, Maintaining, and Improving Content”

    Redesigning a website with shiny, new content can be hard. Managing, maintaining, and improving the content you’ve got long after launch is even harder. There’s so much we need to know: Is our investment in content strategy paying off? Are we communicating the right message? Reaching the right audience? Does the content support our business goals and audience needs like we intended?

    Having a system for understanding performance, ongoing improvement, and metrics to measure can help us keep our content shipshape and seaworthy. In this hands-on workshop we will explore and practice techniques to:

    • Integrate smart measurement and testing into your content strategy that helps you know what’s working and what needs to be improved
    • Develop a plan for content management that addresses how we add, edit, and remove content from our websites
    • Navigate the often tricky waters of getting the buy-in and resources we need to implement changes and make iterative improvements

    Rebekah Cancino

    Content Strategy and UX Consultant

Thursday, April 14, 2016

  • 8:00 - 9:00

    Opening Remarks

    Corey Vilhauer - “Welcome to Now What? 2017”

  • 9:10 - 10:00

    “Wicked Ambiguity and User Experience”

    How do you solve the world’s hardest problems? And how would you respond if they’re unsolvable? As user experience professionals, we’re focused on people who live and work in the here and now. We dive into research, define the problem, break down silos, and focus on people’s intent to create solutions.

    But how does our UX work change when a project lasts not for one year, or even 10 years, but for 10,000 years or more? Enter the “Wicked Problem,” or situations with so much ambiguity, complexity, and interdependencies that—by definition—they can’t be solved. Using real-world examples from NASA’s Voyager program, the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, and other long-term UX efforts, we’ll talk about the challenges of creating solutions for people whom we’ll never know in our lifetimes. The ways we grapple with ambiguity give us a new perspective on our work and on what it means to build experiences that last.

    Jonathon Colman

    Product UX + content strategy, Facebook
  • 10:00 - 10:50

    “The Lone Ranger: Managing the Ups and Downs of One-Person Offices and Small Teams”

    The challenges of doing everything with less is increasingly difficult for all of us. In this talk, Ron will draw on years of experience in random outposts to uncover how he maximized the advantages and disadvantages of small-team life. You’ll also learn tactics for improving your own productivity in your own office.

    Ron Bronson

    Director, Nordic Strategy Lab
  • 10:50 - 11:15

    Morning Break

  • 11:15 - 12:05

    “Reducing Digital Clutter: How to Clean Up the Back of Your House”

    Organizations love to produce content, but the majority suck at making it available to internal resources and external audiences. In the race to provide more content for our audiences, we’ve created a systematic web of back-end digital clutter. In this talk, you’ll see how a cluttered internal content environment at a leading medical device company meant the difference between life and death. Fret not—we can fix this. Matthew will demonstrate how organizations in healthcare, technology, and financial services are cleaning up the back of their house, and how it has translated to richer content experiences for their audiences.

    After this session, you will:

    • Understand the impact of fractured content on an organization
    • Establish an actionable plan to reduce digital clutter
    • Receive best practices on how content can be reused internally and externally

    Matt Grocki

    Principal and Owner, Grass Fed Content
  • 12:05 - 1:20


  • 1:25 - 2:15

    “Content Heavy Lifting: How to Recycle (and Upcycle) Your Content Over and Over Again”

    We spend all this time building channels to house our content, but many of us are strapped for time and talent (sometimes treasure!) to keep the content production in high-gear. In this talk, Megan will walk through 10 ways to make one piece of content work across web, social and print to help you—or your clients—think creatively and strategically about making small amounts of content do the heavy-lifting across all your channels.

    Megan Costello

    Senior Advancement Communications Specialist, Morgridge Institute for Research
  • 2:15 - 3:05

    “Busting the Field of Dreams Theory: Making Content Meaningful, Useful, and Findable”

    Content marketing requires a holistic strategy around your content to ensure it is visible to search engines without sacrificing its value to humans. Getting content noticed means creating high quality, useful content but publishing alone will not guarantee traffic, let alone conversions and sales. The work you put into planning before publishing is the best set-up for success. Strategy helps you choose the right message and content for your audiences, structure it for robots and readers, and promote it on multiple channels.

    Misty Weaver

    Content Strategy Lead, Portent, Inc.
  • 3:05 - 3:30

    Afternoon Break

  • 3:30 – 3:55

    “Next Level Collaboration: The Future of Content and Design”

    Imagine a future where siloed departments and legacy workflows don’t stand in our way. Today’s content is complex, interconnected, and needs to be ready for devices we haven’t even dreamed of yet. Tomorrow isn’t going to get any simpler. Successful outcomes demand a new kind of collaboration. For the past two years, Rebekah has studied how successful teams collaborate and has helped transform the way her team works and produces together. In this session, you’ll hear what she’s learned about making effective cross-discipline collaboration possible, and leave with actionable inspiration you can use to unite your team and workflow, too.

    This talk will show you:

    • What it takes to make effective collaboration possible
    • How you can play a key role in creating the cross-discipline teams of tomorrow
    • Practical tips you can use to bridge silos, increase productivity, and deliver better project outcomes for everyone

    Rebekah Cancino

    Content Strategy and UX Consultant
  • 3:55 - 4:45

    “The Five Meetings You Meet in Web Design”

    Web site building techniques are always changing, but the meetings supporting that work sadly haven’t changed much at all. At the core of every meeting is a group of human brains, and against the breakneck pace of iPhone model releases those brains have not evolved in the slightest. Better meeting design for web professionals addresses this constraint. Every web design organization has a core curriculum of five types of meeting goals: getting started, checking in, presenting, exploring, and the big finish. Each of the five meetings have classic mistakes, unique opportunities, best executions, and remote work implications. Kevin will explore how each of the five meetings is an opportunity to do your best work, with plenty of examples you can start using right away.

    Kevin M. Hoffman

    Founder, Seven Heads Designs
  • 5:15 - 8:00

    Closing Party

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