Content Maintenance, Content Change

This weekend I took a quick trip to Philly to attend and speak at Conduit 2018, hosted by the Society of Technical Communications Philadelphia Metro Chapter.

I’m consistently impressed by the quality of talks at STC conferences. At some of the larger conferences we hear mostly from agencies and freelancers. At STC conferences I learn from people working in-house, with case studies of longer-term projects and content strategy maintenance work.


At Conduit 2018 I came away with insights on everything from how to create the content of the future, to how to prove that not making a change can be costly, to how marketing and technical teams can work together. Continue Reading


Making Conferences Worth Your While

While there are more and more UX courses available, there are few better ways to learn about specific topics and improve UX skills than attending conferences. But conferences take time to attend, and for many people conferences are overwhelming, overstimulating, and not worth the time and money.

How can you make sure your next conference experience is worthwhile? Continue Reading


Live from ConveyUX: Disruptive Testing for Disruptive Technology

Disruptive Testing for Disruptive Technology: How to test without a prototype, by Sylvie Daumal

conveyuxWe ask ourselves: Are we designing the right thing? Does it enhance our experience as humans?

Then, to reduce risk, we create prototypes to test them with users. We think and evolve while we build prototypes.

“Prototyping is the conversation you have with your ideas.” -Tom Wudec

Up to this point, we’ve been able to sketch and wireframe apps to test them. Now we’re in a new world: the Internet of Things. We can’t prototype AI and robots. Continue Reading


Live from ConveyUX: Using Data Science to Quantify User Journeys

conveyuxUsing Data Science to Quantify User Journeys, by Sam Zaiss

Sam leads a team of data scientists (now called Experience Analytics) at Microsoft

He’s determined the goal of data science and user research is the same: use data to accomplish goals


Communication breaks down between data scientists and UX researchers because there is a lexicon barrier. When data scientists say there are “lies, damn lies, and observational studies” they mean “don’t assume correlation implies causality.” But UX researchers hear it as “you’re undermining us!” Continue Reading


Live from ConveyUX: Fundamentals of JTBD

conveyuxFundamentals of JTBD, by Jillian Wells

“…People don’t want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” Theodore Wells (Harvard Marketing Professor)

…but most people don’t want a hole. They want to put up their bookshelf, so that their living room that feels like their own.

When we uncover goals, we can create disruptive solutions. Rather than starting with solutions. Continue Reading


Designing for Mental Health: Workshop

For designers, the mental health space is a difficult one to reach. Hundreds of apps flood the app store offering to cure depression, bipolar disorder, and other behavioral health issues. But few are clinically tested or have proven their validity.

At Mad*Pow we want more for the world of mental health. We want designers with health knowledge and an understanding of the challenges that people who struggle with mental health deal with every day.

That’s why Experience Strategist Jen Smerdel and I are hosting a workshop on Designing for Mental Health

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When: March 8th, 9am-5pm
Where: Boston, MA
Who: Designers, content strategists, and other UX practitioners interested in the health care space!


Content Strategy Across Industries

What does higher education have to do with healthcare or finance? More than you might think!

Conference Revelations

Last week I was lucky enough to attend Confab Higher Ed. As always, Confab offered a variety of fantastic talks – so many that it was difficult to choose between them. But what most struck me wasn’t the brilliance of the speakers, or the breadth and depth of the information, or even the variety of perspectives.

What struck me was the ways in which higher education topics apply to healthcare and finance. Continue Reading


Live from ConfabEDU: Too Many Cooks!

Too Many Cooks: How to overcome content interference so you can do your job, by Jared Thomas Meyer

Content interference can result in websites that don’t reflect goals, movie posters that don’t reflect the movie, and logos that are terrible.

You end up with: https://xkcd.com/773/

What is content interference?

The unsolicited, unwanted, and often uninformed opinion of an interloper that delays or alters carefully crafted content.

We ask for feedback in our process. Content interference isn’t feedback.

Why do people interfere?

  • Visibility is power
  • Competing interests
  • Content strategy is a mystery
  • Expertise is really difficult to prove (and easy to fake) Continue Reading

Live from ConfabEDU: Getting real about content workflow for your CMS

Getting real about content workflow for your CMS, by Rick Allen

Workflows can be highly personal. So can lunch… and you don’t need it to be fancy, necessarily. You just need it to work for you.

  • Exciting? No.
  • Predictable? Yes.
  • Simple? Yes.
  • Convenient? Yes.
  • Get the job done? Yes.

Getting a content workflow together means understanding the work we do. Continue Reading


Live from ConfabEDU: The accessible user experience

The accessible user experience, by Robin Smail

Robin’s a Penn State UX designer. What is UX, and why should you care?

  • User experience encompasses everything people touch.
  • Usability is how well they can get what they need.
  • Accessibility is the inclusive practice of removing barriers to prevent interactions

There are many many definitions of accessibility though, which can be overwhelming. When admins here “accessible” they sometimes hear that as “costly litigation.” But we are all designing for people with low visibility, hearing issues, etc etc.

We don’t get to choose who our users are or what device they use. They choose that. Continue Reading