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Previous talks

Content Folks has been running since 2019. Some of the talks are recorded, and can be found on the Content Folks YouTube channel.

Content designer, party of one?

[Michelle Keller, Content Design Lead, Bereavement Services]

Being a solo content designer can be overwhelming. Or maybe you're not the only content designer, but you are in a company that is new to content design. You feel alone and you're tired of always needing to be the lone content advocate.

Content design: What they don't tell you in the books

[Liberty Howard, Head of Content Design at TPXimpact]

A lot of content designers come into the industry understanding the principles of good content design, and with a lot of valuable transferable skills we've picked up along the way. But it becomes obvious quite quickly that content design in theory is very different to content design in practice.

Why you should just stop saying 'just'

[Annie Crabtree, Service Designer at Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, UK Government]

It can be tempting to use words like ‘just’ and ‘simply’ in your content. But they usually show you’re making assumptions, excluding people or trying to fix problems with content.
 

Doing more with less: user-centred design in the third sector

[Katie Dickerson, Service Designer at TPX Impact]

Being a user-centred designer in the third sector comes with particular challenges, including needing to do a lot with few resources, managing funding restrictions, and working with vulnerable people.

Applying trauma informed principles to content design

[Rachel Edwards, Content Designer at Content Design London]

Stress, anxiety, and trauma make it harder to understand and process information. But when we’re experiencing them, we often need information to help us navigate our choices. As content designers, are we considering the impact of stress and trauma on our users? And what can we do to support them?

Artificial Intelligence for (content) designers

[Kellie Green, Lead Interaction Designer at Ministry of Justice]

Kellie will give a brief introduction to generative AI. She'll explore how we may use it in our work, and what we may need to be mindful of.

Changing how we produce bilingual content in the Welsh public sector

 

[Osian Jones and Adrián Ortega, Content designers at the Centre for Digital Public Services]

As a bilingual country, all public services in Wales must be delivered in both languages, Welsh and English.

The Centre for Digital Public Services is exploring ways to work together with public organisations to improve how content is produced and delivered to best meet user needs in both languages.

[Kristen Gough, UX Content Manager at Amazon; and Hema Manwani, Lead Content Designer at CrowdStrike]

UX writing and UX design go hand in hand. As simple it may sound, sometimes collaboration doesn't come easily. As part of this discussion, we'll talk about some common UX designer personalities and how to work effectively with each one.


 

5 common UX designer personalities and how to work with them


 

Is it time we stopped talking about 'plain' language?

 

[Fiona Brook, Content Designer at Accenture]

For years our profession has advocated for the use of plain language. While the benefit to our users is clear, overuse of the term might not be serving us, the content professionals who actually do so much more than just writing.
 

Writing content for non-native English speakers: why the ‘write in plain English’ rule matters

[Freya Cookson, Content Designer at University of Edinburgh]

 

Freya will reflect on her experience working on a project with the Student Immigration Service at the University of Edinburgh and will:
 

  • give examples of content that causes some confusion for non-native English speakers

  • explain how she improved content by using the ‘plain English’ rule

  • share practical tips when writing content for non-native English speakers

Content design: the highs and the lows

[Maddie Broxup, UX Content Designer at TPXimpact, and Josie Linsel, Content Designer at Opencast Software]

Working in content design can sometimes be challenging, and it's likely we've all faced similar hurdles. As Maddie and Josie approach their 3 year anniversaries as content designers, join them as they discuss a whirlwind few years.

Level up your leadership with ops

[Rachel McConnell, Design Lead at BT]

The operational side of content leadership is one we rarely focus enough time and effort on. But improving process and workflows, fostering stakeholder relations, and growing capability will help take your team from zero to hero.

In this talk Rachel McConnell will share her top ten tips for growing your influence and helping your team thrive in your organisation – so you can be a more impactful content leader.

You can’t pour from an empty cup: wellbeing in user research

[Sian Knight, User Researcher at Department for Work and Pensions]

 

As someone working in a user-centred design team, you may be observing or listening to some very challenging and potentially traumatic experiences that users are sharing through user research sessions. How do you prepare yourself for what you might hear and what can you do to look after yourself and your colleagues in those circumstances?

Keeping everyone content: the principles of designing for government

[Harry Thompson, Content Designer at Opencast Software]

GOV.UK aims to provide a simple, joined-up and personalised experience of government to everyone. At the core of this challenging aim are 10 principles that underpin everything designers working on government services do.

Recognising and avoiding burnout in User Centred Design (UCD)

Burnout is an increasingly common feeling in today's world, and as UCD practitioners we can be particularly susceptible to it. It's easy to think there's not much we can do about it - it's just stress, right? Well, not necessarily!

 

Join User Researcher Jill Evans to learn what burnout is, how to recognise it in ourselves, and some practical tips to start taking better care of our work life balance. Jill will draw on her own experiences and provide some simple recommendations that we can all start today in order to improve our wellbeing at work. There will be time for discussion, and links to further reading.

Keeping everyone content: the principles of designing for government

GOV.UK aims to provide a simple, joined-up and personalised experience of government to everyone. At the core of this challenging aim are 10 principles that underpin everything designers working on government services do.

Tone your voice

Are you speaking your audience's language? When it comes to getting your messages across It's not just about what you say, but how you say it.

Mark Grainger, from Blossom Tree Copy, sets out what you need to think about when creating a tone of voice for businesses of any size.

Storytelling in charities

Meryl Westlake is a former content manager who led on international storygathering for international non-governmental organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

 

She’ll take us through how to produce stories for fundraising appeals, media work, and volunteer recruitment - both on the ground where the charities work, and from the UK.

Avoiding ableism in content

When we talk about accessibility, so many people go straight to thinking about screenreaders and other extra assistive tech. But there's so much that you can do around content to help people's cognitive processing.

Lizzie Cass-Maran will talk through some important considerations, like:

  • ableist terms and how to avoid them

  • the semantic content of images

  • the intersectional nature of accessibility and inclusivity

Content in voice UI

Voice UI is a fairly new concept, and is still being developed as voice tech advances. Amazon have created best practice guidelines for designing interactions for Alexa.

In this talk, Dani Allen from Difrent will go through the basics of designing content for voice interface, good and bad examples of script writing and accessibility considerations.

Icons: evil or genius?

Icons are used in lots of different ways throughout websites, apps and communication methods. They usually communicate meaning and can often be actionable, but are they useful or are they a pain?

Content designer Josie Linsel and accessibility specialist Martin Underhill will investigate the best and worst uses of icons. Join us for an interactive session to learn about how we can make them work for our users.

Adapting GDS style principles for a cultural setting

How do you take the principles of content design and apply them to the cultural sector? When it's not just about providing clear information, but also an inspiring experience and driving conversion?

Georgina will take you through her approach to adapting GDS style principles to re-envisage all the site content from the ground up for the Ashmolean museum in Oxford.

How to run a good remote workshop

An essential part of workshops used to be getting people in the same room to work together.

So what happens when everyone’s remote? Achieving the same thing when all your participants are geographically separated and confined to small digital boxes on a screen seems impossible.

Lisa will share tips and ideas to make remote workshops run like a dream!

How to have a good day at work

Emma will help us figure out what 'good' means and guide us to prepare for a good day - and show us how to reset if things start to go off course. 

This will be a practical talk with breakout activities, so come prepared with a notepad and cuppa!

Working the wrong way for the right reasons

Dan Howarth (Department for Work and Pensions) and Pete Bates (BPDTS, on a DWP service team)

We all know the benefits of designing content in a phased, iterative way to get the best outcomes for our users.

But sometimes, like in a global pandemic, we don’t get that luxury. We still need the best possible journeys for our users, but we need to up our game in the fields of speedy collaboration and stakeholder engagement to get them.

Content designers Dan and Pete will show you their scars from a quick dip in the sea of compromise, deadlines and ministerial commitments.

How to manage content like code - and keep your development and operations teams happy

Oli will explain what static generated websites are, how to use them, and why they're better for content and dev teams alike.

How to write a brilliant brief

Writing a good brief seems like an easy thing to do, but it's surprising how many people get it wrong. It's an essential part of any project - after all, if you don't know what you're asking for, how will you know if you get it?

 

Di will be giving practical tips on how to write a brilliant brief - whether that's for someone else, or for yourself.

Evolving your content career

There are lots of different paths you can take when you start a career in content. But how do you diversify your role when you're well into your career?

 

John will tell us about his decision to learn how to create audio stories: what he did, how it worked out, and tips for anyone considering something similar.

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