Skip to content.

Skip to main menu.

Drowning in Data: Living Through a Content Inventory with an Information Hoarder

It may seem easier to just install another network drive but when your customer irrationally refuses to part with useless information during a content inventory, it can end up costing the company countless dollars in the form of missed opportunities or wasted productivity. It can even create safety or legal concerns when outdated content continues to surface in search results.

During her years of serving as a full-time “information organizer” for a decentralized intranet supporting over 60,000 employees, Gianna has helped dozens of content owners get through the decluttering phase of a web redesign project (usually with a minimum of hair-pulling). In the process she has developed a deeper understanding of the unique relationship people have with their website content, as well as the pathology of hoarding in general.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Truly negative consequences of keeping everything
  • Similarities between compulsive hoarders of physical objects and people who hoard information
  • Tactics that help maintain trust and encourage customer involvement during the grueling content inventory process
  • Transferable skills to, in turn, teach their next customer — empowering them to make rational keep-or-toss decisions on their own with minimal handholding

Gianna Pfister-LaPin

Gianna Pfister-LaPin is the senior UI/UX designer on Mayo Clinic’s in-house intranet team, recently named one of Nielsen Norman Group’s 10 Best Intranets of 2014. There she leads large design projects for clinical and operational departments, consults on enterprise-wide standards for a variety of digital interfaces, and conducts user research to gain insight into Mayo Clinic’s 60,000+ employees.

Gianna currently lives in outside Rochester, Minnesota with her partner and two children. She holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, plays with yarn in her spare time, and — when necessary — can be bribed with stroopwafels.

Proactively Managing Your Career

The past 12 past months Minnesota has seen a number of significant hiring, reorganization, layoff and acquisition announcements.

If your CEO, Executive Director, VP or Manager came to your desk or sent an email right now and said:

  • We want to promote you, let’s meet tomorrow at 9 am and talk about it.
  • Your annual review is this month, fill out this form and have it back to me by the end of the week.
  • Because of the upcoming acquisition your role is likely to change. Let’s talk about what you want to do next.
  • The project we are working… the funding has been pulled. We only you need you for two more weeks.
  • I’m sorry but as part of our “reorganization” we are letting you go.

… would you be ready? Are you maintaining your career?

What will be one past presentation and two parts active Q&A we are going to have a conversation around these topics:

  • How to position yourself for the next step in your career.
  • Negotiating salary/rates and how to ask for more money.
  • Maintaining the skills your employer needs now and learning what they need next.
  • The grass is not always greener on the other side.
  • Networking – Are you sitting next to someone you know right now? If so, change seats.
  • Building your portfolio for your next review, job search, or project.
  • Specifically for the consultants/contractors: how to have an adequate pipeline of projects

These are exciting (and stressful) times and in many ways the future of the workplace is changing. Be ready.

Putting the D&D In TDD

Are you tired of TDD (test-driven development) workshops that make you do boring things like calculate bowling scores and prime factors or demonstrate how to win at the game of life? If so, this is the session for you! In this TDD workshop we will be building the domain model for EverCraft — a new MMORPG from Blizzards of the Coast. We have lots of story cards prepared covering features from combat to magic, classes to spells, and races to items. Plus, we’ll be defining some of these cards during the session in case you want that +9 knife of ogre slaying or enjoy casting magic missile at the darkness.

This workshop is language agnostic and for all levels of developers. The focus is on TDD and emergent design but pair programming will be covered as well. The only requirement is that you bring a laptop and that you be able to test-drive you code with your language of choice. When you are done you will emerge a better programmer for the experience but there is small chance you will have a craving for Cheetos and Mountain Dew.

Learning Outcomes: Attendees should leave the session feeling more familiar with a Test-Driven Development approach for developing software, what it’s benefits are and how to apply these techniques at their place of employment.

Attendee Skill Level: Attendees should be familiar with the their development language and at least a general understanding of a unit testing framework for that language.

George Walters

During the daylight hours, George works as an application developer for Northwoods Consulting Partners. With more than 15 years experience in application development, he has become an advocate for building clean, concise code without sacrificing the user experience. He builds applications in an agile environment using a variety of technologies including Java, Groovy, C#, Objective-C, JavaScript and Ruby. He is also a strong promoter for using Adaptive and Responsive Design in all aspects of web development and pushes the need for developers to become stronger and more affluent in the Web UI stack of technologies.

After dark, well, that’s a different story… Between raising two young kids with his wife, Jen, he enjoys hockey, role playing games, science-fiction, comics and technology. Any spare time is spent putting the last few touches on a new home and freelancing web projects.

You Can’t Ship from Your Ivory Tower: Including Developers in the Design Process

If you consider yourself the only designer on your team, why should you expect anyone else to care about design?

In reality, your organization already has some of the best design thinkers you’ll ever meet nearby: your developers. In this talk, we’ll have an honest look at our shared tendency to be “Design Prophets” instead of “Design Facilitators”, and how this tendency can hurt our ultimate goals. We’ll also discuss the concept of a “Design Culture”, and the role of you and your team in building that culture in your organization.

This session will provide a basic foundation for designers who wish to foster a culture of design at their own organizations. We’ll discuss common misconceptions that prevent us from achieving that goal – ones we must overcome, and ones we are guilty of harboring ourselves. Well look at the work of influential design thinkers who have laid groundwork for us to take advantage of. Case studies will provide practical examples to apply these topics to.

Matt Edwards

Matt Edwards is a Senior UX Designer at The Nerdery in Minneapolis, MN, where his primary focus is design strategy and research. Working with a wide variety of clients, ranging from local nonprofits to Fortune 50 companies, he’s specialized in integrating human-centered design processes into development workflows of all varieties. When not writing about himself in the third person, he’s working on DIY art and Arduino projects at home. Matt is an alumnus of Indiana University’s HCI/D MS program.

Training the CMS: Building a Better Authoring Experience

Nothing brings content and design strategy to life like launching a shiny new site: teasers fit neatly without any awkward ellipses, images are cropped perfectly for different screen sizes, and related content is wonderfully relevant. But after a few months, I see things start to slip: headlines are weak, teasers don’t contain any helpful information, and article bylines are pasted into the Body even though there’s a separate Author field.

What happened? I wrote a training document, but it’s like no one even read it! Well, guess what: they probably didn’t. Segregating content guidelines into a separate document is a great way to make sure no one besides me sees them. If I want site administrators and authors to remember how to write the headlines, what information to include in the teasers, and what layout to use for the slideshow images, I have to put the content guidelines where they’ll see them: inside the CMS.

In this workshop we’ll explore how to improve the authoring experience for the people who are creating and maintaining content in the CMS after the site is built. We’ll talk about how to name and organize fields, and what kinds of plugins and modules exist for popular CMSs to make content creation smoother and more pleasant. We’ll work through exercises that help us think like our authors so we can write help text that lets them do their jobs well. There will be worksheets! There will be group activities! There will be sketching! Most importantly, we’ll learn how to communicate the information needed for ongoing support of structured content, information architecture, and design.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify gaps in content training that can be addressed through improving the CMS authoring experience.
  • Write field names and help text that help authors create content that meets the needs of the design and content strategy plan.
  • Figure out ways to work content training into existing website development processes.

Attendee Skill Level: Experience with CMS administration (though not necessarily as a programmer – as a user is totally fine too!). This is relatively beginner-level, though familiarity with structured content and other basic content strategy ideas would be helpful.

Future-Proof Your Interfaces with Automated CSS Testing

How do you know a change you made to one small section on a page doesn’t break a large section on another page of your site, especially when you don’t have time to manually regression test every page? While Test-Driven Development has grown in popularity for languages like JavaScript, we’re still lacking automation behind our CSS/UI changes.

This workshop will walk through a few of the tools available to help out. We’ll set up the software together, then run them against real-life scenarios to show where each succeeds and where they individually fall short.

Learning Outcomes: By the end of the workshop, attendees will have a solid understanding of what options are available and know how to add a regression test suite to any project they’re currently working on.

Attendee Skill Level:

  • Basic understanding of the command line
  • Intermediate understanding of HTML/CSS
  • Intermediate understanding of JavaScript

Not Wearing Pants: Is Freelancing Right for Me?

In this workshop, we will break down the myths and mysteries of making the leap to freelancing and cover charging what you’re worth (with my special formula!), taking inventory of office equipment and supplies, tackling the impostor complex and worthiness issues, working styles and schedules, and breaking down how to solve whether or not there is demand for your service. This workshop experience would be street level, real information, with an honest delivery and real life use cases and examples. There will be many takeaways and lots of resources offered for success.

Learning Outcomes/Takeaways:

  • A framework of a starter business plan.
  • A formula on how to charge for your work.
  • How to network with other freelancers in their industry.
  • Breaking down the psychology of worthiness.
  • Scheduling and mapping your day for success.
  • How to manage a full-time job and one to two side freelancing projects

Attendee Skill Level: Entry level. Open to anyone who has ever considered freelancing.

Page Navigation

Viewing page 1. Page Links: