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Caring for New Users: Adoption, Onboarding, Permissions, Empty States, Feedback Herding, Friction, Hooks and More

What does it take to craft a great experience for new users of our product? Once we’re ready to move past MVP-stage, having learned what we needed to learn, there’s still more to think about than merely what capability to give our earliest adopters and how that translates into functionality for the team to build and scale.

Enter the concept of “New User Experience”. This session explores the idea of transforming new users into power users. It’d be nice if we could all hone our intuition skills and create absolutely 100% intuitive product 100% of the time, but that’s more fantasy than reality. So we must leverage techniques that help us make our new users feel awesome! This includes new users of products employing AR and especially AI which can have murky new user experiences at best.

Takeaways: You’ll learn:

  • How to overcome the struggle to drive people to your product
  • Considerations for short attention spans, limited scratch memory, temporary disabilities, and avoiding committing funnel homicide from cognitive burnout.
  • The many types of onboarding, and which method is optimal for our users’ in learning how to use our products.
  • Permission priming, permission pouncing and other concerns for user privacy when our products need access beyond various device limitations.
  • What empty states are, and how you need to think about them in the context of your product and your users’ goals in order to make them useful as well as delightful.
  • Sources of friction in the experience and in growing our user base.
  • How to keep new users coming back, through consideration of habit formation tactics.

Attendee Skill Level:
Some experience useful or else the topic may seem a bit advanced to beginners.

3D Experiences in Your Browser

The technology available in web browsers continues to evolve at an impressive pace, and the creative possibilities are inspiring. This presentation will focus on real-time rendering of 3D environments within web browsers to create engaging interactive experiences. Michael and David will use a recent project created for Clearfield to help demonstrate possibilities, and share lessons learned. Attendees will leave with new ideas, an introduction to BabylonJS, concrete technical examples, technical tips, and valuable insights into what is next online.

Takeaways: An introduction to BabylonJS, and learn from our experience. We also expect to provide access to starter code to help attendees jump in after the event.

Attendee Skill Level: The presentation will provide concrete technical examples that will be of interest to developers intrigued by WebGL and who have JavaScript programming experience. While no prior knowledge of WebGL or BabylonJS will be required, a solid level of vanilla JavaScript will be helpful to understand the technical aspects. The presentation will be structured so those without a deep knowledge of JavaScript will be introduced to basic technical terminology and the possibilities of WebGL.

How is Artificial Intelligence Affecting Our Experience With Social Media?

Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a key role in various business sectors, and now it’s colliding with the social media marketing. If you don’t combine artificial intelligence in your social media marketing strategy, then you’re likely to fail to get any return from your campaign because the competitor will be using AI to gain competitive advantage. Let’s talk about ways we can use AI to gain brand awareness on social media through slack bots, facial recognition, customer service, and data usage. What machines are good at, humans are not and vice versa, which is why using AI in Social Media will give businesses a better understanding around a prospects thought pattern.

Takeaways: Key outcomes and takeaways include making sure the audience understands that if they get a head start on leveraging AI for marketing and business purposes they will be well ahead of the competition, teaching on different ways to incorporate AI into business and marketing strategies, as well as being able to discuss how AI can boost customer engagement, sales, and make for better business opportunities, as well as cutting down on overhead costs.

Attendee Skill Level: All levels are welcome especially entrepreneurs, people looking to raise brand awareness on social media or learn how to turn the use of AI into money.

Capturing Reality: An Introduction

The technologies for engaging with 3d content through virtual reality and augmented reality are advancing at a rapid pace. While some of this content is “born digital” in a 3d modeling program, we often wish to capture the objects, spaces, and buildings around us for a virtual experience. The range of technologies for performing this type of reality capture can be daunting or cost prohibitive. This presentation will provide a survey of reality capture technologies, their pros and cons, and advice on how to get started capturing your world for VR and AR. It will also explore the types of workflows involved with taking this content from raw data to models and formats usable for visualization and interaction.


  • Attendees to this talk will gain a clear understanding of the tools, technologies, and resources necessary to successfully begin capturing objects, buildings and spaces for use in AR and VR.
  • They will learn about both free and for-cost software and hardware options for performing these types of 3d capture.
  • They will also gain an understanding of the relative complexities involved with different approaches, and how to begin a project with a successful outcome in mind.

Attendee Skill Level: This session is intended for those just getting started in 3d capture, including technologies like photogrammetry, structured light capture, LIDAR, and laser triangulation.

Building Advanced Experiences with Simple Accessibility Solutions

An introduction to web accessibility often begins with simple rules that are easy to follow: add alt tags to images, structure websites with headings, provide multiple options for performing a task, and ensure proper color contrast. As engineers and designers explore accessibility further, the rules can be perceived as more involved, often to a daunting degree, and deeper experiences are either stripped down to a minimalist, “accessible” version or bogged down with unnecessarily complex solutions. While some deeper experiences can require a more involved approach to accessibility, many can be made accessible simply by following introductory accessibility practices.

Target is committed to making our digital experiences accessible regardless of complexity. Learn how we used simple solutions to create a three-dimensional shopping experience, where guests can browse and purchase home furniture in a virtual environment, accessible to all our guests.


There is an all-too-common fear in the digital space that accessibility hinders innovation. The three-dimensional shoppable experience demonstrates otherwise. Designers can make new, revolutionary experiences accessible to many more users by breaking an experience into its component parts, understanding the information essential to navigating the environment, and applying common accessibility practices.

Attendee Skill Level: This session would be useful to designers and UX professionals with an introductory knowledge of accessibility.

Sana Baig

Sr. Accessibility Consultant at Target.

Rethinking UX for AI-driven tools

Today, the UX of enterprise tools relies on customers telling us what they want to see. With the addition of artificial intelligence, we can make recommendations about trends and events to pay attention to, even if customers aren’t aware of them. We’re developing some new design patterns to make this possible, and the challenge is finding the right amount of personalization and clarity to achieve real value. I’ll examine some of these patterns and talk about what comes next.


Attendees will gain a better understanding of current challenges in personalization; how to prioritize their UX needs; and how to apply the design patterns we’ve implemented at Datadog to their own projects.

Attendee Skill Level: Minimal

Marketing AI: How to Build a Keyword Ontology

This talk describes the what, why, how, and results of the IBM Keyword Ontology.


Keywords are the life’s blood of a marketing enterprise. Keyword research allows companies to learn the voice of their customers and tune their marketing messages for them.


Most marketing organizations struggle to find the right keywords for their teams. The words have to be relevant to their businesses and have enough query volume to indicate sufficient interest in a topic by their target audience.


At IBM we built a keyword ontology, which is a fancy name for a set of taxonomies related to the keywords our target audiences most often use in their search queries. We get keyword data from Google, and we organize it into topics for our topic taxonomy using technology we built using Watson Knowledge Studio. We also can arrange keywords by business unit, brands, and products. When you have all these attributes related in an ontology, there is no end to the way you can manage content using them.


For example, we have something called the web segment taxonomy. It controls the way we form our URLs for our web pages, among other things. Because it is based on the keyword ontology, we can ensure that new pages are built with the language of the customer in the URL. We can then align the URL semantics with the navigation labels, internal faceted search labels, bread crumbs, topic tags, social tags, and page headings. The more of these signals you can line up, the easier it is for your audience to find relevant content on your site through search and navigation.”

Takeaways: How to build practical AI systems for search and IA success.

Attendee Skill Level: Intermediate skill level. Some taxonomy, and IA experience required

Welcome Bot Overlords! Build an Interactive Bot Using JavaScript, Node and the Cloud

It’s easier than ever to quickly create bots to do your bidding using Microsoft’s Bot Builder SDK and Microsoft Azure. In this session we’ll learn how to use natural language processing using LUIS, JavaScript and Node.js to create an interactive bot that we can deploy to Skype, Facebook Messenger, SMS, and more! Even better, we’ll take advantage of Azure Bot Service which provides a self-contained bot infrastructure that you can even hook up to GitHub. What are you waiting for? It’s time to bring about the singularity!

Takeaways: Attendees will walk away with some working knowledge of using Azure to host bots, how to use the Microsoft Bot Builder SDK with JavaScript to create a basic bot, use “natural language processing” with LUIS to respond to users, and see how bots get wired up to 3rd party services and can be interacted with in real-time.

Prerequisite: This workshop will require attendees to either have an existing Azure account or a willingness to sign up for the Free trial which will not incur additional out-of-pocket costs (you will get a $200 credit for 30 days). This should be done before attending preferably:

To sign up for Azure, you must provide a credit card for verification and future billing. If you are an existing Azure customer, you can expect to pay less than $1 for the services we’ll use during the workshop (mainly Azure Storage) and they can be immediately deleted after the workshop is over.

Designing User-focused Conversations for Web Applications

Whether a chatbot, assistive pop-up, or even error messages, content and UX come together in conversation design. The most successful conversation experiences start and end with understanding your users, your brand and how the two work together.

Conversation design requires a deep understanding of your users and common schemas and helping your users know how to get started. It plays into areas of content design such as on boarding users, help content, SMS notifications, push notifications. It’s the essential element in letting a user know how to proceed or fix errors and celebrate accomplishments.

This workshop will walk through conversation designs beginning with identifying user needs, goals, and feelings followed by developing a user journey. We’ll use those elements to build if/then statements that lead design decisions to intercept users at key steps or business goals. Next, we’ll build conversation prototypes based on the user journey and validate our content through user testing. You’ll be ready to lead design conversations in your teams and build better user experiences.


  • Upon completion of this workshop, attendees will understand the conversation design process and key theories.
  • They will be able to identify user tasks and design appropriate interactions to meet their needs and emotional states.
  • Finally, they will be able to design conversation prototypes and validate through testing.

Attendee Skill Level:
Great for beginners and even better for intermediate content strategists and UX designers ready to take their website or app to the next level.

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