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GIANT Conference 2015 schedule

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Sunday 14th June 2015

  • Discussing Design: the Workshop

    by adam connor

    Collaboration requires us to share our work; to communicate our ideas with one another and to collect other’s thoughts to know whether the designs we’re producing are meeting the objectives of the project.

    But often we wrestle with collecting feedback.

    We get comments that are less then helpful because they seem irrelevant or unclear. Or we find that we’re getting feedback and reactions at inopportune times rather than points in the process where they would have been useful in informing design decisions.

    Our ability to critique speaks directly to the quality of the conversations we have with teammates, whether they be designers, developers, stakeholders, etc. Designers frequently complain about the quality and uselessness of the feedback they are given, but we rarely examine our own processes to identify how to collect useful feedback and make the discussions around our designs more productive.

    In This Talk…

    We’ll explore critique as both an activity and an aspect of any communication or collaboration. Attendees will walk away with:

    · A clearer understanding of critique is and why asking for “feedback” is problematic.
    · Methods for gathering useful feedback from clients and teammates.
    · Ideas on how to introduce team members to the idea of critique and get everyone using it.
    · An understanding of where critique fits within the design processes and how to incorporate it into projects.

    At 8:00am to 11:45am, Sunday 14th June

    In Ballroom, The American Theater

  • Get Unblocked

    by Denise Jacobs

    As creative professionals, we are called upon to produce and deliver original strategies and solutions to make our companies or clients stand out in the crowd, requiring a high level of creative thinking and generation of innovative ideas. But sometimes constantly having to be “on” creatively can be mentally taxing. Furthermore, standard working conditions often can extinguish our creative fire, making it tough to come up with fresh ideas precisely when we need them most. What is needed is a way to work better so that we can create more.

    Through exploring various concepts and approaches, including the neuroscience of creativity, productivity techniques, and emerging practices that spur innovation, we’ll discover not only the ways in which our brains work best, but also what’s behind the times when we feel on fire with creativity and when we don’t. We’ll translate this information into processes and techniques for dramatically enhanced creative productivity. Beware: this workshop challenges the standard norms around concentration, focus, productivity, and may change how you work...for the better.

    At 8:00am to 11:45am, Sunday 14th June

    In The Charleston Museum

  • Running Design Thinking, Collaboration, and Rapid Prototyping Work Sessions

    by RJ Owen

    Good design work requires a multi-faceted cross-disciplinary team working together to identify problems and test solutions. One great way to get that team moving is with a design thinking working session, and many UX practitioners in organizations from enterprises to startups to agencies need to able to effectively run these sessions to be effective.

    In this half-day workshop we'll review and test best-practices for running design thinking and rapid prototyping sessions. We'll give specific attention to topics such as:
    - Recruiting the right team
    - Running the right exercises
    - Getting people involved, especially if they're uncomfortable
    - Getting the most out of prototypes
    - Quickly and efficiently testing and iterating on ideas

    This workshop is for anyone who wants to get better at facilitating design thinking workshops and getting more out of a cross-disciplinary team. Attendees will walk away with a game plan for how to recruit and run a workshop, and some solid experience from practicing with their peers.

    At 8:00am to 11:45am, Sunday 14th June

    In Charleston Music Hall

  • Training the CMS

    by Eileen Webb

    Nothing brings design and content strategy to life like launching a shiny new site: teasers fit neatly without any ellipses, images are cropped perfectly for different screen sizes, and related content is wonderfully relevant. But after a few months, things start to slip: headlines are weak, teasers don't tease, 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 we want site administrators and authors to remember how to write the headlines or what information to include in the teasers, we 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 work through exercises that help us think like our authors so we can write guidelines that help them do their jobs well. Most importantly, we'll learn how to communicate the information needed for ongoing support of structured content, information architecture, and design.

    At 8:00am to 11:45am, Sunday 14th June

    In Cinema, The American Theater

  • Build Right: Frontend Tooling

    by Adam Simpson and Daniel Flynn

    Staying ahead of the frontend development curve is difficult, and it's easy to quickly feel out-of-date or left behind. You’ll walk away comfortable developing, testing, and deploying your very own site utilizing source control, the best preprocessors, and some incredible task runners. To top it all off, we’ll mix in all the other tasty essentials you’ll want to know about, such as the dreaded terminal, performance tuning, and much more!

    At 1:00pm to 4:45pm, Sunday 14th June

    In Charleston Music Hall

  • Path to Personalization

    by Derek Phillips and Tom Bennett

    Personalization provides a significant opportunity to improve digital experiences, but unfortunately technology is currently outpacing implementation. Often, personalization is the Phase 2 that never happens.

    In this workshop we’ll dive into the foundational keys of personalization readiness and discuss the areas of focus companies need to think about when planning for personalization. The Path to Personalization workshop will discuss personalization in the digital world, what the potential value is to your organization and, more importantly, your customers. We’ll also give an overview of the many options for personalizing content and share our point of view on how you should start down the path toward delivering personalized experiences.

    Whether you want to focus your content development efforts, simplify your user experience, provide more value to your customers, fine tune your lead generation, or reduce the sales cycle, you’ll walk away with a down-to-earth framework and approach to getting started down the path to personalized content and digital experiences for your customers.

    At 1:00pm to 4:45pm, Sunday 14th June

    In Cinema, The American Theater

  • Practical Techniques for Field Research: The Workshop

    by Brad Nunnally

    Regardless if it’s the first time or your hundredth time, conducting any sort of field research is always a bit of a daunting task. The planning and conducting of field research is a juggling act between prep work, interview skills, and synthesis of research data. While it does take practice and experience to get comfortable with the act of field research, there are lessons you can learn that will help you get past many rookie mistakes and get you to collecting invaluable information. This workshop will cover key aspects of three main stages of conducting field studies:

    Planning and Prep - Good research data starts with proper planning. This involves everything from writing interview questions, developing an interview guide, recruiting participants, and determining the logistics for the interview sessions.

    Out in the Field - Conducting this type of research can drain you physically and mentally. There are a number of tricks that help you keep your mind sharp and allow you to give each session the same amount of energy as the first.

    Finding the Patterns - The number of data points that result from field research grows quickly. Aside from time, certain techniques exist that help you get through this mountain of information and get to the findings you need to be successful.

    The world is changing faster than people can keep up, both physically and mentally. Field research is one of the key tools that designers can use to understand how new products and digital experiences can be designed to aid people with managing this growth.

    At 1:00pm to 4:45pm, Sunday 14th June

    In The Charleston Museum

  • User Research for Designers: Getting to Meaningful Products, Faster

    by Angela Craven

    Whether you’re an in-house or agency designer (on a UX team of one or many), successfully incorporating user research into the design process can be overwhelming yet rewarding. While we know that thoughtful, well-integrated user research can help make the difference between great products and mediocre ones, effectively planning it, conducting it and translating research findings into actionable results can be deceptively challenging when there are aggressive timelines, multiple design directions, changing business needs, or varying levels of UX understanding at play.

    In this half-day hands-on workshop, you’ll learn practical techniques to help:

    Focus your user research strategy and methods to get high-quality data quickly.

    Translate your research data into actionable recommendations and
    design solutions.

    Communicate your research to make a meaningful impact for users, and save your stakeholders meetings and money.

    At 1:00pm to 4:45pm, Sunday 14th June

    In Ballroom, The American Theater

  • SPEAKER HAPPY HOUR (Speakers and Media only)

    SPONSORED BY TWISTED CYPRESS BREWING + BLUE ION
    6:30pm – 9:30pm
    @ Blue Ion – 301B King Street, Charleston, SC
    Light food and drinks will be provided.

    At 6:30pm to 9:30pm, Sunday 14th June

    In Blue Ion

Monday 15th June 2015

  • Opening Keynote: 5 Dangerous Ideas for Designers

    by Scott Berkun

    There are truths about how the world works that creatives don’t like to talk about. We get angry and frustrated when we’re not granted the power we think we deserve, but there are often good reasons the world works ‘against us.’ Bestselling author Berkun takes these ideas head on, from questioning authority, to the battle of generalists and specialists, exploring why we’re so often ignored, helping us change frustrations into practical behaviors for achieving what we want.

    At 9:00am to 10:00am, Monday 15th June

    In Charleston Music Hall

  • Better Meetings Through Co-Design

    by Kevin M. Hoffman

    We cram features and fixes into the design process. Companies that overlooked mobile are making big changes in a panic. Responsive companies still have to keep up with ever changing consumer expectations based on the latest device or hot app. But one thing that won’t change is people who crave easier, faster, and more widespread access to their content and tools. Our meetings can get pretty dense and muddy trying to solve these problems. Learn how service design thinking, lean approaches to user experience, and co-design processes offer an alternative to endless, wandering meetings that are heavy on talking on light on doing. Make your meetings work for you!

    At 10:20am to 11:00am, Monday 15th June

    In Charleston Music Hall

  • Corporate Innovation: Is It an Oxymoron?

    by Emily Holmes

    Frustrated with their inability to innovate like startups, many large companies are forming dedicated innovation teams, charged with moving faster and being more creative. But does it work? Can you really practice lean startup, lean UX and other rapid innovation methods like a startup, when you’re still under the umbrella of a larger organization?

    In this candid presentation, Emily will discuss the realities of life on a corporate innovation team: pros and cons; what works and what doesn’t when it comes to ideation and design; and tips for maintaining your creative energy and enthusiasm in the face of unexpected constraints.

    At 10:20am to 11:00am, Monday 15th June

    In The Charleston Museum

  • From Band-Aids to Transfusions - Surviving as a Designer in the Healthcare Space

    by Jamie Thomson

    Jamie is inspired to change the world through design and takes perverse pleasure in untangling the complexities of the American healthcare ecosystem – and she wants YOU to join her. But she’ll be the first to admit that design for healthcare isn’t all rainbows and puppies and glitter. It’s a downright bloody mess. But it’s worth it. Come hear about what types of work designers do in healthcare, as well as the ups-and-downs and lessons learned that you can apply to your design career in any industry.

    At 10:20am to 11:00am, Monday 15th June

    In Ballroom, The American Theater

  • Making it Happen, Own Your Life List

    by Megan Williams

    As creative professionals, it can be hard to find a balance between our careers and life outside of work. Often we can find ourselves drained of energy when we do finally have time to pursue our own creative hobbies and personal goals.

    However, by creating and utilizing a life list (aka bucket list) you can find time, energy, and resources to have a fulfilling life while achieving both your career and personal goals. Through my own personal journey of utilizing a life list (30candles.net); I have traveled on dream vacations, developed fun hobbies, and still had time for a rewarding creative career.

    You will walk away from this session with:
    Resources for crafting (or polishing) your own personal life list
    Information on the psychology related to life lists and why they work
    Tools to stay inspired, focused, and motivated to achieve your professional and personal goals
    Methods for overcoming set backs and challenges

    tl:dr - Come to this session if you want to overcome burnout and listen to tips on pursuing a balanced, fun life.

    At 10:20am to 11:00am, Monday 15th June

    In Cinema, The American Theater

  • Destination Process: Celebrating the First Draft

    by Becky Murphy

    What if we saw process more like a road trip and less like a connecting flight? We can lessen the burden of getting started when we see the journey as the destination and not a means to an end. Starting is worse than damp socks, but when we hunker down and get going, we can finally learn by doing. If we redefine success as doing the thing, we take bigger risks, make better stuff, and share along the way. Creativity is a bottomless pie, so let's compare less and give more.

    At 11:20am to 11:45am, Monday 15th June

    In Cinema, The American Theater

  • How Constraints Cultivate Growth

    by Shay Howe

    Imagine a playground with no rules. The never-ending dodgeball game would dominate the entire blacktop space, pushing out the jump ropers and Red Rover players. It would never be your turn to go on the swings. And try as you might to remain honest, you'd still catch yourself cheating at Hot Lava Tag.

    In order for peace and progress to occur, rules are necessary. The same thought can be applied to designing and developing websites. Nowadays, our options are endless and as designers and developers we can build any website or application we wish. What these options don't guarantee, however, is that what we build will be of any quality or fulfill our users' needs. Fortunately, we can rely on constraints, or "tech rules", to ensure our products are sound.

    By settling constraints, we force ourselves to be more productive. They help us make decisions, creating focus around the problem we are trying to solve. They improve our consistency, which provides a better experience for our users. And they help us grow, a valuable asset in times of innovation.

    Within this session, Shay will dive into different constraints and their benefits to building websites. Constraints are good and, when leveraged properly, allow us to truly flourish. It's your turn to go on the swings. Enjoy it.

    At 11:20am to 11:45am, Monday 15th June

    In Ballroom, The American Theater

  • Hunting Unicorns: What makes an effective UX Professional

    by Patrick Neeman

    Being an effective UX Professional isn’t just about being a unicorn that can write code, create visual mockups and build wireframes: great UX Professionals creating effective products using the hard and soft skills honed after years of experience. The skills needed that varies from organization and organization, and even from project to project. UX Designers need to tailor their skillset based on the context of the situation.

    The session will cover both the skills needed to be an effective UX Designer in almost any organization. Discussed will be the hard skill spectrum may differ by the type of organization of project, what a T skill set is and why it’s important to hiring managers, and strategies how to market their own skills more effectively.

    Also covered is what’s never stated: soft skills that are essential to being UX Designers job in almost any organization, These skills are never listed in a job description as a requirement or taught during a college course, but are needed to push an effective design through any organization.This session will discuss:
    - The hard skill profile many organizations look for
    - The soft skills that are never listed in a job description
    - How to take stock in your skill set so you can be more effective as a UX Professional

    Who Should Attend this Session:
    - Any UX Practitioner that wants to better understand the skills needed to be effective in any organization.

    At 11:20am to 11:45am, Monday 15th June

    In Charleston Music Hall

  • Practical Techniques for Field Research

    by Brad Nunnally

    Regardless if it’s the first time or your hundredth time, conducting any sort of field research is always a bit of a daunting task. The planning and conducting of field research is a juggling act between prep work, interview skills, and synthesis of research data. While it does take practice and experience to get comfortable with the act of field research, there are lessons you can learn that will help you get past many rookie mistakes and get you to collecting invaluable information. This session will offer up some key tips for getting started with field studies and help to prepare you for future research endeavors.

    1. Planning and Prep - What documents can you produce before hand which help you manage the logistics and facilitation of field studies?

    2. Out in the Field - How do you conduct yourself once you’re sitting down with a participant and how do you “take care” of the participant over the course of a session?

    3. Finding the Patterns - What are some techniques for churning through the data collected during field research and how do you turn that into actionable design decisions and recommendations?

    The world is changing faster than people can keep up, both physically and mentally. Field research is one of the key tools that designers can use to understand how new products and digital experiences can be designed to aid people with managing this growth.

    At 11:20am to 11:45am, Monday 15th June

    In The Charleston Museum

  • Broken Trust: Stop Treating Consumers Like Demographic Blocks and Start Showing Them Respect

    by Brice Bay

    Trust is critical in developing relationships with consumers. Customized content that is authentic and accurate is a key component in successfully nurturing that trust. Inaccurate, low quality content can cause trust to break. Consumers’ decisions are impacted by personal factors, and brands need to understand that and act upon it before trust is broken beyond repair. Brice will offer insight into how you can avoid breaking that trust, and if it's already broken, how to fix it.

    Consumer loyalty is a fragile thing. Once broken, it’s difficult to repair. If switching costs are low, consumers are highly likely to move to the next available substitute and never look back. Content is the key, and Brice will explain the importance of understanding your audience and crafting content that that shows you value their time and attention, which can create lasting relationships, build trust and help you forge ahead into a future with tighter, unbreakable bonds between your brand and its consumers.

    At 1:45pm to 2:25pm, Monday 15th June

    In The Charleston Museum

  • Designing for Disaster

    by Amy Silvers

    In a crisis, the complex network of people and organizations—victims, first responders, government agencies, private organizations, and more—creates an information architecture problem: how does information flow within this network? In our increasingly connected world, cross-disciplinary groups are working to make sure key information is available before, during, and after a disaster, but little consideration is given to how that information is organized and presented. There is a largely unmet opportunity to understand the full ecosystem of information in a crisis, the context in which it is used, and the needs of those who will use it.

    UX professionals may not be able to forecast hurricanes, order evacuations, rescue survivors. But can we help improve the experience of natural and human-made disasters through design? In this talk, I’ll present some early user research results, and I’ll identify constraints, opportunities, and guidelines for designing for disasters.

    At 1:45pm to 2:25pm, Monday 15th June

    In Charleston Music Hall

  • Pulling the breaks: fostering transparency, communication, and collaboration in design teams

    by Eduardo F. Ortiz

    Teams who see it as part of their mission to drive engagement, and to promote ownership within their own ranks, who push for transparency and the sharing of ideas are more effective, and successful than others.

    We've all heard cliché phrases such as "One team, one fight," "all for one and one for all," or "we're only as strong as our weakest link," the one thing they share is that at their core they all hold true. Ed Catmull, of Pixar, notes that W. Edwards Deming, a statistician, brought about this sense of ownership and responsibility - which essentially became part of the assembly line process - to Japanese companies, turning them into successful businesses, whose method was later adopted as the must-have for many companies.

    Collaborating with others can ultimately help save time, save money, and can even save lives (seriously). It also helps ensure there isn't a single point of success or failure, but rather a group mentality of ownership. This is a talk on change, on disruption, and on accepting blame and defeat. It's not easy, but it all starts somewhere, and with someone; let that someone be you.

    "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou

    At 1:45pm to 2:25pm, Monday 15th June

    In Ballroom, The American Theater

  • We Design Econo

    by Ian Smile

    A deconstructionist approach to improvement through assessment of current methods in both personal & professional approach to improving yourself & your design work. Through parallels of music, movies & culture, we will ask ourselves "what can we do with less?" and come up with tactical solutions for kicking more ass.

    At 1:45pm to 2:25pm, Monday 15th June

    In Cinema, The American Theater

  • Does this paragraph make me look fat? - A conversation on typography

    by Joshua Mauldin

    Solid typography is an unsung hero of good design. Here, we’ll discuss practical, non-fussy ways to improve typography in your projects. We’ll also talk about how to choose the right typeface—it’s easier than you think, and it’s probably not Helvetica.

    Specifically we'll cover:
    How to establish a good typographic hierarchy
    Building a catalog of workhorse typefaces
    The dark art of pairing typefaces
    Best practices for solid readability

    At 2:45pm to 3:10pm, Monday 15th June

    In Ballroom, The American Theater

  • It Doesn't Take a Unicorn to Create Rad Experiences

    by Elea Chang

    Much like the mythical unicorn of legends past, the "unicorn" designer who can code is considered rare and highly coveted. However, hybrid designers/developers do exist, and aren't nearly as mystifying or elite as the unicorn descriptor might imply. Let's dig into what it means to be a unicorn, how to encourage and hire them, and why we should perhaps let the term go the way of the ninja and rockstar and retire its usage altogether.

    At 2:45pm to 3:10pm, Monday 15th June

    In Cinema, The American Theater

    Coverage slide deck

  • User Memory Design: You Can’t Take Experiences With You

    by Curt Arledge

    In this talk, Curt draws on groundbreaking psychological research to highlight the important distinction between experience and the memories that experience leaves behind. By explaining the predictable ways that users convert experience to memory and examining a number of real-world examples, this talk will leave you feeling inspired and equipped to design for both the moment and the memory.

    At 2:45pm to 3:10pm, Monday 15th June

    In The Charleston Museum

  • What the Scientific Method Taught Me About UX

    by Angelique Rickhoff

    You might of heard the saying that "every feature is a hypothesis". The question is how do you determine what to test and how to test it. Let's go back to fifth grade science, remember our fundamentals, and add some Lean and Agile flavor. I'll show you the Rapid Experimentation canvas we've been using at Solstice and some of the experiments we've set up as part of our SmartOffice project. This will be my debut presentation at a UX conference so come out and show a Chicago girl some love. You'll walk away with some great tools to engage clients and your own internal teams.

    At 2:45pm to 3:10pm, Monday 15th June

    In Charleston Music Hall

  • CTRL+Z - A Practitioner's Support Group

    by David Farkas

    A discussion in how we can better ask and offer support within our teams when projects and situations occur that are unexpected or non-ideal. This session is part presentation of methods and techniques and part live-demo and discussion with the audience.

    At 3:30pm to 4:10pm, Monday 15th June

    In Cinema, The American Theater

  • Design for Understanding

    by Karl Fast

    Modern life depends on information, whether you’re choosing a healthcare plan, booking a hotel room, or assembling Ikea furniture. We rarely lack information, yet understanding often eludes us. One of the most powerful ways to make information more understandable is through interactive visualizations. Drawing from research in cognitive science and information visualization, this talk explores techniques to design for understanding by creating rich, beautiful, interactive visualizations that encourage people to play and explore.

    At 3:30pm to 4:10pm, Monday 15th June

    In The Charleston Museum

  • The Meaningfulness Revolution: How the Experience Mindset is Reshaping Marketing

    by Kate O'Neill

    Marketing ain’t what it used to be. (Thank goodness.)

    Gone are the days when merely being slick and pushy would result in long-term profitability. The era of data-validated customer insights is giving preference to marketers who understand how to create a meaningful and relevant connection with customers, giving user experience an advantage in effectiveness.

    In this session, meaningful marketing expert Kate O’Neill will explore the overlap between meaningful experiences and effective marketing, and offer an approach to an integrated framework that places the customer first, emphasizes knowledge gathering, and, over time, results in greater profitability.

    At 3:30pm to 4:10pm, Monday 15th June

    In Ballroom, The American Theater

  • Through Burnout and Back Again: UX Skills that Saved My Life

    by Jaimee Newberry

    As a serial heart follower, I’ve always loved my work. I never expected I’d hit a rock-bottom burnout that made the work I loved doing for the previous 15 years become something I couldn’t bear the thought of doing for one more minute. Paralyzed by the fear of what might be next, I turned to what I knew best to help work through this dark spot: my job skills.

    In this talk Jaimee will share some key UX skills and thinking that apply to every product you make. As it turns out, these same skills also carried her through career burnout and back again, returning stronger and better than ever.

    At 3:30pm to 4:10pm, Monday 15th June

    In Charleston Music Hall