Forthcoming talks and events: August - October 2011

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 13 July 2011

I just wanted to briefly post about some of the talks I will be doing, and events I am involved in, between now and the end of the year.

“Perspectives on Content Strategy” meet-up - London, August 4th 2011

I’ll be giving a fifteen minute talk at this meet-up, which also features Lisa Welchman, Tyler Tate and Sophie Dennis. The event is free and you can sign up here. I’ll be previewing some material I’ll be presenting at the Content Strategy Forum later in the year.

UX Drop-In at The Guardian - London, August 30th 2011

At the Guardian we’ve been hosting a series of developer drop-in days, where people are welcome to come along, use our wifi, drink our coffee, and meet our team whilst doing a bit of coding or chatting. There are often short talks.

On August 30th we will be theming this event around UX, and there will be the opportunity to hear some talks about design, usability testing and UX within the Guardian, and meet some of the team. More details of how to join in will be available soon.

Content Strategy Forum - London, September 5th-7th 2011

I’ll be talking at the London Content Strategy Forum, presenting “Taking content strategy to people who already think they have one”.

“Selling content strategy to a business that’s never published before is one thing, but it’s something else entirely to sell it to a traditional publisher who believes their established production and editing process will work just as well for digital as it does for analogue.

Martin will talk about how digital content strategy has changed editorial workflows and publishing processes at a business that has been publishing since 1821.”

You can register for CS London here.

EuroIA - Prague, September 22nd-24th 2011

In Prague I will be presenting “The IA of /Culture”, detailing some of the work and learnings from a lengthy project to redesign and reshape the Guardian’s digital culture coverage.

“This talk outlines how the project process took in ‘guerilla usability testing’ and research at arts and culture venues, as well as sketching, wireframing and collaborative design, before progressing to technical build. At the heart of the offering, these automated pages required heavy IA work in order to present a meaningful version of the cultural domain model to users, and to match and link the works represented with existing content. Search was key to the discovery of the automatic pages, and ensuring search quality involved a lot of search log analysis and spreadsheets

Since it is a case study - it also includes the things that went wrong, including a star rating component that people found confusing and difficult to use, and under-estimating the technical complexity of delivering functionality that was very easy to draw.

By the end of this talk you'll understand the vital role of community management on a data-driven website, how you can be proud of putting 7 million little robot GIFs on a newspaper website, and why ISBNs are a really, really, really bad unique identifier.”

We will be hosting a “pre-dux” rehearsal evening for British-based speakers at EuroIA in the Guaradian’s offices in early September.

You can register for EuroIA here - early bird prices finish on August 12th.

Enterprise Search Europe - London, October 24th-25th 2011

This is going to be more of a technical talk than a UX talk, and for the technical side of things I will be joined by my colleague Daithí Ó Crualaoich.

“When The Guardian re-launched their Books website earlier this year, a central part of the premise was a set of over 7 million automatically generated pages. These represented a page for (nearly) every English language book with an ISBN, allowing users to rate, review and discuss books without the journalists having to start the conversation first. Key to the discovery of these pages was the search mechanism, powered by Solr. In this case study, we look at the user experience design of the search, and how that translated into a technical implementation, which had to take into account all of the unexpected whimsy in how ISBNs are allocated.”

You can register for Enterprise Search Europe here - early bird prices finish on 16th September.

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