Richmond, Virginia, United States

WIAD 2016 Richmond, Virginia, United States


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Impact Makers
1707 Summit Ave #201

Richmond, VA 23230


9:00-9:40 Registration / Caffeination / Socialization

9:40-9:45 Welcome to WIAD 2016

9:45-10:45 James Steincamp: Intelligent Search

The natural search landscape has changed and it’s time to adapt. Established search engine optimization techniques are no longer, at least on their own, adequate for shaping how our products and services are presented via an increasingly diverse array of third-party search tools and experiences.

We’ll explore some major search trends, how to go about re-framing search, and what actions we can to take in order to be successful for the long-game.

About James

James SteincampJames is product manager for search technology at Capital One in Richmond, VA. He’s been involved with Web projects both big and small over the years, including driving a major redesign of the Capital One website. Currently he’s working on finding answers to help   connect customers to the tasks and answers they need.

When he’s not reading, planning or working on search-y stuff James likes to spend time hiking, sea kayaking or hunting for vintage vinyl for an ever-expanding record collection.

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:00 Alicia Lane: Content-first Design - Let’s make information feel like a great conversation

“We need your help, can you put these things into categories? We think our current list is too long.”

It’s probably a safe bet to say that every day a content pro or designer is asked to solve a problem like this. Actually, the drastic evolution of navigations models with fancy UI tricks is proof that many designers are being asked to solve this problem pretty regularly.

Yet, findability is still a problem. Maybe that’s because the usability and findability problems are actually understandability problems.

Imagine if information on a page could feel like a personalized conversation, removing the ambiguity that causes confusion.

You can do that, and content-first design is the way. In this talk, Alicia will share how designing the content first, and then creating the structure can help. A content-first approach can help you nail down the natural language, use cases, and contextual relevance before you address structure and design.

About Alicia

Alicia LaneAlicia does content-first design as a UX Content Strategist at Capital One. On a typical day, you’ll find her helping product teams find the human language for a feature they’re building, conducting empathy interviews, running content tests, or mapping a customer’s experience. She does all of this with the goal of designing experiences to feel like personalized conversations. Alicia is also a co-founder of RVA Content Strategy meetup. She loves green smoothies, gardening, and her cats.


12:00-1:15 Lunch Break (lunch provided)

1:30-2:30 David Farkas: Improvised IA - How Improv Allows Everyone to Craft Products

The need to adapt and be flexible within project schedules and meetings has never been greater, but this is a soft skill not easily taught or quickly learned. Work, tasks, and goals shift constantly. Flexibility is a requirement. This starts with team collaboration and informs problem solving. Yield to the highest offer. Always say YES. Alway raise the bar. These are three core components to improvisation in comedy. They are also three pillars to a good collaborative environment.

This session will explore the fundamentals to improv as a means to strengthen teams across organizations. Participants will walk away with:

  • An understanding to the fundamentals to improv

  • An understanding of applications to the field of IA as both a team building tool and for idea generation

  • Real world practice and sample exercises with an understanding of how different techniques can be adapted for different phases of projects.

This session illustrates improv as a way of thinking in the design process. While improv games will be performed, they are presented as a mindset, not a literal how-to guide. Improv’s lessons can be valuable throughout our work phases. While nobody will leave an improv master, resources will be provided to changing the pace of the next working session you attend.

About David

David Farkas pictureDavid is a UX Designer out of Philadelphia with a passion for uncovering process and story through iterative client engagement. No stranger to failure and missteps, David has worked within financial services, e-commerce and a variety of business systems.

David’s love for improv started for its comedic properties and evolved to more practical uses within client and team settings. There is no such thing as a perfectly laid plan. David believes it is the ability to pivot and think on his feet that has allowed him to collaborate effectively within his teams.

2:30-2:45 Break

2:45-3:45 Jim Kalbach: Mapping Experiences – Architecting Alignment

Building a better mousetrap does guarantee success anymore. Products and services are increasingly interconnected. Ecosystems are the new competitive advantage. The winners will be determined by how well their offerings fit with each other and how well they fit into people’s lives.

The use of systematic, visual representations exposes previously unseen opportunities for improvement and for growth across channels and touchpoints. Broadly, the term “mapping experiences” describes a range of such visualizations. You’ve probably already encountered one of the many approaches already in practice – customer journey mapping, service blueprints, experience maps, mental model diagrams, etc.  

For sure, IAs are well-suited for architecting such complex diagrams. Creating them requires empathy, organization, and visual storytelling skills.          

But our job as IAs goes beyond mapmaking. We have to also assume the role of facilitator and aspire to become grassroots strategic players. Engaging others in conversation and gaining strategic alignment are the ultimate goals. It’s not about the “map,” rather the activity of “mapping” that’s important.

About Jim

Jim Kalbach

Jim Kalbach is a noted author, speaker, and instructor in user experience design, information architecture, and strategy. He is currently Head of Customer Success at MURAL, an online visual workspace. Jim has worked with large companies, such as eBay, Audi, SONY, Elsevier Science, Lexis Nexis, and Citrix. Before returning to the US in 2013 after living for fifteen years in Germany, Jim was the co-founder of the European Information Architecture conferences. He also co-founded the IA Konferenz series in Germany. Jim plays jazz bass in jam sessions and combos in Jersey City, where his currently lives. In 2007 Jim published his first full-length book, Designing Web Navigation (O’Reilly, 2007). His second book, Mapping Experiences (O’Reilly, 2016) focuses on the role of visualizations in strategy and innovation. He blogs at and tweets under @jimkalbach.

3:45-4:30 Discussing / Sharing / Connecting

To make things even better, we will be providing great software and book giveaways and raffling off some terrific door prizes to those in attendance (you must be present to win). Take a look!

All attendees will receive:

  • 3-months access to myBalsamiq
  • 3-months full license for InVision
  • 2-months full license for
  • 48-hour access to any seminar in the UIE library
  • and...One free digital copy of the newest edition of the Polar Bear book, along with a 40% off coupon toward purchase of a physical copy

All Attendees will have a chance to win:

  • One license to Axure RP Pro (worth $589)
  • One perpetual license to JustInMind (worth $228/year)
  • One full Rosenfeld Media digital library (a $350 value)
  • One copy of Intertwingled, by Peter Morville
  • One copy of How to Make Sense of Any Mess, by Abby Covert
  • One copy of Understanding Context, by Andrew Hinton

Tickets are free, but please cancel your registration if you find you are unable to attend. We will be providing lunch, and we'd like to have an accurate a head count as possible.

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