iDW 2014: Connecting a World of Content & Customer Experience

iDW-verticalWhat happens when you bring together the many faces of content creation–technical writers, content strategists, marketers, product managers, and support specialists? You have the opportunity to find out at the debut of an innovative new conference later this month. Information Development World (iDW) focuses on helping organizations create exceptional customer experiences through effective content use. From October 22 to 24th, content developers of every background, including UX professionals, content marketers, and translators, will descend on San Jose to participate in a variety of workshops and events that uncover the latest  content technology and trends that increase customer loyalty and augment company profitability.

The organizers of iDW 2014 (The Content Wrangler and Content Rules) have programmed  one day of workshops and two days of seminars and panel discussions. Workshops provide an immersive, hands-on experience; seminars can take either a lecture or interactive format; and panels feature 3–5 industry leaders discussing content issues that matter.

Wednesday’s all-day workshops provide nine different learning opportunities, including an introduction to DITA and a how-to on the creation of interactive eBooks via iBooks. Other  topics introduce the concepts of findability and readability of content, provide an in-depth introduction to APIs and SDKs, look at how to develop a content strategy, and relate the best practices for creating concise copy. For attendees looking beyond the basics, the final two workshops—Using Neuroscience to Create Persuasive Presentations and Responsive Content Modeling—provide new ways of thinking about content creation and content delivery.

Thursday and Friday’s sessions are organized into a number of tracks,so that attendees interested in a particular aspect of content development, such as content marketing, visual communication, or technical communication, can participate in all corresponding lectures and squeeze in additional sessions that might be of interest. Here’s a sampling of what attendees can expect this year:

  • Does eye tracking make a difference? Lesley Kew, Principal Editor at Intuit, speaks on user interface design and what user eye movements can tell content designers about developing and organizing text for usability and impact. (Track: Deep Dive)
  • What exactly is marketooning? Tom Fishburne, founder and CEO of Marketoon Studios, explains how serializing content readers want to see can advance a company’s brand in an era where captive audiences no longer exist. (Track: Visual Communication)
  • How does a major global brand develop help content for 20 different products in 38 locales? Chris Todd, Senior Manager of Global Knowledge Management at Yahoo, speaks on how Yahoo coordinates marketing and customer support agent knowledge to create content that works for everyone. (Track: Content Strategies)
  • Can creating error messages be fun? Michelle Carey, Information Architect and Technical Editor at IBM, leads an interactive workshop on how to make error messages clear, accurate, and complete for users who encounter them. (Track: Technical Communication)
  • Are you still hand-crafting content? Ann Rockley, CEO of The Rockley Group, Inc., tackles the importance of implementing a system for manufacturing content so that translation costs can be reduced while content quality and overall productivity are increased. (Track: Content Engineering)
  • What impact does learning type have on content absorption? Monique Luttrell, Director of Marketing at UBM Tech, outlines the impact of learning style on effective content development and offers a framework and strategy that can be implemented to create the variety of materials needed to reach all learners. (Track: Training and eLearning)
  • How well do you know your tools? Discussions and demonstrations for software such as Acrolinx and Author-It offer insights into the tools that make content creators productive in an age of extensive information development. (Track: Tools! Tools! Tools!)
  • How difficult is it to implement DITA, really? Charles Cooper (The Rockley Group), Amber Swope (DITA Strategies), Leigh White (Ixiasoft), Toni Mantych (ADP), and Jennifer Maynard (Stryker Medical) will be speaking on their own experiences as they discuss the ins and outs of implementing DITA so that the final product meets the needs of both internal and external customers. (Track: DITA Summit)

One of the highlights of iDW 2014 will be a luncheon and awards program to honor the content professionals who are adept at using content to provide exceptional customer experience. The Customer Experience Recognition Awards (the CERAs), taking place on Thursday, Oct. 23, draw attention to the organizations and projects that are able to demonstrate positive results using metrics such as lowered translation costs, improved customer feedback, and increased brand recognition.

Visit the iDW website for a full schedule and description of events.

 

Stacey Plowright

Stacey Plowright is the current Communications Manager for STC Toronto. A soon-to-be graduate of the Technical Communication program at Seneca College, she has deep roots in both publishing and customer support. Stacey advocates strongly for clear, concise communication and seeks to provide knowledge to those who need it when they need it. She can be found on Google+, and through LinkedIn.

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