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The Elephant and the Dassie 
a tale of evolution and kinship 
Kerry-Anne Gilowey 
@kerry_anne 
UX Craft Conference Cape To...
PROLOGUE: 
The family photo 
album
7PENG9CNVGT 
%JTKUVOCU 
#WPVKG/KNFTGF 
%JTKUVOCU
www.worldwildwebb.tumblr.com
ANTANANARIVO 
MADAGASCAR 
SOUTH 
AFRICA 
RWANDA 
HARARE 
PRETORIA 
LILONGWE 
ADDIS 
ABABA 
MOZAMBIQUE 
MAPUTO 
MASERU SWAZ...
4+2)TCORC,QG
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NCUVFC[KPVJG 
HQTGUV
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OQXKPIVQVJG 
OQWPVCKPU
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*GCFKPIVQVJGTGWPKQP
The family tree 
Image credit: www.onezoom.org
Why are they related?
6JGJ[TCZCRJCPV 
Image credit: www.uncyclopedia.wikia.com
That’s 
evolution, 
baby! 
Pearl Jam, Do the Evolution
CHAPTER 1: 
Crossing disciplines
Hi! Hello!
I am an 
Independent Content Strategy 
Consultant 
Studied English, Linguistics, 
Human-Computer Interaction, 
Web writing...
Our work is a strange beast
...a strange, fuzzy beast. 
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/splityarn/
Work used to BE SIMPLER.
It was TANGIBLE.
It had CLEAR EDGES.
T here was less SCOPE CREEP.
BUTCHER 
BAKER 
CANDLESTICK-MAKER
How about us?
Information 
Architect 
User Researcher 
UX Designer 
Experience Designer 
Interaction Designer 
Content Strategist 
Produ...
Information Architect 
User Researcher 
UX Designer 
Experience Designer 
Interaction Designer 
Content Strategist 
Produc...
The digital irony
dig-i-tal (adj.) 
/ˈdijitl/ 
(of signals or data) expressed as 
series of the digits 0 and 1
Digital characteristics 
Discrete On or off Unambiguous 
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/alltheaces/
an-a-log (adj.) 
/ˈanlˌôg/ 
relating to or using signals or 
information represented by a 
continuously variable physical ...
Analog characteristics 
Continuous Spectrum Amorphous 
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/angelocesare
Continuous Spectrum Amorphous 
Which sounds more like digital 
design and UX work? 
Discrete On or off Unambiguous
The advent of digital has 
produced fuzziness and overlap. 
Image credits: www.flickr.com/photos/nirak/ and www.flickr.com...
Disciplines now overlap in 
surprising ways, thanks to 
digital evolution.
The Pandora Music Genome Project
/QTGHCOKN[RJQVQU
/QTGHCOKN[RJQVQU
/QTGHCOKN[RJQVQU
/QTGHCOKN[RJQVQU
CHAPTER 2: 
Team dynamics
Product 
Manager 
Content 
Strategist 
SEO 
Specialist 
UI 
Front-end 
Developer 
Designer 
Project 
Manager 
Community 
M...
SEO 
Specialist 
UI 
Designer 
Community 
Manager 
Interaction 
Designer 
Web 
Developer 
OUR 
TEAM
Product 
Manager 
UI 
Front-end 
Developer 
Designer 
Interaction 
Designer 
User 
Researcher 
OUR 
TEAM
UI 
Usability 
Specialist Information 
Designer 
Project 
Manager 
Technical 
Architect 
Architect 
Business 
Analyst 
OUR...
Product 
Manager 
Content 
Strategist 
Technical 
Architect 
Front-end 
Developer 
Interaction 
Designer 
Design 
Director...
YOU 
ARE 
HERE
YOU 
ARE 
HERE
YOU 
ARE 
HERE
YOU 
ARE 
HERE
YOU 
ARE 
HERE
YOU 
ARE 
HERE
YOU 
ARE 
HERE
YOU 
ARE 
HERE
You might also need 
to fill more roles. 
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/h4ck/
BROADER knowledge 
= 
GREATER team understanding
Lenses  Roles
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/box-brownie-brian/
Your lens 
affects 
what you 
notice, 
and how 
you see 
the world. 
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/box-brownie-brian...
Processed with Kazunori Asada’s simulator
Processed with Kazunori Asada’s simulator
“... a content 
strate gist’s 
heart...”
We can use each other’s tools
Customer journey maps 
for discovering content gaps
User interview techniques 
for creating better content
Care more about one 
another’s work.
CHAPTER 3: 
Disintegrating silos
Vertical edges are dissolving
Diagram by 
Richard Ingram 
@richardjingram
Diagram by 
Richard Ingram 
@richardjingram
Content used to belong 
exclusively to the Marketing 
department.
(Copywriting, like movies, used to be even worse.)
CONTENT
Marketing copy Forms Interface 
copy 
Intranet 
content 
Terms 
of 
service 
Call centre 
scripts
But let’s move out a few paces.
This is not your grandfather’s website.
Point of sale 
Outdoor club 
Legal contract 
Customer care 
platform 
Financial 
management 
portal 
Advice column 
Travel...
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/padday/
It’s no longer about the 
structure of your organisation. 
It’s about your customer’s 
cross-channel journey. 
Image credi...
Silos are becoming permeable 
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/astrid/
! 
Design team Stakeholders
Collaborators 
☺
Say NO to 
the Big 
Reveal.
Sara Wachter-Boettcher 
Content Strategy Consultant 
Editor in Chief at A List Apart
CHAPTER 4: 
The local community
Sharing our toys
We need more of that, right here.
community of practice 
(noun) 
a group of people who share a 
concern or a passion for something 
they do and learn how to...
ATTEND 
SHARE 
SPEAK
But there’s more! 
Grab coffee with another [insert your job role here] 
Grab coffee with a [insert different job role her...
CHAPTER 5: 
UXers without borders
Yes, we live in a faraway land. 
One bajillion miles 
Cuh-razy far 
Uncountable distances
But... you know... 
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/jmt/
Let’s not isolate ourselves.
There’s no reason for us 
to lag behind anymore. 
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/qcom/
Culture is not bound by 
geography.
Responsive design 
Agile methodology 
Business constraints 
Prototyping 
Accessibility Mobile UX 
User research 
Web form ...
Read widely! 
Books, magazine sites, 
blogs, slide decks, 
Twitter feeds
Reeaaddiinngg lliisstt 
Smashing Magazine 
www.smashingmagazine.com 
New Thinking 
www.gerrymcgovern.com/new-thinking 
Ros...
@cennydd 
@jmspool 
@monteiro 
@karenmcgrane 
@Abby_the_IA 
@cwodtke 
@beep 
@halvorson 
@jcolman 
@lukew 
@seriouspony 
@...
Travel!
December 2009
April 2010
A few conference ideas 
IA Summit 
www.iasummit.org 
Webstock 
www.webstock.org.nz 
User Interface 19 
www.ui19.uie.com 
W...
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/
Find your people. 
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/
EPILOGUE: 
We’re all elephants 
and dassies
The evolution of our work and 
environment has produced new 
relationships.
ACROSS 
VERTICALS 
BETWEEN 
DISCIPLINES 
ACROSS 
BORDERS 
WITHIN 
TEAMS 
IN OUR 
LOCAL 
COMMUNITY 
Relationships
Embrace them 
Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/vidyo/
This thing only goes if we 
collaborate.
Erika Hall 
Co-founder of Mule Design 
Author of “Just Enough Research”
The end product isn’t great 
content; it’s a great THING. 
Erika Hall 
Co-founder of Mule Design 
Author of “Just Enough R...
Thanks for listening! 
Kerry-Anne Gilowey 
kerryanne@augustsun.co.za 
http://augustsun.co.za 
http://about.me/kerryanne 
@...
The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship
The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship
The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship
The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship
The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship
The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship
The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship
The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship
The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship
The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship
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The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship

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The evolution of our work and environment has produced new relationships between disciplines, within digital teams, across organisational verticals, in our local design and tech community, and across borders. I gave this talk as the keynote presentation at the UX Craft conference in Cape Town, South Africa on 4 October 2014.

The Elephant and the Dassie: A Tale of Evolution and Kinship

  1. The Elephant and the Dassie a tale of evolution and kinship Kerry-Anne Gilowey @kerry_anne UX Craft Conference Cape Town 4 October 2014
  2. PROLOGUE: The family photo album
  3. 7PENG9CNVGT %JTKUVOCU #WPVKG/KNFTGF %JTKUVOCU
  4. www.worldwildwebb.tumblr.com
  5. ANTANANARIVO MADAGASCAR SOUTH AFRICA RWANDA HARARE PRETORIA LILONGWE ADDIS ABABA MOZAMBIQUE MAPUTO MASERU SWAZILAND LESOTHO MBABANE BOTSWANA GABORONE LIBREVILLE REP. ANGOLA NAMIBIA YAMOUSSOUKRO CAMEROON WINDHOEK LUANDA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO KINSHASA ZAMBIA LUSAKA TANZANIA DAR ES SALAAM UGANDA KAMPALA NAIROBI BUJUMBURA KENYA BURUNDI KIGALI MALAWI ZIMBABWE KHARTOUM ASMARA SOMALIA MOGADISHU ETHIOPIA DJIBOUTI DJIBOUTI BAMAKO NIAMEY N’DJAMENA CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC BANGUI NIGERIA ABUJA BENIN PORTO-NOVO BURKINA FASO OUAGADOUGOU TOGO LOMÉ GHANA ACCRA DAKAR GAMBIA BANJUL GUINEA-BISSAU BISSAU GUINEA FREETOWN SIERRA LEONE MONROVIA LIBERIA CÔTE D'IVOIRE YAOUNDÉ MALABO EQUATORIAL GUINEA GABON OF THE CONGO BRAZZAVILLE CONAKRY SOUTH SUDAN JUBA
  6. 4+2)TCORC,QG
  7. %QWUKP.GTQ[ NCUVFC[KPVJG HQTGUV
  8. %QWUKP.GTQ[ OQXKPIVQVJG OQWPVCKPU
  9. *GCFKPIVQVJGTGWPKQP
  10. *GCFKPIVQVJGTGWPKQP
  11. The family tree Image credit: www.onezoom.org
  12. Why are they related?
  13. 6JGJ[TCZCRJCPV Image credit: www.uncyclopedia.wikia.com
  14. That’s evolution, baby! Pearl Jam, Do the Evolution
  15. CHAPTER 1: Crossing disciplines
  16. Hi! Hello!
  17. I am an Independent Content Strategy Consultant Studied English, Linguistics, Human-Computer Interaction, Web writing, some basic IA Information Systems Copywriting, mostly print Content strategy, first as an agency Confab London, IA Summit, Dare CS Forum Frankfurt, CS Summit, MIMA Summit, Confab HE Content Strategy Forum 2012 owner then solo Conference, Midwest UX
  18. Our work is a strange beast
  19. ...a strange, fuzzy beast. Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/splityarn/
  20. Work used to BE SIMPLER.
  21. It was TANGIBLE.
  22. It had CLEAR EDGES.
  23. T here was less SCOPE CREEP.
  24. BUTCHER BAKER CANDLESTICK-MAKER
  25. How about us?
  26. Information Architect User Researcher UX Designer Experience Designer Interaction Designer Content Strategist Product Manager UI Developer UX Strategist UX Analyst Visual Designer UI Designer Web Designer Web Developer Front-End Developer UX Architect UI Engineer Product Designer Usability Practitioner Information Designer Content Architect Digital Strategist Usability Analyst Web Analyst
  27. Information Architect User Researcher UX Designer Experience Designer Interaction Designer Content Strategist Product Manager UI Developer UX Strategist UX Analyst Visual Designer UI Designer Web Designer Web Developer Front-End Developer UX Architect UI Engineer Product Designer Usability Practitioner Information Designer Content Architect Digital Strategist Usability Analyst Web Analyst
  28. The digital irony
  29. dig-i-tal (adj.) /ˈdijitl/ (of signals or data) expressed as series of the digits 0 and 1
  30. Digital characteristics Discrete On or off Unambiguous Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/alltheaces/
  31. an-a-log (adj.) /ˈanlˌôg/ relating to or using signals or information represented by a continuously variable physical quantity
  32. Analog characteristics Continuous Spectrum Amorphous Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/angelocesare
  33. Continuous Spectrum Amorphous Which sounds more like digital design and UX work? Discrete On or off Unambiguous
  34. The advent of digital has produced fuzziness and overlap. Image credits: www.flickr.com/photos/nirak/ and www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/
  35. Disciplines now overlap in surprising ways, thanks to digital evolution.
  36. The Pandora Music Genome Project
  37. /QTGHCOKN[RJQVQU
  38. /QTGHCOKN[RJQVQU
  39. /QTGHCOKN[RJQVQU
  40. /QTGHCOKN[RJQVQU
  41. CHAPTER 2: Team dynamics
  42. Product Manager Content Strategist SEO Specialist UI Front-end Developer Designer Project Manager Community Manager Technical Architect Usability Specialist Interaction Designer Web Developer Information Architect Design Director Business Analyst User Researcher Web Editor Copywriter OUR TEAM Technical Writer
  43. SEO Specialist UI Designer Community Manager Interaction Designer Web Developer OUR TEAM
  44. Product Manager UI Front-end Developer Designer Interaction Designer User Researcher OUR TEAM
  45. UI Usability Specialist Information Designer Project Manager Technical Architect Architect Business Analyst OUR TEAM Technical Writer
  46. Product Manager Content Strategist Technical Architect Front-end Developer Interaction Designer Design Director Business Analyst User Researcher Copywriter OUR TEAM
  47. YOU ARE HERE
  48. YOU ARE HERE
  49. YOU ARE HERE
  50. YOU ARE HERE
  51. YOU ARE HERE
  52. YOU ARE HERE
  53. YOU ARE HERE
  54. YOU ARE HERE
  55. You might also need to fill more roles. Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/h4ck/
  56. BROADER knowledge = GREATER team understanding
  57. Lenses Roles
  58. Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/box-brownie-brian/
  59. Your lens affects what you notice, and how you see the world. Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/box-brownie-brian/
  60. Processed with Kazunori Asada’s simulator
  61. Processed with Kazunori Asada’s simulator
  62. “... a content strate gist’s heart...”
  63. We can use each other’s tools
  64. Customer journey maps for discovering content gaps
  65. User interview techniques for creating better content
  66. Care more about one another’s work.
  67. CHAPTER 3: Disintegrating silos
  68. Vertical edges are dissolving
  69. Diagram by Richard Ingram @richardjingram
  70. Diagram by Richard Ingram @richardjingram
  71. Content used to belong exclusively to the Marketing department.
  72. (Copywriting, like movies, used to be even worse.)
  73. CONTENT
  74. Marketing copy Forms Interface copy Intranet content Terms of service Call centre scripts
  75. But let’s move out a few paces.
  76. This is not your grandfather’s website.
  77. Point of sale Outdoor club Legal contract Customer care platform Financial management portal Advice column Travel agency
  78. Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/padday/
  79. It’s no longer about the structure of your organisation. It’s about your customer’s cross-channel journey. Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/padday/
  80. Silos are becoming permeable Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/astrid/
  81. ! Design team Stakeholders
  82. Collaborators ☺
  83. Say NO to the Big Reveal.
  84. Sara Wachter-Boettcher Content Strategy Consultant Editor in Chief at A List Apart
  85. CHAPTER 4: The local community
  86. Sharing our toys
  87. We need more of that, right here.
  88. community of practice (noun) a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly –Etienne Wenger
  89. ATTEND SHARE SPEAK
  90. But there’s more! Grab coffee with another [insert your job role here] Grab coffee with a [insert different job role here] Chat with other UX people on Skype Start a Slack group to discuss work Get a small dinner group together to chat about a niche topic Organise a weekend away to talk shop
  91. CHAPTER 5: UXers without borders
  92. Yes, we live in a faraway land. One bajillion miles Cuh-razy far Uncountable distances
  93. But... you know... Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/jmt/
  94. Let’s not isolate ourselves.
  95. There’s no reason for us to lag behind anymore. Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/qcom/
  96. Culture is not bound by geography.
  97. Responsive design Agile methodology Business constraints Prototyping Accessibility Mobile UX User research Web form design Task analysis
  98. Read widely! Books, magazine sites, blogs, slide decks, Twitter feeds
  99. Reeaaddiinngg lliisstt Smashing Magazine www.smashingmagazine.com New Thinking www.gerrymcgovern.com/new-thinking Rosenfeld Blogs www.rosenfeldmedia.com/blogs The Pastry Box www.the-pastry-box-project.net UX Booth www.uxbooth.com A List Apart www.alistapart.com Responsive Web Design www.responsivewebdesign.com/podcast User Interface Engineering www.uie.com/brainsparks Luke Wroblewski’s Writings www.lukew.com/ff Web Standards Sherpa www.webstandardssherpa.com
  100. @cennydd @jmspool @monteiro @karenmcgrane @Abby_the_IA @cwodtke @beep @halvorson @jcolman @lukew @seriouspony @zeldman
  101. Travel!
  102. December 2009
  103. April 2010
  104. A few conference ideas IA Summit www.iasummit.org Webstock www.webstock.org.nz User Interface 19 www.ui19.uie.com Web Directions www.webdirections.org An Event Apart www.aneventapart.com Midwest UX www.midwestux.com Smashing Conference www.smashingconf.com Confab www.confabevents.com
  105. Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/
  106. Find your people. Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/
  107. EPILOGUE: We’re all elephants and dassies
  108. The evolution of our work and environment has produced new relationships.
  109. ACROSS VERTICALS BETWEEN DISCIPLINES ACROSS BORDERS WITHIN TEAMS IN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY Relationships
  110. Embrace them Image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/vidyo/
  111. This thing only goes if we collaborate.
  112. Erika Hall Co-founder of Mule Design Author of “Just Enough Research”
  113. The end product isn’t great content; it’s a great THING. Erika Hall Co-founder of Mule Design Author of “Just Enough Research”
  114. Thanks for listening! Kerry-Anne Gilowey kerryanne@augustsun.co.za http://augustsun.co.za http://about.me/kerryanne @kerry_anne

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