Karen McGrane

Karen McGrane is Managing Partner at Bond Art + Science and author of Content Strategy for Mobile.

If the internet is more awesome than it was in 1995, Karen would like to claim a very tiny piece of the credit. For nearly 20 years Karen has helped businesses create better digital products through the power of user experience design and content strategy. Karen founded UX consultancy Bond Art + Science in 2006, and was formerly VP and National Lead for User Experience at Razorfish. She's led projects for dozens of publishing clients, including The New York Times, Condé Nast, The Atlantic, and Hearst.

Karen teaches Design Management in the MFA in Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, which educates students on how to run successful projects, teams, and businesses. Her book, Content Strategy for Mobile, was published in 2012 by A Book Apart, and she is the co-host of A Responsive Web Design Podcast with Ethan Marcotte.

Clearleft says

Karen is an amazingly dynamic speaker who never fails to raise the passion of her audience. So we’ve left many of her talks feeling like better and more empowered designers than we went in.

Talk: Content in a Zombie Apocalypse Session

Friends, a zombie apocalypse is upon us: an onslaught of new mobile devices, platforms, and screen sizes, hordes of them descending every day. We’re outmatched. There aren't enough designers and developers to battle every platform. There aren’t enough editors and writers to populate every screen size. Defeating the zombies will require flexibility and stamina—in our content. We'll have to separate our content from its form, so it can adapt appropriately to different contexts and constraints. We’ll have to change our production workflow so we’re not just shovelling content from one output to another. And we’ll have to enhance our content management tools and interfaces so they're ready for the future. Surviving the zombie apocalypse is possible. In this talk Karen will explain how: by developing a content strategy that treats all our platforms as if they’re equally important.

You will learn:

  • How you should prepare for the onslaught of new devices and platforms
  • How moving beyond the page metaphor means developing new approaches and metaphors
  • What happens when content is locked to a particular output format—and the costs of retrofitting it
  • Why content modeling supports a future-friendly web

Workshop: Going Responsive

Responsive design is fluid grids, flexible images, media queries—and much more. Organisations that have been through large-scale responsive redesigns know that the specific implementation techniques are the least of their problems. Stakeholders need to be convinced to participate in a different kind of prototyping and review process. Working with responsive “Lego pieces” made from content components and design patterns means that teams must give up the familiar page metaphor. Content management and digital asset management systems and processes often change. And teams need to change their design, review, and QA processes to account for a much wider range of devices and form factors.

In this session, Karen will provide guidance on how to make this shift in your organisation. Based on interviews with dozens of companies that have already pulled off a large scale responsive redesign, plus examples drawn from around the web, she’ll show you how going responsive doesn’t just mean a better website—it means a better process too.

You will learn:

  • How organisations decide on a responsive redesign, and how the mobile web fits into a larger platform ecosystem
  • How responsive prototyping changes the way teams collaborate and conduct reviews with stakeholders
  • How component content management and design systems work together in a responsive design
  • How mobile provides a useful lens to help focus and prioritise
  • How creating a culture that puts performance first is everyone’s problem