The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR
Relly Annett-Baker

A content strategist for too many years, Relly lives in England with her husband and a collection of animals and teenagers.

She spends her work hours running content teams, writing content strategy docs, overseeing content delivery, petting office dogs, and she’s lost track of what else.

She’s very good at saying “it depends” to stakeholders and pointing at graphs while nodding sagely.

Are Your Canaries Still Singing? An Optimist’s Guide To Designing For Failure

Have you ever been in a stakeholder meeting and they’re describing how that new feature is going to Fix Everything That’s Wrong Around Here? They’ve jumped to hyper-personalized experiences, with integrated dashboards, and AI generated word perfect policy interpretations. Another stakeholder paints an equal feature utopia but somehow the equal and opposite of the first stakeholder. Meanwhile, you just wanted to know how customers use the current edit feature.
Worse still, your research shows that the ways customers are going to interpret the new expanded edit feature is very different from your stakeholders—possibly resulting in vital data or content deletion by your customers, followed by tickets, emails, pitchforks at dawn.
In this talk I will share my One Weird Tip (just one, and it is weird) for making sure everyone can express and recognize measures of failure as well as measures of success, and how to raise the alarm without being seen as alarmist.

In this session, attendees will learn how to:

  • Easily capture and share mental models and terminology
  • Use risk and mitigation conversations to drive alignment
  • Map and explain systems of users and data quality
  • Use research and experiments to build up a clearer picture of complexity
  • Remain an optimist even as things go off the rails (maybe)