Look Who’s Talking

Some might say we get around, but that’s not a bad thing.

It’s just that here at NewCity we are constantly researching new ideas, testing new strategies and techniques, and exploring emerging concepts, and then we love getting out there and sharing what we’ve learned and driving new conversations. So yeah, we really do try our best to get around.

We’ve got some great presentations lined up for 2017. Maybe we’ll see you in the audience?

“Developing Flexibility, Consistency, and Sanity with Atomic Design”

Jenny Slaughter

OmniUpdate User Training Conference | April 2 - 6 | San Diego, California

Texas A&M GoWeb | April 20 | College Station, Texas

Ok, so I know these two have already happened, but we’re still excited that Jenny was able to present on the value of Atomic Design and pattern libraries at both the OmniUpdate User Conference and for the “GoWeb” group of designers and developers at Texas A&M.


A pattern library is a method for organizing and writing site components in a modular way through an atomic design process. The result of this approach is a collection of components that can easily be combined and recombined, creating flexibility without sacrificing quality. Creating atomic design systems using PatternLab allows developers to define what pieces of a site look like and how they function with flexible, but visually unified, set of building blocks. This component-based, platform-agnostic development strategy creates the flexibility to easily develop new pages and elements of the site that are functional and visually consistent far beyond launch.

“Turning Fuzzy Goals Into Results You Can Track”

David Poteet

Public Lands Alliance Webinar | May 9 | 2 - 3 p.m. EST

This webinar is actually a reprisal of a presentation given at the 2017 Public Lands Alliance Convention and Trade Show because it was so popular. But that’s great news, because if you missed the original event in February, now even more people have an opportunity to tune in!


Strategic goals are important for the success of any organization, but it can be hard to translate them into measurable progress.

In this webinar, David presents a framework for putting your strategic goals into action called “Objectives and Key Results” or OKRs. OKRs are an elegantly simple, practical approach to getting your whole organization aligned and working together to fulfill your mission. The OKR approach has been used by many successful companies and startups, but the language of the startup world is often foreign to nonprofits.

If you want to register for the webinar, the cost is $25 (unless you happen to be a member of the Public Lands Alliance — then it’s free!)

“Building Sane, Reusable WordPress Templates with Twig and Timber”

Jesse Janowiak

WPCampus | July 15 | Buffalo, New York


Traditional WordPress templates are written in PHP code that mixes HTML output with more advanced programming logic. The Timber plugin for Wordpress lets you move the markup part of your templates into separate files written in Twig, a simple yet powerful templating language. When you separate logic from layout in this way, your themes will be easier to read, easier to edit, and more portable.

Jesse will explain how to install and set up Timber, and how to start simplifying your themes using the versatile Twig templating language. He will also share examples of WordPress templates built with Timber, ranging from simple to advanced.

“A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Real-World Redesign”

Jennie Salamoun and Ross Morrone

EduWeb 2017 | August 8 | Boston, Massachusetts


Jennie will co-present with Ross Morrone, the Director of Marketing at Youngstown State University, explaining the client experience and the realities of re-design behind a recent university website launch.

Higher ed website redesigns are an exciting opportunity to breathe new life into a tired site, hone overly loquacious content, create new experiences that delight users, and most importantly, ensure that your site is supporting strategic goals. That all sounds great, but the reality is that redesigns, while brimming with possibilities, can sometimes be menaced with unexpected challenges and potential pitfalls, from issues of accessibility and the heavy lifting of content creation to the demands of an irascible faculty.

A website redesign doesn’t have to be painful, and you shouldn’t be scared. But what should you expect? What IS a realistic timeline for a site with more than 10,000 pages? And sure, you have analytics, but what are they really telling you? And once you launch your new site, how do you plan for its ongoing care and maintenance? Jennie and Ross will provide valuable insights into what to expect AND how to survive a redesign without pulling your hair out.

Mini-workshop: “Getting Crafty with Components: Breaking Down the How and Why of Atomic Design”

John Williams and Jenny Slaughter

edUi | September 25 | Charlottesville, Virginia


In this mini-workshop, John and Jenny will lead an exploration of atomic design processes and strategies from front-end design to back-end development. The dynamic developer duo will conduct hands-on, analog activities (no coding needed!) to explore how pattern libraries facilitate rapid prototyping using combinations of components, strategies to help break your site design into components, and ways to improve naming conventions and collaboration with other developers and designers.

“What Responsive Design Can Teach Us About Accessibility”

John Williams

edUi | September 26 | Charlottesville, Virginia


Embracing the challenges of responsive design has helped us make more flexible, useful, and functional websites. Much of the same thinking can be applied to designing for accessibility.

In this session, John will discuss the intersection of accessible and responsive design and how applying “responsive” thinking to human capabilities can lead to a better experience for all site visitors.

“Beyond analytics: How is your content really performing?”

Melissa Beaver

Confab Higher Ed | November 6-8 | Indianapolis, Indiana


A lot of content testing is focused on traffic, navigation paths, and conversions, but that leaves unanswered questions. What’s actually influencing user behavior? What impression is the content creating? It’s not just the messaging, architecture, or design. You can do all those things right and still not know if you are reaching people. The content is what’s really creating impressions, and small changes can lead to big improvements if you understand user behavior, engagement, and perceptions. In this presentation, Melissa will talk about techniques you can use to dig deeper than the analytics to better understand visitor behavior, make informed decisions, and create more effective content.

Is that all?!

You mean that isn’t enough? Well, we are still waiting to hear back on a few proposals, so stay tuned. You never know who will be talking next!

We’re also planning on attending a bunch of other conferences in 2017, including the AMA Nonprofit Marketing Conference in Washington, DC; HighEdWeb in Hartford, CT; and the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Ed in Atlanta, GA.