I like books and videos well enough, but I really like a panel, lecture, course, or workshop. The live engagement model keeps my ADHD brain a bit more focused, and it’s incredibly helpful to be able to ask clarifying questions or check my understanding in real time with an instructor or coach.
If you’re at all like me, then you might like this list! These are some of the places I check regularly to populate the weekly events list I publish through Content.Events, and places I would personally recommend to someone interested in taking a class or course.
So, read on if you’d like to find reliable sources of skills training and professional development in the big tent of UX content. If you’re trying to brush up on your content strategy, content design, UX writing, or information architecture skills, and like to learn from a live instructor, this is the list you need. (If you’re looking for something self-paced, start clicking around this website!)
Stand-alone training workshops
A number of agencies and practitioners in the UX content space offer live professional development and skill-building workshops.
Typically these are half-day, one-day, or multiple-half-day affairs. You can find workshops that are online or in-person, though most are online these days. You can find workshops focused on the fundamentals of a specific discipline (e.g. content design) or deep-dives on a specific topic (e.g. content testing).
The majority of these require a paid registration. Many offer sliding scale or equity seats.
- kubie.co workshops – Yes, I’m putting my own workshops at the top of the list. Have you seen the price of LEGO lately? 😭 Anyway, I offer a regular calendar of online training workshops on UX writing, content design, and UX design topics. Each workshop has steeply-discounted sliding scale seats and no-cost equity seats available.
- Active Voice is Sara Wachter-Boettcher’s coaching and training brand, and while not everything on offer is content specific, Sara’s background is in content strategy, and AV sometimes has content leadership specific programs.
- Berghs School of Communication – Specifically, Berghs regularly offers a collegiate UX Writing course, taught by Jane Ruffino.
- Content Design London – Sarah Winters wrote the book on her popular flavor of content design, and her consultancy Content Design London regularly offers training workshops on content design and content strategy topics. Most of their sessions get listed on their Eventbrite profile.
- HmntyCntrd – Vivianne Castillo leads this important organization “committed to transforming the status quo of being human-centered through courses, community, and consulting.” The self-paced Humanity Centered Masterclass is always on offer, and they have training options for companies, too.
- Elle Geraghty Content Strategy – Elle Geraghty is an Australia-based content strategist who offers trainings on content strategy and information architecture skills with some regularity.
- Jorge Arango IA workshops – Jorge Arango produces the occasional workshop, and is a good person to follow in general for information architecture guidance.
- Leading Like You – Hot off his closing keynote at Button 2022, Michael Metts is running leadership workshops for writerly sorts like you and me.
- Rosenfeld Virtual Workshops – Rosenfeld offers a regular slate of workshops, mostly online, featuring industry professionals. Content topics pop up often enough.
- School of Visual Concepts – This Seattle-based program has adapted swimmingly to the pandemic with a full menu of online training options on critical UX topics, including UX writing and content strategy. (I teach content strategy for them from time to time.)
- The Understanding Group – These IA specialists offer online workshops and courses on topics like information architecture and concept modeling.
- UX Content Collective – If I ever don’t feature a UXCC event in my newsletters, it’s only because they have so much going on I probably missed it. It’s a good group, with many talented instructors, and worth a look, especially if you work in tech and need deep-dives on specific content design topics.
Meetups and community programming
I publish a weekly newsletter, Content Events’ The Issue, that curates new and upcoming events and learning opportunities. The activity level of individual meetup groups tends to wax and wane over time, so I won’t bother to inventory all of them here. You can find many meetup groups in the communities section of the UX Writing Library, by checking the aforementioned Content.Events newsletter, or just periodically popping keywords like “content design” or “content strategy”, in quotes, into the search bar on Eventbrite and Meetup.com, like I do.
Meetup events tend toward Q&As, brief lectures, or discussion panels. Most are free, although sometimes there’s a small fee, or a registration cost for a larger event put on by the meetup group.
A few specific meetup and community network shoutouts:
- Content Strategy Seattle – Lots of online programming and a robust library of videos, so you don’t have to be in the PNW to benefit from their hard work.
- Ladies that UX – A network of meetups for women and enbies in UX.
- Women Talk Design – While not about content per se, a lot of the programming touches on important “career boosters” like public speaking or writing design books.
- UXPA – Always worth a look to see if there’s a UXPA chapter in your neck of the woods.
Conferences and conference workshops
Design and content conferences often include workshops before or after the event, or mixed into the overall programming. These workshops are typically an optional add-on to an existing conference registration. Workshop registrations are sometimes sold separately as their own 1- or 2-day tickets, which might be a great fit if it’s geographically convenient and you don’t quite have the budget for the full conference.
A few to keep your eye on:
- Button: The Content Design Conference — A product content focused specific event from the Brain Traffic crew.
- Content Ed Conference — An in-person event focused on content strategy in the education sector.
- The Information Architecture Conference — A volunteer and community-led event about all things IA.
- LavaCon — A content strategy conference that draws a lot of folks in content operations and content management, and vendors from a number of popular CRM and asset management platforms.
- Lead With Tempo Conference — An emerging content design leadership conference organized by Rachel McConnell.
- Utterly Content Global — An encompassing online conference with content strategy and content design topics.
- World Information Architecture Day — An annual community-led event, usually in late February or early March, with local instances and programming all around the world.
Don’t want to miss anything?
If you’d like a steady drip of content learning opportunities in your inbox, subscribe to the Content.Events newsletter. All subscribers get The Issue, our weekly events listing, on Monday, and you can opt-in to other industry news as well.