Natalie Kurz has spent the last 20 years helping elevate digital experiences from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Her unique skill set bridges the gap between strategy and execution, manager and designer, analytical and creative thinker. She’s led a wide breadth of projects for a slew of industries, most notably working on applications, mobile experiences, and product development for the healthcare, tourism, government, financial, and nonprofit sectors.
Most recently she’s been dedicated to civic tech, spending 3.5 years as an innovation fellow at the CFPB and currently leading projects for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, GSA, Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. Tax Court as the Director of UX at Flexion Inc. She’s previously presented on UX, content strategy, and agile practices at Chicago Camps, edUI, 18F Speaker Series, Agile Government Leadership, IA Summit, and G2 Xchange podcasts.
UX Camp Spring 2021
Conscious Uncoupling — Innovative Ways to Separate User Habits from User Needs
When modernizing a legacy system, it’s easy to just recreate what exists—only a little better. This is an especially dangerous trap when the users equate what they need with what they already have. But what happens when your users don’t understand why they’re doing things a certain way? When their behavior is so ingrained that they can’t differentiate the what from the why?
When trying to understand current processes and uncover user needs for the new system, we encountered a wall of dogma separating our research team from the real problems users were trying to solve or the tasks they really needed to accomplish. It was nearly impossible for users to articulate why they were doing things — other than saying that was the way they had always done it. So how do you break habitual behaviors and get buy in from your users for changes that challenge their beliefs?
In this talk, we’ll share our experience uncovering user needs that are buried under layers of habit and complacencies. Participants will learn how to keep asking why until you get to the root of the need by using an outcomes-first approach to help users understand the difference between what they do (and why!) and what they truly need.
UX Camp 2016
Vocal Exercises: Finding Your Voice
You often hear about “writing with one voice” within an organization. But before you can do that, you have to define that voice. So what does that even mean? How do you do that? And once you do, how can you communicate that to other writers so everyone can “write with one voice?”
In this talk I’ll walk through:
- Ideas to facilitate conversations with stakeholders about shaping your voice and tone
- Methods for quickly establishing your voice for users
- Ways to draft guidelines that help content creators employ the voice effectively in their writing
- Tips for testing your voice with users
UX Camp 2015
The Unwitting Content Strategist
Few of us are formally trained as content strategists. We’re journalists. Information architects. Copywriters. Interaction designers. Digital marketers. Some are multi-headed hydras that get to wear all the hats.
But that doesn’t prevent us from tackling the nebulous task of creating content strategies. So what does that even mean? What goes into creating an actual content strategy that you can sit down and execute? And how can we bring our unique perspectives from other disciples to this field to produce a better outcome?
The first time I had to write a content strategy, I had to figure it out as I went. This talk will offer attendees concrete pointers, outlines, definitions and deliverables associated with that big, scary concept of “content strategy.” Attend this session and you don’t have to feel that same sense of dread I did when asked to “figure it out.”