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On WordCamp London 2016 and being inclusive

WordCamp London

Last weekend was WordCamp London 2016, a conference all about WordPress. WordCamps are always brilliant, so I had high expectations.

But my expectations were far surpassed. The talks were particularly good. And it was 100% the most inclusive conference I’ve been to. The organisers have set the bar high for future WordCamps.

WordCamp London

WordCamp London talks

There were three tracks so Lana and I had to be quite selective about which talks we’d go to.

I’ll tell you about three of my favourite talks. But all the talks are up on WordPress.tv, so you can check out whichever take your fancy.

1. “How WordPress changed the face of Croatian politics”

Emanuel Blagonic runs a WordPress agency in Croatia. In Croatia, project budgets are far lower than in the UK. This means developers have to be extra resourceful and innovative.

In a country where information sharing is low priority, they created a clear and accessible website for the city of Rijeka. The site makes vital information readily available.

Emanuel noted how eager Rijeka’s citizens were to get involved in the project, including with user profiling and testing.

They’ve even made the project open source. Other Croatian cities can freely access the code, content strategy and accessibility guidelines.

WordCamp London talk about using WordPress to improve Croatian city websites

2. “The myth of a normal brain: rewiring conventional thinking and the benefits of embracing neurodiversity”

Admittedly, I had no idea what this talk would be about. I went along as I was intrigued by the term, neurodiversity.

But this was one of the best talks I’ve ever experienced. It really was an experience.

Leena Haque, Neurodiversity Project Lead at the BBC, brought the entire audience into her mind. Her talk was moving, insightful and funny in equal measure.

Leena taught me some people think in pictures, not words. I didn’t know that. And she reminded me there’s always more we can do to be inclusive.

WordCamp London talk about neurodiversity

3. “User experience: it’s for everyone”

This was a talk by Ross Wintle, a freelance web developer and communications consultant. It was interesting to hear a developer discuss user experience (UX).

Ross talked about the overlap of UX across different specialties. Including (much to my delight) the importance of copywriting in UX.

For me, this emphasised the need for digital professionals to work together. Only then can we create the best experience for all users.

WordCamp London talk on UX

Being included

What really hit home at WordCamp London was the shared awareness of being inclusive.

Inclusivity is something we care deeply about at Unramble – both online and off. It was refreshing to attend a conference where so many people clearly felt the same.

Accessibility was apparent in every aspect of the conference. And this translated to a wonderfully diverse WordCamp.

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