NAGW 2013 Conference logo


September 23, 2013 (Preconference)
September 24 - 27, 2013


Seelbach Hilton Hotel
Louisville, KY

Conference Program [pdf]
Conference Presentations (members only)

Pinnacle Winners

2013 Pinnacle Award Winners
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Social Media

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  • For a Future Friendly Web (2013)

    As the digital landscape continues to become more complex, it’s essential for us to start thinking beyond the desktop and embrace the unpredictability of the future. Mobile is forcing us to rethink the content we create and the context in which people interact with our products and services. This session will cover how to change our thinking and start acting differently in order to create more future-friendly experiences.

  • Atomic Design (2013)

    “We’re not designing pages anymore. We’re designing systems of components.” As with most things Stephen Hay says, he's right. Over the last few years, the Web community has been creating robust design systems that encourage consistency, facilitate collaboration and establish future-friendly foundations. This session will discuss the mental shift required to design systematically, and will cover how to go about implementing your very own design system.

  • Saving Lives 2.0: How Social Media will Change Disasters and Response (2013)

    Social media makes everyone an author, everyone a reporter. How has social media and mobile changed the face of disaster preparedness and response? What should web professionals do so their jurisdiction is ready? How should emergency response personnel handle social media calls for help?

  • Emergency Communication Case Studies: Lessons Learned (2013)


    An open discussion covering a wide variety of emergencies from those who were there.

  • Emergency Communications: Organize, Strategize, Plan, Implement (2013)


    Discover what happens when working within an Emergency Operations Center Environment, including an overview of the Incident Command System (ICS). Learn how to magnify and monitor messages as well as how to effectively coordinate with pre-trainined volunteers, non-profits and faith-based organizations. We will also cover Virtual Operations Support Teams (VOST).

  • “It Can’t Happen Here”: Preparing for the Unthinkable (2013)


    Are you ready enough?

    James Garrow says “One of the most amazing lessons learned from my NJ counterparts has been that they knew it would happen one day, but they never guessed how big it’d be, how much it would overwhelm absolutely everything.”

    We will discuss what your jurisdiction can do to be ready.

  • Hands-on jQuery (2013)

    jQuery can be a powerful tool in providing a richer experience for your site in a way that works across browsers and devices, while using progressive enhancement. A JavaScript framework, jQuery allows you to target elements on a page using a syntax similar to CSS. Learn the basics of jQuery and try it out through hands-on exercises. Discover how you can use jQuery to make your site shine.

  • ARIA: Accessibility for Rich Internet Applications (2013)

    ARIA extends HTML to provide additional enhancements for accessibility, particularly with web applications. One of the foremost experts on web standards and accessibility, Molly Holzschlag, will explain what ARIA is, what it does, and how and when to use it (often and now). As web pages become far more than just static pages, ARIA is swiftly becoming a crucial tool in making rich media sites accessible to all.

  • SVG vs. HTML5 Canvas (2013)

    Learn about SVG and HTML5 Canvas, two of the emerging methods for creating graphics on the modern web. Both are can be used to create rich drawings with complex shapes, charts and interactive animations. But which is better, and why? In this session, you’ll learn about how both work (or don’t), which to use to solve a given challenge, as well as why they are important for mobile devices and responsive design.

  • Content Strategy 101 (2013)

    The tools of content strategy can help make your job easier.

    • Know when, why and how to create a content inventory and audit
    • Create page templates to simplify new development and content planning
    • Test content to meet your citizens’ needs

    Learn how to apply each of these tools to your work in daily content management, or in planning large-scale web projects. You’ll be better able to plan your work, adapt rapidly to change, and most importantly, meet your citizens’ needs.

  • Hands-On Responsive Design (2013)

    Responsive design allows you to create one site that can adapt to the wide variety of screen sizes in today’s world where people use the web on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop, even their TVs.

    We will start by looking at the how and why of responsive design, including its pitfalls, pros and cons. We will then take a static website and convert it into a fully responsive design.

    Discover the top 10 common problems in transition from traditional web design to responsive design. We will also look at whether you should use a responsive framework, a grid framework or no framework at all, with example of the top three most popular responsive design frameworks.

  • Digital Marketing and 360 Web Communications (2013)

    Content strategy is essential in a digital world where competition for attention is fierce. Learn how to engage citizens and visitors, understand and respond to visitor analytics, and extend your reach with microsites, YouTube, and more.

    • Gain fresh insights on search-oriented design that gives web visitors what they want and keeps them coming back.
    • Learn how to design, promote, produce and repurpose engaging webcasts.
    • Update your content strategy with tips and tactics for email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
  • Nontraditional Technology Applications in Government Operations (2013)

    Many of the people we serve have smartphones, portable computing and a lifestyle that revolves around technology… our challenge now is to integrate tools in our governmental services that will take advantage of these new technologies and use tools that increase efficiency, streamline operations, increase revenue collections and reduce cost. It is possible, and neither hard nor costly. Many tools are free!

    We will look at several examples of simple, nontraditional applications of emerging technology that you can implement quickly and simply. Some examples include:

    • Parking meter collection and enhancement (regardless of which meter company your city uses)
    • Code enforcement and permitting
    • Emergency management (including ways to help reduce hiker-search costs)

    Sample data and reports will help you show administrators why your communities should consider implementing these innovations.

  • Responsive Design and Accessibility (2013)

    We will examine how the growing trend of creating responsive designs impacts accessibility. Yes, responsive design and accessibility embrace very similar philosophies: flexible widths, adapting to a variety of devices, scalable container sizes. How can we be careful to ensure that responsive design avoids creates accessibility problems? You’ll find out in this session.

    • Gain a greater understanding of responsive design and accessibility.
    • Learn how to make your responsive designs accessible.
    • See firsthand how mobile assistive technology works, and how you can use it to test your own designs.
  • SPARK session (2013)

    Ten people. Five minutes each. Sparks of inspiration for bigger ideas.

    New for 2013: SPARK. During this general session, ten individuals will have five minutes each to present a small spark to their fellow attendees. Maybe it’s showing off an exciting web service or tool, sharing a unique offline web promotion idea, or a shortcut in jQuery. Presentations are:

    • quick and to the point
    • new, exciting and maybe a bit bleeding-edge
    • unique and entertaining

    The SPARK session will take place the afternoon on Wednesday, September 25, in its own time slot, so all can attend.

    Presenters will have five minutes to present 20 slides that will automatically switch after 15 seconds. Presentations will run back to back on two screens like a web tennis match. SPARK is sure to be fast-paced and informative. There will be a 10-minute Q&A time at the end where attendees can ask a followup of any of the ten presenters.

    A call for SPARK presenters will be put out later this summer. Any attendee of the conference will be welcome to apply; however, preference will be given to NAGW members.

    This type of presentation differs from your regular session but if you are good at being clear and concise, SPARK may be for you.

  • Using Your Website to Build Trust and Transparency (2013)

    Building transparency in a government agency can be a challenge. If properly developed, your website can play a critical role in this endeavor.

    We will explore how to engage residents in the website redesign process, help identify what information should be shared and how to establish policies to promote openness on your site, long after it is launched.

    Ashley will share insights learned from a variety of municipal projects and provide many practical takeaways to help you shed some light on your agency, including:

    • How to manage a transparency-focused redesign
    • Transparency standards checklist
    • Guide for on-going transparency policy
  • Accessibility Requirements: Section 508 Enterprise Compliance (2013)


    Is your organization struggling with Section 508 accessibility requirements? Time to plan how you will meet compliance requirements.

    Learn how to build and rollout a Section 508 compliance program, including the necessary roles and responsibilities. We’ll look at typical challenges organizations face and how to overcome them. From real-world lessons to tools, training and testing, this session will show you how to structure your program to follow best practices for accessibility.

  • Green Maps for Resilient Cities Everywhere (2013)


    Learn how a locally-led Green Map project can inclusively improve your community’s environment and sense of well-being.

    We’ll look at options for producing, sharing and collaborating on the process of creating a Green Map. Then we’ll examine existing Green Maps others have created.

    Learn how best practices used with ongoing projects can build capacity and generate meaningful dialogue among stakeholders and policymakers.

  • Making Accessibility Affordable (2013)


    Implementing accessibility in an organization may appear daunting, expensive and resource intensive. Web managers need proven and cost-effective solutions to address the upcoming changes to accessibility requirements. Strategies for procurement, process, training and standardization can all help support accessible web content.

    We’ll share our experiences, tips, and tricks in achieving affordable and scalable solutions in implementing successful accessibility strategies in organizations of all sizes.

    You’ll learn how to create a road map for incorporating accessibility into each stage of your digital projects. We’ll share practical resources and tools that will save you time, effort, and money in developing accessible code, including ways to test your web content for compliance with current and future standards.

    Walk away empowered to meet the upcoming legislative changes to Section 508 requirements head on, using these requirement to drive innovation and greater usability on your website.

  • Finding Your Social Media Voice (2013)

    For any government to use social media effectively, it needs two things: something worth saying and the ability to say it well. Creating great content is the most important—and possibly the most difficult—task of anyone working on social media.

    What should your organization talk about? What does the public expect from you? How do you train staff on what to say and how to sound?

    This presentation will help attendees understand how to create a strong, appropriate, and memorable voice for their organizations. It&rsqup;s the first step to develop an enduring 21st century communications operation.

    We all know that staff outside of public affairs offices have a wealth of specialized knowledge: discover proven strategies for helping them to create social media content too.

    We&rsqup;ll also look at examples of successful, well-recognized voices in government. You&rsqup;ll learn how to create truly useful voice and style guidelines for your organization.

  • Responsive Images (2013)

    One of the challenges posed by fluid, responsive designs is how to provide quality images that download quickly. We’ll look at the challenges at finding a good solution, and the problems with some of the solutions available.

    The primary solution we will look at is the proposed picture element, which allows us to provide several images at various sizes and resolutions, with the appropriate image selected with media queries.

    We will also examine how to determine the sizes for the images you use in the picture element.

    Finally, we will touch on how to make video appear at the correct aspect ratio no matter the size of its container, using padding.

  • Using Git for Version Control (2013)

    Discover the benefits of using a version control system for everyday web development as well as best practices for doing so. We’ll focus on using Git and GitHub and will touch on the topic of open source and sharing code.

  • Thinking Beyond the Device (2013)

    Designers and developers that view their work as a craft are constantly pushing their limits to create "better" designs. In this session, we'll explore what "better" design is, and apply that in new ways as we craft interactions between people and web sites and applications.

    In this talk, Derek looks at content, context and design, bringing them together in ways that show us what we can do to create truly responsive sites that meet the needs of the people using them, when they're using them, and how they're using them. We're not just talking Responsive Design here -- when we're thinking beyond the device, we need to start with the device, of course, but then refine our designs to take into account the device's form factor, capabilities and features. And, when we've added that in, we take a look at context of use and the art of anticipation to make our designs truly easy to use for everyone.

  • Joomla in Three Easy Steps (2013)

    The Joomla CMS powers over 3% of the entire world wide web: it’s powerful and actually very easy to set up. Unmasking its simplicity is what this session is all about. We will actually create a Joomla site during the session to show how easy it is.

    While Joomla isn’t for every organization, it has its strengths. Joomla is highly configurable, which makes it customizable for many organizations.

  • Content Strategy Case Study (2013)

    You’ve heard about how Content Strategy is the latest craze in the web world, but what does it really mean to your organization's web site? Can it really make your site better?

    Tom shares his experience taking the concept of a content strategy from a NAGW conference back home to his agency and all state web designers. Learn step by step how to implement a content strategy in your organization.

    We’ll discuss how to start at the top with organizational strategic planning and buy-in, then engage line-level staff in the vision of a better way to communicate, with the result that your customers are less confused and better able to accomplish tasks and find relevant information quickly.

  • Lessons in Sharing Open Source (2013)

    The City of Boulder has been working with the City of Arvada to implement an open source content management system written by the City of Arvada.

    In this session we will share the lessons learned during this project. We hope to help others learn from our project in case they are considering a joint venture with another municipality.

    Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of using open source software, as well as what you should and should not do when sharing open source code.

  • Processing Photos and Videos in Photoshop (2013)

    Learn how to improve photos and fix problem areas with Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. We’ll also look at how to put a video together in Photoshop (yes, Photoshop!), including tweaking exposure, color and more.

  • Changing the Culture of Government Website Usage (2013)

    Most local governments have a website—that much is obvious. What often becomes obscured are the reasons for actually having these websites.

    What purpose do they serve… better yet, what purpose should they serve? And how is a community’s culture affected by misunderstanding a website’s purpose?

    This session by Jesse Manning of CivicPlus will provide insight into how citizens view and use government websites. With more than 350 government websites and more than 3,500 Internet-using citizens researched, this session will help local government communicators and administrators bridge the digital disconnect between government online offerings and citizen wants and needs.

  • Mobile Access (2013)

    Mobile usage is growing at a rapid pace as the ways we use mobile devices continue to evolve.

    Use of retail, financial and other apps continues to increase, and the benefits to people with disabilities are potentially more dramatic than for the general population.

    We’ll look at relevant laws and standards as well as how various mobile platforms stack up in terms of current features and levels of accessibility level. We’ll also discuss the impact of mobile accessibility for users who have visual, mobility, cognitive or hearing impairments. Discover strategies for designing accessible mobile applications and content, including how to test for accessibility.

  • Website Archiving 101 (2013)

    Navigating the rules, laws, and obstacles to website archives can be really challenging. We will browse the various legal layers that affect government agencies and catch up on legislation that is changing archiving and retention requirements. We’ll also look at the technical challenges and requirements for digital retention and archiving, as well as resources that can help.

  • HTML5 Web Forms (2013)

    HTML forms are an important way to first connect with our web visitors.

    You have probably created a form or two before. We’ll look at the classic input types of text, password, checkbox, radio and submit buttons.

    The text input element is the multitool of the HTML form. It easily adapts to almost any job you want to give it in your form. On the other hand, text input is semantically neutral, which is why we add our own semantics through IDs and class names. That requires us to rely on JavaScript and server frameworks to handle validation and rich interactions.

    However, HTML5 forms add 13 new values for the input type attribute, as well as a host of other attributes that will speed up your forms development. We will look at which modern solutions a you can use to design your next CSS-based form, including the implementation status of HTML5 form elements in various browsers. We’ll also learn how to use new client validation features in HTML5 forms.

  • Open Sourcing Government (2013)

    For the first time, technology has been pushing us to a tipping point where it is easier to work together than apart. Today, open source frameworks like Drupal, WordPress and Ruby on Rails are leapfrogging each other as they move forward.

    Yet the same open source philosophy that reimagined the way the web is built is not simply limited to code.

    How can this approach be applied to the process of governance more broadly? What would happen if we open sourced government data? What about open source content? How can we open source the legislative process entirely?

    We will discuss the open source ethos and how can it offer significant value to organizations beyond software development. Discover innovative approaches that government agencies are using today to collaborate both internally and with the public. We’ll also look at cultural technology you can bring back to your organization to make it more lean, more agile, and most importantly, more fun.

  • WordPress on Amazon EC2 (2013)

    Learn how to set up a Wordpress site on an Amazon EC2 micro instance, which is free for the first year and extremely cheap after that.

    These types of sites are great for disaster backups since they are hosted in the cloud. This approach also works well for smaller sites that you need to get up quickly.

  • How Accessibility Made Me a Better Developer (2013)

    For many developers who are new to accessibility, figuring out where to start can be the most intimidating part. Learn how with planning and process, you can greatly improve not just the accessibility of your code, but your skills overall. Discover ten "Day One" tips you can start using in your development process immediately.

    Real world examples will help replace any apprehension you might have with confidence and the knowledge that with a little effort, you can use the skills you already possess to author accessible HTML.

  • Google Maps Coordinate (2013)

    Coordinate is a new Google Maps product that allows management of geographically distributed team members, such as tracking progress from one location to another and assigning tasks to the member closest to the location. There are many potential government uses for Coordinate applications, such as street repair by public works departments. Learn how to deploy and use Coordinate, and how to extend Coordinate functionality through the API.

  • Thursday keynote: Protecting your systems and sites from cyber attacks (2013)

    Do you want to be the one to have to brief your mayor or governing body on how your data was breached? Learn out about the latest attacks against state and local governments systems. Find out what steps you can take to secure your data and keep your jurisdiction out of the news.

  • Field Trip to the Louisville Emergency Communications Center (2013)

    NAGW is pleased to offer a field trip to the new Louisville MetroSafe Emergency Communications Center. Providing emergency support for both Louisville and Jefferson County, attendees will get an inside tour of an emergency operations center before being faced with staffing one during a local emergency. Local staff will discuss how Louisville and Jefferson County manage online communications during major incidents.

    MetroSafe Communications Center is responsible to obtain, document, disseminate and track activities and information of members of the Metro Police Department, Louisville Fire and Rescue, Louisville Metro EMS, Local Government Radio and Suburban Fire Districts. MetroSafe Communications Center has the ability to link radio communications with other emergency agencies outside of our jurisdiction via a process called Motobridge. This process can be beneficial in the event of pursuits, large hazmat incidents, mass casualty incidents, special details, multi-alarm fires or any other situation that may arise.

    This field trip is limited to 15 attendees.

  • Apply evidence-based design to user interface changes (2013)

    Evidence-based is a term that is trending in the social-sciences and the medical sciences. It is now finding its way in other disciplines, including website design and management. The main purpose of using an evidence-based model is to help us make choices about design and website changes that are based on good, objective information. Making decisions based on the best available evidence is effective when needing to demonstrate why certain choices are superior to others. The session would show how the City of St. Louis web team integrates these techniques as an ongoing strategy for ongoing improvident of the website performance.

    Session takeaways:

    • Use of objective information leads to better performance
    • It’s easier to justify decisions when there is good data that backs them up
    • Techniques used a straightforward and easy to implement.
  • The Future of Civic Communication Platforms (2013)

    It is important to address the role of the city in the rapidly developing era of Gov 2.0. The 20th century town square is now emerging in the form of online social networks that bring citizens together and keep them connected. With the continued advancement of communication systems and technology, it is now the city's responsibility to employ tools to reach out to their citizens and work together to build safe and sustainable communities. PublicStuff will be presenting case studies of our client cities that use our digital communications platform to connect with their residents to provide them with exceptional customer service tools to help to maintain their neighborhoods.

  • OpenPublic: The Drupal Distribution for Government (2013)

    OpenPublic ( is a Drupal project aimed at improving public sector web content management.

    Managing Government agency web content presents unique technology requirements. Agencies need to efficiently manage content across multiple departments and/or domains. They also need unique security controls and engaging, accessible content for one of the most demanding and diverse audiences.

    With hundreds of installations, OpenPublic powers some of the biggest government sites on the web. As a result, OpenPublic has evolved to embody best practices for managing government web content. Increasingly we are seeing OpenPublic used to create community and to facilitate conversation across agencies about common challenges and solutions.

    Join Greg Wilson, Phase2’s Government Practice Director to discuss how government is leveraging OpenPublic 1.0, including:

    • Specific project examples (including federal, state, and local agencies)
    • An overview of the OpenPublic architecture
    • Integrating web content and open data
    • How you can get involved
  • Managing the Citizen Experience (2013)

    How can we view citizens as more the customers and really put thought into that interaction layer? We’ll take a look at some companies that are doing amazing work with customers. We’ll think through how to help customers in ways you wouldn’t likely see in the private section. Let’s lessen those pain points for citizens!