Thursday April 7

The Student Sessions and the Opening Reception

Friday April 8

Workshop sessions kick off, two keynotes, happy hour and karaoke

Saturday April 9

A day packed with interesting sessions and a gala to celebrate the Best of News Design

Thursday April 7

9:30 a.m.

Free student sessions

9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

A team of design professionals will hosts students and faculty on Thursday, April 7, providing a cool program of speakers and portfolio reviews. Be sure to sign up to get your work critiqued. Just bring your portfolio, which can be in digital form or good old-fashioned tearsheets, and we’ll set you up with a one-on-one review session.

6:30 p.m.

Opening reception

SNDSF Opening Reception

6:30 p.m.

The SNDSF Opening Reception from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., April 7, will be at the Green Room in San Francisco's historic War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Ave. Just down the street from the workshop hotel and across the way from City Hall, the Green Room is a beautiful space to begin the annual workshop.

Friday April 8

9:00 a.m.


Designing for media that sees your audience


Media now looks back onto the audience, watching behaviors like clicks, scrolls, and impressions. The question becomes how to turn this tracking into something useful for readers, something that brings delight or informs. Design patterns are emerging around content and layout informed by analytics- feeds become relevant, and articles more dynamic. Pages unfold based on a reader’s behavior, and adapt to trending and related content. Such responsiveness brings pages to life, and also offers possibilities beyond the page to meaningful experiences within emerging technologies for news.

Emerald Ballroom

10:15 a.m.

A tour of the cutting room floor: Experiments that didn’t work (and a few that did)

Kat Downs 10:15 a.m.

The Washington Post team is constantly pushing boundaries at the intersection of design, technology and journalism. In the flurry of action, we make quick decisions about what we think will work and what won’t. Sometimes those decisions are the right ones and sometimes… well, we learn from our mistakes. In this session, you’ll reap the benefits of what we’ve learned this past year about user interface design, structure of visual narratives, newsroom process and workflow across platforms.

Emerald Ballroom

Designing tools for designing cities

Tiffany Chu 10:15 a.m.

A conversation about the design process at early-stage civic startups.

Redwood Room

Designing for flexibility: Systems that scale

Michael Martin, Francisco Tavares and Silvan Reinhold 10:15 a.m.

As content consumption platforms continue to converge and storytelling formats continue to evolve, two truths remain absolute – business priorities and user expectations will constantly change. How, then, can publishers create systems that serve both the present and future needs of the news landscape? This discussion focuses on the theory, design practice, and technical considerations underlying creating flexible systems that scale. Co-presenters: Francisco Tavares and Silvan Reinhold

Gold Rush Room A

Hands-on training: 10:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Data visuals 101

Lucio Villa and Chris Courtney 10:15 a.m.

This beginner course will run from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It is suited for any professional or student who wants to learn how to start building lightweight, effective data visualizations today. While you will need your own computer, Lucio and his assistants will work with you to construct embeddable projects while exposing you to a deep repository of free, easy to use tools.

Gold Rush Room B

11:30 a.m.

Simple foundations

Che Douglas 11:30 a.m.

I have been working in News/Media now since November 2014. My background of running a branding & digital company in Australia has shaped my role at Dow Jones and WSJ. Traditionally the CD’s have all had News backgrounds so I have brought fresh thinking on how to approach building better digital products and strengthening our entire brand experience.

Emerald Ballroom

Simple, not trivial: Data stories for everyone

Hilary Fung and Alissa Scheller 11:30 a.m.

Changes in news products and platforms haven’t just affected news design from a technical perspective — they’ve also changed how consumers understand their place in the news cycle. The modern news audience is diverse and fast-paced, and readers are accustomed to sharing their own perspectives. Where does that put us as visual editors? How do we push conversations forward without talking over our readers? How do we build visually intuitive graphics for a vast and varied audience? Come hear how we do these things at the Huffington Post and learn how other newsrooms are envisioning and shaping the future of visual journalism.

Redwood Room

Email > App > Global Adaptation

Millie Tran 11:30 a.m.

Here’s everything I know about launching editorial products and processes: minimal delightful to maximum impact.

Gold Rush Room A

12:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m.

Immersive Journalism, engaging communities

Mariana Santos 1:30 p.m.

The role and power of journalism is changing as society changes. With information coming from both official and user generated sources, the access to stories becomes wider and broader. Journalism becomes a tool to engage with the community and a strong ignitor for change, via social impact. At SND I aim to have an open conversation about immersive journalism, and how to engage communities with stories that can lead to change.

Emerald Ballroom

Effective data visualization for immersive narratives

Len De Groot 1:30 p.m.

Infographics and virtual reality are a match made in heaven. So it’s not surprising that early experiments that leverage explanatory storytelling skills have produced engaging journalistic VR content. We’ll examine several projects, including what they got right, what they got wrong and what we can learn from them. We’ll discuss the potential of this exciting new medium and talk about emerging tools that can help you get started.

Redwood Room

Spaces with meaning: Design for the digital age

Kate O'Rourke and Sascha Wagner 1:30 p.m.

The history of office design and how its evolved with technology. Highlighting current office trends and how those apply to media companies and our clients. What does the future hold for office design?

Gold Rush Room A

Hands-on training: 1:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Design thinking for journalists

Chris Courtney and Tran Ha 1:30 p.m.

Problem-solving is nothing new to the craft of journalism, but the traditional view of Design Thinking is often misunderstood as something that applies to business but not to newsrooms. Tran Ha and Chris Courtney will dispel that myth through this afternoon workshop that is focused on teaching attendees collaborative, problem-solving techniques that can immediately be put to use at your media organization. This workshop will run from 1:30 p.m. until 4:45 p.m.

2:45 p.m.

Unconscious bias of design

Martin Gee and Tory Hargro and Sanny Lin 2:45 p.m.

Representations of diversity (and lack of) in visual design and why the responsibility falls on the designer.

Emerald Ballroom

Sparks, hunches, and ideas — building product at Medium

Katie Zhu 2:45 p.m.

Creation is really a slog. It's built on backs of old ideas, ideas we've previously come across or inherited, ideas that we transform into some new shape. The process of designing and building products is a messy one. Come hear about the story of Collections on Medium — what we learned, how we built it, and what's next.

Redwood Room

Data from a Twitter bot shut down 21 nasty restaurants, and other stories

David Leonard 2:45 p.m.

Public data is a misunderstood source of fascinating and important stories. Join Code for America UX engineer and developer David Leonard to explore boundary-pushing data stories made by visual journalists, civic hackers and government officials. You’ll leave with practical tips for requesting data from governments (or getting it yourself) and finding the untold tales within.

Gold Rush Room A

4:00 p.m.

Design in the age of statistics-driven journalism

Sisi Wei 4:00 p.m.

As we do more statistical analysis in our journalism, how do we tackle visualizing data with statistical caveats while providing accuracy and accessibility for readers? We’ll look at how newsrooms have visualized concepts from monte carlo simulations to confidence intervals, and how ProPublica approached this challenge in Surgeon Scorecard.

Emerald Ballroom

Slack: From messaging platform to newsroom utility

Peter Ahn 4:00 p.m.

Learn how to reclaim your workday and better collaborate with coworkers.

Redwood Room

One is the loneliest number

Rebekah Monson 4:00 p.m.

When you’re the only person designing and developing things for your news organization, things get … interesting. I’ll share lessons from my year as a solo product team for a startup, and we’ll trade strategies for lone wolves and tiny teams.

Gold Rush Room A

5:00 p.m.

SND business notes

Stephen Komives and MIRANDA Mulligan and Jon Wile 5:00 p.m.

Emerald Ballroom

5:15 p.m.


From Metropoli to El Mundo

Rodrigo Sanchez 5:15 p.m.

Rodrigo Sánchez, art director of La Luna de Metrópoli, a weekly supplement of the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo in Madrid, has won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for News Design in 2014. He is known for his spectacular, conceptual cover designs.

Emerald Ballroom

7:00 p.m.

Code and Theory Happy Hour

7:00 p.m.

Showdown 10 6th Street and Market

9:00 p.m.

Angie’s List SNDSF Karaoke Night

9:00 p.m.

Angie's List returns as a sponsor of the SND karoake night. This event benefits the SND Foundation providing training grants for visual journalists, university-level scholarships, travel grants for students to the Annual Workshop & Exhibition, grants to the student designers of the year, and outreach to minority journalists and journalism students at universities with diverse enrollments.

Saturday April 9

9:00 a.m.


Design as the last line of defense

Ben Fry 9:00 a.m.

We’ll never have less data. But our ability to explain and convey complex data has improved in only limited ways, and the slow progress makes me impatient for larger improvements. Over the course of my career in information design, I’ve spent time working solo, writing & teaching, building software tools, and building a company. Each approach provides a new line of attack and ways to fail, big and small. What I’ve realized is that the only way we’ll make it out of the information age in one piece is if we put design at the center of how we understand data. What else can we learn from these experiences to help determine a path forward?

Emerald Ballroom

10:10 a.m.

Trading places

Sarah Sampsel and David Sleight 10:10 a.m.

David Sleight left the agency world to be the Design Director at ProPublica and Sarah Sampsel left her leadership role at the Washington Post to pursue hands-on digital product design for clients outside of media – essentially, they traded places. What can we learn about design and storytelling from these two perspectives? What lessons and insights can be applied to news design and digital products in media?

Emerald Ballroom

A Truthful Art: How designers and journalists can better handle data and visualization

Alberto Cairo 10:10 a.m.

In the past decade, news designers and journalists have quickly adopted software tools and programming languages that enable them to gather, manage, and present data to their readers. However, we journalists and designers are ill-equipped to face a world where data is abundant, easy to access –and often faulty. The reason is that technological progress has not been accompanied by a better understanding of how to handle data correctly. This session will explain how to avoid the most common mistakes we make when dealing with data and visualization.

Redwood Room

Editorial cartoons are dead — long live editorial cartoons

Susie Cagle 10:10 a.m.

Once a beloved mainstay of the news, editorial cartooning as a medium and a profession is dying, and not slowly. Time and again, cartoonists have bore the brunt of industry cutbacks, with more than 2/3 of staff jobs disappearing since 1980. Remaining artists must largely rely on national syndication models that reward moderate cliches. But as the news grows more visual, there’s hope yet for political cartooning’s future. Journalist and cartoonist Susie Cagle will speak about who’s leading a new resurgence in illustrated commentary and reporting, how editors and cartoonists are reimagining the form for a new era of news, and what might come next — if we’re lucky.

Gold Rush Room B

SNDMakes show and tell!

MIRANDA Mulligan and Ramla Mahmood 10:10 a.m.

As of this session we will have completed six (!!!) SNDMakes events. We’ll share prototypes designed from all of the maker events, including demos from the most recent San Francisco event as well as from Chicago, Austin, DC, Boston and Indianapolis. Plus, we’ll review details on how you and your organization can get involved.

Gold Rush A

11:10 a.m.


Jennifer Daniel 11:10 a.m.

A San Francisco tech company, a creative, and a marketer walk into a bar in the Mission which is weird since all of them get free beer at work anyways. That's it. That's what my talk will be about.

Emerald Ballroom

Explore: Digital creativity show & tell

Chris Coyier 11:10 a.m.

Take a moment to show off something you’ve done or something you think is compelling. From dataviz to design patterns, from clever interactions to compelling web storytelling techniques. Come! Bring your laptop! CodePen is a great place to store and show off these ideas – a digital scratchpad for ideas.

Redwood Room

Behind the covers

Darren Sanefski 11:10 a.m.

Designers’ choices have measurable impact on magazine newsstand sales, according to new research from Magazine Cover Project at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi. Magazine Cover Project, in partnership with MagNet, is analyzing these relationships systematically to provide the industry with evidence on how magazine cover design elements affect newsstand sales.

Gold Rush Room A

Ask before you act: A designer’s guide to strategic making

Mike Swartz 11:10 a.m.

Great design starts with understanding the problem. How do you know that you’re building the best product? How do you know who you’re creating for? And how do you know you need to make something at all? As designers, our value comes from asking and answering these questions — otherwise, we’re just decorating. When you begin by defining the right problem, you’ll make exciting new discoveries and create breakthrough design solutions.

Gold Rush Room B

12:10 p.m.

1:10 p.m.

AJ+ – The future of news is here

Hugh O'Connor 1:10 p.m.

Panel discussion on our approach and what we have learned in two years of AJ+, with speakers from our content strategy, design, and social engagement teams.

Redwood Room

The Best of Sports Design 2015

Josh Crutchmer 1:10 p.m.

The Best of Sports Design 2015 showcases the best work in print and multimedia sports design. The competition began in 2006 and has been affiliated with SND since 2012. Saturday's session will reveal and discuss the winners from last year and we will talk for a bit on the state of sports design in general.

Gold Rush Room A

An Art Director, Designer and Reader walk into a bar. Bartenders says …

Chris Mihal 1:10 p.m.

Using humor through illustration and photography to make meaningful connections with readers. We’ll talk through at examples from magazines and newspapers. And even look at when a joke falls flat from the pages of Variety.

Gold Rush Room B

1:30 p.m.

SND Ignite talks

1:30 p.m.

After a boisterous introduction at #SNDDC, we're bringing lightning (or ignite) talks back to the SND Workshop this year in San Francisco. Do you want to get the most out of your conference/time ratio? Dig being exposed to lots of different facets of creativity and design at ? Maybe you have a short attention span or a dose of ADHD? We've got you covered. Ignite talks will explore topics including (but not limited to): illustrating your fears; 22 methods to illustrate a story; 10 reasons print design just won’t die; we’ll talk about unusual typefaces for news design and why it’s important to check out your local letterpress shop; we’ll hear from design mega-stars talking about how they’ve applied creativity and design to their hobbies with great results; we’ll have a number of international snapshots and so much more. We’ve enlisted a superb array of experts — international consultants, professionals, educators, innovators, entrepreneurs, Bay Area startup types, and so many others to share their insightful, instructional, quirky and inspirational talks. In 5 minute intervals, speakers will present 20 slides, auto-advanced every 15 seconds. Don’t dig a topic? no sweat — sit tight and the channel will change for you in mere minutes. You'll literally get an entire day's-worth of conferencing in less than 90 minutes. Then you can go enjoy San Francisco. But this is THE ONE session you don't want to skip at SNDSF. We promise. Confirmed speakers include: Matt Martel, Fairfax Media (Australia) Josh Kadis, Alley Interactive Darren Sanefski, University of Mississippi Julie Elman, Ohio University Kyle Ellis, Society for News Design Denise Reagan, MOCA Jacksonville Pete Mortensen, Matter Lars Pryds, Tolstrup Pryds Graphics Reed Reibstein, American City Business Journals Chris Coyier and Miranda Mulligan, CodePen Lucie Lacava (aka @lulucrezia), Lacava Design Stephanie Grace Lim, Design ninja Jen Cotton, Twitter (… but we have a few aces up our sleeves still, so watch for updates and changes — ignite talks are nothing if not nimble, adjustable and ever-changing  ) — Session curated and moderated by Steve Dorsey, Austin American-Statesman (@dorsey) #protip: there WILL be at least one notable giveaway item — that you must be present to win. Official hashtag: #SNDignite More about lightning (or ignite) talks: SNDSF in five-minute increments: Sign up now for lightning talks From SNDDC: Lightning Talks: 12caras para (re)conocer

Emerald Ballroom

2:10 p.m.

Chasing video

Dai Sugano 2:10 p.m.

Video is no longer a medium newsrooms can take on “someday.” It’s important today and it’s constantly changing. Dai Sugano, an Emmy-Award winning photojournalist and senior multimedia editor for The San Jose Mercury News, will take you through his video endeavor that started 10 years ago. He will present various kind of video and multimedia pieces from India, China, Japan and the U.S. He’ll deconstruct a team effort for a 40-minute investigative documentary film called “Drugging Our Kids,” which received an Edward R. Murrow Award. And he’ll discuss his latest push to create short news videos optimized for a mobile audience.

Redwood Room

From Page One to the executive editor’s chair

Robert Huschka 2:10 p.m.

As more companies and newspapers turn towards designers to help lead them, Detroit Free Press executive editor Robert Huschka shares how years as a news designer prepared him for his latest role as the leader of Michigan’s largest news organization. How those lessons help mold their approach and coverage of major stories, such as the Flint water crisis.

Gold Rush Room A

Creative covers

Rodrigo Sánchez 2:10 p.m.

Rodrigo Sánchez, art director of La Luna de Metrópoli, a weekly supplement of the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo in Madrid, has won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for News Design in 2014. He is known for his spectacular, conceptual cover designs. Sánchez takes us behind his creative process.

Gold Rush Room B

3:10 p.m.

News design in the age of the Instant Article

David Wright Jr., Steve Motzenbecker and Bobbie Johnson 3:10 p.m.

Last year, SND recognized Facebook as the ’World’s Best’ designed news site. Since then, we’ve seen seismic shifts in the role networks are playing to help design and distribute the news. In the past year alone, Facebook launched Instant Articles, Google unveiled it’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project, and Apple released News. Join us for a lively discussion that explores the changing role of the news designer as news organizations seek to balance storytelling, performance and audience reach. Panelists include Facebook’s Steve Motzenbecker and Bobbie Johnson of Medium.

Emerald Ballroom

Brain-friendly design: How brain science can help keep readers engaged

Brian Steffens and Alex Remington 3:10 p.m.

Washington Post product manager Alex Remington led the Post’s 2014-2015 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellowship, an investigation into how brains process news stories through the field of media psychophysiology. He will discuss the findings of this study with longtime SND collaborator Brian Steffens. Designing for the brain was first studied at RJI by 2011-2012 RJI Fellow Paul Bolls (SND Cleveland). Remington and Bolls collaborated to update that work and test their assumptions with a laboratory study of readers/viewers. Join the conversation to learn what this means for digital design.

Redwood Room

Designing for everybody

Dave Stanton 3:10 p.m.

Design paradigms and tooling is changing so fast. In our race to keep pace, let us not forget the need to ensure out experiences are accessible to all. First I’ll make a case for both the ethical and legal requirements of accessibility. Next, we’ll cover the current challenges in providing accessible interfaces for those with mobility, vision, hearing, and speaking impairments. Finally, we’ll make tweaks to existing SND Best of Digital award winners to improve the accessible experience.

Gold Rush Room A

How to live like a startup in a print world

Melissa Angle and Will Alford 3:10 p.m.

It can seem impossible to have the freedom and agility of a digital startup in a traditional newsroom. Why do some things work for massive news orgs like Buzzfeed, Bustle or Vice but not for others? Learn how to design for social distribution first while letting data guide content decisions … all within a traditional media company. Move beyond focus groups and adapt to immediate feedback from social platforms. Make the most of a small and scrappy staff while building a strong mission with strong leaders. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there sometimes, and you have to work every day like your only choice is to succeed or die … because for most of us, it is.

Gold Rush Room B

4:10 p.m.


The expanding role of the designer

Bryan Walker and Zena Barakat 4:10 p.m.

For media organizations, it takes more than just starting a new SnapChat channel or making a VR film to be on the cutting edge. To make sure innovation is not an exception, but a way of being, you must design your organization to sustainably support innovation. We are going to challenge your role as a designer in a media organization to invite you to design not just your work, but the organization where you work.

Emerald Ballroom

7:30 p.m.

Best of News Design awards gala

7:30 p.m.

Join us for an evening to celebrate the Best of News Design across platforms. Nominees for World’s Best-Designed™ newspapers,websites and apps have been announced. Winners will be revealed at this gala celebration. Come enjoy cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, Emerald Ballroom, 1500 Van Ness Ave.