056: Designing for Conversions with Piccia Neri

In this episode of Women in WP, we talk to Piccia Neri from her home in Spain about how she got started in WordPress (she wanted a blog), about getting involved in the WordPress community, and the future of conferences when this pandemic is over.


About Piccia Neri:

Piccia Neri is a UX expert and global speaker, helping businesses and agencies win on the web by putting users at the centre. She loves educating designers & developers in the best UX & UI practices via workshops, courses and talks. Piccia is also a UX project lead and a Maverick at Cloudways, a cloud hosting platform.

Find Piccia Neri: Design for Geeks | Twitter  | LinkedIn


Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
056: Designing for Conversions with Piccia Neri
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Transcript

Intro:

Welcome to Women in WP, a bi-monthly podcast about women who blog, design, develop, and more in the WordPress community.

Angela:

Hi, welcome to Women in WP. I’m Angela Bowman.

Tracy:

I’m Tracy Apps.

Amy:

And I’m Amy Masson.

Angela:

Our guest today is Piccia Neri. Piccia makes WordPress sites and educates WordPress users to good design in UX.

Angela:

Welcome, Piccia.

Piccia:

Hello, hello. Thank you so much for having me. I’m just so honored to be here.

Angela:

We are very happy to have you.

Angela:

Well, we like to start off each episode asking our guests, let me see if I can speak today, how they got into WordPress. How did you get started?

Piccia:

I got into WordPress, I actually can’t remember if it was 2008 or 2009, either or, because I wanted a blog. And actually I wanted to post one drawing a day, because there was a woman, an American woman, who had a website where she was posting one drawing a day, and I loved it. She was fantastic, and she would sketch her glass and you had some, sort of, the poetry of everyday objects.

Piccia:

So that’s how I started, and I knew nothing about web design and I was your classical creative designer and usually they are the absolute worst at websites, just terrible. All I knew really, about the web, was there are rows that I would have with my developer friend about typefaces and how, because at the time you couldn’t really, and so I was like, “I’m not interested in web design because I can’t use typography the way I would like.” And then, I’m not going to go into the whole discussions that I used to have with my friend, but that’s how I got started.

Piccia:

And when I was thinking about this question, that I knew you’d ask me, I was like, “Where is that blog? What happened to it?” Because I sort of dropped it at some point, and then I thought, “Okay, I want to change the typography,” and I’m like, “Oh my god. I can’t change it. How do I change it?” And that’s what propelled me into learning how to do it, because I was like, “This is not acceptable. I have to be able to do this.” And that’s how it started. Yeah, in a nutshell.

Tracy:

I love that because I also, I have an art degree, but because I had kind of learned web development and traditional design kind of around the same time, it was easier for me to unlearn and kind of give up a little bit of that control. But it’s a hard process for everyone. How was that? Because that, especially being something where I can control, “this goes right to the bottom of the page”, and “this goes right here”, and “this is exactly here”, and “that is there”, and “oh, I need to move it over a couple pixels”, and “there we go, perfect”. How was that giving up that control, or at least loosening that up, to be a web developer?

Piccia:

Honestly, it was horrible. I just, and I still find it difficult. I still think that web design is way harder than any other design. And I was a book designer for a long time. It’s how I started. And I have been doing the rounds recently. There’s a friend who works in book publishing, I was like, “Can I please do a book again? Please, will you get me a book project?” Because it just, it doesn’t move. You do it and that’s it. It’s done. It’s on the shelf, gathering dust, you don’t even need to have a look at it again, if you don’t want to.

Piccia:

So it was really hard and also I really didn’t know anything. So, at some point, I was in between jobs, and so I had the luxury of time, and I got myself an education in HTM… I started from scratch because I am a learner, I’m also an educator, but I’m a really good learner. I love to learn, I just can’t stop.

Piccia:

And so I thought, “How cool I am going to learn HTML.” And I actually found it such fun, and when you get into CSS and you start going, “Oh my god, I write words and something happens visually?” And I thought that that was great, great fun, so I started really enjoying it. And then I started learning WordPress, but I didn’t find it easy at all. To be honest, I really didn’t, I have to say.

Piccia:

And then, I don’t know, you just sort of go over the hill at some point, and you go, “How did I ever find it so difficult?” And now, obviously… and then at some point, you’re never going to know everything, but you know so much more, and you go, “Okay, I can do it now.”

Piccia:

But I have to say that in terms of design, Tracy, as you were saying, I really do believe that it’s different. I mean certain design rules and principles will always apply, even the reason why you design things is completely different. I find myself now always talking about empathy, design thinking, problem solving, and things like that. Whereas when I was a creative designer, I wasn’t trying to help out anyone. It was about creating the coolest possible design. I was doing film posters for a while. You had to be cryptic and cool and intriguing, but not helpful necessarily. So it’s a very… I like it more now in a way.

Tracy:

It’s one of those things, people don’t realize the difference. They group art and design together. But they’re completely different. Art is an expression, like I can make a painting and it can evoke a different emotion and a different meaning to every person that views it. But if I make a website design, that portrays that everyone interprets differently, that fails. That designing for comprehension, its more of an engineering, and we’re designing systems but with that empathy and that creative way.

Piccia:

Absolutely, because I have to say that whenever I find a website that looks amazing, incredible, super creative, it’s usually also completely unusable. You just can’t use it. And definitely not accessible. So now, I mean actually accessibility and inclusion by design are the things that I’ve really, I’m getting more passionate about. And actually I think that, because there’s also this myth that you can’t do pretty things and be accessible, and I beg to differ. I’m actually thinking that that might be my next niche. The thing that, yeah, I think it’s a very interesting topic.

Tracy:

I agree. I feel the same. We’re parallels in a lot of way, because that whole, people say, “Oh, well it can’t be done.” I’m like, “I see that, and I will raise you.” But now, because I do know HTML and CSS and all of that kind of stuff, and the technology at least with all the latest improvements with CSS, and variables, and all these things, and I’m like, “Oh, well now I can do all these things that weren’t possible before.”

Tracy:

But it’s one of those things where it’s like you have to keep on top of it. And if I were starting right now, I don’t know, I would be overwhelmed, I would just be like, “Nope. Can’t.” But I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, so I have that, I got to learn it gradually as now this new thing came out, so.

Tracy:

Do you still get to do book design?

Piccia:

No, no, but I really want to. I mean I have a few big projects right now, but when things calm down, I definitely want to do it again. And actually the other day I was going through the Instagram account of someone who designs book covers, and I was salivating. I was just going, “That is so great.” So yes, I definitely would like to. And I still have friends in the industry I’m going to try and worm a way back in again.

Piccia:

I have to say, having done both, it is easier I think. There’s fewer things. I mean probably there’s book designers out there right now listening to it going, “No, that’s not true!” But just meaning that a website is a live thing. You can’t build a website now and just leave it there. You need to tend to it like a garden, as we all know. And with something static like a book, or a book cover, you just don’t have to do that. And then in a way it’s limitation, but also it’s advantage, so.

Angela:

At least you have dimensions to work with. You know, a book cover is five and a half by eight and a half, or whatever it is, and like Tracy said, you can get those things positioned exactly where you want them. They’re not going to move. What you design is what’s going to print.

Angela:

No, the web is a completely… I have to work with a lot of designers and counsel them, and sometimes it’s like therapy, “I’m so sorry that background image is going to change size. Some of it might get cut off. Let me hold your hand. We’ll just sit with that for a little bit. Think of how we can design for that kind of flexibility. It’s kind of cool though, don’t you think?”

Tracy:

“How does this make you feel?”

Angela:

I have to reframe it for them.

Tracy:

It is.

Piccia:

It is, really. It is like therapy. I do know quite a few designers that will never make the transition, so they simply refuse to, and I can’t blame them. I made the transition when I was still… I wasn’t young, but I was young enough. Any later and it would have been just too much.

Angela:

Yeah, definitely.

Piccia:

But at the same time, yes it is a lot and it is overwhelming and all the rest of it, but the great thing is, that I’m really grateful for is that it did make me shift my mentality as to why I was doing things. And because what I was doing, even though I have very clear the difference between art and design, super clear to me, and I won’t go into that now because we’re talking about different things, but my reason for doing things was very different. And even though designing film posters for a living is fantastic, for sure. Having to watch films, that I have to go to the London Film Festival and watch films, really I wasn’t complaining.

Tracy:

That sounds really rough.

Piccia:

It was so hard to work in a café in between screenings. But now I do things for a different reason, and I like it more. And what I do now can really, what we all do now, can make a difference if you do it the right way, and if you concentrate on the right things. And I got to know, this way, I am getting to know so many people that have a bit of a mission and they do it via the web. And that’s fantastic.

Piccia:

And another really great thing that happened is that, I wasn’t trained as a designer, not even art school, I did art history, and then fell into design because, as I got back from, I did an MA in History of Art in London and then went back to Tuscany where I lived. And my friends that I used to run a gallery with, contemporary art gallery, had started an art publishing company, because in Italy, every single, tiniest little gallery that does a show, at least in the 90s, would publish a catalog. They just did. It was not possible to not have a catalog. So that’s what we did. And I was designing my books on a Classic, in the beginning, on a Mac Classic. Do you remember? The screen was the size of this, and it was black and white. So that’s how I started. So I was doing also editing, because my background was actually much more writing than it was designing, but I can’t remember why I started this whole conversation… oh yes, yes, yes!

Piccia:

Then I moved to London. I was in Italy for a few more years and then I moved to London in ’98, and decided I was going to be a designer, kept with book design. But one thing I didn’t have was the community of designers, because I didn’t go to design school. And yes I did meet other designers, but most of the time I was freelance. So you don’t… it’s great to be a freelancer, but at the same time, it’s harder to make connections. And I couldn’t find a community and I tried to get a community. I tried by being really active in the Charter Society of Designers. I was even on the board. I was doing the assessments for them, and so on, but I didn’t find… and actually, if you want to talk about a sexist organization, I don’t… not today, but anyway. I did not find that community.

Piccia:

When I started really interacting with WordPress, going to the meetups, and getting to know the people, I was like, “Oh my God! Community!” And that’s where I found my community. And I found a community where I could talk about design, because when I started there were no design talks. They were all about CSS, and CSS is not design, it’s a tool. It’s not designing. And that was one of the most amazing things that WordPress has given me. And the community, and look at us. We’re all, I mean you three are in the US, I’m in Spain, and I’ve met so many people, and so many other people on your podcast I know, because I’ve met them at some WordCamp. I’ve even met people on planes, when such things existed.

Piccia:

So that’s my biggest debt of gratitude to WordPress, is this. It’s the community. And thank you. Thanks to anybody who’s a part of it, because it’s just, it’s amazing. So yeah, that was one of the reasons why I’m so happy I made the transition.

Tracy:

I feel like a similar thing, because I was trying to find that kind of community, and yeah. And I went to, I was in graphic design, I finished with an art degree. But even then, it just didn’t feel like… it felt very, more competitive than community. And when I got into the WordPress world, I was like, “Oh.”

Tracy:

And I remember I was intimidated to introduce a talk, because like you said, it was mostly development talk, and I was like, “Well, I don’t really know.” I kind of fumbled my way through learning how to make WordPress by basically coding out an HTML and CSS of a site, and then took the inner guts of WordPress and just stuck it in the middle, and be like, “Okay, well, it’s a blog now.” And so I was like, “Well, I don’t feel confident in that.”

Tracy:

But then I started introducing design talks, and people just loved them. And I was like, “Oh, yeah. This is a community that is much more. It’s not just developers.” Now I love doing WordPress talks, because it is the most fun audience to try to appeal to, because it is developers, designers, “I just want to start a blog”, “I wandered in from the street.” “Whatever”.

Angela:

“I’m here for the sandwiches.”

Piccia:

“I’ve seen the T-shirts.”

Tracy:

“I saw there was food.”

Amy:

“Free coffee.”

Piccia:

“I want some swag.”

Amy:

Oh, the swag’s the best. I miss WordCamp so much. Were you planning to go to WordCamp Europe last year?

Piccia:

Absolutely, I had a fantastic apartment booked. I was organizing the road trip with friends coming from all over the world. Just like you were saying that you were going to Barcelona, I was going to, because I live in Valencia, just down from Barcelona, I was saying, “Right, so come to mine, we’ll get in the car and do a road trip to Porto.”

Piccia:

I like to think that it’s only postponed.

Tracy:

Yeah, I think so, because how many spots do you have in your car, because maybe we’ll all jump in. We’ll come over.

Amy:

We were all going to be there, the Women in WP were all planning to be there. So I’m wondering now though, not just WordCamp Europe, but WordCamp US, do you think when it finally comes back, are they going to go back to the last location they were supposed to be in? Or do you think they’re going to move on?

Piccia:

I think that it would be so unfair to the Porto people, because they had it organized. It was meant to be in June, and the whole thing sort of exploded in March, so it was done. How does [inaudible 00:17:50]?

Piccia:

And also I think we were all excited about it being in Porto. Everybody really wanted to…

Amy:

I so wanted to go to Porto.

Piccia:

I mean any location is brilliant. But you know, Paris, maybe you’ll go to Paris for other reasons, do you know what I mean? Whereas Porto was like…

Tracy:

Yup.

Piccia:

I know. I had the itinerary. It was going to be driving. I was going to drive up via the north, and stop in Salamanca where I was there on a scholarship in 1990, and haven’t been since. And then, I really aged myself right now, but nevermind. And then on the way back, I was going to go via the [El Gavey 00:18:42]. I mean, perfection. Absolute perfection.

Piccia:

So yeah, I’m sure it will happen. It’s only postponed. I mean, when you think about it, I was thinking about I have a niece and a nephew and they were respectively, 18 and 15 when this started. They’re getting 20 and 17, it’s just going… I was thinking, “Those poor kids,” but then I thought, it’s going to sound cynical, but it does happen. My father was 17 when World War II ended. He spent his teenage years during the war. So it’s awful. I’m not justifying it, but just saying that, in a way, we’ll all have an extraordinary experience to talk about. Be nice when it’s over, but you know.

Tracy:

Yeah, I mean even just the mindset of, well I was thinking about this because I felt I had hit my stride. And then the pandemic hit. And I was still working for a little while, and then lost a job, and then it’s just like everything just kind of spiraled into oblivion.

Tracy:

But then that made me take rest. And I felt bad about it. I felt horrible. I was like, “I didn’t produce anything today.” And I’m like, “Well, if anything to take from this, is that, what’s important? Things didn’t explode. Nothing happened catastrophically from me taking a nap, during a day.” And I was like, “Huh.” I was expecting my head to spontaneously combust or something. But I mean, at least there’s that. And I feel if at least we can take stuff like that, and our care for other people and that concern, then we can take good things out of this for the kids growing through this.

Piccia:

Absolutely. One thing that for me has been major, it’s probably because also I live on a roof: no planes, no planes have been up. And if I think how many planes I was on in 2019, I’m never going to do that again. I have already vowed that I am driving in Europe and I’m only getting on a plane if it’s long haul, and even then, I am going to be spacing my long haul outs, because it’s just the bliss. It’s just wonderful and I don’t think we’re talking about all that enough, actually, how there are certain things that we should not, certain habits that we should not return to after this is over, I feel.

Amy:

There was a really interesting article in The Atlantic about how the pandemic is just messing with our brains. Even though people, those of us that have never gotten COVID, and how we’ve been doing this so long, we can’t adjust to going back to normal. I found this the other day.

Amy:

Yesterday I had a meeting with a potential client and I got the alert on my computer, 10 minutes. All right. I’m going to call him in 10 minutes, and then half an hour went by and I realized I had not called this person. And that’s so unlike me. I’m like, “What happened?” It’s just the pandemic fog.

Piccia:

Yeah. Absolutely. And going back to normal is a little bit terrifying even, I find, but yeah.

Tracy:

My conversation has basically just been me and my cat. So now I pretty much be like just, “Oh, did you fall down?” And my conversation vocabulary has deteriorated to just talking to cats, so I was like, “Am I now feral?” I don’t know if I can reintegrate into society. I don’t know. How do you talk to people? Be like, “Hi.”

Amy:

It’s going to be a weird first time when we go to our first conference again, I think.

Tracy:

Yes.

Angela:

Every time someone comes close to you, you’ll just jump back four feet. Instinctually.

Amy:

But I don’t want to do it, like I don’t want to go back to an in-person conference while we feel like we have to wear masks to be safe. I will wear the mask as long as we need to wear the masks, even though Indiana is mask-free now. I will keep wearing my mask, but I’m looking forward to a day when we can get together, in a public venue, and not have to worry about that as much.

Piccia:

Yeah. Absolutely. Can’t wait.

Tracy:

Like not being afraid to breathe the same air as people. It’ll be so great.

Piccia:

It’ll be so nice. In fact, one thing that I really like about video meetings is that we don’t have to wear our masks. Even if it feels a bit weird, it’s like, “Where is it?” Like, “No, it’s all right. They’re only pixels on a screen. It’s all right.”

Tracy:

And you also don’t have to wear pants, so.

Amy:

I have a bunch of friends, a number of friends, that have all been vaccinated and I’ve been vaccinated, so we started getting together, and we called it the Vaccinated Club. And it just felt so scandalous, like the first time we got together, there was four of us for drinks, and we’re in my house, and I’m like, “There are people in my house! This is weird!” But it was good too. I mean, but it was just very weird.

Piccia:

Yeah.

Amy:

So I’m hoping to get back to that.

Amy:

So, Piccia, I would love to hear about your conference that you’re organizing.

Piccia:

Yes. This conference is called Design for Conversions. And the title is because that’s what people need to hear. So, you can explain to them that actually by being nicer to other people, you can actually even make money, because there’s the whole argument of accessibility. People go, “You’re going to get sued if you’re not accessible.” And I’d rather say, “But why don’t you open your site up to more people?” So, basically that’s kind of what, it’s one of the things that the conference is about.

Piccia:

But it’s about putting people first via good design. So it’s aimed at, because we’re all in the WordPress, [inaudible 00:25:06] so we know that realistically sort of getting these figures sort of out of my imagination. But let’s say that 80% of people that design websites these days do not have a design background. They’re not trained designers. Some of the ones that are trained designers are not trained in the web, as we were saying, so this is the reality of it. And it’s a little bit my mission to educate to what good design is and it’s not styling, as you certainly well know. It’s not styling at all. It’s a whole host of other things.

Piccia:

And the idea for the conference actually came from… it’s been quite convoluted. Because the first time that I thought about it was actually last year when all the horrible things were happening in the US, and I was just like, “What can I do to be more inclusive? What can I do to do my bit?” And I thought, “Well, I could do a conference.” And it suddenly occurred to me that if I do a conference about design, I can invite whoever I want. I can talk about whatever I want.

Piccia:

So I’m digressing a bit, but this is the genesis of it. And I’m really so happy about the guests that I’ve managed to get in, and also some of the sponsors are quite exciting.

Angela:

Your sponsors are great.

Piccia:

Well, one of them is Webflow.

Angela:

That’s amazing.

Piccia:

So, I’m slightly throwing a little bit of a pebble into the WordPress pond, but however, interestingly, well I have a speaker, Regine Gilbert, who’s talking about accessibility and inclusion. And that is such a great conversation that I had with her, and with her we were talking about how to be inclusive, how to get more people in rather than scaring people into complying with rules. That’s not what it should be about.

Piccia:

Then Vincent Brathwaite is another fantastic designer who’s all about… we talked about design thinking with him, and how ultimately it’s all about helping people.

Piccia:

Amazingly, all the conversations that I’ve already had, all boiled down to that. There’s like this through-line going through the whole thing, which that is about how to help people. And that’s the tiny, tiny little way in which I’m trying to maybe make the web a better place, one tiny step at a time.

Piccia:

So it’s happening starting on the 17th to the 20th of May. There are sponsors, obviously. And as I was saying, one of them is Webflow, which is really exciting, because I absolutely love WordPress. Thanks to WordPress, we’re here. But also there are other tools that can be using. Sometimes it is complete overkill for a client to use WordPress, so it’s quite interesting to use a tool that is actually completely based around design. That’s what Webflow is.

Piccia:

And also, I am only talking to sponsors that have an ethos that I can stand behind. That is super important to me. And Webflow, as a company, are really great. They’re just, if you go to the website and you read about their mission and how they, for instance, how they employ people, and so on, it’s just fantastic. So with them, because actually, by complete chance, it’s just sheer luck, the 20th of May, which is the last day of the conference-

Tracy:

And also my birthday.

Piccia:

You very closely missed being a Gemini like me.

Tracy:

Yep.

Piccia:

But yeah. Happy birth… Great! So you can come and celebrate at the conference. But it’s also Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

Tracy:

Nice.

Piccia:

So, obviously that’s the day in which, because [inaudible 00:29:17] going to be scheduled, I’m in talks with Webflow in whether to do a talk about accessibility with them. If not that, they have… tell me if you know that this existed, I didn’t know that you can be a growth designer. They have a designer, a woman, whose job title is Growth Designer, and she focuses specifically on conversions. So I got a little bit excited when I heard that, because obviously, perfection. So, and I feel like, “Wow. Please teach me how. How!”

Piccia:

Because I mean, if you think about it, that’s what it is about. You want to convert, because converting means that you’ve achieved your mission of helping people out. If people come to your website or product and do the thing that you want them to do, that means that you got it right. That’s what it is about.

Piccia:

Because also good design is when the circles sort of combine, is good design, good marketing, good UX, good business are all the same thing. Which is also my other big, big, big mantra, and something that is coming up a lot in the various conversations in the conference.

Piccia:

For instance, with Jonah Tolley, who is a bit of a UX guru. He’s a great educator. He’s fantastic. And we had quite a conversation. The way we did it, because I thought it would be really great if he analyzed the user experience of a website submitted by friends and family. So by my list, I asked everybody, it was a democratic process. So he’s actually analyzing the sales journey, the customer journey, of a website that sells plugins, WooCommerce plugins, for payment carts. And it was so interesting. And I feel like I can’t wait for the seller to see what Jo has to say about it, because so many things come up. It’s about how to help people make the right choice, then your copy is too small so you’ve got to be accessible. Everything comes up. Absolutely everything. And I think that it gives a real understanding of what good UX is and why it matters, why you can’t ignore it, and how design is not styling, basically.

Piccia:

Sorry. Long rant.

Tracy:

Yeah, no. That’s exactly, I think that’s one of the reasons, that’s basically the reason why I became so passionate with design for interactive, because yeah, technology is great, it’s cute and I love gadgets and learning that kind of stuff, but I love people, and I love seeing how technology affects people. And if we just make technology, and you see people that are like, “Oh, this is so frustrating. I’m not a computer person. I don’t understand this.” That just means that the product was not designed with them in mind. That it wasn’t actually there, so that it’s not succeeding in that thing. It’s just making their life more difficult, as opposed to being easier, like it’s supposed to be.

Tracy:

And especially being in pandemic world, where so much went onto the digital computer box machine and the internet. And that highlighting all of the places where we have lacked and slacked a little bit on accessibility and inclusivity is glaring. And so that’s such a timely thing because we’ve been exposed. This is a really big thing. And it’s not going to go away. So let’s make sure that everyone comes along, because if things are going to be on technology, and everyone’s like, “Oh yeah. Now we’ve adapted this remote lifestyle. Great.” But now what about, are you bringing everyone along? I really like that.

Piccia:

Absolutely. And one thing that I recently got really into, it just occurred to me, that what about forms? Even starting from the simple contact forms that we have on our website. Everybody used them. And the answer is no. Even a simple contact form where you have to put name and surname. Well, starting with the fact that not everybody has a surname, and not everybody can actually… there are other restrictions.

Piccia:

One of the talks is on that. A woman called Ezzie Hardy, who’s a disability champion and has her initiative to get companies on board and understand what inclusion really means, and she talks about how to make forms accessible. And I hadn’t thought about it. And she said, “You know? It’s so simple.” She said, “Look. I understand that sometimes you don’t have the technology, it’s really quite hard to make everything usable by everybody. So just give me an option. Simply put a link there saying, ‘If you’re not able to fill in this form, email me.'”

Piccia:

It’s so simple, and you’ve thought about everybody else. You just have, so that’s what I have on the website, because I was like, “I think this is okay, but I’m not sure, so just email me if it’s not right.” She was just saying, “I understand if it’s not, but just let me know that you’ve thought about me, and you’re already…” and I thought that was so enlightening.

Amy:

That’s brilliant.

Tracy:

It is brilliant.

Amy:

I mean just giving an alternate option. “Hey, if this doesn’t work, try this.” I love it.

Piccia:

Exactly, because she said, for instance, and something else that I hadn’t thought about, was that in virtual conferences now, the typical thing is that you get the video that’s streamed and people can make their comments in the chat box. And then, if there’s a live segment, which there would be in mine, the speaker can answer the questions.

Piccia:

But she pointed out to me that it’s not that easy, if you’re disabled, to actually write in the chat box. Because she’s saying it’s hard to be fast enough or there are other constraints, and I can’t quite remember now, but she said, “Let me know in advance. Just put a notice saying, ‘We are not able to offer the technology that you would need, but we suggest that you use a notes app, where you can copy and paste your comment in the chat box.'” So she said, “If you make it clear to me that you have thought about my situation, I’m happy. That’s kind. Because I understand it’s not easy, and you may not have the funds to make it completely usable for everyone.” So, so much to learn. So much.

Angela:

Oh, great. Well, for anyone who missed it, as you’re listening, the website is designforconversions.com. It’s a free conference. May 17-20, this year, online. But then you have this lifetime access pass, where during the conference you can watch it for free, but then if you want to watch it after for just, I think it was $37 US dollars.

Piccia:

For now it’s $37, because the schedule is not even published yet, so whoever buys is now is doing it on trust, so they deserve… And also there’s going to be, every speaker will have an offer. The paid for pack will have lots of little perks and the sponsors will have perks.

Angela:

And it sounds lovely and unique and fun. And something that we… I think it’s not like those conferences that a lot of us have been attending because it is so focused on this aspect that will be very fresh for a lot of us. And give us some really fresh ideas, just like what you’ve said in the past five minutes, it’s all, “Wow, wow, wow!” And I imagine the whole conference will be full of those kind of eye-opening, brilliant ideas.

Tracy:

Yeah, I’m going to pass this on to my students. I’m teaching web development for marketers. So these are marketing students, and this is key because if you’re going to be successful in marketing, you’re going to be successful in any sort of customer facing, this is very important, so I am going to send a bunch of people your way. For sure.

Piccia:

Oh, wonderful. So can I just say thank you so much for saying all this? Because I have to say that five weeks, almost, five and a half weeks from the event, I often think, “Why? Why do you?” There is so much to do. So complicated, and so many moving parts. And I’m really behind with the website, and I got this thing wrong, and it can be overwhelming. So to hear that is just so wonderful. Thank you so much, because yeah, thanks. Really appreciate it.

Angela:

And I see that Yost is a sponsor, and you’ve been sponsored for the diversity grant. That’s part of that community thing that you’ve had. It’s so nice to see that. Can you speak to your relationship with Yost?

Piccia:

Absolutely. So Yost, first of all, I was so grateful that they went for anything at all, because it’s not a WordPress specific conference. I mean the reality of it is that there will be a lot of… the majority I guess will be WordPress people, because it’s my audience, it’s my community. [Kinstar 00:39:12] are sponsors, which is great, so delighted about that. And again, because Andrea Zelnar, who is the Head of Growth now, I met at various WordCamps around the world. And they’re doing a talk on being nice to your customers, building a really good customer journey. I’m really excited about that.

Piccia:

So Yost… It’s not a WordPress conference, and Yost are a completely WordPress tool, so so grateful to them. And yes, they gave me… they have a wonderful diversity fund which I encourage everyone that is part of a minority in tech, and there’s various categories for that to apply to. And they sent me to Verona in Italy, Grenada in Spain, and Helsinki. And it was… so grateful. Especially Helsinki, Northern Europe is so expensive, and I was so grateful for them for giving me the opportunity and they’re absolute stars for that.

Piccia:

So, yeah. It’s one of those community experiences that make WordPress so great, and that Wix can never…

Amy:

Oh my goodness. The Wix drama!

Piccia:

Oh my God.

Amy:

I totally missed it. I guess I’m not important, I didn’t get headphones. That’s okay.

Piccia:

I didn’t either. Yeah, I know. But interesting. The whole thing I find extremely, extremely interesting.

Piccia:

But yeah, anyway, so that’s Yost participation in the conference and hugely grateful to them.

Amy:

Well, it’s been wonderful having you on the show today. Before we go, can you tell everybody where they can find you online?

Piccia:

Yes. You can find me on Twitter @Piccia, because I was like the 3rd one to sign up, and then never tweeted for years, but it’s basically, the founder of Twitter, Jack, and me that go by our first names. So, that’s something I’m quite proud about.

Piccia:

And then you can find me on LinkedIn, Piccia Neri. Really there’s only one, so it’s quite easy.

Piccia:

And I have to say that I have a Facebook group, which is called Design for Geeks. Design for Geeks is my other project, but these days I’m in two minds what to do about Facebook, so I think Twitter and LinkedIn, and I draw on Instagram. Again, Piccia Neri. But on Instagram, it’s just my drawings.

Amy:

Wonderful, thank you.

Piccia:

Thank you so much. This has been a blast. Thank you for putting up with all my digressions and talking about a million different things.

Angela:

We drove you to it.

Tracy:

You fit right in.

Amy:

Right.

Piccia:

Perfect.

Speaker 1:

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