Redish stc summit 2013
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Everything we write is part of a conversation. What we write for work (and for helping people use products at home) serves a purpose. To have successful conversations (in email, web sites, apps, and ...

Everything we write is part of a conversation. What we write for work (and for helping people use products at home) serves a purpose. To have successful conversations (in email, web sites, apps, and more), we must understand what we are trying to achieve (our purposes), who we are conversing with (personas), and what they want and need to know (their conversations). When we think of our writing through purposes, personas, conversations, we can often succeed by letting go of many words.

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Redish stc summit 2013 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Janice (Ginny) RedishRedish & Associates, Inc.Bethesda, MD USAwww.redish.net@GinnyRedishPurposes, Personas, Conversations– Practical techniques for everything you create
  • 2. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 2Everything you write serves a purposeWhen you write this What do you want to happen?A proposal for fundingInstructions for installingan appOnline help for a taskAn email to your boss askingto go to the STC SummitA web page about usingladders safely
  • 3. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 3How do we achieve our purposes?Flickr cc photo by PolandezeEverythingwe writeis part ofa conversation.
  • 4. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 4conversation is the contributionof professional technical communicatorsAsynchronousIssuance of a TOP command results in a linezero condition.To go to the beginning of your file, type TOPand press Enter.
  • 5. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 5Everything we write is for other people
  • 6. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 6What do we have to know about those people?Quesenbery and Brooks,Storytelling for User Experience,Rosenfeld Media, 2010
  • 7. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 7For most of what we write,the other person starts the conversationYou start the conversationFlickr cc photo by BradleyolinHe starts the conversation
  • 8. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 8Jenna enjoying red wine at a friends house.Next moment after this picture – Oops!Thanks to Caroline Jarrettfor finding the example for me.
  • 9. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 11Removing Red Wine StainsVanish Oxi Action Powder removes wine stains easily.Important: Follow the package directions.Do not use on wool, silk, or leather.Do not use on wood, metals, or other finished or coated surfaces.Instructions1.  Dissolve 1 scoop of Vanish Oxi Action Powderin 4 litres of warm water. (warm = max. 40o)2.  Soak the stained item.•  Colored item – soak max. 1 hour•  White item – soak max. 6 hours3.  Wash as usual, adding 1 scoop of Vanish to the wash.How I might revise the Vanish Oxi content
  • 10. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 12  plan  organize  write  evaluateFlickr cc photo by Polandeze"Purposes, personas, conversations"helps you
  • 11. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 13  plan  organize  write  evaluate"Purposes, personas, conversations"helps you
  • 12. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 14Content strategy = thinking strategically about your contentAligning content with business goals (Ahava Leibtag)A repeatable system that manages content throughoutthe content lifecycle (Rahel Bailie)Develop and follow a content strategyHalvorson andRach, 2012McGrane,2012Bailie andUrbina, 2012Wachter-Boettcher,2012
  • 13. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 15Content is everything you sayin all the ways you touch people  text  illustrations  charts  graphs  tables  forms  videos  podcasts  blogs  emails  social media  paper mailings  and more
  • 14. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 16Content must be  planned  coordinated  reviewed  managedand maintained  removedContent strategy = Governanceall with cross-groupcollaborationBreak down those silos!
  • 15. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 17Content strategy = Resources  People  Who will write? edit?illustrate? produce?  What skills dothese people need?  Technology  What systemsand templates will you use?  How will people be trained?Flickr cc photo by Rowens27
  • 16. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 18Content strategy = Messages and moreMessagesTonesStylesRight contentin the right amountto the right personat the right timein the right mediumMediaVoice
  • 17. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 19Plan at every level  Why? (Purposes)  Who? (Personas)  What? (Conversations)
  • 18. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 20  Aligned with business goals and content strategy  Measurable  Specific  Focused on your customersWhy? Purposes$$$$$ $
  • 19. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 21Be specifichttp://www.manageyourwriting.com/Kenneth W. Davis
  • 20. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 22Focus on what you want people to dobecause you wrote this contentto sell lots of shoespeople to buy the shoes we sellto tell people how to get their drivers licensepeople to get their drivers license successfullywithout frustration and without calling with questionsWe want
  • 21. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 23
  • 22. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 24Who? Personas  Who they are  Adjectives and phrases to describe  Abilities  Aptitudes  AttitudesEven assumptive personas can helpyou focus on the people your copy is for.
  • 23. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 25What? Conversations
  • 24. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 26How I might revise Make an Appointment
  • 25. http://www.uwmedicine.org/Patient-Care/Our-Services/Pages/Make-An-Appointment.aspx
  • 26. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 28"Purposes, personas, conversations"helps you  plan  organize  write  evaluateDont hog the conversation.Take turns.
  • 27. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 29Hear your readeras you write.Whats aSIM card?Its not all here.What do I do?
  • 28. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 30Cut to the essential message– and put it first2011
  • 29. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 312013
  • 30. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 32
  • 31. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 33"Bite, snack, meal"from Leslie OFlahavan,www.ewriteonline.com.BiteSnackMeal
  • 32. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 36Break up text with parallel, useful headingswww.gov.uk
  • 33. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 37www.ebags.comHear the conversation as you design and writeI like that bag,but I wonder
  • 34. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 38Approved fumigation with methyl bromideat normal atmospheric pressure, inaccordance with the following procedure,upon arrival at the port of entry, is herebyprescribed as a condition of importation forshipments of yams from foreign countries.How would yousay this in aconversation?Flickr cc photoby Seattle Municipal Archives
  • 35. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 39Think "conversation"even from sentence to sentenceIf you are importing yams, [someone]must fumigate them when they arriveat the port of entry.To fumigate yams, [that person] must usethis procedure:  To do x,  If x,  Do x before  After you do x, .newcontext= given,knownthen
  • 36. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 40Talk to (and with) your customersIn the presentation, this slide had a visualwith two versions of the lead-in to a form:  a noun-based description, followed by a call to action  a conversational phrase as if the site visitor were speakingThe conversational phrase generated many more leads and sales.https://whichtestwon.com/archives/19429with permission to show but not to distribute
  • 37. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 41Give your customers a voiceIn the presentation, this slide had a visualwith two versions of a call-to-action button.One button used "my."The other used "your.""My" generated many more clicks.https://whichtestwon.com/archives/20134with permission to show but not to distribute
  • 38. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 42Let go of the words – but, sometimes,add words the conversation needswww.virb.comExample from Josh Porterhttp://bokardo.comJarrett and Gaffney,2008
  • 39. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 43Content = Conversationhelps you  plan  organize  write  evaluate
  • 40. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 44Walk your personasthrough their conversations  Do usability testing!  Even before that:"channel" your personasas they bring their conversationsto your content.Barnum,2010
  • 41. Redish & Associates, Inc.© 2013, Janice (Ginny) Redish Purposes, Personas, Conversations Slide 45Thank you! More questions?Write to me:ginny@redish.netMorgan Kaufmann / Elsevier2nd edition, 2012@GinnyRedishGinny RedishGinny Redishwww.redish.net