Content Strategy for apps


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  • Relly Annett-Baker, supernice studio, content strategist\n
  • Confession. Confab. Rewrote. A bit shaky. Too important not to include. Only giving half story.\n
  • Erin Kissane. Her talk, her articles. Confab blog.\nAvailable from a book apart.\n
  • i have two kids. i don’t drive. carrying home big toys is Not Fun, end up doing evolution of man impression. but seeing these toys is pretty imperative so that i can judge whether they are what i want.\nAmazon app, barcode scan, Christmas shopping. Bang, I save around $300. My arms remain a normal length.\n
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  • Tripit. Email drops in. It scoops it up. Produces itinerary, complete with weather, number of taxi cabs, connects up hotel details, tells me when checkin online opens - I save $100 on reserving a seat ahead. Texts me to my smartphone (now a dumbphone - thanks mobile carriers).\n\n
  • Seriously. You guys can do this? This is amazing to me as rocket on the moon. Okay, not quite, but still.\n
  • Who is this? Prize of Erin’s book.\nPenny, niece of Gadget, has a dog Brian. 1980s French cartoon.\n
  • Penny’s book. \n
  • Oh, look it’s Penny’s book. Also the Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy.\n
  • What do I think when I see this?\n
  • Star trek tricorder. So we have the devices and the technology nailed. These Sci-fi toys are actual. Seriously, why Best Buy hasn’t stocked jetpacks yet is frankly, just laziness.\n
  • As of Q4 2010 - which, incidentally, was a full 2 years faster than Google predicted. If Google isn’t ready, what hope is there for the rest of us?!!\n
  • These devices are just the conduit though.\n
  • Skipping out on good instructions, not making ourselves open to our potential users (because they certainly aren’t using yet, we use ‘user’ without thinking of the implications for acceptance) - that first interaction is the perusal of a catalogue.\nToo much reliance on things used by people that know the app inside out. You are already power users of your own app.\n
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  • Magic? Maybe. But you still need magic words. The device is nothing without content.\n
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  • elephant in the room to tackle first. plane. story. what i wanted to say.\n
  • The mobile in mobile web is not a device.\nTripit is desktop, tablet, smartphone, dumbphone usuable. I don’t care if one is a native app and another is web, as a user I don’t care.\n
  • What makes a good app. The content. It can be as ugly as you like providing the ugly doesn’t get in the way. Readability, not ugly as it happens, strips out ugly from a lot of other content providers.\nGood mobile content have some features in common:\n
  • There is the traditional sense of accessibility but there is also the literacy level. I also mean accessible on first use - if you don’t get people in and using it, you have lost them.\nAmazon - search as a navigation but also pulls in recommendations to get people purchasing.\n\n
  • Not a half-assed job. Properly index. What about auto-complete to pull in main tasks that people do on the move, without giving a shallow ‘mobile version’.\nKindle is now searchable within text.\nTripit allows me to search on a variety of different levels - including reviews.\n
  • I need to know you exist. You are not going to jump onto anyone’s lists, app store or not.\nA plan to demonstrate what your app does, outside of that app is pretty important.\nI learned about the barcode scanning from Amazon’s UK site.\nI learned about tripit from a recommendation from a friend.\n
  • Erin talked about some research she did about the US wired ipad app. Description kept coming up that it felt ‘dead’. Trapped behind glass. No copy/paste/share etc. Not so with the website. Even the physical copy is more shareable.\nApp should be a vessel not a taped up box.\n
  • As part of that allow people to select content, use, modify, select to take with them. Options are the key to all of this. Make it simple. Encourage it. Not within constraints.\nTripit, I can select how much I want to flow to each device.\n
  • This is a weird one to define but you know it when you see it. Machine tags that flow from one thing to another. I encourage you to look into linked open data solutions.\n
  • It is the content that should move with people. The mobile web, apps or otherwise, is about content that people want to take with them. Not what you think they should have.\n
  • Adapt your app to how people use it. Think of Twitter and the @replies, RTs and hashtags. All those came from users organically. Rather than thrust 100 features in someone’s face have them use it and adapt it according to use.\n
  • Okay, that’s the strategy. Now we can get a little more tactical. But there is still a caveat to come.\n
  • Think about what you are building or thinking of building. Where are you in that process and what resource do you have?\n
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  • if big, get a CS in to help you. If you plan to make this an enterprise model - if you’re doing something for big retail, airline, business etc, get a CS. They look at your business goals, sort out the content you need for that and generally make that whole zOMG the content stuff much better. This talk will help you sort out questions to ask. Will not \n
  • \nIf you’re a startup, experimenting, playing then this should help. And read Erin’s book. Twice.\n
  • This talk will help you establish what you might need.\n
  • Oh honey. Did you wander in by mistake?\nI joke and I really don’t mind if you leave. But I hope you stick by and learn something.\n
  • Sort out your site, make sure you have a plan, know your audience - all that usual stuff. You know this. If I told you, you’d switch off. But the competition is stiff.\n\n
  • I should also plug my book.\n
  • Style guide. Facebook call it a pattern library. When I’m working directly with designers and developers, agile etc, then I usually stick this stuff in a wiki and it’s a sharable ‘asset library’.\n(example on flipchart)\n
  • This is something Kristina Halvorson talks about in CS 4 web. It’s an easy way to get started thinking about what your app personality is.\n(do on whiteboard)\nGinny Reddish letting go of the words\nClout the art and Science of Content\n
  • Existing traffic, search logs, testing etc. Personas, user stories.\n
  • I know right! When was the last time any of you did that? But write a letter explaining to your core customer what your app is for and why they should use it. And I mean, why they should really use it. Get it clear in your own head and then articulate it.\n
  • Content audit, marketing material, source content.\n(do on flipchart)\n
  • What are our goals, what is this app going to do and serve users and make money.\nYou didn’t forget money did you? It’s pretty important. Even a free app is serving up a commoditized asset.\n
  • Clue: there are no magic bottled fairies here either.\nAlso don’t do that leaving blank boxes thing.\nThis stuff takes time, it doesn’t scale well, it sucks to do yourself. This is the biggest stumbling block.\nAgile dev / Waterfall dev.\n
  • commission, write, create. microcopy and instructions. test, test, test. make prototypes. Just get it done before you get too ahead of yourself.\n
  • Text adventures? Keep track, track changes, put them right in with your bug tracking.\n
  • This is where people glaze over. This *is* your problem. This content is the point of it all.\n
  • It’s okay to not do everything. It’s almost certainly not advisable to do everything. If at any point you’re thinking ‘woah, this is getting pretty out of my league’, get a content strategist in, or a writer or an analytics girl or whatever you need to plug those gaps.\n
  • This is not me pitching for work. My book publishers will feed me to lions if I take on anything else right now. But I can hook you up with people and point you the right way.\n
  • So, we’ve seen what has happened with the app store model. Suprise, suprise, Steve Jobs isn’t running an app store as a garage-hobby. He wants money. After all it’s a big eco system. But you leave yourself with a huge risk.\nReadability.\nKindle -> Lendle.\nAnd now iFlow Reader.\nLandscape changing hugely.\nHave a fallback for you and your users.\n\n
  • Equally though, don’t trap data. Don’t make it hard to cross polinate stuff. Think of gowalla and it’s multiple sign ins. Give them a way to take data out and leave you.\n
  • I have nothing against native apps but I have nothing for them either. Personally, I’m not thrilled by the idea of updating content on umpteen versions on umpteen device platforms.\nToddler’s water tray. But you still have to keep the water fresh in your water tray.\n
  • You are in danger of mistaking the technology as the potential. The potential is the content and the data and the interweaving of it into our daily life. Of becoming muscle memory.\n
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  • 20th/21st May\nlanyrd page\nguests, auctions, the works.\n
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  • Content Strategy for apps

    1. 1. You had me at Sign Up Content Strategy and Apps Relly Annett-Baker @rellyab
    2. 2. Let’s make a deal.First, we talk strategy.Then we talk content.
    3. 3. Buy This Book. Now.
    4. 4. My Christmas shopping
    5. 5. Apps amaze me
    6. 6. You are gods
    7. 7. Mobile has surpassedhome machine sales
    8. 8. But what about apps?
    9. 9. We dream of being muscle memory
    10. 10. 26 % of apps are onlyopened once.3 out of 4 apps don’tmake it into general use.
    11. 11. The mobile device isa bottled fairy. Bottled fairiesdon’t do magic.
    12. 12. Let’s talk about what mobile isn’t
    13. 13. Mobile is not a device. It is a verb.
    14. 14. In which I totally rip off Erin’s list
    15. 15. accessible
    16. 16. searchable
    17. 17. findable
    18. 18. shareable
    19. 19. selectable
    20. 20. self-aware
    21. 21. portable
    22. 22. flexible
    23. 23. So, about thatcontent then.
    24. 24. What are you?
    25. 25. • a) I’m big!• b) I’m small!• c) Don’t know.• d) None of the above.
    26. 26. a) I am big
    27. 27. b) I am small
    28. 28. c) Don’t know.
    29. 29. d) None of the above.
    30. 30. Your app is one part of the machine
    31. 31.
    32. 32. Who are you?
    33. 33. We are X but not Y
    34. 34. Who are your users?
    35. 35. Write a letter
    36. 36. What do you have?
    37. 37. What do you need?
    38. 38. Well, how are you going to get that, then?
    39. 39. Create that content.
    40. 40. Keep inventory.
    41. 41. Don’t get lazy.
    42. 42. Get in a professional.
    43. 43. By the way
    44. 44. Don’t bolt yourself in.
    45. 45. Don’t bolt your users in either.
    46. 46. You are one step ahead of the competition. photo from
    47. 47. But only a babystep, cocky.
    48. 48. NotMobile first.Content first.
    49. 49. FCPathon! hours ofweb geek pirate radioraising money forFull Code Press
    50. 50. Thanks!Relly Annett-Baker Supernice Studio @rellyab