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  • Where do the needs of your users and your business objectives overlap?
  • Intro:It would not be appropriate to present a paper on molecular biology to a group of music majors, nor would it be appropriate to offer a website on health services and fill it with content focused on arts and crafts. These may be obvious examples of inappropriate uses of content, but that isn’t always the case.  It is important to be aware of your audience if you want your website to be useful and usable. The difficulty with websites is that you don’t often have direct contact with your audiences, therefore you don’t know who they are, what their background is, what they need, and how they want to access information. This makes it difficult to know what type of content to provide and how to organize it. This is where personas come in. I will explain what they are, how to create them, and how to use them throughout the content strategy process. What is a persona?
  • What is a persona? a fictional character you create to represent your different user types within a targeted demographic, attitude and/or behavior set that might use your site, brand, or product in a similar way or simply—a description of your user and what they want/need to accomplish
  • SLIDE: 5 BUILDING BLOCKS OF A PERSONA CUE: DEMOGRAPHICSAspects of a persona include demographics of the character-age, gender, do they have a family?, where do they live?, what are their job responsibilities? CUE: TOP TASKSTasks or questions the user brings to the RAC web site.What will they want to do when they get to your site? CUE: MOTIVATIONSWhat motivates this persona to go to your site?Why do they need information? CUE: DESIGN IMPLICATIONSHow can you implement design aspects to your website that cater to the demographics, tasks, and motivations of this persona?How will you need to present information?What information should you highlight?CUE: KEY ATTRIBUTES-same attributes for all personas-rate them on a 1-5 scale (1=lowest, 5=highest)-knowledge of the topic areas of your website-ability to use the Internet Begin creating your personas
  • The first thing you’ll want to do is create a list of the types of people that do or could utilize your site. Who do you target? SLIDE: IDENTIFYING YOUR PRIMARY AUDIENCE Here is a chart that you can use to help organize and prioritize them. You will use these groups to create your personas.
  • SLIDE: PERSONA TEMPLATE This is a basic template that can be used to record the persona characteristics. There are 10 main sections on this form: Demographics, Job Responsibilities, their Top Tasks or Questions, Knowledge and Experience, Goals and Motivations, Key Attributes, and Implications for Design; throughout the process, you will give your persona a name and finally-a photo. These final pieces really work to personalize the persona.
  • What is this?


  • 1. Kristine Sande
    Aubrey Madler
    Alex McEllistrem-Evenson
    NRHA Annual ConferenceMay 21, 2010
    Online Content Strategy for Rural Health Organizations
  • 2. Rural Assistance Center
    Web-Based Services
    Electronic Updates
    Subscribe on the website
    Customized Assistance
    Phone: 1.800.270.1898
    All services are free!
  • 3. Online Content Strategy forRural Health Organizations:Understanding Your Audience, Your Message,and How They Connect
    1) What is Content Strategy?
    2) Audiences and Personas
    3) Content You Have, Content You Should Have, and How to Get It
    4) Getting it Out There
  • 4. Where are Rural Internet Users Now?
    70% of rural adults use internet (74% for all groups)
    47% of rural adults have home broadband
    (60% for all groups)
    45% of rural adults have accessed the internet wirelessly through a laptop or handheld device
    Source: Internet, Broadband, and Cell Phone Statistics, Pew Internet & American Life Project, January 2010
    Photo from
  • 5. What are Rural Users Doing Online?
    75-80% of Internet users search for health-related information
    Source: PEW Internet & American Life Project. (2006, September.) Survey of online activities.
    Differences in online activities don’t differ by rural/urban, but by type of Internet Access.
    Source: Horrigan, J (2009). Home Broadband Adoption 2009.
  • 6. What is Content Strategy?
    “Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of
    useful, usable content.”
    The Discipline of Content Strategy, A List Apart article by Kristine Halvorson,
  • 7. Even more hats
    to wear….
  • 8. Who is Your Audience?
    • Who are you targeting?
    • 9. What are their goals related to your organization?
    • 10. What do they want or need to know?
    • 11. How do they access information?
  • What are Your Business Objectives?
    What are your goals in providing information to your audiences?
    What resources do you have or can you afford to develop?
  • 12. Where Do Audiences and Objectives Intersect?
    Content Sweet Spot
  • 13. The Content Lifecycle
  • 14. Bad Content is Not an Option
    Create great content that meets audience needs
    Update that content over time, to keep it current and relevant
    Remove stale information
  • 15. Resource Allocation
    Regardless of which channel you’re using, content requires tending to ensure that current, accurate and relevant information is provided.
    How will you accomplish this?
  • 16. Planning for the Content Lifecycle
  • 17. Identifying Your
    Web Audience Using
  • 18. What is a Persona?
    Personas as Stand-Ins for Your Audiences
    “Fictional characters created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic, attitude and/or behavior set that might use a site, brand or product in a similar way”-Wikipedia, 4/29/2010
  • 19. Building Blocks of a Persona
    Top tasks or goals
    Design Implications
    Key attributes
  • 20. Identifying Your Primary Audiences
  • 21. Persona Template
  • 22. Let's Make a Persona!
  • 23. Content You Have, Content You Should Have, and How to Get It
    What are the top tasks and goals of your key personas?
    How can your content help each of them achieve those goals?
  • 24. Content You Have
    A Content Inventory can help you identify and organize what you already have in place.
    • Click through your website and record what you find in a spreadsheet.
    • 25. Categorize your content not only by topic, but by type (use a controlled vocabulary) and access path (the ways in which users might view each page).
  • 26. Making Sense of What You Have
    Examine the results of your content inventory from the perspectives of your key personas to form an effective strategy.
    • Does your current content satisfy their needs?
    • 27. Is it accessible? Organized in a way that makes sense to each of your key personas?
  • 28. Filling In The Gaps
    What content would help your users with what they need to do?
    Do you have the knowledge and resources necessary to create and maintain new content?
    If not, do other sources maintain this same content? Augment your own information with links to reliable, external content where necessary.
  • 29. Tools to Help Stay on Track
    The Web Style Guide (Lynch, Horton) is an excellent resource which “teaches the fundamentals of interface design, information architecture, and usability without unnecessary complexity or jargon.” Much is available online at
    Editorial calendars ensure that your website content is current and accessible – what works well at one time may not work well tomorrow.
  • 30.
  • 31. Getting It Out There
    Where are your audiences?
    What do your key personas’ design implications and demographics tell you about how they use and access media?
  • 32. Do You Recognize This?
  • 33. Content In Context
    Information is used and interpreted differently depending on the way it is disseminated.
    How might each medium influence or shape your content?
    Your website
    Social media (Facebook, Twitter)
    Personal / corporate blogs
    Multimedia sites (YouTube, Flickr, Podcasting)
  • 34. Effective Content Strategy Varies
    kludge: (n) an inelegant solution to a problem, usually composed in an improvisational manner from disparate and traditionally unaffiliated component parts.
  • 35. Bringing It All Together
    Be Resourceful: make the best of what you have.
    Be Thoughtful: each user’s needs and knowledge base varies from each other’s and from yours.
    Be Flexible: audiences change, media evolves.
    Be Diligent: pay attention to the lifespan of your content – bad content is not an option.
  • 36. Resources for Additional Information Better websites. Better government.
    Content Strategy: The Philosophy of Data, Boxes and Arrows, Rachel Lovinger
    Articles on content strategy from A List Apart
    Three Ways to Validate Your Content Strategy Using Personas, Ron Akanowicz
    Content Analysis: A Practical Approach, Colleen Jones on UXMatters
    Content Analysis Heuristics, Fred Liese on Boxes and Arrows
  • 37. Questions?
  • 38. Contact RAC
    Phone 1-800-270-1898
    Fax 1-800-270-1913
    Hours: Monday-Friday
    8AM-5PM Central
    Web site: