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?
http://freelanceswitch.com/images/persona.jpgSlide: 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?
Kristine Sande Aubrey Madler Alex McEllistrem-Evenson NRHA Annual ConferenceMay 21, 2010 Online Content Strategy for Rural Health Organizations
Rural Assistance Center Web-Based Services http://www.raconline.org Electronic Updates Subscribe on the website Customized Assistance Phone: 1.800.270.1898 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org All services are free!
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
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 http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Internet-broadband-and-cell-phone-statistics.aspx Photo from http://www.mckane.com/blog/2008/10/16/rural-sourcing/
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.http://www.pewinternet.org/Trend-Data/Online-Activites-Total.aspx Differences in online activities don’t differ by rural/urban, but by type of Internet Access. Source: Horrigan, J (2009). Home Broadband Adoption 2009. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/10-Home-BroadbandAdoption2009.aspx.
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, http://www.alistapart.com/articles/thedisciplineofcontentstrategy
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
Building Blocks of a Persona Demographics Top tasks or goals Motivations Design Implications Key attributes
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?
Is it accessible? Organized in a way that makes sense to each of your key personas?
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.
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 webstyleguide.com Editorial calendars ensure that your website content is current and accessible – what works well at one time may not work well tomorrow.
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)
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. (via thereifixedit.com)
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.
Resources for Additional Information WebContent.gov: Better websites. Better government. http://www.usa.gov/webcontent/ Content Strategy: The Philosophy of Data, Boxes and Arrows, Rachel Lovinger http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/content-strategy-the Articles on content strategy from A List Apart http://www.alistapart.com/topics/content/content-strategy/ Three Ways to Validate Your Content Strategy Using Personas, Ron Akanowicz http://civicactions.com/blog/2009/aug/13/three_ways_validate_your_content_strategy_using_personas Content Analysis: A Practical Approach, Colleen Jones on UXMatters http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2009/08/content-analysis-a-practical-approach.php Content Analysis Heuristics, Fred Liese on Boxes and Arrows http://boxesandarrows.com/view/content-analysis