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Content Strategy for the Real World
 

Content Strategy for the Real World

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Presented at Boulder Digital Works - November 2012 by Dustin Chambers

Presented at Boulder Digital Works - November 2012 by Dustin Chambers

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  • good content needs to support to business and the user\n
  • good content needs to support to business and the user\n
  • good content needs to support to business and the user\n
  • good content needs to support to business and the user\n
  • good content needs to support to business and the user\n
  • good content needs to support to business and the user\n
  • good content needs to support to business and the user\n
  • and just like any commodity people seek it, they hoard it, duplicate, counterfeit, and profiteer off of it.\n
  • I like Kristina's H's story of the $4 content authors in India who's content looks more like data.\n
  • I like Kristina's H's story of the $4 content authors in India who's content looks more like data.\n
  • Content farms were gaining all sorts of momentum until some of Google's more recent search algorithms got better at sifting out poor content. \n\nWith Panda and Penguin? GOOG have made it very clear that user centered content is the holy grail of search and what they aim to find. \n
  • That's also why you see such huge price tags on sites like Lucas Films, Zagat ratings, Yelp, Pinterest, YouTube, Wikipedia ($4B), Craigslist. and Instagram\n
  • That is also why you see alternative monetization schemes popping up like Vimeo's Tip this Video, or online content farms such as Triond who pay you for your written content as well as the various Instagram marketplaces to sell your retro-styled photos like instacanvas and printagram.\n
  • so content is valuable, user centered content is super valuable and good CS requires the creation, delivery, and maintenance of that content. how does it work in a professional web design setting?\n\n
  • so content is valuable, user centered content is super valuable and good CS requires the creation, delivery, and maintenance of that content. how does it work in a professional web design setting?\n\n
  • are you familiar with lorem ipsum? \n\nthe latin dummy text propagates wireframe and web design comp everywhere. faked content or blocks of nonsensical information.\n
  • are you familiar with lorem ipsum? \n\nthe latin dummy text propagates wireframe and web design comp everywhere. faked content or blocks of nonsensical information.\n
  • are you familiar with lorem ipsum? \n\nthe latin dummy text propagates wireframe and web design comp everywhere. faked content or blocks of nonsensical information.\n
  • if you have worked in web design even for a day you will be familiar with lorem ipsum, lorem fucking ipsum hung on the office wall of my old boss, the bane of creatives, managers, and clients around the world\n
  • Yet, it keeps showing up. Most often as Lorem Ipsum but sometimes as Gangster Ispsum, Cup Cake Ipsum, Snoop Ipsum etc.\n\nI am not immune to this and it's not because I like latin or answering the inevitable "what does 'lorem ipsum dolor…?" but because 9 out of the 10 web design projects I have ever worked on did not have a plan for content in place before hiring a designer to start designing.\n
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  • navigating that first step is the real first step in good CS, gaining an understanding of and access to content before starting any design work. \n
  • navigating that first step is the real first step in good CS, gaining an understanding of and access to content before starting any design work. \n
  • navigating that first step is the real first step in good CS, gaining an understanding of and access to content before starting any design work. \n
  • navigating that first step is the real first step in good CS, gaining an understanding of and access to content before starting any design work. \n
  • this can be done in tandem with a dedicated content strategist but I have yet to have been afforded that luxury.\n
  • what influenced your design direction?\n
  • what influenced your design direction?\n
  • what influenced your design direction?\n
  • what influenced your design direction?\n
  • what influenced your design direction?\n
  • what influenced your design direction?\n
  • common approach\n
  • common approach\n
  • common approach\n
  • new approach based on the assumption that we all design websites by starting with an outer perimeter and carving out chunks of real estate from within. ( A div wrapper, a 960 px grid layout)\n
  • new approach based on the assumption that we all design websites by starting with an outer perimeter and carving out chunks of real estate from within. ( A div wrapper, a 960 px grid layout)\n
  • new approach based on the assumption that we all design websites by starting with an outer perimeter and carving out chunks of real estate from within. ( A div wrapper, a 960 px grid layout)\n
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  • another examples of this designing a pattern primer or the building blocks on the site first, getting the details correct initially before worrying about the layout.\n
  • I must say that I like this as it feels much more in line withe way we work anyway. if our content is user centered and the sole value to our user then our designs should be centered around that content much like a UCD car designer would start withe the driver seat and move out rather than carving the exterior lines out of clay.\n\nhowever as with most theoretical arguments the truth or at least the reality probably lies somewhere in the middle.\n
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  • I started working on CS before it was sexy before it was even called CS. I the early days on ux design and IA content inventories we an essential first step of any project.\n\n
  • I started working on CS before it was sexy before it was even called CS. I the early days on ux design and IA content inventories we an essential first step of any project.\n\n
  • I started working on CS before it was sexy before it was even called CS. I the early days on ux design and IA content inventories we an essential first step of any project.\n\n
  • I started working on CS before it was sexy before it was even called CS. I the early days on ux design and IA content inventories we an essential first step of any project.\n\n
  • I started working on CS before it was sexy before it was even called CS. I the early days on ux design and IA content inventories we an essential first step of any project.\n\n
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  • 3300 lines - manually entered\n
  • I had the pleasure to lead the latest redesign of tnf.com (how I know Stephen)\nIn the first KO I asked about content, stressing the need\nI was told, ' you are in luck, we have the greatest content on the planet. that's what stands us a par we go where no one else goes and create content that none else could.'\n
  • I had the pleasure to lead the latest redesign of tnf.com (how I know Stephen)\nIn the first KO I asked about content, stressing the need\nI was told, ' you are in luck, we have the greatest content on the planet. that's what stands us a par we go where no one else goes and create content that none else could.'\n
  • I had the pleasure to lead the latest redesign of tnf.com (how I know Stephen)\nIn the first KO I asked about content, stressing the need\nI was told, ' you are in luck, we have the greatest content on the planet. that's what stands us a par we go where no one else goes and create content that none else could.'\n
  • I had the pleasure to lead the latest redesign of tnf.com (how I know Stephen)\nIn the first KO I asked about content, stressing the need\nI was told, ' you are in luck, we have the greatest content on the planet. that's what stands us a par we go where no one else goes and create content that none else could.'\n
  • this was true and in my naive and starstruck manner didn't realize until way later that that content was purely photo and video content, no written content and no one to write content, in fact headlines 'wrote themselves' as our copywriter would famously repeat.\n
  • these facts didn't stop me planning so despite our limitations we devised a fairly complex strategy based on some up front user research and mental modeling.\n
  • shot gun mental model process\n\ntnf identified 3 target user groups (hard core athletes, amateur sportmens, and weekend warriors) these groups fell across 9 sports that they had targeted as brand and market appropriate.\n\nwe interviewed 1-2 participants per user group per sport in a non-directed interview format. this is used to identify all of the subtasks that person goes through as part of their process. these are then grouped, sequenced, and compared across sports.\n\nfrom these models we were able to identify specific user centered content requirements. reflection\n
  • calendar - balancing sports seasons with key marketing initiatives with different subsidiary events and content. determining what content should be created vs rotated. when seasonality required a full site refresh, etc.\n
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  • the site was built in conjunction with the CS. you can see very specific content areas. maybe not the most graceful execution but it demonstrates our CS.\n
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Content Strategy for the Real World Content Strategy for the Real World Presentation Transcript

  • Content Strategy in the Real World
  • Objectives
  • Objectives๏ Understand the meaning of content and the principles of good content๏ Understand the value of good web content๏ Comprehend the ‘content-out’ design paradigm
  • Introductions + Agency Overview
  • User Experience AgencyEffectiveUI is a Denver-based digital agency that designs and developscustom digital experiences informed by user insights.
  • Company Overview๏ Founded in April, 2005๏ 100 full-time employees๏ Voted in the top 10 places to work in Colorado three years running
  • What is content?
  • What is content?
  • What is content?๏ Data = raw data, no interpretation๏ Information = how to understand the data or what the data is saying๏ Content = digestible forms of information
  • “Content is substance. No matter theplatform, publication, or format, contentrefers to everything that conveys meaning...”- Google Knol
  • What makes content good?
  • Good content is...
  • Good content is...๏ appropriate๏ useful๏ user-centered๏ clear๏ consistent๏ concise๏ supported
  • Good content is...
  • Good content is...๏ appropriate๏ useful๏ user-centered๏ clear๏ consistent๏ concise๏ supported
  • Good content is... Gold, digital gold
  • $4 content
  • $4 content“Niche Writers India is the core when it comes to writing and this is whatour clients feel about our content writing services expanding to variousdomains and collaterals. We have bubbling, energetic and youthful warpand woof of writers!”Halvorson, Kristina (2009-09-25). Content Strategy for the Web (KindleLocations 498-499). Pearson Education (US). Kindle Edition.
  • Content is big business
  • Cash for gold
  • What about Web design?Sketching exercise
  • Lorem ipsum?
  • Lorem ipsum?๏ Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet๏ Consectetur adipiscing elite๏ Vivamus vel nucn quid leo fermentum
  • Is that wrong? What to do?
  • A common dialogue
  • A common dialogueClient - “Design me a web page for X”Designer - “What content do you have for X?”Client - “Show me a design and we’ll figure out thecontent.”
  • What comes first?Content or layout?
  • Design exercise results
  • Design exercise resultsLayout first?Content first?Why?
  • Layout first
  • Layout first๏ Start with a container or page width (960, 1160 pixel frameworks; DIV wrappers; responsive frameworks)๏ Carve out chunks of space based on a user centered content hierarchy๏ Design each chunk or content block
  • Content first or ‘content out’
  • Content first or ‘content out’๏ Start with the content and design each individual piece of content without regard for the larger composition๏ Create the key design patterns for the site๏ Arrange these patterns in an appropriate layout based on the hierarchy of content
  • “Instead of creating [Web layouts] from theedges in, create them from the content out.For example, dervie columns of a grid fromelements of your content: the type size, afixed image size or advertising unit.”- Mark Boulton
  • Pattern primers
  • What is more user-centered?
  • Real-world examples
  • American Library Association
  • American Library Association๏ 40,000+ members๏6 committees๏ 11 divisions๏ 24 chapters๏ 3,300+ pages
  • First step?
  • First step?
  • First step?๏ Content Inventory๏ Line-by-line audit and documentation of all available content assets๏ From there, card sorts and user interviews to determine the correct IA
  • The North Face
  • The North Face๏ Huge player in outdoor ecommerce๏ Fledgling brand awareness through storytelling๏ Design a dynamic storytelling engine to engage our users and promote our products.๏ “Tell me about your content...”
  • Aligning content and experience strategies
  • Aligning content and experience strategies๏ Need to understand user needs to design an appropriate Web experience as well as planning the appropriate use and cadence of content.
  • Content focus
  • Content rotation
  • Content example
  • Content example๏ ABM Focus - Outdoor๏ Activity Focus - Climbing๏ Supporting Technology - Goose Down๏ Supporting Benefit - Packable/Stowable
  • Wireframe template(content map)
  • Who are your users?
  • Who are your users?๏ Need to understand user needs to design an appropriate web experience as well as planning the appropriate use and cadence of content.
  • Thank you. Questions?