Developing a Content Strategy for User Context


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Discussion on User Context, and how to think about designing a content strategy around the users

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  • What purpose does DESIGN and CONTEXT serve? It's not purely aesthetic, nor wholly analytical and functional. When considering the design of your projects, you must think about how everything fits together in harmony - some would call this a holistic approach, but it's really the only practical way to approach design problems, as I see it. As you’ve undoubtedly already learned in this class and in life, design can have a huge impact on people's lives - and it's up to all of us to make sure it's a positive one. This week you'll get an idea of how designers think, and how diverse the design disciplines are. It's a preview of what's to come.
  • It took our industry a number of years to fully understand how important user experience (UX) is to everything that we build. Now that we can measure and confirm the relationship between good UX and successful websites, UX skills are high in demand. At its hear, UX design is about effectively addressing the needs and circumstances of your users, to produce an interface that is comfortable and even joyful to use. And if that is not enough – it is a constant moving target as users’ needs are always changing, as people continually evolve their expectations and technologies. But, there are some underlying and ageless principles that we can use to create a great user experience!Behavioral psychologists have classified emotions in numerous different theories. A large majority of these theories agree that emotions manifest in various intensities and can even combine with others to build new emotional states. One example of such a theory is Robert Plutchik’s emotion wheel that we see here. When it comes to user experience, emotional engagement builds on itself as the user continues to interact not only with your platform, but with all aspects of your brand online, including SEM, press coverage and social networks. Emotional engagement with a digital product can be divided into four categories based on how much information and engagement the user has with your website: awareness, attraction, investment and adoption.
  • Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and functionalist industrial design.According to Vitsœ: Back in the early 1980s, aware that his design was a significant contributor to the world, he asked himself an important question: "Is my design good design?" Since good design can't be measured in a finite way, he set about expressing the ten most important principles for what he considered was good design. (Sometimes they are referred as the ‘Ten commandments’.)
  • Donald Norman is often called the inventor of User Experience, and this review covers many important points from his seminal book – The Design of Everyday Things. Class Discussion/Interactive Assignment: Can you all name some examples where product designers have chosen lazy, easy options over better user experiences (hint: look at electrical appliances, remote controls, car dashboards, etc.)
  • Traditional knowledge management approaches have been built on structured systems, databases and good practices. But this does not always work for those situations in the “Line of Fire” or for those who need real-time and just-in-time information at their fingertips. Today, I would like to speak with you about some of the emerging trends that enhance organizational innovation and overall effectiveness. Sharing knowledge. It is a foundation of today’s successful businesses. The more widely we share knowledge, the more connections we make and change happens in unforeseen ways. Whether it be a small peer-to-peer intra-community suggestion or the placement of industry-specific subject matter experts co-hosting an open forum and answering the community’s most specific questions; knowledge sharing begets new knowledge creation, personal and community growth, and innovation. It probably comes as no surprise to this audience that many of us in the business find great value in the knowledge sharing tools and practices.
  • In fact, the “Masters Forum” that Dilbert pokes fun of in its comic strip just happens to be an integral part of NASA’s Knowledge Management program. NASA supports a Knowledge Sharing Masters Forum program was designed to enable NASA and the program's participants to Share project management best practices and lessons learned in order to: Cultivate a community of reflective practitioners.Build cross-center relationships in support of the "One NASA" vision.Develop the leadership expertise of the Agency's veteran and emerging project managers.Thought-provoking presentations and dynamic group discussions allow attendees to network with influential leaders from government agencies, universities, and private industry.Consistent throughout all Masters Forums is the belief in the power of storytelling. Stories engage and motivate. They illuminate subtle and contrasting points of view that otherwise might be missed. They provide a framework to deal with extraordinary change, allowing us to imagine new possibilities, preparing us for the supposedly unheard of and unimaginable. Through storytelling we communicate our expectations and expand the boundaries of the possible. Stories broaden our perspective, allowing us to see with the tellers' eyes. Through stories, we can convey knowledge that helps us innovate, problem solve, and add valuable tools to the toolboxes of project management and engineering professionals.
  • Actually, in public online forums and social media, sharing is all the rage! Making sharing frictionless has been Mark Zuckerberg’s goal for Facebook and I think he’s well on his way.The digital age and the rise of social media seems to have trivialized the act of sharing. But has it really?Does frictionless = Trivial?Did sharing used to carry more meaning/value when it used to take more effort?Social media has made it so very easy to share. Do you think that “easy sharing” has devalued the experience? Do people perceive sharing differently now than they did, say 10 years ago? I sense the opposite is true, (in other words, people value it more) – and it becomes habit. We share more because we get more feedback about what we share.Frictionless sharing has added a feedback loop that was missing.We output a stream of content. We “like” our way through life. We consume and feel compelled to share. We share our own stuff (we are the share producer) and we re-share other people’s content (here we are a prosumer – a producer and a consumer).Sharing is a reciprocity economy. Tools like Triberr and Gaggleamp are proof of that.When we prosume, we amplify and we validate. We add social weight and significance to content.  I question if we spend enough time adding value to what we share.Why do you share?What’s in it for the sharer (the share producer)?What’s in it for the share recipient (the share consumer)?Read more
  • Source: NASA’s 2011 Knowledge Report - back to NASA - the growing demand for breakthrough technologies in engineering and management has led to the emergence of innovation grounded by cost. The watchwords of this practice are “reuse, repurpose, redesign.” Cost-conscious innovators make use of existing hardware or technologies in novel ways that allow them to achieve ambitious goals with limited resources. Associated with products like the Nokia 1100 and the Tata Nano, this innovation paradigm can be seen in aerospace projects like the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), CubeSats, and Johnson Space Center’s Project M, which sought to put a humanoid robot on the moon. Sometimes organizational “support” kills good new ideas. Entrenched ways of doing things and bureaucratic caution can and do discourage innovation in organizations, but even organizational support for new ideas can be a mixedblessing. Giving employees “free” time to develop new ideas is definitely a challenge for a agencies, organizations and corporations alike, with their tight budgets and tight project schedules, but I think there are ways that companies as a whole and managers locally can encourage individuals and small groups to work on innovative ideas. Allowing and accepting that there will be “failures” is part of it, and not penalizing people when an idea does fail is one important step for companies to build into their innovation programs. And there are always the new innovative ideas that make it too! When these great new ideas are brought to the attention of a companies management and decisionmakers, those leaders need to have the openness and imagination to understand their value and support the sometimes lengthy process of getting them to market and operational.
  • Nick Kellet’sListly Channel -
  • It’s undeniable that we LOVE cute animals, and everyone wants to share about their adorable pets. According to Adam Mosseri of Facebook, tens of billions of photos were uploaded to Facebook in 2010, and the number is only increasing. The truth is, everybody loves cute animals; whether your 9 or 89, and they will always be awwwww-worthy. In fact, the ASPCA reports that today in America over 65% of households own pets, not to mention that a google search of “cute animals” will  generate over 233,000,000 results. It seems pretty clear—everyone has a weakness for cuddly critters.
  • In recent years, the world has been hit with a series of big natural disasters, from Hurricane Katrina in USA, earthquakes in Haiti and Asia, the tsunami in Indonesia, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan,extremely cold winter in Europe, to Hurricane Sandy here on the East Coast this past Fall. With the increase of natural disasters that have occurred in the past years it is expected their frequency will continue to increase in the coming years. Due to natural disasters there is an increased communication since people seek to contact family and friends in the disasters zone, and seek information regarding food, shelter and transportation. Social media has played a significant role in disseminating information about these disasters by allowing people to share information and ask for help. Social media are also becoming vital to recovery efforts after crises, when infrastructure must be rebuilt and stress management is critical.The extensive reach of social networks allows people who are recovering from disasters to rapidly connect with needed resources. There are al lot of groups in the most popular social networking sites, allowing individuals involved in various aspects of emergency awareness and preparedness to connect, discuss, and share knowledge in specific fields.Social Media are the platforms that enable the interactive web by engaging users to participate in, comment on and create content as means of communicating with other users and the public. Social media hasthe following characteristics:• Encompasses wide variety of content formats including text, video, photographs, audio, PDF andPowerPoint. Many social media make use of these options by allowing more than one contentalternative.• Allows interactions to cross one or more platforms through social sharing, email and feeds.• Involves different levels of engagement by participants who can create or comment or on socialmedia networks.• Facilitates enhanced speed and breadth of information dissemination.• Provides for one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many communications.• Enables communication to take place in real time or asynchronously over time.• Is device indifferent? It can take place via a computer, tablets and smartphones.• Extends engagement by creating real-time online events, extending online interactions offline, oraugmenting live events online.
  • When it comes to trending topics, Facebook usually groups your news feed into a scrollable section where the site lists the number of friends on your account that have posted about particular subjects. According to reports by Betabeat, mentions of “Hurricane Sandy” and “Frankenstorm” increased by one million percent, spiking hits for “hurricane” with a 21,962 percent increase. Meanwhile, those who shortly called the hurricane simply as “Sandy” gave Facebook a 6,578 percent mention increase, and “storm” is by approximately 3,000 percent. A Facebook representative also shared with us that users were utilizing the social network as a way to reach out to friends and family, with the top shared term of “We are ok.”Read more:
  • – In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better. The It Gets Better Project™ has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos viewed more than 50 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of "Glee", Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres, SuzeOrman, the staffs of The Gap, Google, Facebook, Pixar, the Broadway community, and many more. For us, every video changes a life. It doesn’t matter who makes it.
  • What are the best online libraries to read and download e-books for free? These websites are ads free and most of them don’t require registration.
  • Linked Data is about using the Web to connect related data that wasn't previously linked, or using the Web to lower the barriers to linking data currently linked using other methods. More specifically, Wikipedia defines Linked Data as "a term used to describe a recommended best practice for exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data, information, and knowledge on the Semantic Web using URIs and RDF.“Linked data — a set of methods and technologies that bridge information silos using Web-oriented architecture principles — offers significant business benefits to organizations that seek growth and innovation throughdirect interactions with customers, suppliers and partners. IT leaders and enterprise architects in these organizations should examine the potential business, IT impact, rate of adoption and risk factors associated with thelinked data approach.Over 20 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. For his next project, he's building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together. In February 2009, he spoke about his vision of the next generation or Semantic Web in a remarkable TED Talk - is a picture of the Linked Open Datacloud diagram. This image shows datasets that have been published in Linked Data format, by contributors to the Linking Open Data community project and other individuals and organisations. It is based on metadata collected and curated by contributors to the CKAN directory. Clicking the image will take you to an image map, where each dataset is a hyperlink to its homepage.The diagram is maintained by Richard Cyganiak (DERI, NUI Galway) and AnjaJentzsch (FreieUniversität Berlin).
  • The Open Innovation Community Portal serves as an informational resource for thought leaders, consultants, authors, business leaders, academics and others who have a deep interest in open innovation. Created and hosted by the father of open innovation, Henry Chesbrough, Executive Director of the Center for Open Innovation at the Haas School of Business, this forum builds on a site organized by Joel West and is intended to be a digital community where theory is put into practice. The contribution of passionate opinions and sharing of “best practices” is encouraged – especially when substantiated with evidence – along with reactions and interpretations related to news headlines and events.Also, there are now a host of boutique companies cropping up to support innovation within larger organizations. For example, 100%Open is a UK Based company whose vision of open innovation is when an enterprise realises a fast and significant return on investment by making partners out of suppliers, customers or clients.  100%Open makes this happen by working with you and such external stakeholders to create a genuine partnership in which the risks and the rewards of innovation are shared.
  • On his first day in Office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, ushering in a new era of open and accountable government meant to bridge the gap between the American people and their government:The Administration is reducing the influence of special interests by writing new ethics rules that prevent lobbyists from coming to work in government or sitting on its advisory boards.The Administration is tracking how government uses the money with which the people have entrusted it with easy-to-understand websites like,, and Administration is empowering the public – through greater openness and new technologies – to influence the decisions that affect their lives.On December 8, 2009, the White House issued an unprecedented Open Government Directive  requiring federal agencies to take immediate, specific steps to achieve key milestones in transparency, participation, and collaboration.  You can see all Open Government Directive milestones, track progress across the Executive Branch on the Open Government Dashboard, and read about how the Obama Administration is changing the way Washington works in the Progress Report to the American People.
  • is leading the way in democratizing public sector data and driving innovation. This movement has spread throughout cities, states, and countries.Currently, 36 States, 20 Cities and Counties, 181 Agencies, 41 Countries, and the United Nations, OECD, and World Bank participate in this movement. The purpose of is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.As a priority Open Government Initiative for President Obama's administration, increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets. The data catalogs will continue to grow as datasets are added. Federal, Executive Branch data are included in the first version of primary goal of is to improve access to Federal data and expand creative use of those data beyond the walls of government by encouraging innovative ideas (e.g., web applications). strives to make government more transparent and is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. The openness derived from will strengthen our Nation's democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
  • Source - 2009, a new map of knowledge was assembled by scientists at the research library of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This map was based on electronic data searches where users moved from one journal to another - establishing associations between them.The map includes both the sciences and the humanities in a hub and wheel arrangement, with the humanities at the center and the sciences arrayed around them. The arrangement fell out naturally from the data and is not contrived, said Johan Bollen, the leader of the research team.In the map, published in the current issue of PLoS One, the journals are color-coded as follows: physics, light purple; chemistry, blue; biology, green;medicine, red; social sciences, yellow; humanities, white; mathematics, purple; and engineering, pink. The interconnecting lines reflect the probability that a reader will click from one journal to another on the computer screen.Similar maps have long been constructed on the basis of footnotes in one journal’s articles that refer to articles in other journals. Dr. Bollen believes that his electronic click map better represents scholars’ behavior than does citation analysis, as the footnote method is called.
  • Look at this collection of “First Principles of Interaction Design” – these fundamentals of human-computer psychology.Discussion: how would you apply Gestalt principles in your design to meet Consistency, Learnability and other user expectations?Fitts Quiz (if time)
  • Open this for Discussion since the class has already been studying this!Researching the ExperienceTesting the User Experience (Usability Tests, Interviews, A/B Testing)Sketching the User ExperienceMeasuring the Experience
  • User experience doesn’t start when they hit your landing page or start your app, but prior to it. Visitors have to make their way to your website in the first place. They’re navigating through websites full of frustration-inducing elements, trust-busting perils and anticipation-inducing amusements. The focus at this point is on building trust, anticipation and whatever other emotional responses you’ll target in your copy, imagery and overall storytelling.1. Track awareness-level engagement using metrics like page views, page hits, video views, impressions and click-through rates.2. Identify emotional image and copy triggers during the development phase by A/B testing on micro-sites, as well as using ad content and email campaigns.Create dynamic content that spotlights your SEM, SEO and advertising goals, giving users exactly what they want as soon as they hit your page.Leverage strong referral sources and advertising platforms to build trust and credibility. The coffee vendors featured in the screenshot above use Google, and the companies featured to the right of this column you’re reading use Smashing Magazine to reach customers. By aligning their messages with these brands, they are able to build more trust in the user than an ad on a less relevant platform (like Craigslist) might have.Use emotionally rich imagery in your advertising messages, and carry that messaging through to the website itself. “Fresh-roasted coffee” begins to paint an emotional picture for the user of that perfectly roasted cup of steaming delight first thing in the morning. If your click-through rate is low, then your ad may not be compelling enough.Develop intuitive and relevant architecture to decrease frustration and increase trust. First impressions count. If the bounce rate is high or the time on site is low, then the story you are telling in the awareness phase might not be carrying though to the user’s interaction on the platform.
  • Developing a Content Strategy for User Context

    1. 1. Content Strategy for User Context University of Maryland User Context 11 April 2013 Heather McAuliffe Content Strategist 301.792.6400
    2. 2. Agenda • • • • • • • • What is User Context Design, Why is it Important? Top 10 – Design Rules of the Road Context Design of Everyday Things Knowledge Sharing in User Context Principles of Interaction Design User Experience Cool Tools Resources 2 Brown Bag Talks
    3. 3. Why User Context and Design? 3 Brown Bag Talks
    4. 4. User Experience - Overview 4 Brown Bag Talks
    5. 5. Ten Commandments of “Good Design” Dieter Rams Source: 5 Brown Bag Talks
    6. 6. Design of Everyday Things Donald Norman – Design Principles • Provide rich, complex, and natural signals • Be predictable • Provide a good conceptual model • Make the output understandable • Provide continual awareness, without annoyance • Exploit natural mapping to make interaction understandable and effective Book Review Discussion 6 Brown Bag Talks
    7. 7. Knowledge Sharing in User Context 7 Brown Bag Talks
    8. 8. Dilbert – A Decade of Knowledge Sharing 8 Brown Bag Talks
    9. 9. NASA: Knowledge Sharing Master Forum 9 Brown Bag Talks
    10. 10. Paradox: The More we Share, the More we Share 10 Brown Bag Talks
    11. 11. Knowledge Sharing and Innovation (7): NASA’s 2011 Knowledge Report - 11 Brown Bag Talks
    12. 12. Why Do We Share?(8) (8): Nick Kellet’s Listly Channel - 12
    13. 13. Why Do We Share? 13
    14. 14. Personal Sharing in Times of Natural Disaster 14
    15. 15. Hurricane Sandy – Knowledge Sharing Statistics Top-Shared Terms by U.S. Users – as of 10 AM ET – provided by Facebook 1. we are ok 2. power – lost power, have power, no power 3. damage 4. hope everyone is ok 5. trees 6. made it 7. safe 8. thankful 9. fine 10. affected 15
    16. 16. Top Tweets* ALL THE TWEETS! The Library of Congress has archived over 170 Billion Tweets. That is 133TB of Compressed Data! * Source: Social Bakers Free Statistics – 16
    17. 17. Knowledge Sharing to Be Part of Something Bigger Than Yourself (9) (9): 17
    18. 18. Customer Service Knowledge Bases Best Bets Filtering 18
    19. 19. Top 10 Online Libraries to Visit - Free Internet Archive – The Largest Digital Library to download free e-books ( 2. Project Gutenberg – Over 33,000 Free e-books ( 3. Google Books – Search and Full Preview books, with download links if the book is not copyrighted ( 4. University of Pennsylvania Books Page – Over 1 Million Free Books to Read and Download ( 5. Open Library – Over 1 million Classic Literature Free e-Books to Download ( 6. eBooks@Adelaide: Free Classic Literature, Philosophy, Science and Medicine ( 7. Bartelby: The Encyclopedia of World History and Harvard Classics ( 8. Bibliomania: Over 2000 Free Electronic Documents and Research Results ( 9. The New York Public Library – Thousands of free e-Books in Various formats ( 10. Many Books – Ads Free Library of over 29,000 free e-Books ( 1. 19
    20. 20. Influences That Drive Knowledge Sharing: Linked Data – Raw.Data.Now!!! (10) (10): 20
    21. 21. Influences That Drive Knowledge Sharing: Open Innovation for Businesses (11) (11): and 21
    22. 22. Influences That Drive Knowledge Sharing: Open Government Initiative (12) (12): and 22
    23. 23. Influences That Drive Knowledge Sharing: (13) (13): 23
    24. 24. The Engines That Drive Knowledge Sharing: Knowledge Maps (14) (14): 24
    25. 25. First Principles of Interaction Design • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Anticipation Autonomy Color-Blindness Consistency Defaults Efficiency of the User Explorable Interfaces Fitts’ Law Human Interface Objects Latency Reduction Learnability Use of Metaphors Protect Users Work Readability Track State Visible Navigation • • • • • • • • Gestalt Principles Law of Proximity Law of Similarity Law of Closure Law of Symmetry Law of Common Fate Law of Continuity Law of “Good Gestalt” Law of Past Experience 25 Brown Bag Talks
    26. 26. User Experience 26 Brown Bag Talks
    27. 27. User Happiness Some of the commonly used happiness metrics: • Bounce rate: What percentage of the people bounced quickly (had just one page view on your site)? A high bounce rate may imply “unhappy user”. • Page views per session: Number of pages a used viewed in a session. Session is typically defined as 30 minutes of no activity by the same user. • Time on site: Amount of time spend on your site as measured in seconds. 27 Brown Bag Talks
    28. 28. Search Engine Analysis for Coffee Addicts 1. Track Awareness-Level Engagement 2. Identify emotional image and copy triggers during the development phase 3. Create dynamic content to spotlight SEM/SEM goals 4. Leverage strong referral sources and advertising platforms 5. Use emotionally rich imagery 6. Develop intuitive and relevant architecture to decrease frustration and increase trust 28 Brown Bag Talks
    29. 29. Free or Inexpensive User Context and Experience Tools • • • • • • • • • Morae – Jing - The Pencil Project - Lucid Chart - Diigo - Lorem Ipsum Generators - Balsamiq – Google Analytics – Google Webmaster Tools - 29 Brown Bag Talks
    30. 30. Resources • 30 Brown Bag Talks