Content Analysis: Know (Don't Fear) Your Content
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The important but intimidating first step in a content strategy is content analysis. But don't fear. This presentation walks through a basic approach helpful for most websites and interactive ...

The important but intimidating first step in a content strategy is content analysis. But don't fear. This presentation walks through a basic approach helpful for most websites and interactive projects. Given at IA Summit 2010 in Phoenix AZ.

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Content Analysis: Know (Don't Fear) Your Content Presentation Transcript

  • 1. CONTENT ANALYSIS Know (Don’t Fear) Your Content Colleen Jones colleen@content-science.com content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 2. A LOVE STORY content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 3. 123 Media wanted to attract customers. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 4. 123 123 Media 123 So, they built a pretty website. 123 Media Business Solutions content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 5. 123 Media fell in love with it. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 6. But, it wasn’t getting off the ground. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 7. 123 Media investigated. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 8. They talked to potential customers… Company Logo “ICompany Logo am a small business; I don’t know all of these big words.” Media 123 “Why would I call you?” “What is ‘media mix’? Why is there a blender?” “I don’t see Company Name I need at pricing. Company Name least a range before I’ll call.” Business Solutions content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 9. The content didn’t work! content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 10. 123 Media had to say goodbye. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 10
  • 11. They threw away money. And opportunity. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 11
  • 12. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? 123 Media did NOT know its content needs. But rushed into a website commitment anyway. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 13. The only way to know your content needs is to analyze them. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 14. “ When you START LOOKING at a problem & see a simple solution, you don’t understand “ the problem. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 14
  • 15. “ You KEEP LOOKING… & you are “ halfway there. “ content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 15
  • 16. “ The really great person will KEEP GOING & find….the underlying principle of the problem [to] come up with a beautiful, elegant solution that “ works. Steve Jobs content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 16
  • 17. LET’S ANALYZE CONTENT content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 18. Let’s pretend… •  CDC is redesigning a website about travel health. •  High-volume traffic •  International travelers •  They suspect DESTINATIONS content needs improvement for the new design. •  They ask us to take a look. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 18
  • 19. Brandin g content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 19
  • 20. Let’s really “start looking.” Audit. 1.  Create an inventory of the content. 2.  Look at it quantitatively. 3.  Look at it qualitatively. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 20
  • 21. What content do we have? AUDIT “Reach out & hug a spreadsheet.” − Kristina Halvorson content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 21
  • 22. What’s it like quantitatively? AUDIT Topics Disease Outbreak We also look at 35% •  Type •  Format •  Character lengths content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 22
  • 23. What’s it like qualitatively? AUDIT Is any of the content ROTten?   Redundant?   Outdated? We throw out the really bad content.   Trivial? But how good is the rest? content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 23
  • 24. Use a quality checklist. AUDIT   Findable & usable?   Complete?   Clear & accurate?   Consistent, appropriate style?   Useful & relevant?   Influential? content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 24
  • 25. Clear? AUDIT content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 25
  • 26. Why a checklist? AUDIT “ We have accumulated stupendous know-how… “ Nonetheless, that know-how is often unmanageable. Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 26
  • 27. Why audit quality? AUDIT •  Talk about aspects of content that seem “fuzzy” (therefore scary). •  Decide where to focus your content efforts. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 27
  • 28. Destinations needs help in 4 areas. AUDIT content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 28
  • 29. GOOD. But, we’re not even “halfway there.” content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 29
  • 30. We need to know the content landscape. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 31. Let’s “keep looking” at the landscape. GOAL AUDIT ? ? content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 32. What’s the goal…really? GOAL 1.  Review mission, vision, or similar statements. 2.  Ask the project sponsor & stakeholders. 3.  Compare with the audit. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 32
  • 33. We review the written goal. GOAL To provide information, based on scientific studies, disease surveillance, & best practices, to assist travelers in deciding the vaccines, medications, & other measures necessary to prevent illness & injury during international travel. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 33
  • 34. We talk to stakeholders & GOAL boil it down to this: To help travelers DECIDE how to prevent illness & injury. Example: Decide what shots to get. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 34
  • 35. Does the content fit that goal? GOAL Disease Outbreak 35% content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 35
  • 36. Let’s “keep going” to our users. GOAL AUDIT ? USERS content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 37. What do travelers think? USERS 1.  Ask travelers to complete appropriate tasks. 2.  Observe & listen. 3.  Ask questions. 4.  Compare the feedback with your audit. Sunday - Testing Early, Often, & Well Me & User Insight content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 37
  • 38. The content has potential. USERS INFLUENCE “I trust information from CDC because they focus so much on science.” USEFULNESS “This could be a great resource for me because I travel a lot.” content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 38
  • 39. But it’s not working right now. USERS CLARITY “What are these outbreak alerts? They all look expired.” USABILITY “I just want to know what shots I need to get. I don’t really see that.” INFLUENCE “Do I really have to get all of these vaccinations & medications? I’m not sure what’s required.” content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 39
  • 40. “ Content analysis “ is an iterative process. Karen McGrane & Rachel Lovinger GOAL context AUDIT ? USERS content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 40
  • 41. GOAL AUDIT ECOSYSTEM USERS content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 42. The ecosystem often reveals the “underlying principle” of the content problem. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 42
  • 43. We investigate the ecosystem. ECOSYSTEM 1.  Talk to stakeholders & people involved in the current content process & culture. 2.  Review documentation of processes. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 43
  • 44. What are the ECOSYSTEM content processes? content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 44
  • 45. ECOSYSTEM Who makes the final content call? content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 46. ECOSYSTEM SME Director SMEs Communication Web Production Specialist Lead content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 46
  • 47. LET’S REPORT content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 48. 1. Tell the story of the analysis. GOAL AUDIT ECOSYSTEM USERS content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 48
  • 49. 2. Report in person or by phone. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 50. 3. Be prepared for reactions. Empathize, but stay confident. Source: WebMuseum at ibiblio content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 50
  • 51. WHAT DID WE LEARN? content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 52. 1.  Don’t rush into a website without knowing your content needs. 2.  Use content analysis to understand… •  What content you have. •  Whether it’s good quality. •  Whether it works for your goals & users. •  How your ecosystem affects it. 3.  Report clearly & confidently. content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 52
  • 53. Questions? Colleen Jones T: @leenjones W: http://content-science.com content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 54. References Content Strategy for the Web Kristina Halvorson “Analyze” Chapter Understanding Content: The Stuff We Design For Rachel Lovinger & Karen McGrane SXSW Presentation content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 54
  • 55. Resources Toward Content Quality UXmatters Colleen Jones Content Analysis: A Practical Approach UXmatters Colleen Jones Content Quality Checklist (next slide) content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 55
  • 56. content-science.com/content-quality-checklist content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved.
  • 57. Acknowledgments Kevin O’Connor, User Insight Kristina Halvorson, Brain Traffic Centers for Disease Control & Prevention content science © copyright 2010. all rights reserved. 57