Making Meaning in Content and Design (Bloomstein at HOW)

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How do you rally stakeholders around a unified user experience that’s consistent across design and content? That’s the challenge of a modern designer. Fortunately, content strategy is a powerful ally in that challenge. Amid constrained budgets, tight timelines, and unlimited interaction expectations, can you really add another tool to your toolkit? Can you afford to focus on content too? Yes—and you can’t afford to “let the client worry about it” any longer. We’ll discuss the value content strategy can add to your work and how it can help you streamline your process to save time and keep stakeholders happy. Then, we’ll discuss how to prioritize communication goals and develop a message architecture with a hands-on exercise—ideal whether you’re designing for the web, a mobile app, social media, or an offline experience. Finally, you’ll learn how to create consistency between copy, channels, and the typography and imagery you develop for those channels. There’s meaning in consistency, and you’ll explore how to master it in content and design.

Presented at HOW Interactive Design Conference, #HIDC, November 6, 2013, in Chicago.

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Making Meaning in Content and Design (Bloomstein at HOW)

  1. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 1 MAKING MEANING IN CONTENT AND DESIGN Margot Bloomstein HOW Interactive Design Conference 110613 @mbloomstein #HIDC MAKING MEANING IN © 2013 CONTENT AND DESIGN
  2. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 3 © 2013
  3. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 4 What is content strategy? Planning for the creation, aggregation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, and appropriate content in an experience. © 2013
  4. You need this.
  5. © narniafans.com @mbloomstein | #HIDC 6 © 2013
  6. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 7 ©Skillset.org © 2013
  7. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 8 Titles < Roles < Skills © 2013
  8. © The Creative Group
  9. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 11 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines © 2013
  10. Deliverables are merely punctuation in the conversation. Don’t let them replace the conversation.
  11. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 13 Why content strategy? © 2013
  12. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 14 Why content strategy? Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way. © 2013
  13. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 15 Why content strategy? Launch on time © 2013
  14. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 16 Why content strategy? Stay within budget © 2013
  15. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 17 Why content strategy? Maintain a consistent user experience visually and verbally © 2013
  16. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 18 Why content strategy? Maintain a consistent user experience visually and verbally, across channels © 2013
  17. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 19 Why content strategy? Maintain a consistent user experience visually and verbally, across channels, among platforms and devices © 2013
  18. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 20 Why content strategy? Without the team killing each other over differences in opinion and changing goals © 2013
  19. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 21 Establish the message architecture. CAN THIS HAPPEN. © 2013
  20. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 22 More like Apple. © 2013
  21. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 23 © 2013
  22. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 24 More like Apple’s “message architecture” Confident but approachable; accessible Simple Minimal detail Streamlined and anticipatory Inviting, friendly Supportive but not fawning © 2013
  23. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 25 Message architecture Cheeky • Witty and fun • Young without being childish Customer oriented and responsive • Approachable, friendly • Championing and empowering Helpful • Accessible © 2013
  24. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 26 © 2013
  25. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 27 From: Little MOO | Print Robot <noreply@moo.com> Subject: MOO | Order 0629312615 | Confirmed Hello I'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to you. Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact customer services (who are real people!) Thanks, Little MOO, Print Robot © 2013
  26. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 28 Message architecture… Cheeky Customer oriented and responsive Helpful © 2013
  27. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 29 Versus brand values? © 2013
  28. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 30 Versus a mission or vision? “Great design for everyone” Vision and direction are different. This inspires, but isn’t tactical. © 2013
  29. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 31 © 2013
  30. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 32 Message architecture? Gracious • Welcoming, anticipatory service Elite and premium • Selective membership • “Curated” experiences Traditional • Enduring heritage • Preserving appreciation for quality © 2013
  31. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 33 © 2013
  32. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 34 First things first. What do you need to communicate? © 2013
  33. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 35 First things first. start blogging, audit the content, consolidate site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate reviews, relaunch the site, develop new brand guidelines, switch to a new CMS, or go “mobile first”… © 2013
  34. If you don’t know what you need to communicate, how will you know if you succeed?
  35. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 37 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary. © 2013
  36. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 38 A little thing with big impact. © 2013
  37. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 39 A little thing with big impact. How could we prove this is a car not like anything else out there? It’s a small car, but it’s premium. You get a Porsche 911 ride for a fifth of the cost. It’s got history… but in Europe. You need to give people content to give them history.” © 2013
  38. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 40 A little thing with big impact. © 2013
  39. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 41 Message architecture Premium technology • Assertive; ready to perform as a driver’s car • Proactive and supportive of spontaneity Classic design • Experienced and savvy Cheekiness • Smart, “punny,” hip • Fun, gleeful © 2013
  40. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 42 © 2013
  41. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 43 © 2013
  42. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 44 © 2013
  43. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 45 © 2013
  44. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 46 If these emails are boring you and you don’t mind missing out on all the lip-smackin’ stuff we’ll be sending in the future, simply send a message to ownerunsubscribe@insiders.miniusa.com and include “Unsubscribe” and your favorite fruit in the subject field. © 2013
  45. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 47 Message architecture drives the user experience © 2013
  46. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 48 …in content © 2013
  47. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 49 …and in design © 2013
  48. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 50 …and in the choice of features and content types © 2013
  49. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 51 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary. © 2013
  50. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 52 What’s a message architecture? Concrete, shared terminology, not abstract concepts. © 2013
  51. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 53 Welcoming, but elite. Selective? © 2013
  52. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 54 Traditional, but edgy. © 2013
  53. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 55 ©Warby Parker © 2013
  54. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 56 Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority. © 2013
  55. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 57 Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority. © 2013
  56. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 58 © 2013
  57. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 59 How? • • • • • • Engage in a tangible, hands-on way Encourage debate and conversation Identify points of disagreement Prevent seagulling Force prioritization Encourage ownership & investment © 2013
  58. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 60 Why do this? Words are cheaper than comps. © 2013
  59. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 61 Why do this? Refine the concept, rather than confirm the purpose. © 2013
  60. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 62 Why do this? Promote new content types to manifest the message architecture—not just because they’re trendy or feasible. © 2013
  61. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 63 Why do this? Gain standards by which to conduct a qualitative audit. (What is “good” anyway?) © 2013
  62. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 64 © Lucas Films © 2013
  63. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 65 What will you learn? • • • • • • What do we have? What are the patterns, elements, & types? Is it any good? What do we need to update? What do we need to translate? Where do we need more? © 2013
  64. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 66 Where can you go? • Apply a rubric to existing content, separate from politics and history • Prescribe new content—and reallocate budget and resources—to address specific communication goals • Promote a new editorial calendar • Consider CMS modifications to support new content types © 2013
  65. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 67 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines © 2013
  66. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 68 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Gap analysis Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines © 2013
  67. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 69 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Gap analysis Editorial style guidelines How Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines © 2013
  68. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 70 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Gap analysis Editorial style guidelines How Metadata guidelines Governance guidelinesBy whom & when © 2013
  69. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 71 But first things first: What are you trying to communicate? What content do you have and what do you need to do that? © 2013
  70. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 72 Thank you! Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein margot@appropriateinc.com slideshare.net/mbloomstein amzn.to/CSatWork All photography © Margot Bloomstein unless otherwise noted. Screen grabs property of their respective owners at time of capture. © 2013

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