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UX London Applying Brand-Driven Content Strategy
 

UX London Applying Brand-Driven Content Strategy

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Trying to manage feature creep? What about seagulling stakeholders? And what content matters most, anyhow? ...

Trying to manage feature creep? What about seagulling stakeholders? And what content matters most, anyhow?

These questions and other challenges drive content strategy; they’re basic issues to any strategist planning for content and the workflow behind it. But what if you’re not a content strategist? What if you need to empower a team, wrangle a whinging client, and rally everyone around a common vocabulary for your primary navigation… not to mention branded error messaging? No matter your title, it’s time to embrace content strategy, starting with the message architecture.

Brand-driven content strategy complements user-centered design, and this workshop will help you get up to speed on the philosophy, questions, tools, and exercises to implement it. We’ll conduct a hands-on exercise to prioritize communication goals and develop a message architecture—ideal whether you design for the web, mobile apps, social media, or offline experiences. Fancy more efficient engagements? You’ll also discover how a brand attributes cardsort can help you identify potential pitfalls and points of disagreement while you improve organizational alignment.

Then use this foundation to conduct a qualitative and quantitative content audit. We’ll discuss the content opportunities a gap analysis reveals when we use the message architecture as a metric of quality. You’ll leave with the savvy and experience to bring brand-driven content strategy techniques and thinking into your own work.

Presented as a workshop at UX London, #UXLondon, April 12 2013, in Greenwich UK.

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UX London Applying Brand-Driven Content Strategy UX London Applying Brand-Driven Content Strategy Presentation Transcript

  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 1Learn your ABCs:Applying Brand-driven Margot Bloomstein UX London April 2013Content Strategy @mbloomstein © 2013 © 2011
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 2“ Unless you understand what people are trying to do with your content you cannot know if it’s working or not.” Gerry McGovern © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 3Your serve.And who are you again?  © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 4What is content strategy?Planning for the creation, aggregation,delivery, and governance of useful,usable, and appropriate content in anexperience. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 5Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent modelEditorial style guidelinesMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 6Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent modelEditorial style guidelinesMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines © 2013
  • Deliverables aremerely punctuation inthe conversation.Don’t let them replacethe conversation.
  • Why content strategy?
  • Why content strategy?Because we all want the same thing,but content keeps getting in the way.
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 10Content demands attention © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 11Content requires timeBecause we all want the same thing,but content keeps getting in the way.(CC) http://www.flickr.com/photos/slworking © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 12Sustainable content is content you cancreate—and maintain—without goingbroke, without lowering quality in waysthat make the content suck, and withoutworking employees into nervousbreakdowns.Erin Kissane,The Elements of Content Strategy © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 13Content dredges up politics ©Margot Bloomstein © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 14You cannot act in passive voiceto change, empower, support,advocate, teach, simplify,consolidate, remind, inform… © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 15You cannot act in passive voiceto change, empower, support,advocate, teach, simplify,consolidate, remind, inform…Content demands an owner& ownership. © 2013
  • This is your job now.
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 17 ©Skillset.org © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 18First things first.What do you need to communicate? © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 19First things first.Why even…redesign the website, let theCEO start blogging, audit the content,start engaging on Twitter, consolidate thesite architecture, add video testimonials,incorporate user reviews, develop newbrand guidelines… if you don’t knowwhat you need to communicate? © 2013
  • If you don’t know whatyou need to communicate,how will you know if yousucceed?
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 21What’s a message architecture?A hierarchy of communication goalsthat reflects a common vocabulary. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 22A little thing with big impact. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 23 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
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 24A little thing with big impact. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 25Message architecturePremium technology• Assertive; ready to perform as a driver’s car• Proactive and supportive of spontaneityClassic design• Experienced and savvyCheekiness• Smart, “punny,” hip• Fun, gleeful © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 26 © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 27 © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 28 © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 29 © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 30If these emails are boring youand you don’t mind missing outon all the lip-smackin’ stuffwe’ll be sending in the future,simply send a message to owner-unsubscribe@insiders.miniusa.comand include “Unsubscribe” andyour favorite fruit in thesubject field. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 31Message architecture drivesthe user experience © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 32…in contentNomenclatureCalls to actionInstructional contentSentence structureDiction © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 33…and in designPhotographic anglesDark backgroundsBold headlinesThick stroke weights © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 34…and in the choice of featuresand content types © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 35What’s a message architecture?A hierarchy of communication goalsthat reflects a common vocabulary. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 36What’s a message architecture?Concrete, shared terminology,not abstract concepts. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 37Welcoming,but elite.Selective? © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 38Accessible,open, andpremiere. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 39Traditional,but edgy. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 40©Warby Parker © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 41Words are valuable,but meaningless withoutcontext and priority.(In a few minutes, we’llgive them context.) © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 42Why do this?Words are cheaper than comps. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 43Why do this?Let creative colleagues refine the concept,rather than confirm the purpose. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 44How?• Engage in a tangible, hands-on way• Encourage debate and conversation• Identify points of disagreement• Prevent seagulling• Force prioritization• Encourage ownership & investment © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 45Cardsorting• Groups of 7 – 10• Pick 3 or 4 people to represent the brand• Everyone else: put on your content strategy hats! © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 46Group 1: You’re a multinational bank with along history in Europe. To attract a broader andyounger audience, you want to change howpeople view saving.Group 2: You represent a small universityknown and respected locally—but you want togrow in relevance and attract more applicants,faculty, and funding from around the countryand world. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 47Group 3: You represent an architecture firmthat specializes in historic preservation—butyou want clients to turn to you for clever,historically appropriate additions too.Group 4: You represent a pharmaceuticalcompany. After some issues with labcontamination and bad press, you overhauledoperations and improved standards—and anew product release is testament to all that. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 48Group 5: You lead a restaurant group loved forits family-friendly dining. In one location you’rebranching out to attract business peoplebrokering deals over martinis—not milk & juice.Group 6: Your company is a governmentcontractor that specializes in mobile fieldrobotics… and thanks to some re-engineeringback home, you’re about to start selling robotichome butlers too. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 49 © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 50CardsortingStep one:• Who we are• Who we’re not• Who we’d like to beGo with your gut for about 20 minutes. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 51 © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 52CardsortingStep two:• Who we are  Who we’d like to beThink aspirational.What needs to change?~15 minutes © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 53CardsortingStep three:• Form groups: what goes together?• Prioritize the goals or groups• Tell the story of those aspirations~15 minutes © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 54Why do this?Gain standards by which to conducta qualitative audit.(What is “good” anyway?) © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 55Why do this?Promote new content types to manifestthe message architecture—not justbecause they’re trendy or feasible. © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 56So where to from here?Content audit: measure quality againstthe aspirational attributes in the messagearchitecture. © 2013
  • Audit time!
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 58Message architecturePassionate about strategic discovery• Creative, spirited, inspired• Visionary, innovative thought leader and industry leader• FlexibleTactical and hands-on• In the trenches, in touch• Detail-oriented and methodicalPioneering• Groundbreaking, trend-setting• Modern and savvyPeople-focused and market-driven• Trusted by medical professionals, researchers, and media• Industry news source © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 59 © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 60Passionate? Creative? Hands-on? Pioneering and modern? Trusted? © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 61 © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 62 © 2013
  • Audit to understand what youhave and what you need.Don’t just do it for fun.Before you can start, you needto know why.What are you trying to learn?
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 64Every tab tracks the same dataQuantitative:• Head count: what do we have?• Is it consistent? • Are similar content types consistent in size and structure? • Is there parity of length, level of detail, and tone? © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 65Every tab tracks the same dataQualitative: is it any good?• ROT analysis: redundant, outdated, trivial• Current, relevant, and appropriate to the message architecture• Does it serve the communication goals?• Does it speak to the target audience? © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 66 © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 67 © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 68Each piece of content gets a rowSet up dropdowns to constrain data• Data  Data validation  List  Sources © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 69What will you learn?• What do we have?• What are the patterns, elements, & types?• Is it any good?• Do people even like it? (Check analytics!)• What do we need to update?• What do we need to translate?• Where do we need more? © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 70Where can you go?• Prescribe new content types• Advocate for more frequent content updates• Promote a new editorial calendar• Reallocate budget across social media channels © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 71Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent modelEditorial style guidelinesMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 72Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent model Gap analysisEditorial style guidelinesMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 73Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent model Gap analysisEditorial style guidelines HowMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 74Steps along the way…Message architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent model Gap analysisEditorial style guidelines HowMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelinesBy whom & when © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 75But first things first:What are you trying tocommunicate?What content do you have andwhat do you need to do that? © 2013
  • @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 76Thank you!Margot Bloomstein@mbloomsteinmargot@appropriateinc.comslideshare.net/mbloomsteinamzn.to/CSatWorkTitle image © Margot Bloomstein.All other images property of their respective owners,used under a Creative Commons license, or copyright as noted. © 2013