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From engaging to invisible | Rachel McConnell

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As a content designer Rachel loves asking questions – she has to get to the root of the real problem she's trying to solve. But in this talk she actually answers some questions:

- Why did she move from digital marketing into content design?
- What makes content design so different from any other copywriting?
- What does she love about it?
- And if you’re looking to move over too, where should you start?

After studying journalism, Rachel moved into advertising, brand and marketing, working on household name brands such as Flora.

Realising she had a passion for digital user experience, she then moved into digital content strategy. After building and leading a team of content designers creating insurance journeys for high street brands, she moved to Deliveroo to focus on their rider experience. She’s more recently known as the content strategist at Clearleft, helping businesses increase their content maturity.

Rachel is the author of 'Why you need a content team and how to build one.'

Published in: Design
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From engaging to invisible | Rachel McConnell

  1. 1. From engaging to invisible
  2. 2. © Clearleft 2018 Ben Barone-Nugent I dream of interfaces where all my words can cascade away during the journey.
  3. 3. 2013
  4. 4. © Clearleft 2018 144 Content writing Research Usability Design Tech Agile
  5. 5. © Clearleft 2018 145 The current state of content survey 2019 “Who creates the microcopy in your web journeys?”
  6. 6. © Clearleft 2018 146 The current state of content survey 2019 7.5 15 22.5 30 Product owner Just marketing Marketing plus content designer Designers Developers
  7. 7. © Clearleft 2018 147 The current state of content survey 2019 49% said non-content related disciplines create the copy
  8. 8. WTF is content design?
  9. 9. © Clearleft 2018 150 • Research • Understand mental models • Design a frictionless experience for the intended audience Solving problems
  10. 10. © Clearleft 2018 151 • Format • Structure • Voice and tone Defining the brand experience
  11. 11. To design content that works, we need understand our users’ intentions
  12. 12. This product’s great! This product’s great! This product’s great! Advertising PR I’ve heard this product’s great! I’ll help you find this product SEO CRM Please don’t buy anyone else’s product now! Marketing Here’s why this product’s great for you I’ll make it easy and enjoyable for you to buy and use this product Product
  13. 13. “The digital product” A digital service offering value to a customer or business
  14. 14. © Clearleft 2018 156 Over 32,000 words! !!!
  15. 15. © Clearleft 2018 Every word matters
  16. 16. © Clearleft 2018 Content is fundamental to UX
  17. 17. Content Designer
  18. 18. Design/UX Developers Analytics & data Product owners Research Content Designer
  19. 19. Marketing Design/UX Developers Analytics & data Product owners Legal SEO Tech architects Subject matter experts Pricing Research BrandContent Designer
  20. 20. Empathise Define problem Ideate Prototype Test
  21. 21. How’s it different from traditional copywriting?
  22. 22. Not only …but also Writing for clarity and brevity Contextual relevance Empathising with users Using natural language Being conversational Storytelling Collaborating A/B testing Co-designing and protocopy Journey mapping Flexing voice and tone Using different metrics Usability testing Group writing Writing the boring stuff Knowing when not to sell
  23. 23. Thinking conversationally
  24. 24. Storytelling in just a few words
  25. 25. Or no words at all if possible
  26. 26. Co-designing and proto-copy
  27. 27. Zooming out with journey mapping
  28. 28. Flexing voice and tone
  29. 29. © Clearleft 2018 Anna Pickard “Voice…who you are, how you speak, and why. Tone…understanding your audience… when to speak, and when not to.”
  30. 30. User feels Tone Curious Happy and excited AngryConfusedNeutral " #$ %& Relatable Enthusiastic Honest and apologetic Straight- forward Warm and engaging
  31. 31. Valuing different metrics
  32. 32. Observing usability testing
  33. 33. Group writing
  34. 34. Writing the boring stuff
  35. 35. Knowing when not to sell
  36. 36. Not only …but also Writing for clarity and brevity Contextual relevance Empathising with users Using natural language Being conversational Storytelling Collaborating A/B testing Co-designing and protocopy Understanding the bigger picture Flexing voice and tone Using different metrics Usability testing Group writing Writing the boring stuff Knowing when not to sell
  37. 37. How can I move into content design?
  38. 38. • Make friends with designers and researchers • Think copy last • Document rationale and design decisions • Think about frameworks
  39. 39. What happened More detail and how to fix CTA/way to close
  40. 40. Attend meet-ups and conferences
  41. 41. @Minette_78 medium.com/@rachel.mcconnell medium.com/clear-left-thinking
  42. 42. Paul Rand Design is the silent ambassador of your brand
  43. 43. Thank you

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