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Orchestrating Content

Templates, trainings, threats: I’ve tried everything to get content from clients and colleagues sooner—and mobile hasn’t made things easier. Instead of planning pages, now we’re asking stakeholders to prioritize and manage a million bits of modular content.

So how do we keep our subject-matter experts from feeling overwhelmed, prevent carousel-obsessed executives from endless homepage arguments, and get the content we need to make design and development decisions?

The answer is in using content strategy as a means to orchestrate, not dictate.

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Orchestrating Content

  1. orchestrating content sara wachter-boettcher @sara_ann_marie smashing conf // sept. 2014 flickr.com/photos/wolfworld/3597078422
  2. flickr.com/photos/adactio/12674602864
  3. flickr.com/photos/mypubliclands/9406650850 Once upon a time, in a desert far far away…
  4. So I made content models.
  5. And I made things modular.
  6. CONTENT GOES HERE
  7. flickr.com/photos/djwtwo/7891312188
  8. flickr.com/photos/familymwr/5115357756
  9. ‘‘I don’t see why we need to fill out those fields. Look, I can just paste my press release right here. — OH at CMS training
  10. I was making systems for them.
  11. I them
  12. Orchestrating content
  13. Orchestrating content models
  14. Orchestrating content people
  15. Orchestrating content realities
  16. headaches we can actually stop 3
  17. “My thing matters 1 most!” www.flickr.com/photos/bevgoodwin/9482142313/
  18. ‘‘Tools like carousels are used as appeasers to keep everyone from beating the sh** out of each other. — Brad Frost, “Carousels”
  19. Discord is why we can’t have nice things.
  20. Cluttered layouts Bloated navigation Rogue departments One-off requests
  21. flickr.com/photos/42dreams/485750534 What to do: Unify your performers.
  22. flickr.com/photos/digitalart/2958134354
  23. flickr.com/photos/22711505@N05/9328371477
  24. What are your goals? What’s frustrating now? How could things be better for you?
  25. Feelings can be as important as features.
  26. flickr.com/photos/dandelion-tree/4525221446
  27. Who are we? Who is our audience? What are our goals? How should we sound?
  28. Create simple reminders.
  29. ‘‘Principle: keep it simple Students have a lot going on: courses, clubs, jobs, sports. Make life easier, not more stressful.
  30. Common ground before content.
  31. “Wait, you want ME 2 to do WHAT?! flickr.com/photos/bevgoodwin/9482142313/
  32. ‘‘Publishing is easy! Just choose a category, fill out these nine fields, select three related items, and add at least four tags from this PDF. —Every CMS training
  33. flickr.com/photos/jiuguangw/6457845587 What to do: Listen and adjust.
  34. Participation weeds out future problems.
  35. Participation makes your plan realistic.
  36. Establish a shared lens for content.
  37. 1. THE USER’S JOURNEY
  38. 2. CONTENT WE HAVE
  39. 3. CONTENT WE NEED
  40. What will it take to serve that content at that moment?
  41. TITLE / 40 characters TEASER / 25 words DESCRIPTION / 100 words FEATURES / 150 words RELATED RELATED
  42. via loremoopsum.tumblr.com
  43. Draft real-ish content.
  44. Vet it against the current reality.
  45. flickr.com/photos/merlin1487/5518280677
  46. Success is a design that’s sustainable.
  47. flickr.com/photos/bjmccray/1564988306 “This is more work 3 than we thought!”
  48. ‘‘We’re working on our content! Probably today! We’re totally going to get it done on time! —People with good intentions
  49. flickr.com/photos/haagsuitburo/7958046990 What to do: Keep the tempo.
  50. Kickstart writing tasks.
  51. before after
  52. Plan for parallel processes.
  53. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. PROJECT TEAM Prototyping Prototyping Backend development High-level IA Style tiles Front-end development Content modeling Editorial & CMS guide Content principles Sample content QA
  54. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Prototyping Prototyping Style tiles Front-end development Content workshop Content batch 1 Internal review CMS entry CONTENT MANAGERS Batch 1 revisions Content batch 2 Internal review Batch 2 revisions QA Content batch 3 Internal review Batch 3 revisions PROJECT TEAM Backend development High-level IA Content modeling Editorial & CMS guide Content principles Sample content QA
  55. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Prototyping Prototyping Style tiles Front-end development Content reqs check Pre-CMS entry check Content workshop Content batch 1 Internal review CMS entry CONTENT MANAGERS Batch 1 revisions Content batch 2 Internal review Batch 2 revisions QA Content batch 3 Internal review Batch 3 revisions PROJECT TEAM Backend development High-level IA Content modeling Editorial & CMS guide Content principles Sample content QA Design/content alignment
  56. Help everyone find their rhythm.
  57. flickr.com/photos/42dreams/485750534 Practice, practice, practice.
  58. Build systems.
  59. Build confidence.
  60. Build a better web.
  61. flickr.com/photos/paulrobinsonuk/6901390006 Danke! sarawb.com @sara_ann_marie Flickr images used via Creative Commons Attribution license unless otherwise noted.
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Templates, trainings, threats: I’ve tried everything to get content from clients and colleagues sooner—and mobile hasn’t made things easier. Instead of planning pages, now we’re asking stakeholders to prioritize and manage a million bits of modular content. So how do we keep our subject-matter experts from feeling overwhelmed, prevent carousel-obsessed executives from endless homepage arguments, and get the content we need to make design and development decisions? The answer is in using content strategy as a means to orchestrate, not dictate.

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