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Publish - Measure - Learn - Build: Using content experiments to drive the digital design process


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What can content strategists learn from the long-established areas of online: UX, design and development? A look at my tumblr content experiment for ABC Classic 2 - a new online radio station of classical music.

Presented at Content Strategy Forum 2014 in Frankfurt.

1: This is a story about bad things that happen when content strategists try to take on too much.

2: Classic 2 is the sister station to a long established classical music station, ABC Classic FM.

3: As a content maker I get pulled in a lot of different directions – wearing a lot of hats. I spend a lot of time and energy trying to make a perfect world for my content to be born into. This experiment is about I took off all those hats to wear just my content hat, and how in doing so I was influenced by designers/developers around me who work “lean” everyday.

4. Wanted to concentrate 100% on crafting the perfect content offer in lead up to launch - not the bells and whistles, not the brand pack, but the actual content - words, images, video, sound.

5: ABC Classic 2 not a new idea - plenty of competitors in the online classical music listening space - the difference needed to be in the packaging.

6: In retrospect, saying that I needed a website to make Classic 2 stand out from the crowd was a dumb idea. I had no development team to build me a site. I think from their perspective, I had no clear content goals – not that they’d seen anyway. I had great ideas in my head but nothing documented.

7: There was one redeeming feature I was grasping onto and that was an editorial hunch: that different packaging and a unique tone of voice for this product was key.

There is value in an editorial hunch, or knowing your audience. It’s knowledge in your head that isn’t documented.

8: What I wanted was digital content, not a website.

It felt like an arbitrary decision to go with Tumblr – my main motivation was to kill off side-issues the need for a designer, developer, the need for a site map and user testing.

9: The tumblr interface is naturally stripped back and let’s content shine and it’s responsive to all devices. We took control of de-scoping.

10: It’s not about hierarchy, the new content just piles in at the top, yet it continues to seep out sideways as it gets shared socially.

11-16: Tumblr inspiration.

17: Effectively at the publish stage pre-launch.

18: Months from launch, we were moving into editorial workflows to test the production process.

19: Testing the content ideas by pitching ideas, creating the posts and sharing them in team.

20-24: Content examples of differing levels of effort. No “buckets to fill” problem – when you have a site needing constant "feeding".

25: Retrospective content experiment.

26: Key goal of the tumblr is to convert consumers of the content into listeners of stream.

27-28: If we had traditional website, we wouldn’t be making memes. Learning from community.

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Publish - Measure - Learn - Build: Using content experiments to drive the digital design process

  1. 1. Publish-measure-learn-build: using content experiments to drive the digital design process Angela  Stengel   Australian  Broadcas2ng  Corpora2on   @angelastengel  
  2. 2. The rookie mistake
  3. 3. An editorial hunch How can we document subject expertise and efficiently assess its value alongside other research methods?
  4. 4. Do you really need a website? WEBSITE   TUMBLR   Designer   Content  maker   Developer   Theme   UX   Follow  and  like   Scoping  phase   Site  map   Build  2me   Tes2ng   Content  maker  
  5. 5. We de-scoped until we really started enjoying it.
  6. 6.
  7. 7.  
  8. 8.  
  9. 9.  
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Publish
  13. 13. What is the content equivalent of wireframes?
  14. 14. Make editorial “lean” in order to test the ideas.
  15. 15. Measure
  16. 16. Hypothesis   • Content  will  draw  audience  to  stream   Goal     • Convert  tumblr  audience  to  stream  listeners   Measurement     • Clicks  from  social  >  tumblr  >  stream  
  17. 17. Learn
  18. 18. Have  you  ever  clapped  at  the  wrong  2me?  
  19. 19. Build
  20. 20. How to setup a content experiment 1.  Work on an unpopular project. 2.  Salvage the good ideas. 3.  Find a precedent, however tenuous. 4.  Win over your boss. 5.  Lay low, work quickly.
  21. 21. Questions? Angela Stengel @angelastengel @abcclassic2