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Getting Started With User-Centered Content by Emileigh Barnes & Kate Garklavs - Now What? Conference 2017

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Writing for the web is messy and complicated. As web content managers, we must weigh user needs against stakeholder demands, tight timelines, budget constraints, and more. We’re often thrown into projects that are already underway or lack a clear strategy. Our work is constrained by organizational pressures.

In this workshop, we’ll talk about aligning content with project goals, creating a strategy that puts users first, and building products that can maintain momentum and success, even after we’re gone.

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Getting Started With User-Centered Content by Emileigh Barnes & Kate Garklavs - Now What? Conference 2017

  1. 1. Getting started with user-centered content Emileigh Barnes + Kate Garklavs Saul
  2. 2. Introductions
  3. 3. Hopes Fears
  4. 4. Today’s agenda 1. Content and agile 2. Tools and techniques 3. Content and accessibility 4. Content labs
  5. 5. Content and agile Informed by theory; flexible in practice
  6. 6. flikr | David Sui
  7. 7. The agile theory
  8. 8. Department of Interior
  9. 9. Agile in a nutshell 1. Make early, continuous delivery #1 priority 2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in the game 3. Business folk and developers work together 4. Maximize the amount of work not done 5. Reflect regularly on how to be more effective
  10. 10. Agile framework
  11. 11. Iteration can take many forms Design Develop - Wireframes - Diagramming - Visual styling - Front-end tweaks - Writing and microcopy - Information architecture - Research design - Workshop planning - Design studio - Sketching Discovery - User interviews - User observation - Helpdesk call review - Compile issues - Content auditing - Design inspiration - Competitive analysis - Design studios - Co-design sessions - Meeting with SMEs - Front-end dev - Back-end dev - Create presentation - Hi-fi mockup, prototype - Create research docs - Create CMS page - Design pattern dev - Documentation Testing - Design critique - Stakeholder feedback - Pre-test research plan - Remote usability testing - Analytics review - Heat mapping - Eye-tracking - Card sorting
  12. 12. Agile framework
  13. 13. Agile in practice
  14. 14. Kanban in a nutshell 1. Visualize workflow 2. Limit your workflow 3. Measure your workflow 4. Be open and clear about your process 5. Improve things as you go
  15. 15. Kanban in a nutshell 1. Visualize workflow 2. Limit your workflow 3. Measure your workflow 4. Be open and clear about your process 5. Improve things as you go
  16. 16. flikr | Doug Waldron
  17. 17. Agile framework
  18. 18. User-centered design
  19. 19. Tools and techniques Practices and tools to help you create, publish, and maintain top-notch content.
  20. 20. The content audit
  21. 21. Some folks think content audits are less than glamorous — and we understand that.
  22. 22. Benefits of content audits
  23. 23. Audits are a jumping-off point.
  24. 24. Audits provide a high-level view of what you have.
  25. 25. Content audits highlight relationships.
  26. 26. Content audits allow you to make an objective evaluation of content quality. Photo by Tnarik Innael
  27. 27. How do you do it?
  28. 28. Photo by Nick Youngson
  29. 29. Deliverables
  30. 30. Photo by martinvarsavsky
  31. 31. Personas
  32. 32. First things first: What is a persona?
  33. 33. Benefits of personas
  34. 34. Photo by Rosenfeld Media
  35. 35. Though most personas are well intended, many fall flat.
  36. 36. From the MailChimp blog MailChimp
  37. 37. www.xtensio.com
  38. 38. If everything is important, nothing is important. www.adrella.ro
  39. 39. Most personas don’t represent users as users would represent themselves.
  40. 40. Crafting excellent personas with the help of David Foster Wallace
  41. 41. “Then he looked up, despite all best prior intentions. In four minutes, it would be another hour; a half hour after that was the ten-minute break. Lane Dean imagined himself running around on the break, waving his arms and shouting gibberish and holding ten cigarettes at once in his mouth, like a panpipe. Year after year, a face the same color as your desk. Lord Jesus. Coffee wasn't allowed because of spills on the files, but on the break he'd have a big cup of coffee in each hand while he pictured himself running around the outside grounds, shouting. He knew what he'd really do on the break was sit facing the wall clock in the lounge and, despite prayers and effort, count the seconds tick off until he had to come back and do this again. And again and again and again.” David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
  42. 42. How do you do it?
  43. 43. The Pinch Hitter This person has a design background and is very skilled in HTML and CSS; they may be familiar with JS, but they’re not an expert. Why they’re using the Draft Standards They rely on the pattern library components to work out of the box, and they need explanations of any dependencies and how to implement them. Concerns and challenges They are concerned about conflicts with existing frameworks because these are difficult to resolve with their limited development experience
  44. 44. ● Give personas titles and names ● Add a photo or image of each persona ● Link to your research Photo by Dave Stevens Gail, vintner
  45. 45. Deliverables
  46. 46. Exercise! Create a persona: ● Service: online home goods retailer ● Include needs, apprehensions, and behaviors ● Consider writing in the first person ● Add an image
  47. 47. Journey mapping
  48. 48. What it is: A visual representation of a user interacting with a website over time.
  49. 49. Department of Interior
  50. 50. Pinterest
  51. 51. Library of Congress
  52. 52. NASA
  53. 53. How do you do it?
  54. 54. Research Chart the course Find the story Share
  55. 55. flickr | daliscar1
  56. 56. The better you define the problem, the better the solution — @kateldn and @ayeshamoarif
  57. 57. Deliverables
  58. 58. Adaptive Path
  59. 59. Content principles
  60. 60. What it is: concise, specific guidelines for creating content and deciding whether that content is effective
  61. 61. flickr | tiffany terry “Named must your fear be before banish it you can.” — Yoda
  62. 62. How do you do it?
  63. 63. Intuit’s design principles 1. Be simple, easy to use, and guiding 2. Design for the customer and instill confidence 3. Establish modern and iconic ownable moments 4. Celebrate data while respecting user and device context
  64. 64. GOV.UK design principles 1. Start with needs 2. Do less 3. Design with data 4. Do the hard work to make it simple 5. Iterate. Then iterate again. 6. Build for inclusion 7. Understand context 8. Build digital services, not websites 9. Be consistent, not uniform 10. Make things open: it makes things better
  65. 65. Deliverables
  66. 66. Card sorting
  67. 67. What it is: A visual representation of a user interacting with a website over time.
  68. 68. Raspberry Squash Banana Tomato Brussels Sprouts Mango Abby Covert
  69. 69. Raspberry Squash Banana Tomato Brussels Sprouts Mango Abby Covert
  70. 70. Raspberry Squash Banana Tomato Brussels Sprouts Mango Abby Covert
  71. 71. How do you do it?
  72. 72. flikr | mzpresto
  73. 73. flikr | mzpresto
  74. 74. Exercise!
  75. 75. 18F Design Methods methods.18f.gov
  76. 76. Content and accessibility Creating content that reaches the broadest possible audience.
  77. 77. When is the best time to think about accessibility?
  78. 78. Accessibility techniques
  79. 79. Plain Writing Act of 2010 The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires that federal agencies use "clear government communication that the public can understand and use." Signed into law by President Obama on October 13, 2010
  80. 80. “A communication is in plain language if the language, structure, and design are so clear that the intended audience can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information.” — PLAIN (the Plain Language Association International)
  81. 81. Plain-language content appeals to all audiences. Photo by Mike Licht
  82. 82. Plain language strategies ● Avoid jargon, legalese, and technical terms ● Use simple words whenever possible ● Avoid figurative language ● Use active voice
  83. 83. Content-presentation strategies ● Keep it short! ● Use bulleted lists, when possible (case in point). ● Connect image titles and captions to imagery. ● Use precise, descriptive headings. ● Add descriptive link text.
  84. 84. Conscious style
  85. 85. The Conscious Style Guide is “an online resource for kind, compassionate, and inclusive language.” — Karen Yin, creator of the Conscious Style Guide
  86. 86. Conscious style tips ● Use older person instead of senior or elderly. ● Default to gender-neutral language. ● Avoid writing that draws on gender bias. ● Don’t use female as a substitute for novice.
  87. 87. More conscious style tips ● Instead of able-bodied, use does not have a disability or not living with a disability. ● Avoid using pejorative descriptions of mental illness. ● When writing about folks with disabilities, use has or is living with.
  88. 88. Resources to check out ● The Conscious Style Guide: http://consciousstyleguide.com/ ● The Disability Language Style Guide: http://ncdj.org/style-guide/ ● Guidelines for Nonhandicapping Style in APA Journals: http://www.apastyle.org/manual/related/nonhandicapping-language.aspx ● The 18F Accessibility Guide: https://pages.18f.gov/accessibility/ ● Microsoft’s Inclusive Design Toolkit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Design/inclusive ● Rob Dodson’s A11ycasts on YouTube ● WCAG: https://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag
  89. 89. Exercise!
  90. 90. Content Labs Helping you make the most of your existing content resources.
  91. 91. Need more content resources?
  92. 92. (The whole team)
  93. 93. What is a content lab?
  94. 94. A content lab is a virtual writing center where folks can get personalized writing and editing help from members of a core team.
  95. 95. A content lab is a virtual writing center where folks can get personalized writing and editing help from members of a core team.
  96. 96. A content lab is a virtual writing center where folks can get personalized writing and editing help from members of a core team.
  97. 97. A content lab is a virtual writing center where folks can get personalized writing and editing help from members of a core team.
  98. 98. Lab tasks are free-time tasks. Photo by Fortepan
  99. 99. You can create a lab, even if you’re a lone ranger.
  100. 100. How do labs work?
  101. 101. Benefits of labs
  102. 102. Labs increase content quality and the amount of work you can get done.
  103. 103. Labs highlight the amount of time our work takes.
  104. 104. Labs are a diagnostic tool.
  105. 105. Labs promote better time management.
  106. 106. Labs shed light on others’ work.
  107. 107. Lab tasks are like professional palate cleansers.
  108. 108. Exercise!
  109. 109. Thank you! @ueberkatester @emileighoutlaw

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