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MAKING
THINGS
REAL
A very professional presentation by
Corey Vilhauer
about content strategy and content management systems
THIS IS ME
@mrvilhauer
MY STORYMY STORY
MY STORY
“Holy shit, I’m going to
quit teaching and start
writing for websites!”
- Corey Vilhauer

user experience architect, Blend...
CONTENT
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
CONTENT
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
ARE NOT THE PROBLEM
WE ARE
TEACHING
BUT FOR ROBOTS
1 2
MESSAGE & FUNCTION
1 2
LET’S JAM ECONO
EXPECTATIONS
COMMUNICATION
REIFICATION
EXPECTATIONS:
OR, OUR DREAMS
ARE ALREADY DEAD
How do we prepare our dreams so
they can function within the cold
world of w...
IT’S UP TO US
TO MAKE
REALISTIC
EXPECTATIONS
GET REAL, DUDE
Communicate the Purpose
The Balance of Message and Structure
The Priority of the Machine
Permanence vs. Fle...
Article Category
Ad Banner
Title Short Title
Meta Title
Preview Title
Header Image
Preview Image
Image Caption
Image Maint...
WE STILL KIND OF
SUCK AT MAKING
OUR WORK SOUND
HUMAN
“…developers should
watch for ambiguity or
inconsistency that will
trip up design.”
- Eric Evans

author, Domain-Driven De...
EXAMPLE:
Newsroom
News Listing
News Feed
News
When we say:
Content Model
We mean:
A conceptual term for the collection of content types,
attributes, relationships and d...
COMMUNICATION:
OR, MAKING SURE
THE ROBOTS DON’T
BEGIN REVOLTING
How do we take what we
want and translate it into
somethin...
its ur web
WHAT
CAN
BE
DONE
SHOULD
YOUR NEW CMS
CAN’T READ
OR REASON
PAGES
PAGES COMPONENTS
PAGES COMPONENTS
AGGREGATIONS
PAGES COMPONENTS
AGGREGATIONSINTEGRATIONS
DATA!
HIGHLY-STRUCTURED
PAGE
MORE GENERIC PAGE
WITH COMPONENTS
PAGE
COMPONENTS
AGGREGATION
INTEGRATION
Pages
Home Page
Section Home Page
Components
General Text Page
Program Search
Undergraduate
Graduate
School
Program
Major
...
STRUCTURED OR OPEN?
How similar is this from page to page?
What integrations do I need to use?
How often does this content...
WE NEED BETTER
DOCUMENTATION
THE SITE MAP
PRACTICALVISUAL
1.0 - About USD
1.1 - Why USD?
1.2 - Quick Facts
1.3 - Campus
1.4 - Office of
the President
1....
THE WIREFRAMES
HELPFUL NOISY
THE WIREFRAMES
EditorialStructural instead of
AssumptionsClarity instead of
ExhaustiveConsolidation instead of
ContentCont...
FUNCTIONAL AND TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
FUNCTIONAL AND TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Publishing Guidelines - Page listing orders,
category handling, archiving, news fe...
REIFICATION:
OR, A BIG
COMPLICATED
WORD FOR “REAL”
How do we take our ideas
and turn them into a usable
web implementation?
BUT WHYYYY????
“There’s no API call for
makeShitUpHere()”
- Deane Barker

author, Web Content Management
DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
AND
MAKE IT PERFECT
FOR EVERYONE
STEP ONE:
STEP TWO:
BAD COP
STEP THREE:
DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
AND
MAKE IT PERFECT
FOR EVERYONE
BUILD YOUR
WORK
INTO THE CMS
BUILD YOUR
ACCESSIBILITY
INTO THE CMS
FORCE A11Y CLARITY
Force editors to add alt tags
Automatically assign blank alt tags
Raise flags for improper headings
BUILD YOUR
SEO/SOCIAL
INTO THE CMS
Meta Title
Page Title
Menu Title
Content Title
BUILD YOUR
AUTHOR EXPERIENCE
INTO THE CMS
Meta Title
Page Title
Menu Title
Content Title
URL Slug
AUTHOR EXPERIENCE
Add help text to uncommon fields
Confirm common nomenclature
Add asset guidelines to fields
Make APIs and U...
LET’S JAM ECONO
THANK YOU
for making
things real
For notes and the slide deck, please visit
www.eatingelephant.com/makingthingsreal
"Making Things Real: Taking content strategy from abstract to functional" - MinneWebCon 2017, Minneapolis, MN - May 1, 2017
"Making Things Real: Taking content strategy from abstract to functional" - MinneWebCon 2017, Minneapolis, MN - May 1, 2017
"Making Things Real: Taking content strategy from abstract to functional" - MinneWebCon 2017, Minneapolis, MN - May 1, 2017
"Making Things Real: Taking content strategy from abstract to functional" - MinneWebCon 2017, Minneapolis, MN - May 1, 2017
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"Making Things Real: Taking content strategy from abstract to functional" - MinneWebCon 2017, Minneapolis, MN - May 1, 2017

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From MinneWebCon 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 1, 2017

Everyone has a plan. Until reality sets in.

You've done the interviews, and you've rallied the team, and now you have a dream. Here's the thing: Your dream isn't going to work. No dream ever does. Instead, your dream is going to cause disappointment and frustration, because it hasn't been paired with the content management robots that will eventually serve and store your future website.

How do we prepare our dreams so they can function within the cold world of web programming? How do we take what we want and translate it into something usable? How do we take someone's ideas and turn them into a usable web implementation, navigating the constraints and pitfalls of project dreams, organizational bias, and unrealistic expectations?

It's called "reification," and it's the act of making something real. We're not talking code. We're not talking CMS selection. We're simply talking about helping those we work with understand the content management landscape though a common language and practical questions. Let's take the best case scenario and get it closer to a real life scenario. Let's make things real.

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"Making Things Real: Taking content strategy from abstract to functional" - MinneWebCon 2017, Minneapolis, MN - May 1, 2017

  1. 1. MAKING THINGS REAL A very professional presentation by Corey Vilhauer about content strategy and content management systems
  2. 2. THIS IS ME @mrvilhauer
  3. 3. MY STORYMY STORY
  4. 4. MY STORY
  5. 5. “Holy shit, I’m going to quit teaching and start writing for websites!” - Corey Vilhauer
 user experience architect, Blend Interactive
  6. 6. CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
  7. 7. CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM WE ARE
  8. 8. TEACHING BUT FOR ROBOTS
  9. 9. 1 2 MESSAGE & FUNCTION 1 2
  10. 10. LET’S JAM ECONO
  11. 11. EXPECTATIONS COMMUNICATION REIFICATION
  12. 12. EXPECTATIONS: OR, OUR DREAMS ARE ALREADY DEAD How do we prepare our dreams so they can function within the cold world of web programming?
  13. 13. IT’S UP TO US TO MAKE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
  14. 14. GET REAL, DUDE Communicate the Purpose The Balance of Message and Structure The Priority of the Machine Permanence vs. Flexibility
  15. 15. Article Category Ad Banner Title Short Title Meta Title Preview Title Header Image Preview Image Image Caption Image Maintenance Body Copy Category Feed Content Break Points Alternate Tags Opengraph Another Ad Banner Editorial Categories Byline Name Date
  16. 16. WE STILL KIND OF SUCK AT MAKING OUR WORK SOUND HUMAN
  17. 17. “…developers should watch for ambiguity or inconsistency that will trip up design.” - Eric Evans
 author, Domain-Driven Design
  18. 18. EXAMPLE: Newsroom News Listing News Feed News
  19. 19. When we say: Content Model We mean: A conceptual term for the collection of content types, attributes, relationships and datatypes in place to accurate describe a logical domain of content. In other words: How templates, blocks, and content are shaped and work together within the CMS.
  20. 20. COMMUNICATION: OR, MAKING SURE THE ROBOTS DON’T BEGIN REVOLTING How do we take what we want and translate it into something usable?
  21. 21. its ur web
  22. 22. WHAT CAN BE DONE SHOULD
  23. 23. YOUR NEW CMS CAN’T READ OR REASON
  24. 24. PAGES
  25. 25. PAGES COMPONENTS
  26. 26. PAGES COMPONENTS AGGREGATIONS
  27. 27. PAGES COMPONENTS AGGREGATIONSINTEGRATIONS DATA!
  28. 28. HIGHLY-STRUCTURED PAGE MORE GENERIC PAGE WITH COMPONENTS
  29. 29. PAGE COMPONENTS AGGREGATION INTEGRATION
  30. 30. Pages Home Page Section Home Page Components General Text Page Program Search Undergraduate Graduate School Program Major Directory Directory Bio Faculty Listing Story Stories Student Media Map Home Calendar Event Image Block Video Block Link List Block Program Block Directory Listing Story Media Type Event Accordion Table Carousel Promo Block Academics Block School Listing Faculty Listing Major List Course Catalog Search Results
  31. 31. STRUCTURED OR OPEN? How similar is this from page to page? What integrations do I need to use? How often does this content change? How many will we create?
  32. 32. WE NEED BETTER DOCUMENTATION
  33. 33. THE SITE MAP PRACTICALVISUAL 1.0 - About USD 1.1 - Why USD? 1.2 - Quick Facts 1.3 - Campus 1.4 - Office of the President 1.5 - Mission and History 1.6 - Art and Culture 1.7- Campus Policies 1.8 - Consumer Information 1.9 - Emergency Information 1.3.1 - Visit 1.3.2 - Map and Directions 1.3.3 - About Vermillion 1.3.4 - The Future Campus 1.3.5 - University Police 1.4.1 - Executive Leadership 1.4.2 - Strategic Plan 1.4.3 - Accreditation 1.5.1 - Past Presidents 1.7.1 - Policies 1.7.2 - New Policies & Rev. 1.7.3 - Student Rights/Respons. 1.7.4 - Student Handbook 1.6.1 - Museums and Galleries
  34. 34. THE WIREFRAMES HELPFUL NOISY
  35. 35. THE WIREFRAMES EditorialStructural instead of AssumptionsClarity instead of ExhaustiveConsolidation instead of ContentContent Types instead of HELPFUL NOISY
  36. 36. FUNCTIONAL AND TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
  37. 37. FUNCTIONAL AND TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS Publishing Guidelines - Page listing orders, category handling, archiving, news feeds, workflow, “unpublishing” Navigation Models - Navigation anchors, landing pages, hiding from navigation, page- tree based or curated Categories/Aggregations - Categorical hierarchy, rules of news feeds and calendars
  38. 38. REIFICATION: OR, A BIG COMPLICATED WORD FOR “REAL” How do we take our ideas and turn them into a usable web implementation?
  39. 39. BUT WHYYYY????
  40. 40. “There’s no API call for makeShitUpHere()” - Deane Barker
 author, Web Content Management
  41. 41. DO THE IMPOSSIBLE AND MAKE IT PERFECT FOR EVERYONE
  42. 42. STEP ONE:
  43. 43. STEP TWO:
  44. 44. BAD COP
  45. 45. STEP THREE:
  46. 46. DO THE IMPOSSIBLE AND MAKE IT PERFECT FOR EVERYONE
  47. 47. BUILD YOUR WORK INTO THE CMS
  48. 48. BUILD YOUR ACCESSIBILITY INTO THE CMS
  49. 49. FORCE A11Y CLARITY Force editors to add alt tags Automatically assign blank alt tags Raise flags for improper headings
  50. 50. BUILD YOUR SEO/SOCIAL INTO THE CMS
  51. 51. Meta Title Page Title Menu Title Content Title
  52. 52. BUILD YOUR AUTHOR EXPERIENCE INTO THE CMS
  53. 53. Meta Title Page Title Menu Title Content Title URL Slug
  54. 54. AUTHOR EXPERIENCE Add help text to uncommon fields Confirm common nomenclature Add asset guidelines to fields Make APIs and URLs easy to add Get rid of unused content types Handle editor documentation
  55. 55. LET’S JAM ECONO
  56. 56. THANK YOU for making things real For notes and the slide deck, please visit www.eatingelephant.com/makingthingsreal

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