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Ultimate qualities of a content strategist and designer

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Karina Smith and Elle Geraghty interviewed 12 content strategists and designers from around the world to try to find common human skills or qualities of their success.

Published in: Marketing, Design

Ultimate qualities of a content strategist and designer

  1. Elle Geraghty @ellengeraghty THE ULTIMATE QUALITIES
 OF A CONTENT STRATEGIST 
 & DESIGNER Karina Smith @kreategirl
  2. 1. Hypothesis 2. Interview findings - qualities 3. How to self assess and improve 4. Activities - thinking caps required :) Talk structure
  3. INTRODUCING OUR HYPOTHESIS HUMAN SKILLS TECHNICAL SKILLS @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  4. HUMAN SKILLS We believe they are skills that are 
 fundamental to the work that these people do, 
 the skills that allow them to better understand 
 and thrive in a human-centred world. HUMAN SKILLS TECHNICAL SKILLS @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  5. Genevieve Bell Corporate Sensing & Insights Intel Corporation Kristina Halvorson Content Strategy Consultant & author Brain Traffic Ayse Birsel Product Designer (Herman Miller) & Founder Birsel + Seck Jay Rogers Senior Designer Atlassian Sara Wachter-Boettcher Content Strategy 
 Consultant & author A List Apart Dick Buchanan Professor of Design Weatherhead School of Management Indi Young Consultant Designer and author Janna DeVylder Principal Meld Studios Jonathan Colman Content Strategist Facebook Steve Portigal Principal (research) Portigal Consulting Alvaro Marquez Head of Service Design ABC Dan Brown Information Architect and Principal, author EightShapes The interviewees
  6. COMMUNITY Find really great people to inspire, support, challenge 
 and give back to the community @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  7. CURIOSITY An active desire, compulsion almost, to learn more, to ask questions, to read and to explore and observe @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  8. ACTION A whole bunch of qualities that helped our interview participants move forward and fight inertia @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  9. HONESTY The ability to both see and talk about what is really going on
  10. Community • Inspired by people • Give back • Healthy competition • Coach and mentor • Self prioritise Curiosity • Love to learn • Love problem solving • Challenge assumptions • Listen actively • Curiosity about people Action • Gumption • Confidence from experience • Experiment • Deal with adversity • Pragmatism Honesty • Be open and honest • Self reflect • Know strengths and weaknesses • Bravery • Feedback • Self validation @ellengeraghty @kreategirl THE QUALITIES
  11. ACTIVITY Community • Inspired by people • Give back • Healthy competition • Coach and mentor • Self prioritise Curiosity • Love to learn • Love problem solving • Challenge assumptions • Listen actively • Curiosity about people Action • Gumption • Confidence from experience • Experiment • Deal with adversity • Pragmatism Honesty • Be open and honest • Self reflect • Know strengths and weaknesses • Bravery • Feedback • Self validation Pick two qualities that resonate: • One you have nailed • One you want to get better at @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  12. What does good look like? Where should I be? How am I doing? How do I get better at this? @ellengeraghty @kreategirl ASSESS AND IMPROVE
  13. OTHERS Seek feedback from and compare yourself with YOURSELF Observe and be honest with @ellengeraghty @kreategirl ASSESS WHERE YOU’re at
  14. Jonathan Colman Sara wachter-boettcher JANNA DEVYLDER Give back Be open and honest Self reflect Self reflect Experiment Listen actively Experiment Gumption Coach and mentor @ellengeraghty @kreategirl MAP of SKILLS
  15. @ellengeraghty @kreategirl COMM UNITY CURIO SITY ACTI ON HONE STY Coachandmentor Give back Challenge assum ption s Listenactively Gumption Experiment Be open & honest Selfreflect DEVELOPMENT WHEEL
  16. It’s not about who you want to be, it’s about how you want to be @ellengeraghty @kreategirl LEARNING HUMAN SKILLS
  17. Consume • Books • Video • Observation • Podcasts Instruction • Lectures • Courses • Instructions Feedback 
 & stories • Hire a mentor • Work with a coach • Talk with an expert Just do it • Mimic • Copying • Active trial • Prototype • Role play • Practice • Teach Gestating • Writing • Talking • Make a model • Visualising CURIOSITY ACTION @ellengeraghty @kreategirl LEARNING STYLE
  18. WHY? CONTEXT ENGAGE All SENSES PRACTICE
 PERSISTENCE @ellengeraghty @kreategirl BEYOND LEARNING STYLES
  19. Pick one of the qualities you chose earlier. What is one thing you can do to improve it? ACTIVITY Consume • Books • Video • Observation • Podcasts Instruction • Lectures • Courses • Instructions Feedback 
 & stories • Hire a mentor • Get a coach • Meet an expert Just do it • Mimic • Copying • Active trial • Prototype • Role play • Practice • Teach Gestating • Writing • Talking • Make a model • Visualising @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  20. @ellengeraghty @kreategirl Elle Geraghty @ellengeraghty Karina Smith @kreategirl BE AN ADVOCATE FOR HUMAN SKILLS Human skills are essential for designers and content strategists. Talk about them more, assess your own skills, get better at them and help others get better too
  21. Design Attitude - Kamil Michlewski Designing Together - Dan Brown Maximize Your Potential - Edited by Jocelyn K. Glei / Forward by Scott Belsky Powers of Two: How Relationships Drive Creativity - Joshua Wolf Shenk Practical Empathy - Indi Young Strength Finders - Tom Rath The School of Life - http://www.theschooloflife.com/ What They Didn't Teach You In Design School - Phil Cleaver Elle’s blog http://www.ellegeraghty.com/blog/human-skills-for-content-strategy RESOURCES @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  22. “Successful design 
 projects require effective collaboration and healthy conflict” Dan Brown Information Architect and Principal, author EightShapes @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  23. "People make choices about how they are going to be in the world, they just don't often do it consciously" Genevieve Bell Corporate Sensing & Insights Intel Corporation @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  24. "Constructive confidence is a byproduct of mastery" Jay Rogers Senior Designer Atlassian @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  25. "Be your own ethnographer - understand the context" Janna DeVylder Principal Meld Studios @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  26. “You can always establish a new floor, elevate yourself higher." Steve Portigal Principal (research) Portigal Consulting @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  27. "Push to be invited to the table" Sara wachter-boettcher Content Strategy 
 Consultant & author A List Apart @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  28. "Philosophy is a central issue for me" Dick Buchanan Professor of Design Weatherhead School of @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  29. "Design is a way of thinking about the world" Indi Young Consultant Designer and author @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  30. "My life is my biggest design project" Ayse Birsel Product Designer (Herman Miller) & Founder Birsel + Seck @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  31. "Be comfortable joining on a journey with an uncertain ending" Jonathan Colman Content Strategist Facebook @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  32. "Shed your skin, don't get caught up in who you thought you were" Alvaro Marquez Head of Service Design ABC @ellengeraghty @kreategirl
  33. “We need to be clear about our goals and user needs, then shape our activities to meet them. Don’t be blinded by the bright and shiny trends” Kristina Halvorson Content Strategy Consultant & author Brain Traffic @ellengeraghty @kreategirl

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