Content Analysis: Methods and Mentoring

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Presented at the SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006. Understanding the content on your website by doing a content analysis.

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Content Analysis: Methods and Mentoring

  1. 1. Content Analysis: Methods and Mentoring By Chiara Fox SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 What Is “Content Analysis”? The process of assessing the nature of the content on a given web site. SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 2
  2. 2. What is content? • Words • Services • Images • Physical items • Video • Signage • Tools or applications SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 3 Content Analysis Is About Patterns SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 4
  3. 3. And Relationships Why Do a Content Analysis? • You have to know what you have before you start doing something with it. • Often done at the beginning of: • A site migration to a new platform or content management system (CMS) • A re-architecture project • The task analysis and mental model process. SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 6
  4. 4. What Are the Parts? • Content analysis involves a series of deliverables. • Content Inventory • Content Audit • Content Map SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 7 The Content Inventory SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 8
  5. 5. The Content Inventory A content inventory is a detailed, meticulous accounting of all items on the site. SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 9 Data to Capture in a Content Inventory • Content owner • Person responsible for migration/updating page • Freeze status • ROT status • Current location in site • New location in site • New file names/URL changes SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 10
  6. 6. An Example of a Content Inventory SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 11 Another Example of a Content Inventory SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 12
  7. 7. SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 13 What’s the interesting difference? SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 14
  8. 8. Ask yourself... • How is the document used? • What is its purpose? • What expectations will people bring to it? • What can someone do with it? SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 15 You know what you’ll get when you see links to... • • • • • • SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 16
  9. 9. The Content Audit SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 17
  10. 10. How Big of a Sample To Take? Total Minutes for Sampling / 1080 minutes / 3 minutes per item / 3 minutes per item / 2 passes over item / 2 passes over item / total documents = 5200 documents = % of site sampled 3.5% of site It doesn’t take a lot of content to get a feel for what is on the site. SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 19 How to Record Sampled Items • Two methods for capturing the sampled content. SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 20
  11. 11. Example of a Content Audit SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006
  12. 12. Example of a Content Audit, II SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 The Content Map SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 26
  13. 13. Map Your Content Audit SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 27 So What Gets Mapped? • Start with the spreadsheet • Not formats (e.g., html, pdf, jpg) • Generalize the pages by identifying the content types (content genres) that you have SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 28
  14. 14. Content Map for Task Analysis SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 29
  15. 15. So, Where Does the Analysis Happen? • We’ve talked a lot about capturing data about a site, and how to record what we’ve found. SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 32
  16. 16. What to Look for During Analysis • Remember, it’s about: Patterns Relationships SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 33 Groupings and Connections • The patterns and relationships will suggest groupings for the different content types. • Broad groupings probably already exist in the current site structure. • Look for a finer level of groupings and connections. SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 34
  17. 17. Who Should Do the Content Analysis? SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 35 Those Who Can’t Do Teach SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 36
  18. 18. The Content Audit Personality • Close attention to detail • Deep understanding of & comfortable with the web • Understanding of the project & how the content audit will be used • Ability to think abstractly • A member of the core web team SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 37 Successful Mentoring • Location doesn’t matter; touch points do • Lots of examples • Keep work in context • Work together to “dial in” granularity SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 38
  19. 19. Be Prepared If Things Don’t Go Well • Close enough is often good enough. • The map is often more important than the spreadsheet. • This is hard work - be understanding and supportive. SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 39 SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 40
  20. 20. Thank You! Questions? Comments? Chiara Fox: chiara@adaptivepath.com SLA NorthWest Regional Conference 2006 41

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