Content strategy-for-help-and-support-portals

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Attented this nice session in the STC conf at New Delhi, 2010. Great presentation to learn about the relationship between content strategy and technical writing. Kudos to the presenter for doing a good job. More STC presentations are at http://www.stc-india.org/12th-stc-india-annual-conference-presentations-3

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Content strategy-for-help-and-support-portals

  1. 1. Content Strategy for Help and Support PortalsRajlakshmi D. Borthakur© 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 1
  2. 2. What are we going to talk about today?• Part I – Defining Content Strategy• Part II – Connecting Content Strategy with Technical Communication• Part III – Associating Content Strategy with Help and Support Portals• Part IV – Exploring the Four Phases of Content Strategy• Part V – Reiterating the Main Points © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 2
  3. 3. Part IDefining Content Strategy© 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 3
  4. 4. “Web content is the meat in thesandwich, not the icing on thecake.”Karen Mcgrane http://interactions.acm.org/content/?p=1370 © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 4 Image Source: http://www.lifesambrosia.com/2009/04/cajun-chicken-sandwiches-recipe.html
  5. 5. What is Content Strategy?“Content Strategy is the practice ofplanning, for the creation, delivery, and thegovernance of useful, usable content.” Kristina Halverson Image Source: http://www.bolo2010.com/speakers.html © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 5
  6. 6. What is the scope of Content Strategy? Image Source: http://idratherbewriting.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/contentstrategyquestions_big.png © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 6
  7. 7. How does Content Strategy make a difference to UXD?• Content Strategy ensures: ― a meaningful user experience ― better search results ― optimal design ― superior quality of content ― regular and accurate updates ― feedback monitoring ―quick corrective actions © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 7
  8. 8. Part IIConnecting Technical Communication with Content Strategy© 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 8
  9. 9. Is there a relationship between Content Strategy and TCOM?* *TCOM = Technical Communication Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JK-FlipflopComic-Yes.svg © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 9
  10. 10. What is the relevance of Content Strategy in TCOM?• Content Strategy can be applied to the planning and the delivery of technical information• Content Strategy can be used to enhance the way users interact with technical information• Technical Communication can be regarded as a subset of Content Strategy in the context of a Help and Support portal Many Content Strategists have a background in Technical Communication © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 10
  11. 11. What are the similarities between Content Strategy and TCOM?• Both: – Aim at transmitting accurate, relevant, and meaningful information to users – Enable users to perform an action or make an appropriate decision – Involve extensive user research – Involve a structured approach to creating and managing content – Demand familiarity with publishing and editorial processes – Emphasize on standards © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 11
  12. 12. What’s the background of Content Strategists?• Library and information sciences • Journalism• Computer sciences • Professional editors and writers• Creative and performing arts • Communication• Technical writing and • Liberal arts communication • Management consulting• Advertising and marketing• Rhetoric and composition http://knol.google.com/k/content-strategy#Education_and_Professional_Background © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 12
  13. 13. Part IIIAssociating Content Strategy with Help and Support Portals© 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 13
  14. 14. “Online, we don’t see or readabout your brand. We use it.” Kristina Halvorson © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 14 Image Source: http://www.busmanagement.com/media/media-news/infographics/brand-value.png
  15. 15. What is a Help and Support portal?A Help and Support portal enables users of products and services to connectwith product owners and service providers instantly. Image Source: http://www.apple.com/support/ Image Source: http://support.microsoft.com/ © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 15
  16. 16. What does a Help and Support Portal contain?• Comprehensive knowledge base that includes various types of technical documents• Interactive features like live chat, support forums, support blogs, “Ask & Answer” forums, customized alerts, etc• Downloads, patches, and upgrades• Support-related news, tips, and tricks © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 16
  17. 17. Why is a Help and Support Portal important?• Provides a firsthand experience of a brand, product, or service• Enables users to connect with a brand instantly• Enables organizations to track the popularity of their brands• Enables organizations to establish brand credibility © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 17
  18. 18. How can a Help and Support portal establish brand credibility? Source:P. Blackshaw, Satisfi ed Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000 (Doubleday, 2008) © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 18
  19. 19. Who are the main stakeholders of a Help and Support portal? Support Team Engineering Team Pushes information Stakeholders Product Consumes Management Team information Marketing Team Technical Communication Team User Image Source: http://support.microsoft.com/ © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 19
  20. 20. Part IVExploring the Four Phases of Content Strategy© 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 20
  21. 21. What are the phases involved in Content Strategy? 1 2 3 4 Planning Designing Implementing Enhancing content content recommendations quality © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 21
  22. 22. 1 2 3 4What are the steps involved in planning content?1. Identify the: • Main purpose for launching the portal • Goals that your organization wants to meet • Gaps and challenges that your organization wants to address • Approaches that will help you to achieve the above mentioned points2. Understand the: • Needs of the users and the stakeholders • Budget, technology, and resource constraints3. Create high level action plans4. Review and update the strategy © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 22
  23. 23. Example - What are the steps involved in planning content?• Main purpose of the portal: ― To enable users to connect with the brand/product meaningfully• Identify gaps: • Identify goals: ― Addressing the needs of different types and levels of users ― To respond to support-related queries ― Communicating persuasively with users across geographies timely and efficiently ― Publishing fresh content regularly ― To enhance the quality of technical ― Coordinating between internal stakeholders information Image Source: http://support.microsoft.com/ © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 23
  24. 24. 1 2 3 4What are some of the tools and methods used in planning? Brainstorming and Discussions with Stakeholders Research Data Understanding of Corporate Goals, Vision, and Mission © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 24
  25. 25. 1 2 3 4What are the steps involved in designing content?1. Study the: • High level requirements defined during the planning phase • Specific content needs of users based on geography, profiles, usage scenarios, and environments • New content requirements vis-à-vis existing content2. Identify the specifics of: • Enterprise social needs • Internationalization/localization needs, • Accessibility needs • Compliance needs • Feasibility in terms of technology, content, design, other special needs, and governance3. Provide a list of recommended: • Content • Features © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 25
  26. 26. 1 2 3 4What are the steps involved in designing content? (continued)4. Determine the high level Information Architecture (IA)5. Recommend: • Content Matrix • To-be processes • Standards • Page flows • Team structure • Content governance model • Workflows • Tone of voice • Style guidelines • Tools • Templates6. Create samples © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 26
  27. 27. Example- What are the steps involved in designing content? Content Inventory Survey Help and Kate “There are layers upon layers of stuff; things II use daily are mixed in with things that II never use” “There are layers upon layers of stuff; things use daily are mixed in with things that never use” 5 5 Support Portal 4 4 3 3 Top 3 Activities 2 2 1 1 e ity ss n d g d ge or y h r c ge s ns g s ikis gin mail Boo k ive t ne io Age: 29 le io us tiv at ow ow le sit ea Pa cat W sa e s Dr Tr duc ive aliz Job role: Individual Contributor (43%) Kn po t S tal li & es es ed & o ct n n re ne e n pp gs t M dr ar e Pr t r a rso Has been with company for 7 years ry gy K e t ra m &A Blo tan Ad Sh nc At st dg In art ols de Pe Believes in self service du nolo wle p o In s nfi In ch no De o T Co Shopping with friends, travelling to Te K t ss new destinations, movie buff ce Knowledge Ac Activities Themes Primary Use Goals Enablers Pain points •Sharing project documents •Improve communication with •Organized and relevant •Relevant information is NOT available •Completing time and status reports fellow team members information •Email box is always full with project •Department / location information •Access to knowledge related to •Better access to training documents lookup my work tasks materials and internal job postings •Limited or inaccurate departmental / •Stay current on Organizational •Understanding how my role fits •Shared file space location information happenings into the organization •Self-service •Company news is not up to date •Developing my career goals Information Architecture Persona Image Source: http://support.microsoft.com/ © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 27
  28. 28. 1 2 3 4What are some of the tools and methods used in designing content? Templates (user profile, scenarios, content inventory, content evaluation, content matrix, processes, etc) Research Data IT tools (for card sorting, analytics, social media, etc) © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 28
  29. 29. 1 2 3 4What are the steps involved in implementation?1. Break down Phase 2 into smaller projects2. Scope, plan resources, and estimate time3. Form teams4. Create recommended artifacts5. Create recommended content6. Publish content © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 29
  30. 30. Example - What are the steps involved in implementation? Image Source: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/ © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 30
  31. 31. 1 2 3 4What are some of the tools and methods used in implementation? Templates Style Guides and Checklists IT Tools (CMS, image editing, project management, etc) © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 31
  32. 32. 1 2 3 4What are the steps involved in enhancement?1. Monitor users’ interaction with the portal2. Gather feedback3. Take corrective measures4. Implement changes © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 32
  33. 33. Example - What are the steps involved in enhancement? http://www.kampyle.com/website-feedback-analytics-features#flexible_feedback © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 33
  34. 34. 1 2 3 4What are some of the tools and methods used in enhancement? Frequent study of Users’ behavior Feedback form IT tools (analytics, widgets, etc) © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 34
  35. 35. Part VReiterating the Main Points© 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 35
  36. 36. What did we learn today?• Content Strategy is an integral part of the UXD process• The core of Content Strategy lies in planning for content• The principles of Content Strategy can be used to enhance the overall quality of Technical Communication deliverables• Content Strategy can be considered as an alternate career option by technical writers © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 36
  37. 37. Thank You!Connect with me:Linkedin: Raji BorthakurEmail: rajiborthakur@gmail.com © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited © 2010 Infosys Technologies Limited 37

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