Content-driven Websites: Why putting content first matters


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Approaching content from a print perspective prevents us from effectively reusing content across multiple channels and devices. Following a content-as-data approach enables flexibility, reuse, customer satisfaction.

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  • Our topic may be new to some of you. If it is, our goal is to plant seeds tonight. If it isn’t, we hope you can participate by explaining how you have put content-first in your strategy.\n\nMultiple devices and channels add to the complexities of what all of us do. They will only increase. How can we work to give customers what they want and bring efficiencies to our teams? That’s what we’ll be talking through tonight.\n\nBios here -\nRuth:\nGayle:\n
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  • What about you?\ndevelopers/designers\nPMs\ncontent writer\n
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  • We have to not only get past print first, but also desktop first, mobile first, responsive first and focus on how to communicate to the audience most effectively.\n\nFreeing content from formatting and presentation may actually mean you’re adding more structure. When you need to make author, date, headline, title, media into bits of meaningful information that can be pushed to multiple devices, you need to have a content-first strategy.\n\nWe no longer are thinking about documents or pages, we’re thinking about pieces of information. \n
  • One content change means you fix it in multiple places.\n\nEndless search and replace scenarios. Opportunity for error. Opportunity to make short-term decisions just to get done on time (e.g., hard coding). \n
  • Regardless of the methodology your team uses, collaboration is essential for keeping the team connected. You’re not paving the way alone. Your team member support you and you support them. Collaborative teams are more creative and efficient.\n\nIterations and rework are not the same, by the way. Iterations mean you’ve thought about the approach (design), create, evaluate, and recreate. Rework means you go back to something you thought was complete. How many people like rework? Not many? \n\nResponding: Every time a new product or issue comes up, an organization has to respond somehow. If you set a strategic approach to adaptation, you’re set up to handle threats and opportunities more quickly. If you don’t have a strategic approach, you have to start from the beginning and it takes time to get the wheels moving. Organizations who are set up with a content-first approach can adapt to newness (new products, new devices, new channels) more quickly.\n\nWhen we reduce dis-satisfiers, the team works better, because individuals are happier. Happy teams are more productive and creative.\n\nBut it really boils down to the customer. The people we’re serving. WIIF YOU? Doing what you do for a reason - for a great customer experience - and doing it well. \n\n
  • Right team make up - who? \nExample: Story about tabbed pages requirements not being evident early on. Make sure this connects back to the make up of the team and, ultimately, the customer. \n\nReducing silos is important, because silos are risky.\n
  • FSA example. One -> multiple pages. Go to next slide.\n
  • FSA example: one ->multiple pages\n[Tie this back to the need for a strategic approach to handling the content.]\n\n\n\n\n
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  • Go to McGrane’s slides here.\n\nTranslation costs can be reduced.\n\nUse Boston Globe example as group.\n\n
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  • Content-driven Websites: Why putting content first matters

    1. 1. Content-driven WebsitesWhy putting content first matters MN Web Design Professionals Meetup Sept. 17, 2012
    2. 2. Ruth Torphy• Web Content Administrator at Portico Benefit Services • Organize and maintain content for multiple websites • Work closely with development team when building functionality • Act as liaison between content editors and developers• Content Management Systems: Sitecore, DotNetNuke and Dreamweaver
    3. 3. Gayle Haugen Technical Intranet Writing - Internet online helpTechnical ContentWriting - Strategy paper Content
    4. 4. ObjectiveFor you to leave with this thought:In order for customers to get informationthat’s meaningful to them (what, when, how)we must start with a content first approach.
    5. 5. Content-first defined “‘Content first’ means structuring content for the audience, not the device, and loosening its formatting and presentation chains to make it flexible for other platforms.”Source: Mark Sherbin, Content Marketing Institute, 8/24/12
    6. 6. Frustrations of theplatform-first approach• Duplication is king • Recode or rewrite for each use, device, presentation• Boring, tedious• Error prone• Causes delays• Expensive
    7. 7. WIIFM?• Greater opportunity for collaboration• Doing it RIGHT the first time• Respond more quickly to threats and opportunities• Happier team• Better customer experience
    8. 8. Collaborating about strategy is essential• Right team make up - who? • Content authors, developers, BA, IA, UX, PM • Build the content architecture together• Reduce silos of information and skills
    9. 9. Do it RIGHT the first time• Reduce rework because of content changes
    10. 10. ExampleOriginal plan Revised plan Title Title Heading Heading Lorem ipsum Lorem ipsum dolor sit dolor sit amet, amet, consectetur ... consectetur ... Here lies trouble
    11. 11. Do it RIGHT the first time• Reduce rework because of content changes• Reduce rework for multiple platforms • New devices require new rules, not architectural redesign• Authors write within a planned structure • Writers adopt a format-free mental model • Reduce or eliminate ad hoc styles; no content blobs
    12. 12. Faster response• COPE - Create Once, Publish Everywhere • NPR vs. Condé Nast example• Write Once, Publish Everywhere• Customization becomes do-able quickly• REUSE is the new king!
    13. 13. Happier team• Writers focus on the message and don’t fight the formatting• Multiple device tedium reduced• Rethinking content for each device is reduced• Authors writing chunks in structure they helped create• Architecture enforces predictable work packages for developersGreater quality and speed creates greater customer value, and that makes for a happier team.
    14. 14. Better customer experience• Predictability• Consistency in all channels• Currency and relevancy• Discoverable content supports searching“What I want, when I want it, how I want it.”
    15. 15. People to follow• Scott Abel • Lee Odden• Shelley Bowen • Melissa Rach• Cleve Gibbon • Ann Rockley• Kristina Halvorson • Louis Rosenfeld• Erin Kissane • Brad Shorr• Ahava Leibtag • Jared Spool• Karen McGrane • Sara Wachter-Boettcher• Rachel Lovinger
    16. 16. Books• Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy, by Ann Rockley and Charles Cooper• Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, by Louis Rosenfeld• Content Strategy for the Web, by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach• The Elements of Content Strategy, by Erin Kissane• Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing, by Lee Odden
    17. 17. Blogs• 5 by 5: Content Talks• A List Apart• Boxes and Arrows• Brain Traffic• Content Marketing Institute• PYBOP: Exceptional Web Content• Sara Wachter-Boettcher• Scatter / Gather
    18. 18. Slideshows• A Content Strategy Roadmap, by Kristina Halvorson• Adapting Ourselves to Adaptive Content, by Karen McGrane• Architectures for Adaptive Content, by Cleve Gibbon• Content Strategy: Content is King!, by Karen McGrane• Defining Content Architecture, by Cleve Gibbon• Developing Successful Content Design Solutions, by Karen McGrane• NPR’s API: Create Once Publish Everywhere, by Zach Brand
    19. 19. Thank