UX and Content : It's a Marriage, Not a Date — from Content Rising 2015
Slides from a talk by Scott Ludwig of Skyword and Ian Fitzpatrick of Almighty on the relationship between content strategy and user experience design, and ways in which brand teams can consider the experience that their content delivers.
Content is consumed, but mostly
ignored, by people — and people are
messy and optimize against their will.
So how do we get people to care about
What if we centered our content
strategy on the needs, lives and loves
of the people we’re targeting helping?
Seven methods for re-orienting your
content delivery around people:
Understand what you’re
To ask for it is inherently to ask not only that I
pay attention to you, but that I not pay
attention to something else — something
that’s probably not competing with us on a
Things that add to,
improve the things
that I love
Things that help
me get back to
doing the things
that I love
Things that I
Things I don’t (really) care about
Be enormously ________.
Be enormously useful. Be enormously
entertaining. Be enormously interesting, or
If you can’t tell me why I should stop doing
___________ so that I can ____________,
then why in the world would I?
UNICORNSI’LL CARE WHEN IT COMES TO ME
I’LL CARE WHEN I
Not consumers, people.
People watch 10 minutes of electronic
advertising per day. That’s it.
If what I give you to read or watch is great,
then I have your attention without you even
Make it clear what you’re
Are you asking me to do something with the
content, or are you asking me to do
something to the content? They’re not the
Give me a call to action.
Letting me know that you view me as
someone who can do more than passively
consume and share enhances the dynamic of
This is not a call to action.
This is a button set.
A call to action is deliberate.
What does this article mean for you, in your
world? Why should you care?
Design for context, not for
Think about responsive not just as adapting
for screen size, but about the fact that a
choice to access content from a mobile device
tells you something about who I am (and
what I’m doing).
Define mobile use cases
Am I trying to solve a problem on-the-fly? Is
this really the time to ask me to become BFFs
with your brand? Are you really going to make
me opt-in and sign-up, right here, right now?
Do you really expect me to foot the bill for
your bandwidth-hogging brand spam?
Mobile is not a size.
Responsive design is not a mobile experience.
You need to leverage context - all the
elements that surround someone at that exact
moment in time.
Give conversation a
If your content is designed to spread socially,
what happens as it does?
Define the social currency
Am I sharing it because it helps me, because it
helps others, or because you’re going to help
me or others?
There are plenty of other things worth sharing
if you can’t give me a good reason.
Care about (and learn from)
When people consume, comment and share,
that’s a reason to produce more.
Your pre-planned 3, 6 or 12 month editorial
Begin with a (real) life and
Only in marketing do we decide that
accosting someone with a story without
regard to where they’re coming from or where
they’re headed is a pathway to a relationship.
Map a mini journey.
You should know enough about people to plot
out how they get to your content, how they’ll
consume it, and what they’ll likely do next.
If you don’t, then how can you create
compelling content for them?
DESKTOP USER ENTERING THROUGH
THE HOME PAGE
PAGES OF CONTENT
FALLS IN LOVE WITH
THE CONTENT &
SHARES IT WITH HER
MOBILE USER ENTERS THROUGH
VIEWS A FINITE # OF
MAKES NOTE OF YOUR
CREDITS YOU IF IT
Acknowledge that people
aren’t always ready to “buy”.
Give them what they want, where they want
it, when they want it. Then they might “buy.”
Plan for personalization
Clearly articulate how you’re personalizing my
content experience, what you’re using to
deliver it, and how it benefits me.
Otherwise, don’t do it at all.
Show me that you know
Use my network data, but show your work.
Use my past behaviors, but illustrate the
Lazy brands are the Facebook friends who
only write me on my birthday.
This is not personalization.
I am not my network.
Past behaviors are not the
same as current need.
People do lots of things online that are not for
themselves. It’s true.
Personalization can be made simple.
Provide solutions, not
Help people run a 10k, rollover a 401k, or find
a car that keeps their kids safe and lets them
hug the turn. Help them do something great,
and they’ll credit you for it.
If your content doesn’t ladder up to a solution,
then they may visit it — they might even share
it — but they won’t care about it.#ContentRising
Show me where this content fits into
something larger that I care about.Give me a
pathway back to the beginning so I can catch
up. If I need to gear up, give me a packing list.
Invest in my success, not just my attention.
Make people’s lives better.
If you want to emotionally connect with a
person, make their life better.
If you want to get a person to take action,
give them something that will make their life
1. Understand what you’re interrupting
2. Make it clear what you’re asking for
3. Design for context, not display
4. Give conversation a purpose
5. Begin with a (real) life and work backward
6. Plan for personalization
7. Provide solutions, not content
brand as publisher
brand as solutions provider