Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Crossing disciplines	             (for fun & profit)	Working with UX, design & development
Me.                  	                  	        Elizabeth McGuane	            @emcguane	Lead content strategist at LBi Lo...
What I’m talking about	                                         Working                                        with teams	...
Working in a team
So what does it mean to be multidisciplinary ?	•  Ive never worked on a team that wasnt	•  Everyone brings their strength ...
The project: a website redesign	 •  Financial services	 •  Cross-brand	 •  6000+ content items audited
And also	•  Brand identity changing	•  New CMS coming in	•  Split between ‘digital’ and ‘brochureware’
What?
My team: Three (3) user experience experts	•  Knowledge keepers, owners of the investigative work	•  Developed and owned t...
My team: Three (3) designers (in rotation)	•  Came in late 	•  Moved around a lot	•  Working to changing design brief (cos...
My team: One (1) developer (as a consultant)	 •  Came in late 	 •  Reluctant CMS authority	 •  Reluctant liaison with clie...
Our story
That audit: what we found	•  Content was being duplicated across the site 	•  There was no central way to manage it	•  Thi...
Our task	•  Create a system that designed against duplication                                                   	•  And cr...
Our answer	•  Modular content
The issues this raised	•  Content is no longer a page 	•  Some of it is unique, some goes across a section,   some is univ...
Dealing with humans	•  Our team was fluid – people joined and left as   other tasks came up	•  We needed to communicate wit...
So: content (me) and UX (another guy) had abig idea	•  As content was repeatable, we needed to map   its instances	•  Our ...
Our big idea
Trying to find a movie to watch
Disambiguation: to remove uncertainty
So there’s this:
Oh but then:
Um.
We all need to be talking about the same thing      and be sure we’retalking about the same thing                         ...
George          George          George     Baker	        Baker	        Baker	   (Horse)	       (Jockey)	     (Owner)	When ...
What’s a topic?	•  A set of ideas that you want to say things about	  –  (So, a topic is about as meaningful as a piece of...
What’s a topic map?	•  A way of storing and relating those ideas
So simple, right?	•  Sometimes simple ideas take a really long time   to understand	•  Why does this matter?
Normal links don’t do this	•  Writing a ‘page’ in HTML, you can decide to link   any two pieces of content together, regar...
Why this idea matters in a closed system (like aset of project documents)	 •  Relationships between different ideas can be...
So here’s what we set out to do
We set up a topic map for our developingdesigns  content requirements	•  Designed to give all disciplines an equal grasp o...
What’s the site made of?
Who’s working on it?
What are our requirements?
What’s in a module?
When are we doing the work?
Reality is imperfect
Topic maps are kind of obscure
And the technology itself still needs to mature	 •  It’s difficult to explain and understand because    current literature ...
People + budgets = changing plans
This whole process was a learning curve	•  We knew what we wanted to achieve, but had   minimal technical support	•  We we...
What Ive learned
1. Documentation is about communication	•  And it should exist for a reason – to allow   different groups to communicate w...
2. Content needs to be free – and so do we	•  Our content was modular, and that meant we   needed to record its repetition...
3. We can work more elegantly	•  By collaborating in earnest, at the start of the   project when it matters most	•  By usi...
Thank you!    @emcguane
Crossing Disciplines: Content strategy, topic maps & multidisciplinary teams
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Crossing Disciplines: Content strategy, topic maps & multidisciplinary teams

1,942 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

Crossing Disciplines: Content strategy, topic maps & multidisciplinary teams

  1. 1. Crossing disciplines (for fun & profit) Working with UX, design & development
  2. 2. Me. Elizabeth McGuane @emcguane Lead content strategist at LBi London Mappedblog.com
  3. 3. What I’m talking about Working with teams Working better Classic movies Documentation Topic maps The semantic Structured Horses content web Content management
  4. 4. Working in a team
  5. 5. So what does it mean to be multidisciplinary ? •  Ive never worked on a team that wasnt •  Everyone brings their strength to the table •  Free exchange of ideas and information are good
  6. 6. The project: a website redesign •  Financial services •  Cross-brand •  6000+ content items audited
  7. 7. And also •  Brand identity changing •  New CMS coming in •  Split between ‘digital’ and ‘brochureware’
  8. 8. What?
  9. 9. My team: Three (3) user experience experts •  Knowledge keepers, owners of the investigative work •  Developed and owned the personas •  Developed the experience concept Their aim: a content-led website
  10. 10. My team: Three (3) designers (in rotation) •  Came in late •  Moved around a lot •  Working to changing design brief (cos the brand was changing) Their design concept: Open, fresh and flexible
  11. 11. My team: One (1) developer (as a consultant) •  Came in late •  Reluctant CMS authority •  Reluctant liaison with client developers •  Never really worked on a collaborative design before Their development concerns: Accessible, accessible, accessible
  12. 12. Our story
  13. 13. That audit: what we found •  Content was being duplicated across the site •  There was no central way to manage it •  This, despite there being a content management system
  14. 14. Our task •  Create a system that designed against duplication •  And create a central repository for help & support content on the site
  15. 15. Our answer •  Modular content
  16. 16. The issues this raised •  Content is no longer a page •  Some of it is unique, some goes across a section, some is universal across the site •  So how do we manage it while we re creating it? •  And how do we govern how it should be used in the future?
  17. 17. Dealing with humans •  Our team was fluid – people joined and left as other tasks came up •  We needed to communicate with other disciplines, some of whom weren’t working with us •  We wanted an easy way to explain our modular content system to them over time
  18. 18. So: content (me) and UX (another guy) had abig idea •  As content was repeatable, we needed to map its instances •  Our documentation had to encompass UX principles, design principles and content strategy •  And we were launching the project in phases, so it had to be carefully documented in a usable way
  19. 19. Our big idea
  20. 20. Trying to find a movie to watch
  21. 21. Disambiguation: to remove uncertainty
  22. 22. So there’s this:
  23. 23. Oh but then:
  24. 24. Um.
  25. 25. We all need to be talking about the same thing and be sure we’retalking about the same thing
  26. 26. George George George Baker Baker Baker (Horse) (Jockey) (Owner) When ambiguity is present, we need to organise information in a systematic, logical manner.
  27. 27. What’s a topic? •  A set of ideas that you want to say things about –  (So, a topic is about as meaningful as a piece of content )
  28. 28. What’s a topic map? •  A way of storing and relating those ideas
  29. 29. So simple, right? •  Sometimes simple ideas take a really long time to understand •  Why does this matter?
  30. 30. Normal links don’t do this •  Writing a ‘page’ in HTML, you can decide to link any two pieces of content together, regardless of topic •  Topic maps demand clear topic-based relationships – they force you to codify what you’re talking about
  31. 31. Why this idea matters in a closed system (like aset of project documents) •  Relationships between different ideas can be instantly accessed and understood •  Concepts like authors, sentences and document ownership are irrelevant •  The map can evolve over time without requiring rewriting or versioning
  32. 32. So here’s what we set out to do
  33. 33. We set up a topic map for our developingdesigns content requirements •  Designed to give all disciplines an equal grasp of the site’s design, content and functional elements •  Built in Topincs, a web-based topic maps platform
  34. 34. What’s the site made of?
  35. 35. Who’s working on it?
  36. 36. What are our requirements?
  37. 37. What’s in a module?
  38. 38. When are we doing the work?
  39. 39. Reality is imperfect
  40. 40. Topic maps are kind of obscure
  41. 41. And the technology itself still needs to mature •  It’s difficult to explain and understand because current literature and systems were created by experts for experts •  Sometimes we embrace complexity – we fear things that are too fluid and simple
  42. 42. People + budgets = changing plans
  43. 43. This whole process was a learning curve •  We knew what we wanted to achieve, but had minimal technical support •  We were dealing with a morphing project changing timelines •  So… we had to fall back on some traditional documentation to keep up
  44. 44. What Ive learned
  45. 45. 1. Documentation is about communication •  And it should exist for a reason – to allow different groups to communicate without confusion •  Cross-discipline documents are like the semantic web – they need to codify information so that it makes sense in any context •  No document in the history of forever has achieved this
  46. 46. 2. Content needs to be free – and so do we •  Our content was modular, and that meant we needed to record its repetition and variants •  A spreadsheet is not the best solution for this (or for a lot of things) •  We could use a system like this to free ourselves from Word-based content production
  47. 47. 3. We can work more elegantly •  By collaborating in earnest, at the start of the project when it matters most •  By using the tools available to us to distribute information, not create documentation-as- deliverable •  By embracing other disciplines’ skills and focus, and sharing our own
  48. 48. Thank you! @emcguane

×