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Making Meaning in Content and Design (Bloomstein at HOW)

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How do you rally stakeholders around a unified user experience that’s consistent across design and content? That’s the challenge of a modern designer. Fortunately, content strategy is a powerful ally in that challenge. Amid constrained budgets, tight timelines, and unlimited interaction expectations, can you really add another tool to your toolkit? Can you afford to focus on content too? Yes—and you can’t afford to “let the client worry about it” any longer. We’ll discuss the value content strategy can add to your work and how it can help you streamline your process to save time and keep stakeholders happy. Then, we’ll discuss how to prioritize communication goals and develop a message architecture with a hands-on exercise—ideal whether you’re designing for the web, a mobile app, social media, or an offline experience. Finally, you’ll learn how to create consistency between copy, channels, and the typography and imagery you develop for those channels. There’s meaning in consistency, and you’ll explore how to master it in content and design.

Presented at HOW Interactive Design Conference, #HIDC, November 6, 2013, in Chicago.

Published in: Technology, News & Politics

Making Meaning in Content and Design (Bloomstein at HOW)

  1. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 1 © 2013© 2013 MAKING MEANING IN CONTENT AND DESIGN MAKING MEANING IN CONTENT AND DESIGN Margot Bloomstein HOW Interactive Design Conference 110613 @mbloomstein #HIDC
  2. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 3 © 2013
  3. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 4 © 2013 What is content strategy? Planning for the creation, aggregation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, and appropriate content in an experience.
  4. You need this.
  5. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 6 © 2013 © narniafans.com
  6. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 7 © 2013 ©Skillset.org
  7. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 8 © 2013 Titles < Roles < Skills
  8. © The Creative Group
  9. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 11 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  10. Deliverables are merely punctuation in the conversation. Don’t let them replace the conversation.
  11. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 13 © 2013 Why content strategy?
  12. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 14 © 2013 Why content strategy? Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way.
  13. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 15 © 2013 Why content strategy? Launch on time
  14. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 16 © 2013 Why content strategy? Stay within budget
  15. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 17 © 2013 Why content strategy? Maintain a consistent user experience visually and verbally
  16. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 18 © 2013 Why content strategy? Maintain a consistent user experience visually and verbally, across channels
  17. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 19 © 2013 Why content strategy? Maintain a consistent user experience visually and verbally, across channels, among platforms and devices
  18. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 20 © 2013 Why content strategy? Without the team killing each other over differences in opinion and changing goals
  19. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 21 © 2013 Establish the message architecture.THIS CAN HAPPEN.
  20. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 22 © 2013 More like Apple.
  21. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 23 © 2013
  22. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 24 © 2013 More like Apple’s “message architecture” Confident but approachable; accessible Simple Minimal detail Streamlined and anticipatory Inviting, friendly Supportive but not fawning
  23. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 25 © 2013 Message architecture Cheeky • Witty and fun • Young without being childish Customer oriented and responsive • Approachable, friendly • Championing and empowering Helpful • Accessible
  24. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 26 © 2013
  25. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 27 © 2013 From: Little MOO | Print Robot <noreply@moo.com> Subject: MOO | Order 0629312615 | Confirmed Hello I'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to you. Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact customer services (who are real people!) Thanks, Little MOO, Print Robot
  26. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 28 © 2013 Message architecture… Cheeky Customer oriented and responsive Helpful
  27. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 29 © 2013 Versus brand values?
  28. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 30 © 2013 Versus a mission or vision? “Great design for everyone” Vision and direction are different. This inspires, but isn’t tactical.
  29. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 31 © 2013
  30. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 32 © 2013 Gracious • Welcoming, anticipatory service Elite and premium • Selective membership • “Curated” experiences Traditional • Enduring heritage • Preserving appreciation for quality Message architecture?
  31. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 33 © 2013
  32. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 34 © 2013 First things first. What do you need to communicate?
  33. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 35 © 2013 First things first. start blogging, audit the content, consolidate site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate reviews, relaunch the site, develop new brand guidelines, switch to a new CMS, or go “mobile first”…
  34. If you don’t know what you need to communicate, how will you know if you succeed?
  35. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 37 © 2013 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  36. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 38 © 2013 A little thing with big impact.
  37. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 39 © 2013 A little thing with big impact. How could we prove this is a car not like anything else out there? It’s a small car, but it’s premium. You get a Porsche 911 ride for a fifth of the cost. It’s got history… but in Europe. You need to give people content to give them history.”
  38. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 40 © 2013 A little thing with big impact.
  39. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 41 © 2013 Message architecture Premium technology • Assertive; ready to perform as a driver’s car • Proactive and supportive of spontaneity Classic design • Experienced and savvy Cheekiness • Smart, “punny,” hip • Fun, gleeful
  40. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 42 © 2013
  41. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 43 © 2013
  42. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 44 © 2013
  43. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 45 © 2013
  44. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 46 © 2013 If these emails are boring you and you don’t mind missing out on all the lip-smackin’ stuff we’ll be sending in the future, simply send a message to owner- unsubscribe@insiders.miniusa.com and include “Unsubscribe” and your favorite fruit in the subject field.
  45. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 47 © 2013 Message architecture drives the user experience
  46. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 48 © 2013 …in content
  47. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 49 © 2013 …and in design
  48. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 50 © 2013 …and in the choice of features and content types
  49. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 51 © 2013 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  50. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 52 © 2013 What’s a message architecture? Concrete, shared terminology, not abstract concepts.
  51. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 53 © 2013 Welcoming, but elite. Selective?
  52. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 54 © 2013 Traditional, but edgy.
  53. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 55 © 2013 ©Warby Parker
  54. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 56 © 2013 Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority.
  55. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 57 © 2013 Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority.
  56. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 58 © 2013
  57. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 59 © 2013 How? • Engage in a tangible, hands-on way • Encourage debate and conversation • Identify points of disagreement • Prevent seagulling • Force prioritization • Encourage ownership & investment
  58. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 60 © 2013 Why do this? Words are cheaper than comps.
  59. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 61 © 2013 Why do this? Refine the concept, rather than confirm the purpose.
  60. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 62 © 2013 Why do this? Promote new content types to manifest the message architecture—not just because they’re trendy or feasible.
  61. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 63 © 2013 Why do this? Gain standards by which to conduct a qualitative audit. (What is “good” anyway?)
  62. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 64 © 2013© Lucas Films
  63. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 65 © 2013 What will you learn? • What do we have? • What are the patterns, elements, & types? • Is it any good? • What do we need to update? • What do we need to translate? • Where do we need more?
  64. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 66 © 2013 Where can you go? • Apply a rubric to existing content, separate from politics and history • Prescribe new content—and reallocate budget and resources—to address specific communication goals • Promote a new editorial calendar • Consider CMS modifications to support new content types
  65. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 67 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines
  66. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 68 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines Gap analysis
  67. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 69 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines Gap analysis How
  68. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 70 © 2013 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines Gap analysis How By whom & when
  69. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 71 © 2013 But first things first: What are you trying to communicate? What content do you have and what do you need to do that?
  70. @mbloomstein | #HIDC 72 © 2013 Thank you! Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein margot@appropriateinc.com slideshare.net/mbloomstein amzn.to/CSatWork All photography © Margot Bloomstein unless otherwise noted. Screen grabs property of their respective owners at time of capture.

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