We’ve all wondered how information architecture, content strategy, and user experience intersect. Where do information architecture and content strategy overlap? Where do they differ? Information architecture is grounded in user experience, but how do we ground content strategy in user experience? As an information architect, Theresa has worked with content strategists on content-heavy user experience projects. Having taken the time to figure it out and implemented the approach on projects, Theresa will share the approach with you.
Thought today would go over some different practitioner approaches. I did survey different Ias and CSs but I couldn’t find much consistency. I wanted to give you something to walk away with and tried to approach answering the question using a methodical approach.
How does content strategy affect my work?Confusion between what a CS does and what an IA doesDoes that make me a content strategist? Had a client who hired me to do some content strategy work. This presentation is an exploration of this problem.I know why this problem came up: because content is hard and people underestimate its importance (anyone can do it!)
I’ve read that IA provides the structure and CS provides temporal In the next 2 slides are some IA and CS capabilities as I understand them and as I understand where they come from. You can fight me on this, that’s ok, it’s important to have the discussion.
In my reading, these were the kinds of deliverables I came across. While it’s not an exhaustive list, it gives us a starting point for comparison. In my reading, I also came across thinking that it doesn’t really matter who does this work, as long as someone does it. I think it’s important to give parameters to jobs so business people know who to hire. If we can’t figure out what we do, then how are business people supposed to figure it out?
Dark grey is a responsibility, light grey is either a responsibility or involvement. White is involved with. Note that for the UX portion, Ias can either do it or be involved with it. It depends on the size of the project and the emphasis of the IA. Can either be a UX IA or an enterprise IA. If a UX IA then can do these things. If an enterprise IA, would probably be more focused on the content management and IA columns. Nathaniel Davis at DSIA has a good post about IA capabilities per project size.
CS pulls from many different fields. Can overlap between the content management and marketing. Are content strategists who do content modeling and marketing and editorial stuff. There are content strategists who are more in the Content management column. Not involved in UX, but definitely benefit from it. Also, it seems clear that CS is not part of UX. Benefits from UX, but not fundamentally a discipline within UX. This is a huge range of responsibilities. I haven’t met one CS that covers all this territory. I’ve heard a CS say that a really great CS would cover all this territory, but I think it might create too much of a bottleneck.
After putting this chart together, it dawned on me that Ias and CS need different things from the same or similar work.
As I said at the beginning, for me CS causes an existential crisis. If CS does the same things that I do, does that make me a CS? I think not, because I’m fundamentally not interested in marketing, editorial, XML and DITA. If CS does the same things as I do, then where is my place? I think IA is at an intersection where it needs to mature.
Expand our skillset or at least our understanding. Take content into account more. Move away from IxD. Can learn more about content strategy.
But can also expand away from simple web and intranet design. Can get into documentation management, digital asset management, component content management, pervasive IA, ubiquitous computing, service design, customer experience.
DTDT. These two meanings for the same term are very confusing for people. If I it takes me weeks of research to figure out, how is business supposed to know the difference?
Actually, CS pulls from many different fields
Intersections of Information Architecture and Content Strategy
The Intersection of User
Architecture, and Content