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Content Strategies

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Aligning Content Work with Agile Processes. As a content strategist, I work on teams with agile developers, user experience designers, user acceptance testers, product managers, and data scientists.

Aligning Content Work with Agile Processes

A mere decade ago, I would have been called a journalist or an editor. I would have worked with copyeditors, proofreaders, graphic designers, and printers—but times, job titles, and platforms have changed. Content strategists have had to adjust to the rise of development-centric projects focused on products. Big changes challenge traditional content culture and processes. Article Continues Below Agile has the potential to set content strategists free from dated ways of working. Introducing the User-Centered Design Canvas. I’d like to tell you a little story, a story about how a problem I faced inspired me to create a simple UX design tool.

Introducing the User-Centered Design Canvas

For the last year, I’ve been using and testing it intensively (not only professionally in almost all of my UX projects, but also at the university, as a tool which helped me to introduce one of the core aspects of UX design—user goals—to more than a hundred of students). The story ends with a step-by-step manual, illustrating a real example of how the tool can be used. The tool’s name is User-Centered Design Canvas. Content types: The glue between content strategy, user experience, de…

Meet Abby Covert, Information Architect. “UX” is often used as an umbrella term to describe a user’s end-to-end experience with your site i.e. how they feel when using and interacting with it.

Meet Abby Covert, Information Architect

The design of this experience involves numerous processes that often overlap but are each their own concept: content strategy, interaction design, visual design, just to name a few. And of course – information architecture. Information architecture is an incredibly important part of UX. It’s the creation of a structure for your site; organizing the information in a way that helps users understand where they are as well as what they need to do (or where they need to go) to complete their task. Users need clarity, and IA helps structure and organize your site to achieve this. We sat down with Abby Covert, an independent Information Architect and author of the book “How to Make Sense of Any Mess” to get her insights on IA, its role within UX, and what makes her so passionate about it.

Sure! Clarity Through Content Strategy – GatherContent Blog. Scott is presenting at Confab Central in Minneapolis in May.

Clarity Through Content Strategy – GatherContent Blog

Use code GATHER16 and save $200 on the ticket price! If you are a content strategist — in job title, project role, or just in your heart — your job at every point of the process is to facilitate understanding. You might: Help businesses understand the size and scope of their web presenceHelp CEOs understand the cost of maintaining old and bad contentHelp designers and developers understand the business goals for a given webpageHelp writers and content marketers understand your brand’s voice Even a solo practitioner conducting a content inventory is doing so to increase their own understanding.

Understanding requires clarity and coordination. Here it is: The VMT Framework The framework has six areas. The division between the left and right columns reflects a division that is common in most business cultures. Vision and Voice — The Organizational Level A vision is realized. Key Elements for Building a Content Strategy - Content Company. How to evaluate content using a content scorecard. Give your stakeholders the big picture view of content strengths and weaknesses Updated March 2016.

How to evaluate content using a content scorecard

Content strategy readings - Feb-March 2016 - Content Company. Here are articles I’ve found helpful in the past several weeks (in no particular order, and not all exactly about content strategy).

Content strategy readings - Feb-March 2016 - Content Company

If you have others, please add them in the comments. Web Content Debt is the New Technical Debt (UsersLib – Suzanne Chapman, library UX specialist) 3 Ways to Inspire Intranet Content Authors (Amy Schade, Nielsen-Norman Group) Write Like a Human (Amy Thibodeau) Tactical advice for people who weren’t hired to write product content but find themselves doing it anyway. Reduce the time it takes to review website content – GatherContent Blog. The time needed to get content from brief to published on a website redesign project is often underestimated.

Reduce the time it takes to review website content – GatherContent Blog

Have you ever found yourself: Practical Content Strategy: Making the Journey – GatherContent Blog. I love the strategy part of content strategy.

Practical Content Strategy: Making the Journey – GatherContent Blog

High-level planning makes projects more purposeful. Information Architecture: Design for Understanding. We only understand things in relationship to something else.

Information Architecture: Design for Understanding

The frame around a painting changes how we perceive it, and the place the frame is hanging in changes it even more: we understand an image displayed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art differently than one hanging in a shared bathroom in a ratty hotel. Context matters. When designing an information architecture, we are engaging in a new type of placemaking: one that alters how we perceive and understand information. As with (building) architects, information architects are concerned with creating environments that are understandable and usable by human beings, and which can grow and adapt over time to meet the needs of users and their organizations. You get out of bed. Humans—perceptive, self-ambulatory organisms that we are—have a complex, symbiotic relationship with our surroundings. We bring this awareness of place—and the placemaking drive—to information environments as well. Figure 4-1. Tweet this Figure 4-2. Figure 4-3. Content and Design Are Inseparable Work Partners — UIE Brain Sparks.

Content and Design Are Inseparable Work Partners Sometimes, I wonder if we should screen usability testing participants based on their fashion sense.

Content and Design Are Inseparable Work Partners — UIE Brain Sparks

Certainly, this user wouldn’t have made it into this session. But we didn’t and here she is. For the last few minutes, she’s been shopping for a coin purse and she’s found one she loves. Not something I would buy, but it’s her prerogative. Yet how the purse looked wasn’t the problem. Figuring Out Content Strategy. The biggest change in my understanding of design after joining Capital One, by far, is how I understand the importance and nature of content strategy in my design work. It just makes logical sense that when someone interacts with something you’ve designed, a lot of what they see and what colors their understanding of the experience as a whole is word-based!

Content Modeling With Jekyll. It’s not exactly a new subject, but lately I’ve had reason to revisit the skill of content modeling in my team’s work. Our experience has reached a point where the limitations of how we practice are starting to become clear. Our most common issue is that people tend to tie themselves and their mental models to a chosen platform and its conventions. Instead of teaching people how to model content, we end up teaching them how to model content in Drupal, or how to model content in WordPress.

But I’d prefer that we approach it from a focus on the best interests of users, regardless of which platform said content will end up in. How to Do A Site Audit. There are a lot of different reasons why people need a site audit. For example, you may be transferring a project from an old team to a new team that needs to understand the project what they're taking over. Or maybe there's an internal management change inside a large organization. For example, in an audit I'm doing now, the site was managed by one team and now they're splitting up the company and that team is not going to manage the site anymore. The people taking over have no experience with the site and they want to find out what they're dealing with.

Was it Done Right? They might have specific concerns like security or performance that they want to audit. Why You Need Content Strategy Before Editorial Planning. Complete Beginner's Guide to Information Architecture. Information architecture is a task often shared by designers, developers, and content strategists. But regardless of who takes on the task, IA is a field of its own, with influences, tools, and resources that are worth investigation.

In this article we’ll discuss what information architecture really is, and why it’s a valuable aspect of the user experience process. Along the way we’ll share the history, contributors, and tools often used in creating an information architecture. Even if you’re familiar with the discipline already, you can probably pick up something you’ve missed. Getting Started with Digital Content Strategy. “I hate the word “content,” which has infiltrated our profession. You have people who are called chief content officers and things like that. I don’t like the word content. To me, it’s like saying the word “stuff.” It has no meaning, whereas journalism actually does have meaning.” Marty Baron, editor in chief of the Washington Post in Newsonomics “Content” is all the rage in digital marketing and has been ever since brands realized their first websites gave them the power and means of production to publish their own messages and information without depending on the press or advertising to distribute it.

Getting Started with Digital Content Strategy. The Age of Information Architecture by Peter Morville. The fourth edition of the polar bear book hit me like a brick. It’s not that I didn’t see it coming. I simply failed to anticipate its emotional impact. I’d been so busy, I’d had no time to reflect, but as I held the colorful update to this classic text in my hands, I was taken back to the early days of the Web, when I began practicing what became known as “information architecture.” Persona Best Practices. Personas are an insightful deliverable to help create better user experiences. They can be approached a number of ways depending on your end goals—whether you're redefining your brand voice, informing your product development or providing guidance for your information architecture. We take a pragmatic approach at Chapter Three with Personas, using them to guide our information architecture decisions.

We capture the user tasks, then prioritize these to reflect the business focus. Adaptive Content: Three Approaches - Story Needle. Adaptive content may be the most exciting, and most fuzzy, concept in content strategy at the moment. Reclaiming Social: Content Strategy for Social Media. The Discipline of Content Strategy. We, the people who make websites, have been talking for fifteen years about user experience, information architecture, content management systems, coding, metadata, visual design, user research, and all the other disciplines that facilitate our users’ abilities to find and consume content.

Article Continues Below Weirdly, though, we haven’t been talking about the meat of the matter. We haven’t been talking about the content itself. Yeah, yeah. We know how to write for online readers. But who among us is asking the scary, important questions about content, such as “What’s the point?” As a community, we’re rather quiet on the matter of content. Content Strategy: The Philosophy of Data. Content Strategy Resources. Why You Need Content Strategy Before Editorial Planning. Advent Calendar – GatherContent. A spreadsheet could be breaking your digital strategy.