Meeting at the Intersection of Content Strategy and UX - UXPA Boston 2015 - Marli Mesibov

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Meeting at the Intersection of Content Strategy and UX@marsinthestarsMay 15, 2015UXPA BostonMarli Mesibov, Director of Content StrategyMad*Pow

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#Director of Content Strategy at Mad*PowManaging Editor of UX BoothHow do content strategy and UX design fit together?UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsWho am I? Why am I here?

#UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsWhat accomplishes this?

#Im a content strategist, and also a user experience strategist. Id like today to be fairly informal, and give us a chance to discuss content strategy, content management, UX, and where they overlap. Lets start here. What job focuses on making things useful, usable, desirable, findable, accessible, credible, and valuable? UX, right?

Let me rephrase the question. What job focuses on making content useful, usable desirable, findable, accessible, credible, and valuable? Content strategy, right?

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsUX and content strategy go together like puppies and kids.

#Look, content strategy and UX go together like puppies and kids.

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsBut puppies arent kids.

#But puppies arent kids.

And UX is not the same as content strategy. Or design. Or content management.

So lets start with defining 4 things: UX, UI, content strategy, and content management.

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And UX isnt Content StrategyUXPA Boston | @marsinthestars

#User experience is a process. It is design in the same way that designing cities is design, or problem solving is design.

Everyones definitions vary slightly, so please add your own thoughts and perspectives.

UX can take as long or as short as you want (on website, or from day they hear to day they die)

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And UX isnt UIUXPA Boston | @marsinthestars

#UI (or interaction) design can be, but doesnt have to be a subset of User Experience design. Its quite literally, the field of designing how the user interacts with each screen. Good UI design is often done by using the user experience process, but UI design can also be created through guesswork or best-guess work.

Slowly, UI design + UX is becoming synonymous with good UI design.

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Content strategy isnt UXUXPA Boston | @marsinthestars

#Content Strategy is very similar to UX, but is specific to content. Luckily, content is everywhere. And all that content should have a purpose, and should speak to a specific audience. My goal, as a content strategist, is to create a positive user experience at every customer touch point. I want everything the user sees, every phrase, every button, ever video, to further their goals and my companys objectives.

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And content strategy isnt content managementUXPA Boston | @marsinthestars

#Content management can be, but doesnt have to be, a subset of content strategy. Good content management is done by making these decisions what to create, when to publish, and how to manage by aligning with the content strategy. In the same way that UI design done well generally means UI design done for the greater UX, content management done well is becoming synonymous with content management aligned with a strategy.

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Wheres the intersection?UXPA Boston | @marsinthestars

#UX and content strategy can work in their own separate departments. Sometimes they have to remain separate, because they began as writing and design teams. But lets look at 6 situations where UX and content strategy run into each other full force.

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6 Intersections

#

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestars1. Branding

#Brand: what we say, how we look.

Tell the story of OHOs website. The designer had created a whole series of images, colors, representations, but there was no message. As a result, they could see who they wanted to be, but they werent sure how to act.

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestars2. User Journeys

#ATF working on Fidelity w/Jim.

A user journey is the steps the user will take to purchase your product, or to take advantage of your service. A simple user journey to describe is an ecommerce journey, going from the moment the user decides to shop through to the confirmation email but some user journeys include multiple devices, and might go all the way past purchase to receiving the product, taking it in for repairs, and so on.

A UI designer will often sketch out a user journey to understand how many screens theyll need. However, the journey is incomplete without understanding not only the interactions required for each screen but the messaging. What do we want to communicate to the user? How will we best communicate that? How will that impact the journey?

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestars3. Site Maps

#Rowan UniversityEveryone does IASite maps (how they work, whats in them)Content strategists look not just at how the flow would go, but what content we have to support the IA

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestars4. Pair Programming

#Carbonite pair programmingWireframes represent info that appears on pagesGot to focus on content that furthers the goals.Designers refer back to content strategy (ideally) when creating wireframesAlternative: content strategist does gap analysisAlternative: I contact the client to make sure theyll have news & events frequentlyAlternative: I suggest backup plans for that section of the page

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestars5. Content Templates

#Content creation! (templates and designs)(MSK) figure out what content blocks will go in the design (content mapping)Create content (adaptive content) that wont break the site.Where strategy guides wireframes, templates can then set up a system to help copywriters, photographers, etc create content.This is also (sometimes) where content management comes into place.***

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestars6. Microinteractions

#Fidelity

Microinteractions (help text, error messaging, pop ups) are one specific area of content creation that I want to call out. A lot of people think of error messaging, for example, as being a copy job. But its more than that. Its a content and design interaction.

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsDo we have to talk?

#There are skills to hone, to help working together.Try out the skills youre not good at. It will make you value the other persons contributions.Sketching/PictionarySketching what someone else says and ability to communicate to someone else what to sketchGrouping and categorizing (post ups)Compromising

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5 Ways to Make Collaboration Easier

#UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsSwap skillsets and tools

#Try out the skills youre not good at. It will make you value the other persons contributions.

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsPlay Pictionary!

#Sketching/Pictionary is a good way to practice communicating in the visual medium to non-designers and to designers (as a non-designer)

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsDictate sketches

#Sketching what someone else says to, and giving the instructions to someone else, helps you learn to communicate

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsGroup Gamestorms

#Grouping and categorizing (post ups) is a great way to brainstorm together with information thats valuable to both the design and the content team.

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsCompromise

#Meghans definition

Compromising is as valuable a skill as any other and not coming up with something no one is happy with.

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestars

Mutually beneficialcollaboration

#Questions?

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UXPA Boston | @marsinthestarsThank you!

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