UX London Applying Brand-Driven Content Strategy

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Trying to manage feature creep? What about seagulling stakeholders? And what content matters most, anyhow? These questions and other challenges drive content strategy; theyre basic issues to any strategist planning for content and the workflow behind it. But what if youre not a content strategist? What if you need to empower a team, wrangle a whinging client, and rally everyone around a common vocabulary for your primary navigation not to mention branded error messaging? No matter your title, its time to embrace content strategy, starting with the message architecture. Brand-driven content strategy complements user-centered design, and this workshop will help you get up to speed on the philosophy, questions, tools, and exercises to implement it. Well conduct a hands-on exercise to prioritize communication goals and develop a message architectureideal whether you design for the web, mobile apps, social media, or offline experiences. Fancy more efficient engagements? Youll also discover how a brand attributes cardsort can help you identify potential pitfalls and points of disagreement while you improve organizational alignment. Then use this foundation to conduct a qualitative and quantitative content audit. Well discuss the content opportunities a gap analysis reveals when we use the message architecture as a metric of quality. Youll leave with the savvy and experience to bring brand-driven content strategy techniques and thinking into your own work. Presented as a workshop at UX London, #UXLondon, April 12 2013, in Greenwich UK.


  • 1. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 1Learn your ABCs:Applying Brand-drivenMargot Bloomstein UX London April 2013Content Strategy @mbloomstein 2013 2011

2. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 2 Unless you understand what people aretrying to do with your content you cannotknow if its working or not. Gerry McGovern 2013 3. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 3Your serve.And who are you again? 2013 4. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 4What is content strategy?Planning for the creation, aggregation,delivery, and governance of useful,usable, and appropriate content in anexperience. 2013 5. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 5Steps along the wayMessage architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent modelEditorial style guidelinesMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines 2013 6. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 6Steps along the wayMessage architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent modelEditorial style guidelinesMetadata guidelinesGovernance guidelines 2013 7. Deliverables aremerely punctuation inthe conversation.Dont let them replacethe conversation. 8. Why content strategy? 9. Why content strategy?Because we all want the same thing,but content keeps getting in the way. 10. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 10Content demands attention 2013 11. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 11Content requires timeBecause we all want the same thing,but content keeps getting in the way.(CC) http://www.flickr.com/photos/slworking 2013 12. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 12Sustainable content is content you cancreateand maintainwithout goingbroke, without lowering quality in waysthat make the content suck, and withoutworking employees into nervousbreakdowns.Erin Kissane,The Elements of Content Strategy 2013 13. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 13Content dredges up politicsMargot Bloomstein 2013 14. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 14You cannot act in passive voiceto change, empower, support,advocate, teach, simplify,consolidate, remind, inform 2013 15. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 15You cannot act in passive voiceto change, empower, support,advocate, teach, simplify,consolidate, remind, informContent demands an owner& ownership. 2013 16. This is your job now. 17. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 17Skillset.org 2013 18. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 18First things first.What do you need to communicate? 2013 19. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 19First things first.Why evenredesign the website, let theCEO start blogging, audit the content,start engaging on Twitter, consolidate thesite architecture, add video testimonials,incorporate user reviews, develop newbrand guidelines if you dont knowwhat you need to communicate? 2013 20. If you dont know whatyou need to communicate,how will you know if yousucceed? 21. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 21Whats a message architecture?A hierarchy of communication goalsthat reflects a common vocabulary. 2013 22. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 22A little thing with big impact. 2013 23. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 23 A little thing with big impact. How could we prove this is a car not likeanything else out there? Its a small car,but its premium. You get a Porsche 911ride for a fifth of the cost. Its got historybut in Europe.You need to give people content to givethem history. 2013 24. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 24A little thing with big impact. 2013 25. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 25Message architecturePremium technology Assertive; ready to perform as a drivers car Proactive and supportive of spontaneityClassic design Experienced and savvyCheekiness Smart, punny, hip Fun, gleeful 2013 26. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 26 2013 27. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 27 2013 28. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 28 2013 29. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 29 2013 30. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 30If these emails are boring youand you dont mind missing outon all the lip-smackin stuffwell be sending in the future,simply send a message to owner-unsubscribe@insiders.miniusa.comand include Unsubscribe andyour favorite fruit in thesubject field. 2013 31. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 31Message architecture drivesthe user experience 2013 32. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 32in contentNomenclatureCalls to actionInstructional contentSentence structureDiction 2013 33. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 33and in designPhotographic anglesDark backgroundsBold headlinesThick stroke weights 2013 34. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 34and in the choice of featuresand content types 2013 35. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 35Whats a message architecture?A hierarchy of communication goalsthat reflects a common vocabulary. 2013 36. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 36Whats a message architecture?Concrete, shared terminology,not abstract concepts. 2013 37. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 37Welcoming,but elite.Selective? 2013 38. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 38Accessible,open, andpremiere. 2013 39. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 39Traditional,but edgy. 2013 40. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 40Warby Parker 2013 41. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 41Words are valuable,but meaningless withoutcontext and priority.(In a few minutes, wellgive them context.) 2013 42. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 42Why do this?Words are cheaper than comps. 2013 43. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 43Why do this?Let creative colleagues refine the concept,rather than confirm the purpose. 2013 44. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 44How? Engage in a tangible, hands-on way Encourage debate and conversation Identify points of disagreement Prevent seagulling Force prioritization Encourage ownership & investment 2013 45. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 45Cardsorting Groups of 7 10 Pick 3 or 4 people to represent the brand Everyone else: put on your contentstrategy hats! 2013 46. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 46Group 1: Youre a multinational bank with along history in Europe. To attract a broader andyounger audience, you want to change howpeople view saving.Group 2: You represent a small universityknown and respected locallybut you want togrow in relevance and attract more applicants,faculty, and funding from around the countryand world. 2013 47. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 47Group 3: You represent an architecture firmthat specializes in historic preservationbutyou want clients to turn to you for clever,historically appropriate additions too.Group 4: You represent a pharmaceuticalcompany. After some issues with labcontamination and bad press, you overhauledoperations and improved standardsand anew product release is testament to all that. 2013 48. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 48Group 5: You lead a restaurant group loved forits family-friendly dining. In one location yourebranching out to attract business peoplebrokering deals over martinisnot milk & juice.Group 6: Your company is a governmentcontractor that specializes in mobile fieldrobotics and thanks to some re-engineeringback home, youre about to start selling robotichome butlers too. 2013 49. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 49 2013 50. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 50CardsortingStep one: Who we are Who were not Who wed like to beGo with your gut for about 20 minutes. 2013 51. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 51 2013 52. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 52CardsortingStep two: Who we are Who wed like to beThink aspirational.What needs to change?~15 minutes 2013 53. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 53CardsortingStep three: Form groups: what goes together? Prioritize the goals or groups Tell the story of those aspirations~15 minutes 2013 54. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 54Why do this?Gain standards by which to conducta qualitative audit.(What is good anyway?) 2013 55. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 55Why do this?Promote new content types to manifestthe message architecturenot justbecause theyre trendy or feasible. 2013 56. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 56So where to from here?Content audit: measure quality againstthe aspirational attributes in the messagearchitecture. 2013 57. Audit time! 58. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 58Message architecturePassionate about strategic discovery Creative, spirited, inspired Visionary, innovative thought leader and industry leader FlexibleTactical and hands-on In the trenches, in touch Detail-oriented and methodicalPioneering Groundbreaking, trend-setting Modern and savvyPeople-focused and market-driven Trusted by medical professionals, researchers, and media Industry news source 2013 59. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 59 2013 60. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 60Passionate? Creative? Hands-on? Pioneering and modern? Trusted? 2013 61. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 61 2013 62. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 62 2013 63. Audit to understand what youhave and what you need.Dont just do it for fun.Before you can start, you needto know why.What are you trying to learn? 64. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 64Every tab tracks the same dataQuantitative: Head count: what do we have? Is it consistent? Are similar content typesconsistent in size and structure? Is there parity of length, level ofdetail, and tone? 2013 65. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 65Every tab tracks the same dataQualitative: is it any good? ROT analysis: redundant, outdated, trivial Current, relevant, and appropriate to the message architecture Does it serve the communication goals? Does it speak to the target audience? 2013 66. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 66 2013 67. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 67 2013 68. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 68Each piece of content gets a rowSet up dropdowns to constrain data Data Data validation List Sources 2013 69. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 69What will you learn? What do we have? What are the patterns, elements, & types? Is it any good? Do people even like it? (Check analytics!) What do we need to update? What do we need to translate? Where do we need more? 2013 70. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 70Where can you go? Prescribe new content types Advocate for more frequent content updates Promote a new editorial calendar Reallocate budget across social media channels 2013 71. @mbloomstein | #UXLondon 71Steps along the wayMessage architectureContent audit/inventoryPrescriptive content matrixContent modelEditorial s