Content design & strategy

Wall of post-it notes
Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Content designer – what’s in a name?

When Shakespeare’s Juliet was assessing the merit of marrying Romeo or not (she was a Capulet, after all, and he from the warring Montague clan), there was nothing in his family’s name to deter her intent, because as she reasoned, what “we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.”

But when it comes to the Australian job market, it seems there’s a lot in the name ‘content designer’ — mainly ambiguity. And not just for the aspiring applicant, but for employer and recruiter alike.   Read the full article …

Content strategy 101

Content strategy focuses on the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of content.  Problem is the phrase means different things to different people. So it becomes challenging to settle on a definitive explanation as much of what’s bandied about is often misunderstood, misinformed, misappropriated or just a mish-mash of Internet memes and slogans.

The need for such a strategy has arguably come about due to the proliferation of so many digital publishing channels. Think ‘mobile first’ (whether that be desktop, tablet or mobile), Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, eBay, apps (iOS, Android, Windows), videos (YouTube,Vimeo), microsites, SlideShare, clouds, eBooks, white papers, infographics etc; the  list goes on.

Ensuring that you have useful and usable content, that is well structured, and easily found is vital to improving the user experience, no matter the platform. For more detail, read my blog post …

The craft of content-first design

Most adults of a certain generation have written a book report. You may have written an email love letter. Or at least a tweet. You can blunder through writing, or you can study and practice and develop the skill. Even if you never reach artistic heights, you’ve done something hard. The commitment ceremony of words on a screen (or on a page, if you’re old-fashioned) converts ideas into something more than notional. Writing is a fundamental design skill.

Good writing feels like witchcraft. An elegant narrative is a near-rapturous experience that beguiles without the mechanics showing. I love reading and re-reading passages to detect the subtle structure that makes good work land with aplomb. To practice content-first design, you don’t have to be a great writer, but recognizing it in the wild, and understanding the basics of narrative structure, certainly helps. Read the full blog post here …

Content and design are inseparable

Working on a design without considering the content is like giving your best friend a beautifully wrapped empty box for their birthday. They’ll enjoy opening it, but will be sorely disappointed with the entirety results.

Content creation and management cannot be a separate endeavour from design creation and management. We need to inseparably integrate the two, structurally and organisationally, to create great experiences. No longer is ‘content’ a piece of the UX puzzle. Instead, we need to shift our definition of content to be whatever the user needs right now. Read  the full blog post here …