Articles & research papers

Content Strategy

Design Census- A Survey by Google and AIGA To Check Salaries and More

Google and AIGA have released survey results of their first annual Design Census—an open and collaborative resource for you to important things like gauge design salaries, benefits, working hours and job satisfaction. It offers meaningful filters like location, job type, seniority levels, industry and more.

Design Census

UX Design And Content Strategy: The Project Guide

This hands-on resource is a project guide that focuses on content strategy in UX design and is explained through through an imaginary website project.

This guide shows how to embed content-first thinking into popular UX design techniques to reveal useful insights about the content, that lead to a better user experience.

UX Design And Content Strategy: The Project Guide

Content Strategy for the Web Professional

You’re a web professional: a designer, developer, information architect, or strategist. Your team has the web design disciplines covered: research, strategy, user experience design, standards-based development, and project management. But something’s going wrong with your projects; the user experience just is not meeting your expectations. You’re reasonably sure you know why: there’s a problem with the content.

You have tried all the obvious solutions: installing a powerful, easy-to-use content management system, or demanding that the client supply content upfront, or even writing all the copy yourself; but none of them seem to have much impact.

You realize that your team could use some help from the discipline of content strategy, but for whatever reason, hiring a dedicated content strategist is not a feasible option. So what can you do to add some content strategy to your projects?

The answer, as with so much in web design, is: Do It Yourself.

Content Strategy for the Web Professional

Fill Your Portfolio With Stories

On the trail of exploring our next career move, it’s likely we’ll need to show the path we’ve been on. As part of a design team, that usually means displaying our work.

However, if we didn’t make proper arrangements before we took the job, it’s very likely we can’t show much of our work to anyone. Consultants, contractors, and full-time employees are usually covered (in the US at least, but most other places as well) by a “work for hire” agreement, which means that the people we work for own all the work product we produce.

Wireframes, sketches, and other deliverables are not ours to show. If the final design isn’t publicly visible, such as internal application, there might not be any evidence of what we’ve done.

This puts us in an uncomfortable position when it comes time to show our work to a prospective employer. How do we show what we’re capable of when we don’t have access to our work? What can you put into your portfolio when your work is all locked up? The simple answer: Fill your portfolio with stories.

Fill Your Portfolio With Stories

Opinion- There Is No Mobile Internet

It’s time to stop thinking about the Internet and online communication in the context of a device, be it desktop, tablet or mobile. Advances by Google and Apple have heightened consumer expectations, which now require stricter focus from us to create seamless online communications — communications that work everywhere and that get their point across. We need to embrace a device-agnostic approach to communicating with connected consumers and forget the idea of a “mobile Internet”. There is only One Web to experience.

There Is No Mobile Internet

Breaking Up Large Documents for the Web

Most people come to the web for information, not for a complete document. They don’t want the user manual; they want instructions for the task they are doing. They don’t want the handbook; they want the answer to specific questions. They want usable, manageable pieces. To present content on the web in the amount that most people want:

  • Think “topic,” not “book”
  • Break large documents into topics and subtopics

Breaking Up Large Documents for the Web – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

In Defense of Lorem Ipsum

If you’re running a project where you mock up designs, get them approved, code them up, build a CMS, hook it all together, and then everyone looks around and says “Who’s got the content? Wait, this content doesn’t match the designs and it won’t fit in the CMS!” then you have a problem. A big problem.

Lorem Ipsum is not the cause of your problem. It’s a symptom. The real problem is an overall process that treats design and content as separate tracks without appropriate communication, collaboration, and checkpoints along the way.

In Defense of Lorem Ipsum

STC Content Strategy SIG

This site is the home of the Content Strategy SIG (Special Interest Group) of the Society for Technical Communication.

Content strategy is an emerging field of practice dealing with the planning aspects of managing content throughout its lifecycle. Strategy includes alignment to business goals, analysis, and modeling, and influences the development, production, presentation, evaluation, measurement, and sunsetting of content, including governance.

STC Content Strategy SIG website

STC Content Strategy SIG Twitter account

Scatter/Gather- a Razorfish blog on content strategy

Scatter/Gather is a blog about the intersection of content strategy, pop culture and human behavior. Contributors are all practicing Content Strategists at the offices of Razorfish, an international digital design agency.


Content Analysis: A Practical Approach

The article walks you through a content analysis—and offer tips and tricks along the way that will help make your next content analysis more effective.

Content analysis is an essential part of many UX design projects that involve existing content. Examples of such projects include migrating a Web site to a new platform or design, merging multiple Web sites into one, or assessing Web content for reuse in a new channel.

You cannot take proper care of your content without looking at it closely. You must become familiar with your content to judge whether it’s effective, understand how it relates to other content, make decisions about how to use or format it, identify opportunities for improving it, and more.

Content analysis, though time consuming, is fruitful, because your efforts provide the following benefits:

  • Content analysis results in a clear, tangible description of your content—which clients and stakeholders can perceive as nebulous—whether expressed in text or visually
  • Content analysis provides the foundation for comparing existing content with either user needs or competitor content, letting you identify potential gaps and opportunities
  • Content analysis offers insights that help you make decisions about your content more easily—for example, what to prioritize
  • Content analysis can reveal themes, relationships, and more

Content Analysis: A Practical Approach