This week I will discuss: - The audience and their needs - Developing content
Who is my audience?
Instead of saying something snarky like, “you tell me”, I want you to instead let the audience tell you who they are. I think what a lot of people do not realize is that your users are people, first. And because our users are actually people, we need to make sure that we design for an easier user experience (UX) that involves our content.
In order to fully find out who your audience IS, you need to conduct research. Kissane suggests a profession of phases that keep UX as the center of your universe.
PRO TIP: Not only does breaking down your work into phases like this help you see what you are doing, but it helps your colleagues know what is going on and what to expect next.
Something to keep in mind, RESIST THE URGE to show your client or your audience everything you have ever created in regards to the project. Leave something to the imagination and leave something to fall back on in case they do not like what you have actually come up with.
As Kissane states, “some documents are for you alone, to refine your thinking and organize your work” and that could not be more true. Just think how many notes you have scribbled onto a napkin while waiting at the bar for your friends to arrive. Now think how overwhelming (not to mention weird) it would be to pull out all those “napkin notes” at your next client meeting. No… just do not go there.
Let us begin! (…finally, right?)
We have analyzed our audience. We have analyzed our product. We have analyzed our client. Now, it is finally time to create our content. Let us start with a content template. Kissane swears by these in her book, and gives an outline for how to create a successful content template.
- List each piece of information that MUST be on the page/document
- Information that could optionally be included on the page
- For each piece of content, list what it is supposed to accomplish
- A list of product benefits should focus on how the product will help your targeted audience
- List each piece of content’s specifications
- This should include: ideal word count, capitalization styles, paragraph and font styles, any notes that everyone should know before publishing
- Provide examples of each piece of content and how they fit into the template
PRO TIP: Provide examples whenever possible to help your staff and yourself.
Content, content, content!
Planning for your content creation is very important. You need to be lead by creative direction. That being said, you need dedicated leaders, creators, and editors for your content. Someone cannot do everything, and every onecannot do something. This is super important because of reasons discussed in the second post about why you need content creators. As stated before, content is the driving factor. Ergo, your content needs to be up-to-date. You do not want to be creating the same content as the competition or things are going to get stale fast.
Next week check back for info on: - Analyzing, auditing, and reporting on your content - Examples of well-executed content and poorly-executed content