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So, I have been thinking about Keith Robinson’s session at Webmaster Jam Session related to Content Strategy (Awesome!.. as expressed in my fan comment) and I all too suddenly felt the old pains associated with web content creation as part of a major site redesign.

The various stakeholders… opinions… varying levels of internal experience and competence… all seemingly poised to ruin an interface with fluff, jargon, or by killing a truly significant tip or access to help, because it’s ruining their “white space”.

Oddly enough… being in a bit of a current groundhog day situation (although not as intensely doomed as an office space) at work, I thought I would go through some thoughts on all the deliciously detailed content types and contexts for producing kick ass, easily digestible content.

Here are my various categories and considerations (Feel free to comment):

General Types of Content

Text

Instructional

Promotional Copy

Dynamic, like variables or personalization

Taxonomy, Folksonomies, or Categories of reference

Labels in Interface, like fields

Alternate text for the disabled

Links

Text versions of emails

Multimedia

Images

Audio

Movies

Interactive Vector Motion Graphics, like Flash or SVG

Downloadable files

Contexts to Consider

User Access Platform

Website

Device Client

Mobile Web

Email

Mobile email

SMS Text message

Screen reader

 

Brand Perception & Obligations

Core/Primary brand

Cobrand

Whitelabel

 

Audience Familiarity

Technical Savvy

Topic Experience Level /Awareness

Segment Attitude

Repeat User

Geographic location(s)

 

Tone & Voice

Brand Guidelines & Personality

Audience Segment

 

Accessibility

Alternate options for voice

Size and speed for download and screen

 

Usability

Concise Ability to Glance or Skim

Clarity of Message

Screen Size and Resolution Displayed

 

Language

Translation nuances

Positioning to accentuate meaning

 

Goals

Business

User

Information needs

Technology

 

Information Expectations

Carry forward previously entered info

Obviousness of main idea and next step

Different meanings or local customs?

Level of persuasion needed

Okay, granted, this list is not all-exhausting (although it seems so to read, doesn’t it!?) … and appears to be quite complicated; however, this is a list you can pick and choose from as a weighted guide for your project content.

A lot of these aspects may be told to you in the project, but if they are not, then ask a few more questions.

Truthfully, it is a brilliant skill for those that can accommodate all these things, but it’s not always practical to do. Unfortunately, too often it’s either the Tech guys writing robotic error messages or a company too fearful to commit to a true personality style. Both ignore the user’s needs to recover and connect with a task or brand. Shame Shame!

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