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):
– Promotional Copy
– Dynamic, like variables or personalization
– Taxonomy, Folksonomies, or Categories of reference
– Labels in Interface, like fields
– Alternate text for the disabled
– Text versions of emails
– Interactive Vector Motion Graphics, like Flash or SVG
– Downloadable files
Contexts to Consider
User Access Platform
– Device Client
– Mobile Web
– Mobile email
– SMS Text message
– Screen reader
Brand Perception & Obligations
– Core/Primary brand
– Technical Savvy
– Topic Experience Level /Awareness
– Segment Attitude
– Repeat User
– Geographic location(s)
Tone & Voice
– Brand Guidelines & Personality
– Audience Segment
– Alternate options for voice
– Size and speed for download and screen
– Concise Ability to Glance or Skim
– Clarity of Message
– Screen Size and Resolution Displayed
– Translation nuances
– Positioning to accentuate meaning
– Information needs
– 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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