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Web strategy, content strategy, writing for the web

Donna Spencer
January 09, 2009

Web strategy, content strategy, writing for the web

A talk I gave in-house at Murdoch university.

Donna Spencer

January 09, 2009
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Transcript

  1. ...or, I couldn’t figure out what to call this Smart,

    descriptive title goes here
  2. ...but I do know what I’m going to talk about

    • What we are trying to do by putting stuff on the web • What we need to think about to do that well • Practical tricks to help do it well • ...and how we can look after it
  3. About me • Freelance information architect/interaction designer  9 yrs

     Complex websites, intranets, business applications  Design, strategy, mentoring • Writer – articles, a book and a gazillion pages of web copy  Writing a book about card sorting ‐ due soon • Teacher ‐ workshops on IA, interaction design, web content, web stuff  i.e. I talk too much
  4. What I’ve been spending too much time on...

  5. Why we do this... • Helping people make decisions •

    Helping them do tasks more efficiently • Letting them do it in their own time • Allowing them to do it their own way
  6. People need to 1. Find 2. Understand 3. Take action

  7. Finding

  8. Finding • What do people need to find?

  9. User research • Dot points

  10. User research methods

  11. Organise the content

  12. Create paths to information

  13. Understanding

  14. The knowledge gap http://www.uie.com/articles/design_intuitive/

  15. None
  16. None
  17. None
  18. Trick 1: Write to people, not about you • Humans

    are mostly selfish • We don’t care how awesome you are • We don’t buy, hire or make decisions because you are great • We make decisions based on what will make us feel great  Being noticed  Being recognised for doing well  Feeling like we have achieved something good  Winning
  19. Kathy Sierra said it best… http://headrush.typepad.com/

  20. Trick 1: Write to people, not about you • Figure

    out what will make the reader feel great • Write that • Simple? • It’s harder than it sounds • Why…who cares…so what
  21. Trick 2: Use a real voice • People are social,

    and pay attention to other people • If your content sounds like a person is really talking, readers will listen • Voice gives your content personality
  22. None
  23. Getting content right Lots of voice… Hello Donna I'm Little

    MOO ‐ the bit of software that will be managing your order with us. I will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to you. Please note, as your order will be shipped via First Class/Airmail, it should be with you in around 10 working days, but it won't have a tracking number. Please note that different products are mailed separately so if your order contains a range of different products they will be packed separately and may not arrive together. Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions at: http://www.moo.com/help/ and if you're still not sure, contact customer services (who are real people) at: http://www.moo.com/service/ Thanks, Little MOO
  24. None
  25. No voice… Getting content right

  26. And make it a single voice...

  27. Getting content right

  28. How to write with voice • First draft ‐ write

    how you speak • Imagine you are having a conversation  Anticipate questions  Answer them succinctly • Practice – start a blog or do something else to find your voice • ‘Voicy’ writing doesn’t have to be cute, chatty or informal – it just needs to sound like a real human
  29. Trick 3: Show and tell • Content is more than

    just words • People have different learning styles – write for them • ‘Show’ your ideas with  Examples, case studies  Images, graphics  Things that stop and make the reader think
  30. An obvious example • All of that area within Bass

    Strait, excluding any coastal waters* in relation to the State of Victoria or the State of Tasmania, contained within and bounded as follows**:  commencing at the point of latitude 39 degrees 6 minutes south, longitude 147 degrees 6 minutes east;  then south‐easterly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 39 degrees 22 minutes south, longitude 147 degrees 28 minutes east;  then south along the meridian of longitude 147 degrees 28 minutes east, to its intersection with the parallel of latitude 39 degrees 36 minutes south;  then west along the parallel of latitude 39 degrees 36 minutes south, to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 146 degrees 34 minutes east;  then north along the meridian of longitude 146 degrees 34 minutes east, to its intersection with the outer limit of the coastal waters* of Victoria at approximate latitude 39 degrees 16 minutes 32 seconds south;  then easterly and generally northerly along the outer limit of the coastal waters* of Victoria to its intersection with the parallel of latitude 39 degrees 6 minutes south; and  then west along the parallel of latitude 39 degrees 6 minutes south to the point of commencement.
  31. Getting content right

  32. Making it happen

  33. Committing to quality • What does it matter? • How

    important is it really? • What is the risk if you get it wrong?  Impact on the users  Money spent  Profile • If important, don’t get lowest‐level staff to do the ‘web stuff’
  34. How to decide

  35. Personal blog

  36. Conference website

  37. E-commerce system

  38. Big internal business app

  39. Keeping it going

  40. Maintaining it

  41. Summary

  42. Summary • People need to find information, understand it, take

    action • We enable this by:  Understanding people  Organising information & pathways that suit them  Writing to them, not about us  Writing with voice  Showing & telling • We need:  A commitment to quality  To determine what’s important • Improve continuously
  43. Questions & thanks • http://maadmob.com.au/ • 0409-778-693 • donna@maadmob.net •

    Twitter etc: maadonna