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Project Discovery for Content Websites

Project Discovery for Content Websites

Talk presented at Powered By CMS, Pune. https://poweredbycms.in

Souvik Das Gupta

March 23, 2018

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  1. Project Discovery for content websites

  2. @souvikdg

  3. Miranj We architect information and 
 design radically simple, future-proof

  4. Content-driven Websites Represent an organisation or a business Publishing platform

    (stories, articles, news, etc.) Facilitate e-commerce
  5. “We want our new website to be modern,
 mobile-optimised, easy

    to change
 and good looking.”
 “And oh, SEO-friendly as well.”
  6. None
  7. The problem usually doesn’t lie in what they’re sharing, but

    rather on what they’re not sharing.
  8. Problem Space Solution Space vs

  9. Doctor by Hamza Butt on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/149902454@N08/35081927460

  10. Doctor by Hamza Butt on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/149902454@N08/35081927460 Problem Space I

    have fever I feel dizzy My stomach is paining My cut is bleeding Solution Space vs I’ve got typhoid I need MRI Scan Prescribe me aspirin
  11. Problem Space Feels old Difficult to browse on phones Pain

    to modify Dislike the design Doesn’t show on Google Solution Space vs Modern Mobile-optimised Easy to edit Good looking SEO-friendly
  12. Typically briefs are unclear or inadequate because they try to

    communicate the solutions rather than the problems.
  13. So, discovering project needs becomes a necessary part of our

  14. 5 Stages of Discovery

  15. 1. Listen
 2. Probe 3. Prioritise 4. Strategise 5. Align

    5 Stages of Discovery
  16. None
  17. Who?

  18. All stakeholders

  19. Web Team Designer Developer / Technologist Content Strategist Information Architect

  20. Client “Website manager” or “Product owner” Management (decision maker)

  21. Ongoing Roles Marketing and Communication Content-writer / authors Editor Digital

  22. Anyone else who may 
 either have a say, 

    or simply, have good ideas.
  23. Listen Stage 1

  24. Domain Get familiar with the business, stakeholders, processes and terminologies

  25. Wishlist Goals, Wishes, Content, Demand, 
 Outcome, Impact, Quality, Analytics,

 Features, Functionality, etc…
  26. None
  27. None
  28. No “thought” or “idea” is discarded at this stage

  29. 1 “thought” or “idea” goes on 1 sticky note

  30. None
  31. Synthesise Add to the “thoughts” and move them around to

    achieve a structured understanding of the client’s domain
  32. Identify the various stakeholders, business priorities and potential content inventory

  33. Align with the client’s vocabulary

  34. Landscape Peers, Competitors or Superstars

  35. Probe Stage 2

  36. Constraints Timelines, Budgets, Life Expectancy (ROI)

  37. How long should this
 new website last?

  38. Goals Features, Functionalities or important Outcomes

  39. Goals Hygiene vs

  40. Goals Flexibility in page layout and content Evolution in brand

    positioning Higher time on site Low bounce rate Increase repeat visitors Hygiene vs Easy to use Easy to edit Good looking Mobile friendly SEO optimised
  41. None
  42. Audience Identify the distinct groups that are likely to land

    on our website and for each type map out their context and motivations, current solutions and their problems.
  43. None
  44. The often-missing Audience Internal team members, content author / manager,

    partners, future hires, search bots, etc.
  45. Design Run over references from the wild (including peers and

    competitors) that help us capture reaction from clients and understand their tastes and aspirations
  46. Brand Collect the expressions and phrases that determine the 

    positioning of the organisation or the service
  47. None
  48. Content Identify types and for each detail the editorial process,

    frequency of publishing or update and real (or representative) samples
  49. What is content?

  50. All current and “future” information, document, write-up, knowledge, etc.

  51. Marketing collateral
 is content

  52. Media is content

  53. Features and functionalities have intrinsic content

  54. Synthesise Goals, Audience, Content, Design, Brand

  55. Audience Goal (Outcome)

  56. Audience Goal (Outcome) Content

  57. Audience → Content → Goal Mapping is tedious but it

 important for the key outcomes
  58. Prioritise Stage 3

  59. “Everything is important”

  60. Prioritisation is about
 “focusing on impact”

  61. Prioritisation is about “analysing feasibility”

  62. Prioritisation is about
 “building consensus”

  63. Goals, Audience and Content

  64. None
  65. Card Sorting

  66. Voting

  67. Fist-to-five

  68. Impact vs Effort

  69. High Effort
 High Impact High Effort
 Low Impact Low Effort

    High Impact Low Effort
 Low Impact
  70. Strategise Stage 4

  71. Content-First

  72. Content Strategy Choice of Content, Discoverability, Frequency of Updates, 

    Narrative and Storytelling, Page or Design Strategy, etc.
  73. Information Architecture Identify the primary content models 
 and break

    them down into smaller components.
  74. Content models can be “broken down” in two ways…

  75. Semantic Style vs

  76. Semantic Title Author Excerpt Body Date Topic Cover Image Style

    vs Text Block Image Block Video Block Gallery Block Timeline Block
  77. Sitemap v2 by James Box on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/b0xman/4472627015 Sitemap and

    Navigation follows the information architecture
  78. Technology CMS, Caching, SEO, Plugins, 
 Other 3rd Party Services,

    Performance Budgets
  79. Work Plan For all stakeholders, including clients (fulfilling pre-requisites)

  80. Align Stage 5

  81. Discuss and agree on the
 Strategy, Scope and Plan

  82. Responsibilities RACI matrix
 R=Responsible, A=Accountable, C=Consulted, I=Informed

  83. Project Management Introduction to tool or process

  84. 1. Listen
 2. Probe 3. Prioritise 4. Strategise 5. Align

  85. 1. Listen
 2. Probe 3. Prioritise 4. Strategise 5. Align

    Problem Space Solution Space
  86. A website is 
 not a commodity.

  87. Neither is the 
 process of discovery.

  88. As much as the process is about discovery, it is

    also about everyone aligning and being on the same page about the problems and the solutions.
  89. And, helps speak the same language through the 

  90. Not to mention, clients also gain a lot of clarity

    — not just about website but also their business!
  91. The Challenge

  92. Thanks!