Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Content Strategy and Writing for the Web

Aaron Schmidt

Remove Unnecessary Words

Do less (remove unused pages from the website)

Less is Less

Content Strategy: A way of looking at websites

  • Content – any stuff you have online – html pages, images, mp3s, tweets, facebook updates
  • Strategy – a plan to achieve a goal

Another definition - Planning for the creation delivery & governance of useful, useable and desirable content.

WHY? – ask questions about everything on your website. Need a plan to make that happen

Lifecycle of a piece of content

  • Request
  • Create
  • Edit
  • Approve
  • Publish
  • Update
  • Archive/remove

But content management includes style.

Who does this stuff? Is there a plan? Are their people who have/share these roles?

  • What do we want to say?
  • What do our patrons need?
  • Who are our patrons?

Creating personae – who are our patrons?

Ask questions about the patrons’ lives – not how do you use the library, or what they think about the library. Ask about their lives and discern from that how the library might be able to serve them.

Brainstorm common tasks

Group the unique tasks

Next – compare the personae and the user needs to the Website to see how the website is doing in trying to satisfy those needs.

How? Run a content audit and see everything that is on the website.

Check if the page is

  • Accurate
  • Useful – business need? Patron need?
  • Used
  • web-written
  • on-message
  • when was it last updated

Assign a scale to these items – maybe use Excel or similar – to report the scale. Have one person work on a single column – that way the scale will be applied uniformly.

After the audit is done – it can become a good tool to routinely

Write for the Web

Center for Plain Language

Plain Writing Act of 2010

Most use of the website is functional reading – mostly we need to provide people with answers to their questions.

  • Should be conversational – friendly and informative
  • No PDFs – convert the information into html
  • Inverted pyramid writing – people look at the top of the page first – Put it at the top
  • Have plenty of white space
  • Separate and float headings and content
  • Make pretty urls
  • Don’t use all caps
  • Write in an active voice
  • One thought per sentence
  • Sentence fragments are okay
  • Text size is important – not too big nor too little
  • Sans serif font
  • Use adequate contrast
  • The library – We
  • The patron – You
  • Skip the animation
  • Create content templates

1 comment:

  1. The technique is really good at to use it. thanks I must apply this strategy.