Content design process
Planning, researching, writing, testing and managing content that meets your users’ needs.
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The content design process helps you create content that:
- is user focused
- is current and factually correct
- meets the NZ Government Web Standards
- meets your organisation’s aims.
How to do it
The content design process will typically include the following stages.
Meet early with subject matter experts (SMEs) so everyone is clear and in agreement about the goals and what’s involved.
Use project planning meetings to identify:
- the purpose of the content
- the target audience
- what resource you may need — for example, UX design and research, development
- who else will be involved
- the size of the work
- the success criteria.
Use this stage to understand users, what they are trying to do and how your content can support them.
The discovery stage can include the following:
- Audit or inventory — to identify duplication and where other updates may be needed
- User research — to understand your user needs
- Content plan — make it clear who’s doing what and when
- Information architecture (IA) and navigation — plan where the content will go
- Google analytics — use data to understand how well your users interact with your content
- Content types — consider other ways to provide content to meet your users’ needs, for example, image, chart, PDF, video.
Get started by pair writing user stories and mapping user journeys. This also helps the SME to understand the user need and the content design process.
- It takes 2: how to use pair writing
- User journey scenarios — make sure you’re solving the right problems for users
- How people find information
- Content structure
- Writing style
- Write keyword based content
- Accessibility — your content must be accessible to a variety of interfaces and people with diverse abilities.
Content crits (critiques) with other Content Designers are useful for hard-to-solve problems.
Get someone else — preferably another Content Designer — to review your work against:
- your organisation’s style guide
- the NZ Government Web Standards.
Ask an expert to check the facts, this could be the:
- Legal team.
Approval to publish — make sure your content has sign off from the appropriate people. This could be the:
- management team
- communications team
- Product Owner.
Managing the content
Make a note of:
- who owns the content
- when it needs to be reviewed
- when it needs to be archived.
Plan to review and iterate your content for continuous improvement. Check how the content is performing by:
- adding a survey to the page. Ask 3 simple questions:
- What did you come to this website to do?
- Did you find what you were looking for?
- How can we improve this content?
- user testing
- data insights — for example Google Analytics.
Review the results with the SME to see where you can improve the content.