All posts from
November 2010

Content strategy for dummies

“Information architects need to understand content. Content strategists need to understand context. In terms of traditional sitemaps, the boxes have no value without the interconnecting arrows. And the arrows have no meaning if there are no boxes to which to point. And that’s why there is so much gray area in the definition – and why the pedants will spend years fighting over definitions in the years to come.” (Eric Reiss ~ FatDUX)

WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project

“HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. Potentially, HyperText provides a single user-interface to many large classes of stored information such as reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line systems help. We propose the implementation of a simple scheme to incorporate several different servers of machine-stored information already available at CERN, including an analysis of the requirements for information access needs by experiments.” (Tim Berners-Lee ~ November 12, 1990)

IA Summit 2011, Denver CO

“The IA Summit is the premier destination for those who practice, research and are interested in the structural design of shared information environments. Some call themselves information architects (and many don’t) but all share a common desire to help people live better lives through meaningful experiences with information. (…) After 11 successful years bringing hundreds of practitioners together for five days of intense exchange of ideas and experiences, we pause to reflect on the state of information architecture and what is in store for this community of practice. As we continue to strive for more, we turn our focus to what can make us – as practitioners – and our practice, better.”

Let’s Get Physical (With Services)

“It is no secret that services, even for manufacturing organizations, can be the key differentiator between competition and the primary generator of income. Customer loyalty depends on good service; not only do customers expect it, but it is part of their values. Recent economic and environmental turmoil is shifting people from passive consumers of products to active co-creators of experiences.” (Adam Little ~ fastcodesign)

Dashboard Design 101

“The explosion of information that analysts and executives must consume, as well as the increasing variety of sources from which that information comes, has boosted the popularity of information dashboards. Modeled after the dashboard of a car or airplane—which informs its operator about the status and operation of the vehicle they’re controlling at a glance—dashboard user interfaces provide a great deal of useful information to users at a glance. Typically, the role of an information dashboard is to quickly inform users and, thus, enable them to take immediate action.” (Mike Hughes ~ UXmatters)

Decision Architecture: Helping Users Make Better Decisions

“For the most part, we create Web sites to get users to do something—for example, to make a purchase, donate to a cause, or sign up for our service. It is our expectation that users will make decisions about how to proceed. But are we designing for optimal decision making by users? In my column, Decision Architecture, I’ll discuss how people make decisions and how we can design Web sites to make decision making easier for them and get the decision outcomes we need.” (Colleen Roller ~ UXmatters)

Imagine a Nimble World: Challenging the Publishing Industry

“Presentation at Smart Content: The Content Analytics Conference, October 19, 2010 in New York, by Rachel Lovinger, content strategy lead at Razorfish. ~ As a Content Strategy Lead at Razorfish, Rachel Lovinger is interested in connecting users with the quality content they want and need. She uses her experience in online content production and publishing to help develop processes, best practices and innovative ideas for Fortune 500 companies looking to use digital content in more meaningful ways. She started Razorfish’s Semantic Web Affinity Group, and she’s interested in relevance, findability, signification, and inherently funny words. Rachel was doing Content Strategy long before she realized it was an actual field.” (@rlovinger ~ The Content Analytics Conference)

The innovations of social media

“The challenge ahead of us will be to innovate social tools in ways that continue to capture and expand audience and uses. Somebody, somewhere, will always have to take a risk — with technology, design, functionality, and social practices. It’s my hope that we can mitigate these risks with smarter thinking about what works for people and why, supplementing our design choices with educated guesswork, relying less on market forces and business-minded entrepreneurship.” (Adrian Chan ~ Johnny Holland Magazine)

UX Card Sort

“If you are an Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Interaction Designer or similar and your job is designing digital interactive (web)sites, services or products then join in with the UX Card Sort! This card sort is a way of creating insight into what UX professionals have in common and what the differentiators are, based on your daily professional activities instead of discussing what a label such as IA/UXD/ID etc. should contain. The Card Sort does start though with the request to enter your job title as that might already identify existing clusters with a common label.” (George Miles)

We’re All Content Strategists Now (the video)

“The “Best Careers 2009” issue of U.S. News and World Report gently mocked the user experience profession for its inability to agree on a name for itself. Indeed, many job titles seem like a mix-and-match game, mashing up words like “information” and “experience” and “architect” and “designer.” And now “content strategy” comes around, looking for a seat at the UX table. Some say the profession fills a gap in our professional practices. Others argue that it’s just a different name for the things that we already do. In this session, we’ll discuss why UX needs content—and how UX practitioners of every flavor can put content strategy to work on their projects.” (Karen McGrane ~ IDEA 2010)

Art Direction and Design

“Glorifying the supposed arrival of art direction on the web is one of the latest trends in interactive design. (…) Sadly, many designers don’t understand the difference between design and art direction; sadder still, many art directors don’t either: Art direction gives substance to design. Art direction adds humanity to design.” (Dan Mall ~ A List Apart)

Why Content Strategy Matters (video interview w/ Scott Abel)

“The conversation around content strategy has exploded in the last few months. We’ve certainly contributed to that conversation ourselves, as you’ve undoubtedly seen on this blog. Still there remains some ambiguity about what exactly is content strategy and why it’s important? In the following series of videos, MindTouch’s Mark Fidelman spends some time with Scott Abel, aka The Content Wrangler, and investigates the realm of content strategy, the benefits of application, and its relation to technical communicators and social media.” (MindTouch)

Chris Heilmann: Reasons to be cheerful

“Being someone who works for the web is having the best job in the world. There is really nothing that compares in terms of creativity, sharing and reach. Of course there are nagging issues but if we really take a look from afar at what we are doing there is a lot of fun to be had. In this session Chris Heilmann will show just how cool it is to be who we are and how to get joy out of our day to day jobs even when we think that everything is against us. We have the tools, we have the knowledge, we have the time. What we lack sometimes is the knowledge where to look, what to use and how to sell ourselves. Here you’ll hear all about it and you will find a lot of reasons to be cheerful.” (Fronteers 2010)