Content Strategy

Content System Artifacts

Kristina Halvorson

Kristina Halvorson

Brain Traffic
Content Strategy

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The "Content System Artifacts" Lesson is part of the full, Content Strategy course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Kristina lists the artifacts and deliverables associated with content and system designs. Kristina takes questions from students.


Transcript from the "Content System Artifacts" Lesson

>> All right, so now I wanna introduce you to some of the artifacts that are associated with this and we're gonna learn how to do a few of these today. So within content design, these are sorta the primary artifacts that we associate with these with these parts of the framework.

There's an editorial mission, which is why does our content exist? What does it exist to do? A style guide, which, what I find oftentimes is that organizations have very, very detailed style guides around design, and fonts and sizes and buttons and design patterns and all that stuff. But they're content style guide or style guidelines are often like we use AP English and don't hyphenate this word, versus really talking about what voice and tone mean to our content as we create it.

So we'll take a look at a few good examples later today. And then messaging architecture. Which is really about what is it that we are trying to communicate about our product and service and how does that play out across our digital content and then a publishing calendar which just identifies cadence.

On the experience side, content folks are always very, very interested in needs based personas, not just, Christina is a 46 year old mom with two kids and no time on her hands and whatever. But instead, when Christina goes online, here are the decisions she's looking to make or the tasks that she's looking to complete specifically that we can serve.

Page templates and tables, which we'll talk about and then any microcopy or UI copy to consider, okay? Yes.
>> I'm interested in your perspective of which tools do you think apply to like small teams versus big teams? Do you recommend all these tools across the board or is it?

>> No, not necessarily. It really comes down to organization goals and project constraints. When we start talking about which tools we kind of recommend and project goals as well. So if you're doing a website with eight pages versus reconfiguring a CMS 400,000 pieces of content. I'm going to have very different opinions about what's more important here.

You can go super lightweight on a lot of this stuff, especially if you've got a team of two or three people. But I think that the most important thing is that everybody's working from the same content playbook. And then you've got shared standards and understanding. So for example, at brain traffic, we redid our primary website and then we just launched content and there were three or four of us working on it.

We work together to map out site map, page tables, it's hard because voice and tone is kind of my voice [LAUGH] and tone. But we loosely identified sort of what worked and what didn't there. And then I worked closely with a designer on the site nomenclature, right? But we didn't have a formal messaging architecture.

We did have a publishing calendar because we needed that, we have a publishing calendar now with regard to the podcast episodes that we're doing and the blog posts that we're creating. We did map out needs based personas, but again, it was like in working sessions, it wasn't like we had formal artifacts that we passed among the team.

But that was all stuff that we didn't need to create, right? Does that make sense? Okay, so I think to answer your question, not everybody needs all this stuff for sure. I think that it more comes down to when you find yourself with a question. Ask all of those tough questions as early on in the process as you can and then this is your toolbox, right?

You pick and choose from these, okay? Does that make sense to everybody? Okay, great. Did that answer your question?
>> Yeah. Yeah, okay, great. So then in systems design, these are some of the common artifacts that we'll see there. Who's working with SharePoint? So you've got content models and taxonomies that you're wrangling I would assume?

>> No, we're pretty much just storing everything up there.
>> You're just storing everything up there?
>> Yeah. Okay, great. I have some other workshops to recommend to you. [LAUGH] So taxonomy is basically like using a library. How are we categorizing content and keeping track of it so that it can be well managed and and searched.

Content models are how are we basically chunking out our content so that it can be presented in a variety of different ways or across a variety of different platforms from a single source. CMS authoring interface and then thinking about that content reuse strategy, and then process we kind of talked about, okay?

So we're gonna learn about some of these artifacts that kind of picked out the ones that hopefully will be of most use to you or at least to familiarize yourselves with. And then if it doesn't fall on your plate, you can start asking other people [LAUGH] for them, okay?

Look at that fancy transition. All right, so he has sometimes their leftover from other presentations. I don't think I have any flame transitions in this one but I can put some in over lunch if you want. So essentially content strategy then is a practice or a content strategist is working diligently to kind of prioritize and integrate all of these different activities.

Because again, when you make a decision in one of those areas, it has a ripple effect on all the other ones. So, if you make a decision to change over the person who's responsible for defining content requirements, from someone in marketing to someone on the user experience team for example.

That's going to have a significant effect on how those requirements play out. If you make a decision under editorial that you're going to up your publishing cadence from twice a month to four times a month. Well now you're looking at additional resources for who's gonna be tagging that content is, the stuff that's being created?

Does it fit within the current content model? How is this going to have an impact on find ability of content throughout our site? Do we know what section it's going to go in from an experience standpoint, who's going to be responsible for it from a process standpoint? So it's pretty interesting to watch the relationship of those areas, begin to sort of surface and the opportunities then to kind of create those shared conversations.

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