Tagged: collaboration

Why to create a content model before redesigning your nonprofit’s website

Posted on May 7, 2017 by - Content Engineering, Strategy

High-level content model for IREX's main website

Recently, my team at IREX worked with colleagues to create a content strategy and redesign our website. During the redesign, one of the most important steps was drafting a content model.

The content model that you see above helped us save countless hours during and after the redesign. Months later, we’re using it to improve results for the organization and our users.

Content models aren’t as intuitive or widely understood as sitemaps, wireframes, or design comps. But I’d argue that they’re even more important for helping organizations build the right thing. I’d like to share a bit about our process to encourage other nonprofits to embrace content modeling, too. Read more . . .

How guiding principles can improve a content strategy

Posted on January 16, 2017 by - Governance & Workflow, Strategy

A presentation slide that says Putting users at the heart of everything we do

As a content strategist, I often ask two questions: “What are we trying to achieve?” and “Who are the users?” The answers serve as a foundation for almost everything that comes next—from conducting research to designing and implementing a strategy.

But I’ve found that a third question is equally valuable: “Can we build and maintain our solutions in an efficient and effective way?”

To address this question out in the open, I’ve started developing guiding principles as part of my content strategy process. At IREX, we’ve built our guiding principles into our digital content strategy. As a result, it’s easier to let our principles guide us each time we discuss objectives and users. Read more . . .

Create a digital service manual with this template

Posted on November 22, 2016 by - Editorial & Brand, Governance & Workflow, Strategy

Digital service manual on a laptop screen

Earlier this year, I wrote about how we are creating and implementing a digital content strategy at IREX, an international NGO with offices in 20 countries and participants in more than 100.

Collaboration is an essential ingredient in any content strategy. But because IREX’s staff members are distributed across five continents, it’s all the more important for us to coordinate our work in efficient and effective ways.

To help solve this challenge, we created a digital service manual that outlines roles, processes, guidelines, a digital roadmap, and more. In this post, I’ll briefly describe the types of content that we included in our manual and the steps we took to develop it. I’ll also share a template for content strategists and digital directors to use when drafting their own digital service manuals. Read more . . .

Redesigning irex.org: An interview

Posted on October 3, 2016 by - Content Engineering, Editorial & Brand, Strategy, User Experience

Home page of the IREX website in July 2016
 

In July 2016, my team launched a redesigned website for IREX, the international NGO where we work. David Hobbs Consulting contacted me to discuss our process.

The following interview originally appeared on DavidHobbsConsulting.com. During our conversation, David and I discussed my team’s decisions for the redesign, including our approach to user research, stakeholder alignment, content migration, and content strategy. Read more . . .

Why many nonprofits need a new membership model, and how they could build one

Posted on July 13, 2015 by - Strategy, User Experience

A new report describes how public media could supplement its old fundraising model with a new model of membership.  The report should be required reading for all nonprofits.

It’s no secret that many US nonprofits have struggled to recover after the recession. As old funding models decline, nonprofits are anxiously searching for new models that might lead to more financial stability.

How can nonprofits continue to fund their important work without compromising their mission or alienating their supporters?

A report published in the Nieman Lab describes how public media could supplement its old fundraising model with a new model of membership. The report should be required reading for all nonprofits and digital strategists. Read more . . .

How agile and lean principles can improve content strategy and governance

Posted on June 7, 2015 by - Governance & Workflow, Strategy

Workshop on agile and lean approaches

In the right situations, agile and lean approaches can make content strategy and governance projects more effective.

In this post, I’d like to bring together some ideas from Corey Vilhauer on “small content strategy,” Melissa Breker and Kathy Wagner on content governance and workflow, Lisa Welchman on digital governance, and Dimagi on organizational readiness for technology systems.

I’ll also share some ideas from my own work, including a four-step process that uses agile and lean principles to improve governance and workflow.

Interested? Read more .  .  .

What style of collaboration is right for your project?

Posted on February 24, 2015 by - Governance & Workflow

Types of collaboration: counselor, coach, partner, facilitator, teacher, modeler, reflective observer, technical adviser, hands-on expert

I’ve been thinking about a question that Sara Wachter-Boettcher recently posed:

Our web-team processes may be more collaborative and iterative than ever—we may be sketching, testing, adapting, and prototyping. But how often are the people who’ll live out our strategies and manage content for the long term . . . included in that process?

She offers great advice about how hands-on workshops can be much more effective than traditional training sessions. I agree that it is far better to build a solution with, not for, the people who need to own it. And as Wachter-Boettcher points out, there are about a million opportunities throughout a project to include other teams in your team’s process.

I believe that one of the most important opportunities occurs at the very outset of a project, before the teams have even agreed to work together.

This is the perfect time to stop and ask each other, “What style of collaboration is right for this project? How can we work better across teams, not just within them?” Read more . . .

A template for content types

Posted on January 12, 2015 by - Editorial & Brand, Governance & Workflow, User Experience

Types of content

I’d like to share a tool that I recently put together to address a common content problem.

This tool is not a substitute for a comprehensive content strategy. However, if your organization has not yet decided to create a content strategy, this tool could help nudge teams in that direction while solving some important content issues. Read more . . .

Creating journey maps to improve your content strategy

Posted on November 16, 2014 by - User Experience

Sticky notes for a preliminary journey map

Design thinking allows teams to broaden their perspective by learning about their users’ needs. Teams can then redefine problems from their users’ point of view, generate fresh ideas, and test prototypes with the people who will use the final product or service.

Unfortunately, design thinking makes many organizations uncomfortable. So how can we introduce design thinking in a nonthreatening way? One inexpensive but powerful method is journey mapping. Read more . . .