Content creation, marketing and strategy are three diverse terms that overlap in similarities but have strong differences that make them unique. However, if you were to ask any bystander on the street to compare and contrast content creation, content marketing and content strategy they would most likely have no idea how to answer. The terms blur together and with content being a theme in all three it can be difficult to differentiate. So let’s examine these terms further and see what makes them all unique, starting with the basic definitions.
I am my content. I have been a content creator since I learned how to speak and how to hold a pencil. I’m creating content every day of my life both professionally and personally. I create content every time I send a photo of my dog to my sister and every time I write a review of a movie or book that I loved. Some of this content is shown in front of an audience of over 1 million and some of it is for my eyes only. Interestingly enough just about all of this content is digital and when I am not creating my own digital content I am consuming other’s digital content.
Before we can talk about the history of content strategy and answer the question: has there or has there not been a change to the practice of content strategy in the past decade? I think it would be beneficial to take a moment to explain what the term content strategy really means. According to UX Mag content strategy can be defined as “the plans for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content” and according to Moz, content strategy “concerns itself with the vision—the ins and outs of how and why your content will be created, managed, and eventually archived or updated.” In my opinion content strategy is the “how” behind the “what”. The what being your content and the how being how you’re going to push that content out to people successfully.
Meghan Casey, in her book The Content Strategy Toolkit, goes into great detail in order to give a step-by-step guide on how to create and plan content, deliver that content successfully and how to manage that content. Casey takes special care in explaining budget, buy-in and preparing for success. Everything Casey says is important for the budding content creator to absorb, but these three elements are especially important in developing a content strategy. These elements are so important in fact that Casey covers them within the first five chapters of the book. But why are they so important? And how can we expect to use them in a helpful way in a real world setting?
Quinnipiac University is a private university located in Hamden, Connecticut. The university was founded in 1929 and has roughly 7,000 undergraduate students. These students, including graduate students pursuing their master’s degree must navigate MyQ.com for information, access to blackboard, access to plan their future courses, housing information and much more. My Q serves as a starting off point for students to learn information on almost any topic regarding student life as well as a way to access their e-mail, self service and web advisor accounts.
My Q is a site used by Quinnipiac University undergraduate and graduate students as well as staff and faculty. The purpose of the site is to direct users to information, forms and third party applications related to the University. Usability tests were conducted on three participants to determine how difficult or easy it is to navigate My Q in its current state.
If you haven’t read my previous blog post about another great UX method called Business Origami I definitely recommend checking out that post before reading this one. If you take anything away from reading that post it should be that there’s so many different methods of UX design and there’s no right or wrong way to do any of these methods. Another one of my favorite methods, aside from Business Origami, is the RITE method, also known as Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation. How can you not like the RITE method, it’s literally the right method to use! But enough word puns (for now) let’s talk more about what the RITE method actually is.
Jimmy Fallon. James Corden. Trevor Noah. What do all of these people have in common? (Aside from being hilarious.) They’re all great at interviews! There’s so much more to being good at interviewing besides sitting next to someone and asking them a simple question, getting a simple answer in response and repeating it over and over. If that was the case then these hosts wouldn’t be half as popular as they are today. When it comes down to it there are Five Phases of an Interview that everyone should go through when it comes to collecting data. No promises you’ll be the next Jimmy Fallon at the end of it but you’ll definitely get some just as good results.
Throughout my seven weeks in my Principles of User Experience graduate class I have learned so much and taken away such important information that I find myself wondering how I could have considered myself a designer without this class. Perhaps that was a bit dramatic but I definitely consider myself a better designer after having taken this class. (And at this point do you really expect anything other than ~dramatics~ from me?) In all seriousness because I learned so much and did such great work with this class I created a mini portfolio of my work. I’ll also go through each module in the class and explain what I did and what I learned in the module because not everybody can take a graduate class and this way you’ll get the Spark Notes of what I learned.
Well here we are! Creating a Journey Map is the last assignment in my Principles of User Experience Design class and in true Libby fashion I did the assignment wrong the first time and had to start over. But hey, bright side! At least I recognized the fact I did it wrong and could do it over. And it was a learning experience and all that. The thing is I don’t think I did the assignment wrong the first time, per say, because when it comes to journey maps it’s all about a journey, I just didn’t realize that for the assignment the journey had to be a journey to purchase something. Wow, I just realized I’m going to say journey A LOT in this blog post.