A Content Strategist’s role in decision making for digital design

Not having learnt her lesson from James earlier, Ellen de Vries, Content Strategist, from Clearleft, begins by asking the group to name the location in her image. Naturally versions of Roady McRoadface are offered. Never ask the internet anything, or a room of conference attendees who are hyped up on coffee and free biscuits.

(I have to confess I am not sure what this talk is about. I was distracted setting up this blooming laptop)

Ellen is a content strategist. She cares about language. Particularly, making a message easy for everyone to understand and has the best learning outcome. Ellen describes the language tools we need to use. Use consistent messages, know your audience, use the right vocabulary and find your voice.

Language in itself is a tool for building understanding and concepts.

What is confusing? Do you find it difficult to explain? How would you summarise it? These are three important questions to ask yourself when you’re working on something. She suggests this as a good activity for teams to do during a project.

Ellen talks about her company’s use of personas as an effective way to understand our clients/users’ needs. To be honest aren’t these just user stories? Something already well known?

Interestingly she advises that, whilst it’s easy to give communications to external consultants or your marketing department, we should do it if it’s our message that’s going out. We understand it. We know what we want to say.

Our patterns are often invisible. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Sometimes it’s helpful to have someone come in with fresh eyes.

If I had to sum up this talk I would use the words: user stories.

(This post was made very difficult due to some excellent Twitter banter distractions)

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