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Live from LavaCon: From Yellow Pads to Virtual Reality: The Evolving Role of Content Strategists

From Yellow Pads to Virtual Reality: The Evolving Role of Content Strategists, by Andrea Zeller, Facebook

Andrea’s agenda:

Starting by talking about Content Strategy at Facebook, then getting into the evolution of content strategy, and then how she writes for Virtual Reality.

The day her 3 year old son asked Siri where to find his red cape she realized her kid was talking to computers while she was trying to figure out what words to put into a chatbot.

Content strategists at Facebook “make Facebook more human.” The strategy part is where we consider more than just “what do we write” but also “who are we speaking to” and “why do they need this information” and “where are they in space.” It doesn’t matter what device or platform you’re writing for – you’re always trying to make it simple, straightforward, and human.

The Evolution of Content Strategy

With TV with lean back. With phones we lean in (they’re interactive). With VR we move into immersive, where you are in the story.

We’re no longer viewing content without control. We’re now a participant in the experience, with full control. That means content strategy is evolving – though the core goal and user needs remain the same.

The digital world is now how we explore our physical world. Our memories are digitized, we search for real things via our computers. We talk to devices like they’re people. Now, with VR we can interact via motions and gestures, with things or people.

Information is all around you – touch points, icons, voice commands, haptic feedback, sounds. We need to help people understand that information. It needs to be readable (or accessible?).

Content Strategy for VR

  • Guidance and onboarding helps people understand what to do and how to do it – help them orient themselves
  • Figure out who the person will talk to (in the VR)
  • Identify what tools they’ll use or interact with
  • Write the way people talk

“We understand more than we know.” -Margaret Atwood

Marli Mesibov

Marli is a content strategist with a passion for the user experience. Her work spans websites, web applications, and mobile. Marli is the VP of Content Strategy at the UX design agency Mad*Pow, and she serves as managing editor at UX Booth, a publication about all areas of user experience. Marli is a frequent conference speaker, and has spoken at conferences including Content Strategy Forum and LavaCon. She can also be found on Twitter, where she shares thoughts on content strategy, literature, and Muppets.

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