Live from ConfabEU: Good content, good strategy, good business: Put it all into your software

Good content, good strategy, good business: Put it all into your software, by Ray Gallon

logo-smallIn Epinal, France from 1987 to 2006, there were 5500 radiation overdoses during cancer treatments. This could have been avoided with a content strategy.

  • Information should be designed to empower customers to make better decisions.
  • We need to create structured information that is findable, reusable, accessible, and understandable.
  • Learn from customers and they will reward you immensely.
  • Customers can tell when the content is focused for them, and when it’s focused on the business.


After buying your product, the customer’s main communication channel with you is… your product.

  • ¬†Is the product speaking with your voice?
  • Does the product tell them what you do?
  • Does the product provide the information users are looking for?

In order to not waste users’ time, we need to consider

  • Language
  • Emotions
  • Culture
  • Communication

Everyone in the organization is 100% responsible for the end-to-end customer journey.

Content strategy can guide what the customer experience will be.

Why create a content strategy?

  • It aligns content with business goals, which makes content a business asset
  • Reduces localization costs
  • Ensures a consistent and coherent message that improves the customer’s experience
  • The UI includes content
  • Software is content – it creates, generates, invents, and transmits content

We also have a new audience

  • Today’s audience (millenials) want quick results
  • Today’s audience¬†believe in recognizing the value/individual nature of everyone
  • Don’t want businesses/advertisers/politicians speaking for them

Technical content is key

  • The average shopper uses 10.7 sources of info before making a purchase
  • 84% of respondents said online feedback impacts their shopping decisions

Paul Perrotta came up with the term “Information Experience.”

  • Architected experiences
  • Solution based user-focused content
  • Language and voice appropriate to local culture (more than localization)
  • Empowered (and happy) customers
  • Current, accurate information on demand
  • Coherent with the product profile
  • IX is part of UX
  • Consistency across product and website

Customers don’t care which area of the company they’re talking to. They’re talking to the company and they need answers. They expect the company to be consistent.

Integrated stakeholder communities

  • Not user groups or user forums
  • Not a Facebook page
  • Integrated: consistent across site and product and various departments.
  • Integrated internally and externally (consultants)

We need to accept uncertainty, and test with real users who may tell us information we’re not happy about.

We can do useful things for others, and others have an effect on what we can do.

Value from the community is captured and fed back into the system.

Communities also need animators

  • Moderation implies dampening. Animation implies stimulating.
  • We want to make things happen – we need animators.
  • We need someone who thinks about that to enable participants.
  • That person can foster and encourage creativity, and use their judgement on what to encourage.
  • Learn from what the users say – both what they want to know and what they already know.
  • Use good ideas, wherever they come from.
  • Be a good curator.
  • Consider if information can be generalized to other situations.
  • Be a change agent.

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