I was surprised to note this past week that “template” means different things to different people. (Someday I’ll get used to the idea that every word in the dictionary is subject to interpretation.)
My connotation for “template” comes from CMS work: a template is a pattern. It is a page layout that is formatted in such a way that it can serve as the structure for multiple pages.
- It is not a template if you need to personalize it for each page.
- It is not a template if it is only useful for one page.
- It is not a template if it isn’t saved somewhere for reuse.
A template is, essentially, an IKEA unit. It could be a bar. It could be a dresser (if you add in storage cubes for drawers). It could be a bookshelf. But the unit stays the same, regardless of what goes inside it.
We talk a lot about localization in content strategy, and the importance of doing more than merely translating the exact words in a sentence. After all, true communication is about tone, manner, style, voice, connection, and connotation as much as it is about denotation.
That said, I love finding signs during my travels that communicate an idea while butchering denotation. This is one of my favorites from last summer’s time in Sweden.
I enjoy a good theoretical debate over what content strategy “is” as much as the next content strategist. We’ll talk until the cows come home, quoting all the most famous and infamous lines:
- Content strategy is “everything”
- Content strategy is UX
- Content strategy is content marketing
- Content strategy is about creating content
- Content strategy is governance
- Content strategy is branding
Hubspot says strategy is a precursor to content creation and content marketing, and content marketers automatically build strategies. This makes a lot of sense coming from Hubspot, given that Hubspot is an inbound marketing organization. The people Hubspot works with are, by and large, marketers, and hopefully they are also content strategists, or they work closely with content strategists. However, to say that content strategy is something accomplished by the people creating the content ignores that sometimes, a team doesn’t need to create content. Continue Reading
Sound Health, by Julian Treasure
2% of Europe’s population suffer severely disturbed sleep due to traffic noise. That’s 8 million people. In addition, noise levels are going up in hospitals (and schools, and offices). Noise levels are more than double what the World Health Organization recommends we experience.
Four ways sound impacts us:
- Physiological – sudden noises are interpreted as threats, and we respond with higher blood pressure and adrenaline
- Psychological – sounds can change our emotions
- Cognitive – we only have a certain amount of bandwidth for how many things we can pay attention to, so noise reduces productivity
- Behavioral – we are less able to be friendly or comfortable when we’re frazzled and dealing with noise Continue Reading
Design is a Team Sport, by Jared Spool
Design is the rendering of intent. It’s easy to design in a vacuum, but designers need to have context to design appropriate things that can work for users and for the business.
What causes poor design?
- The right intention, poorly rendered
- A poor intention, rendered right Continue Reading
Digital Governance, by Lisa Welchman
Digital governance isn’t very sexy. But it is important.
“It’s the framework for establishing who has the accountability, roles, and decision-making authority for an organization’s online presence.”
i.e. Who gets to make decisions about what? Continue Reading
Design Upstream: Advancing Strategic Design Without Going Against the Current, by Chris Avore
Chris has designed the orgnaization at Nasdaq. He says basically if we’re expected to create solutions, we should have time to get to know the problems.
Assessing your current state
First, we need to assess whether we’re prepared to scale – is our house in order? Continue Reading
Designing for the Optimal Human Experience, by Liz Boehm
We have a quadruple aim: to make healthcare high quality, low cost, human-centered, and joyous.
The key to an ideal experience is a mix of efficiency and empathy. Continue Reading
Redesigning the Table, by Adam Connor
Congrats designers! We’ve made it! We’re at the table!
…so why are there terrible designs, like Windows 8, the Amazon phone, and Quikster? Continue Reading
Behavior Change …at Scale, by Kyra Bobinet
What do we have the power to change?
- We can change small things
- We can’t usurp peoples’ decision making capabilities
- We’re not going to change whole lives, there will still be desires and advertisements and other factors Continue Reading