Live from Confab: Content strategy for personalization

Content strategy for personalization: Five steps toward building thoughtful targeted experiences, by Colin Eagan

confab logoWhat is targeting, and why do I care?

Targeting is personalized content/layout for a person. It’s adaptive to a unique user trait, and it can be based on zip code, browsing history, etc.

Targeted = customized, based on data. Continue Reading


Live from Confab: Customer service design

Customer service design: Content strategy in the spaces between, by Mike Atherton

confab logoAs a child of the ’80s, Mike (in England) sent away to the US for comic books. It would take at least 6 weeks to get the comics, but the store sent a postcard to let him know the comics were on their way.

That’s experience design, customer service, and content strategy. Crossing the streams of UX, IA, and CS.

Today, we have way more channels of communications, and we can get things shipped way faster.

Similarly, the hotel here provides an experience that goes from Confab site -> the hotel’s web booking -> email reminder -> walking into the hotel door -> checking in at the kiosk -> going to your room -> seeing a personalized welcome message on the TV.

This is service design. Continue Reading


Live from Confab: Toward humane tech

Toward humane tech, by Anil Dash

confab logoAnil’s been working on the web for 20 years. He helped build Movable Type, one of the first CMSs, and got connected to a community of idealistic creators. “We dreamed of connecting people.” And the internet has connected people in many ways.

15 years ago, the people working on the web were underdogs. But now, we won! Collectively, we’ve changed the world.

But what did we (individually) make? What were our choices? Continue Reading


Live from Confab: Creating a Content Lab

Creating a Content Lab: Your Best-Kept Resourcing Secret, by Kate Garklavs

confab logoStarted life as a fiction writer, and uses a lot of those fiction ideas in her content. Now, at 18F, she’s one of nine content designers. She used to be the only one. Still, as nine, that’s not a ton, so they designed a content lab.


18F works on civic design:

  • They’ve made the immigration process easier through resource and form design
  • They’ve brought kids into national parks
  • They’ve made campaign finance data easier to find and understand

Working as the sole content designer in 2014, Kate had a hard time providing people with enough high quality content. They determined they needed a process or system to do more good, more efficiently. Continue Reading


Live from Confab: Understanding your audience

Understanding your audience, by Robert Mills

confab logoAudience research should become embedded into your work. This talk will include quick win suggestions and easy ways to incorporate research into projects as an individual, as opposed to the bigger projects with tons of resources.

Three steps:

  • The difference between knowing and understanding
  • How to actually gain the understanding
  • How to apply the learning to content strategy

Continue Reading


Live from Confab: Delivering your content strategy

Delivering your content strategy: Effective documentation and deliverables, by Kim Marques

confab logo“This content strategy stuff is great, but what are you going to give me?” – we all hear this. Kim, at Liberty Mutual, started creating deliverables beyond copy. So she started making a list of common deliverables. She found a ton of questions, more so than answers.

First, she created an inventory of deliverables. Started with audits:

  • Content audit -¬†List out absolutely everything, no judgements.
  • Content inventory – Get judge-y. Identify opportunities. Continue Reading

Live from Confab: Overcoming the voice of self-doubt

Overcoming the voice of self-doubt, by Anne Lamott

confab logo“My only problem is my mind. Sadly, it likes to go everywhere with me.”

The problem we share is our minds, and self doubt, and that it’s scary.

Key takeaways, and bits of brilliance:

  • Structure is important.
  • There’s no waiting for creativity. You just have to sit down and do it.
  • Take the action, and the insight follows.
  • Don’t try to remember later. Write things down.¬†”I write down everything I love.”
  • I have to convince you not to go away. I have to show you why I think you should stay with me for a few pages.
  • Don’t worry about other people’s voices. Just write in your own words.
  • Take the things out that don’t work. That will help with self doubt, because you’ll see that you’re willing to make changes for the good of the end product.
  • Writing is like driving at night with the headlights on. You can only see just ahead of you, but you can make the whole journey that way.
  • Your memories, your visions, your theories, your questions are good enough. They’re all you have to offer.
  • Secrets of writing: pay attention, carry a pen.