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All About Content: 6 Takeaways from Confab 2021

All About Content: 6 Takeaways from Confab 2021

Content strategy is an area of expertise that grew out of user experience (UX) around 2010, when the book Content Strategy for the Web put this new discipline on the map. Author Kristina Halvorson, founder of Brain Traffic, produces Confab

Today, successful organizations everywhere are using content strategy to solve complex problems and make content more useful, relatable and user friendly. Below are six insights and takeaways from speakers at Confab 2021.

Authentic Relationships Are Important

Authentic relationships are at the core of every successful project. It’s not the tools, documentation or processes that make the project, it’s the people. People build good projects when they care about each other, so when you foster authentic relationships, you inspire good work.     

– Eileen Webb, Webmeadow

You Can’t “Use Up” Ideas

It’s important to come up with lots of options that cover the gamut, not just ideas that are safe or trendy. There’s no such thing as “using up” an idea. Picasso sometimes painted more than 200 iterations of a painting before deciding on the final version. The longer you think about a creative problem, the more original solutions you’ll be able to come up with.  

– Anthony Brandt, Rice University

Data-first thinking is content-first thinking

Customer-facing transactional content can get messy, and the customer can notice and give negative feedback and reviews online. Understanding data is hard—but data is content so when you find a way to understand the data journey, from the user’s point of view, you can improve the customer experience (CX).     

– Maggie Anderson, Capital One

Empathy is a hidden deliverable

Many technical things happen involving a lot of people and disciplines during a website development project. By fostering an environment that embraces questions and curiosity, we understand other disciplines, processes and vocabularies and people better—whether they’re our clients or our team mates.     

– Cory Vilhauer, Blend Interactive

Writing for something that won’t be read

When you’re writing for audio, start with research to find out about users’ audio habits in daily life. Communicate audio content visually through language and sound. Write podcast descriptions for limited real estate and character counts. Create a style guide for quality and consistency. Make a playbook to describe your process.     

– Sophie Tahran, The New Yorker

6 Tips for growing your team

1. Get comfortable with ambiguity. Your first job is to figure out what your job is.  

2. Learn the process (and show value).  

3. Talk about what you do and connect with people from different disciplines.  

4. Find others who think like you. Build community.  

5. Be accessible (but set boundaries).  

6. Care about the structure of your organization so you understand how decisions are made.

– Andy Welfle, Adobe