User experience (UX) is more than just making your website look bright and beautiful. It involves ensuring that people’s interaction with your website is pleasant and fulfilling. This means that not only do you need to make sure that your website looks good, but you also need to make sure that it’s easy to use (a good user experience). More importantly, your digital product (e.g. website, app) needs to enable people to complete their intended task or goal. In this article, we will take a deep dive into user experience rules and how they help you elevate your content strategy.
User experience rules and content strategy
This is where your content strategy comes in. After all, your content is the reason why your customers are visiting your website. They need information. You need to make sure it is available, easily accessed, consumed, and understood. Using the rules or principles of UX design will ensure that your content strategy will be able to deliver content that meets all their needs as well as yours.
1. Content strategy in UX
What is content strategy?
Content strategy involves the planning, creating, publishing, and management of content to achieve key business goals and meet user needs. Your strategy should enable you to produce the right content for the right audience at the right time to produce the right results.
For example, your business goal is to increase brand awareness. Your content strategy will include SEO to increase the visibility of your website, especially to people who are searching for a product or service that your business offers. It might also include delivering content across all channels.
What should content strategy include?
The components of a successful content strategy include the following:
- Goals and Substance: This involves determining your business goal(s) and the content required to achieve it. This includes identifying the right audience, defining the tone and voice, and creating the message architecture.
- Structure: This involves figuring out how the content should be prioritized, organized, and accessed.
- Roles and Workflow: this focuses on determining the roles, tasks, tools, and processes required to create, edit, publish, and maintain content.
- Policies and Standards: this focuses on identifying the policies, standards, and guidelines that the team needs to follow involving content, including how to evolve the current content strategy based on changing business goals and user needs.
2. Three key user experience design rules
UX rules are defined by the Interaction Design Foundation as “fundamental points of advice for making easy-to-use, pleasurable designs as we select, create and organize elements and features in our work.”
Below, we look at specific user experience rules that can also be applied to your content strategy.
Hierarchy is a visual design principle that designers use to guide the eye of the users to the most important elements on the screen or page. You can do this by manipulating characteristics such as color, contrast, scale, proximity, and whitespace.
Aside from visual hierarchy, information architecture is another important hierarchy that you need to consider. This involves understanding of how content should be prioritized and organized. You should create a navigable website map that will help users find the information they need where they expect it to be.
Users like familiarity. Users will get easily frustrated when asked to learn something new. They expect consistency when faced with similar products. The less time they need to spend learning how to navigate an app, the better their user experience will be.
The same thing applies to content. The voice, tone, messaging, style, and visual branding of the content should be consistent across all platforms and channels. In addition, content quality, quantity, and the publishing schedule should also be consistent. Consistency will help you fully connect with your audience and develop more meaningful relationships with them. It will even help boost your company’s credibility and inspire brand trust.
According to Frank Bach, Lead Product Designer at Headspace, “accessible design is when you consider the needs of everyone, and not just those of your power users.” The design of a product should be inclusive, something that can be used and interacted with by a wide range of people, including those with disabilities.
With website accessibility, it’s not just the design that needs to be accessible, but also the content. There should be no obstacles preventing anyone from using the website and getting the information it provides.
As an added benefit, simply following accessibility guidelines can significantly improve customer experience. For example, videos require closed captioning to enable people with hearing disabilities to consume the content. Video captions also allow people in a noisy environment to do the same.
3. How to provide inclusive content
Focus on your documents & PDFs
Your content is more than what’s published online such as your website, emails, blog, social media posts, etc. Some content is made available to the public such as PDFs and other types of documents. Just like with your website, your documents must meet accessibility requirements.
The first step to ensuring your content is inclusive is to determine how many documents your company has made available to the public, including those on your website. The next step is to check if they’re digitally accessible. If they aren’t, then the third step would be PDF remediation.
Remediate all documents & PDFs
PDF remediation is the process of repairing a document to make them accessible to all. There are two ways to remediate documents. Your business can either use PDF remediation tools themselves or have the task completed by a professional.
Why is PDF remediation important? One reason is that it is in compliance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Another reason is that it ensures people with disabilities can get equal access to these documents with the use of assistive technologies.
Connecting the dots
As you can see, UX design and content have a lot of similar rules and goals. Both are essential in creating a website, app, or other digital product that is user-friendly, usable, and accessible to a wide range of people, including the disabled.
Accessibility is one of the most essential factors that users take into account when deciding to do business with a company. When you follow accessibility guidelines, you will boost your business.
This guest blog article was written by David Gevorkian. He is the chief executive officer and founder of Be Accessible, a website accessibility company that helps make business websites ADA compliant. David is an advocate for creating web interfaces usable by all people. He enjoys recording music and playing soccer with friends. Connect with him on LinkedIn.