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Finally Answering: Who Owns the Website (By Marli Mesibov)

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When my team set out to redesign the Harvard Pilgrim website, we knew that marketing initiatives would be significant in determining the design choices. What we didn’t expect was the magnitude of the content we would discover, and the internal politics we would navigate right up to launch. As a content strategist and UX practitioner, I learned more over the course of this project than I have on any other, and along the way determined a new process for blending content and design work with governance and organizational change.

In this session we’ll review the case study, with special attention called to the experience of the content team, and the focus on user-centered solutions. I’ll share what worked as well as what didn’t, and provide concrete recommendations on how to accomplish marketing objectives while simultaneously fulfilling user needs.

Goals for the session:

- Hear recommendations for navigating tricky political situations with numerous stakeholders
- Learn methods for developing and clarifying a realistic governance plan
- Discover tools for testing navigation changes and A/B testing, all of which is helpful in bringing stakeholders to agreement
- Find out how content teams can work with compliance departments to comply with legal requirements while also providing a fantastic user experience

Marli Mesibov is the VP of Content Strategy at the design and UX agency Mad*Pow. Her work spans strategy and experiences across websites, web applications, and mobile for enterprise companies and startups. Before coming to Mad*Pow, Marli’s clients included Motorolla, Fidelity Investments, Rowan University, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Care. Her work has helped these clients attract and engage new market subsets. Marli is also the managing editor at UX Booth, and a frequent conference speaker. She has spoken at conferences including LavaCon, Content Strategy Applied, Content Strategy Forum, and ConveyUX. Marli can also be found on Twitter as @marsinthestars, where she shares thoughts on UX Design, content strategy, and Muppets. You can learn more about Marli and her work at http://marli.us

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Finally Answering: Who Owns the Website (By Marli Mesibov)

  1. 1. 1 PREPARED BY Finally Answering: Who Owns the Website? @MARSINTHESTARS April 7, 2018 Conduit 2018 Marli Mesibov, VP, Content Strategy
  2. 2. 2 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Marli Mesibov VP, Content Strategy, Mad*Pow marli@madpow.net @marsinthestars
  3. 3. 3 “I’ll share your toys, I’ll share your money, I’ll share your toast, I’ll share you honey, I’ll share your milk and your cookies too – The hard part’s sharing mine with you.” - Shel Silverstein Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Who Owns the Website
  4. 4. 4 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Who Owns the Website
  5. 5. 5 CASE STUDY
  6. 6. 6 Who is Mad*Pow? We are a design agency full of passionate people, in a creative environment, delivering amazing experiences for industry leading clients. We are purpose driven - focused on improving health, financial wellbeing, education, and human connection. Our goal is social impact and financial return. Purpose Driven Design Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars
  7. 7. 7 The Problem: After years of marketing directly to employers, the ACA meant Harvard Pilgrim needed to reach out to a new audience – prospective members. Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  8. 8. 8 The Ask: Showcase Harvard Pilgrim’s value to consumers, identify a roadmap for improvements, and revamp the website to mirror this value. Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  9. 9. 9 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  10. 10. 10 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  11. 11. 11 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars DISCOVER SYNTHESIZE GENERATE REFINE Plan/Strategy Prototype EVALUATE IMPLEMENT Deployment QA Case Study
  12. 12. 12 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  13. 13. 13 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  14. 14. 14 Stats: • We reduced content from 1000+ to 130 pages • We streamlined the navigation • We removed external links from internal navigation • We ruffled a lot of feathers… Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  15. 15. 15 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  16. 16. 16 The New Ask: How do we maintain the level of valuable, useful content, and ensure we don’t go back to having a bloated, business-centric site? Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  17. 17. 17 ENTER: CONTENT STRATEGY
  18. 18. 18 “Content strategy is planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of usable, useful content.” –Kristina Halvorson, Brain Traffic Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Content Strategy
  19. 19. 19 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Content Strategy
  20. 20. 20 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Content Strategy Substance includes the voice and tone as well as the message the content conveys.
  21. 21. 21 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Content Strategy Structure is intertwined with technology and development. The content structure informs the technology we choose.
  22. 22. 22 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Content Strategy Governance is a team’s process for managing content. Governance tactics streamline the editing and retiring of content according to when it stops being relevant.
  23. 23. 23 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Content Strategy Workflow is a process followed by a team. A good workflow accounts for everyone who needs to have a say in the content without slowing down the creation process
  24. 24. 24 BACK TO THE CASE STUDY…
  25. 25. 25 The New Ask: How do we maintain the level of valuable, useful content, and ensure we don’t go back to having a bloated, business-centric site? Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  26. 26. 26 The New Problem: Everyone hates governace. Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  27. 27. 27 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Content Strategy Governance is a team’s process for managing content. Governance tactics streamline the editing and retiring of content according to when it stops being relevant.
  28. 28. 28 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Content Strategy
  29. 29. 29 • Is this a centralized or decentralized process? • What does their RACI model look like? • Who gets the final say? WHO OWNS THE WEBSITE? Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study
  30. 30. 30 Centralized • Web group owns the site • All site updates go through that group • Ensures consistency • Easy to update standards • Can cause bottlenecks • Requires executive buy- in and enforcement Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study Decentralized • Each business owner owns their section • Quick decision making • Lots of autonomy • Tough to regulate • Can result in duplicate content or a patchwork feel to the site
  31. 31. 31 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Case Study Responsibl e Accountabl e Consulted Informed Submit idea to web team Business owner Web editor Web publisher Decide: does it belong on the site? Web editor Editorial head Web publisher Business owner Create content Web editor Editorial head Web publisher Editorial review Web editor Editorial head Web publisher
  32. 32. 32 TAKEAWAYS
  33. 33. 33 Centralized approach if you have: • Complex legal and federal requirements • Rapidly changing standards • Many interweaving teams communicating with one audience Decentralized approach if you have: • Many aligned teams • Lots of content needing to be updated frequently • Many diverse audiences Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Takeaways
  34. 34. 34 Both approaches require a message architecture and a mission statement that all teams agree on, and is endorsed by the executive level. Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Takeaways
  35. 35. 35 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Takeaways
  36. 36. 36 • The Charismatic Organization, by Deborah Jospin and Shirley Sagawa • Managing Chaos, by Lisa Welchman • Slideshares by Adam Connor - www.slideshare.net/adamconnor Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Resources
  37. 37. 37 Mad*Pow | @marsinthestars Questions? Email: marli@madpow.com Twitter: @marsinthestars

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