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Content Strategy Insights
30 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
Beth Dunn: Cultivating Content Design – Episode 99
Beth Dunn Beth Dunn is the author of Cultivating Content Design, a book that shows content leaders how to create the kind of successful content design program she has built at HubSpot. The secret to Beth's approach is communication. First, she listens intently to her colleagues and stakeholders. Then she invites them to workshops and other activities where they co-discover content concerns and figure out together how to address them. The key to Beth's success is her pragmatic approach. She always focuses on the issue at hand and always works with what she finds, not with "best practices" or other off-the-shelf solutions. We talked about: her career path at HubSpot, including the day that she learned from her new boss that she was a UX writer her layers model of content design - surface, structure, and strategy/scope - and how her articulation of them helps her communicate with colleagues the pragmatic nature and thrifty approach that drives her work her approach to organizational change, include a lot of "Tom Sawyer-ing" her "find your five" workshops how she scales her content design work how unhelpful it can be to compare what you're doing with what other organizations are doing how her coaching practice influences her content design work what she thinks we need to do as a profession to mature (hint: it might have to with content itself) Beth's bio Beth Dunn is a content and communications leader, speaker, author, and coach. She pioneered the content design practice at HubSpot, then developed and led the global HubSpot content design team. Her workshops, classes, exercises, and guides have helped scores of leaders, practitioners, and teams design better content, confidently and at scale. Beth Dunn lives on Cape Cod in her hometown with a charming husband and some quality cats. Connect with Beth on social media Twitter LinkedIn Instagram Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67djFuc5Rzo Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 99. Many professions, including content strategy, worry about not having a seat at the table when it comes to influencing business decisions. Beth Dunn's solution to this is simple: Build your own table. This stance exemplifies Beth's scrappy, pragmatic approach to content work. She invites her colleagues to the table, listens to them, and then co-creates with them tailor-made content programs that grow and scale with the organization. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 99 of the Content Strategy Insights Podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Beth Dunn. Beth does content and communications at HubSpot, but more importantly, to me anyway for this podcast, she just wrote a book called Cultivating Content Design. So welcome Beth, tell the folks a little bit more about your work there at HubSpot and how you came to write your book. Beth: Absolutely. Well, thank you for having me on here. So, it's so thrilling. So I'm a long time HubSpotter. I was one of those people that started off when it was like a really small band of weirdos. And now it's just a large band of weirdos, which is great. So I started there in January, 2010, and kind of started off as the person who would annoy the engineers and say, could you please make the wording on the screen make more sense. Beth: I was in a customer service role, but in a room full of, I think there were 50 people at the time, I immediately sort of stood out as the one who was harassing people and saying, can we make this more clear, it would be more clear to the customers. And that just sort of evolved over time into an official role as a UX writer. We actually ended up hiring our first director of design, who was Joshua Porter, who people might know as Bokardo on Twitter. And he was kind of one of the first popularizers of the idea of microcopy as a scien...
33 minutes | May 26, 2021
Patrick Bosek: Structured Authoring for Future-Proof Content – Episode 98
Patrick Bosek Patrick Bosek helps businesses author and manage content that is structured so that it can be used for many purposes, not just one-off publications. Structuring documentation this way creates intelligent content that both addresses current customer needs and anticipates future demands. The DITA standard underlies this approach to creating and managing the smart, adaptable content that modern businesses need to complete their digital transformation. We talked about: the benefits of componentized content over systems that work from a page paradigm the benefits of a future-looking approach to content distribution the difference between operating from an "authored" perspective and a "published" perspective the use of DITA and XML in structuring enterprise content the benefits of DITA, a stable, battle-tested standard the differences between how you store comment and how you format it for delivery on the web his thoughts on "digital proximity" - the idea that shoes the importance of putting your content to the user in a way that is sensitive to their context in the moment and in the language they speak how componentizing your content future-proofs it for presentation in new contexts his take on digital transformation as it pertains to content Patrick's bio Patrick Bosek is a co-founder of Jorsek Inc, makers of easyDITA. Since beginning with Jorsek in 2005 Patrick, has worked on a wide range of projects all focused on improving authoring, production, and distribution of content. Most recently, his primary focus has been empowering the users of easyDITA and generally advancing the product documentation industry. Follow Patrick on social media Twitter LinkedIn Write The Docs Slack Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGcsSDarrTs Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 98. Mention the word "content," and most people immediately think of publications like books, web pages, and social media posts. Patrick Bosek is quick to point out that we live in a post-publication content world. Yes, books and web pages still exist, but nowadays your content needs to be created and shared in ways that let you use and re-use it intelligently. The DITA standard drives his approach to managing the smart, adaptable content that modern enterprises need. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode Number 98 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Patrick Bosek. Patrick is the CEO of a company called Jorsek which makes easyDITA and other products. Welcome, Patrick. Tell the folks a little bit more about your role there at Jorsek and a little bit about easyDITA. Patrick: Yeah, sure. Thanks, Larry. So easyDITA is our primary product. It's a component content management system. It's really focused on product reference and knowledge content. So you can think of that as being a full range of things, from knowledge bases, help articles, to product documentation that would more typically, or maybe historically, be delivered as a longer format. So it can really handle everything from very componentized, atomized content, all the way up to very large books, thousands and thousands of pages, and then it manages the whole content life cycle around it, and presents a platform for actually getting it out through different channels to the end user. Larry: Nice. A lot of my listeners, I know, work in... There's a whole range of ways you can publish stuff in the digital world now, but a lot of people come out of the conventional CMS world, where it's kind of like the authoring process of putting the thing in the CMS, and then how it's stored, and then how it's ultimately displayed. There's almost, not quite a one-to-one correspondence, but it's a pretty... the same blob going through the system.
40 minutes | May 12, 2021
Patricia Gomez and Mario Ferrer: Content Design “Glue” – Episode 97
Patricia Gomez and Mario Ferrer lead the content design team at King Games, the makers of Candy Crush and other popular mobile games. Patricia Gomez Mario Ferrer They operate at a scale that might intimidate some people, designing experiences for nearly a quarter of a billion users. Serving that many customers forces them to be thoughtful about the tools they use and about how they work with their colleagues. They and their team have become the "glue" that connects designers, developers, product managers, support staff, and other teams at King, always keeping in mind their motto: "make friends, break silos, build bridges." We talked about: the rise of the content design trade (and how it's always been there, just maybe not called by that name) Patricia's evolution from localization practitioner to content design leader the unique challenges of running a content operation in a product organization the origins of the content design team and UX writing practice at King the unique meaning of the word "content" in the game world and how it affects how they label their work the differences between narrative design and game design, and its relevance to their work the relationship between content design and product design how the evolution of content design fits with the evolution of product design, interaction design, and UX design how content strategy fits into their work their role as "the glue" that connects trades at King how, despite all of their accomplishments, they are still a relatively young craft at King how they show their collaborators how content design can contribute at each stage of the product process (and how copywriting is only about 20% of the contribution) how the variety of experiences on their team enrich their operation the surprising effects of the COVID pandemic in democratizing their team's access to stakeholders another surprising result of the pandemic: better documentation of what happens in meetings how their localization needs and the need to scale helped guide the creation of their CMS the evolution of the tools and technologies that they use the motto they've adopted - "make friends, break silos, build bridges" - and their commitment to challenging the status quo and trying new things Patricia's bio Patricia Gomez is Associate Director of Content Design at King, based in Barcelona. She is building the first Content Design craft at King, managing a team of content designers and leading content operations. Previously, Patricia was the Head of Content at eDreams Odigeo, leading a team of UX Writers and Localization specialists. Patricia started her career in the Localization industry and worked 6 years as Localization Manager at Google Spain and Portugal. Follow Patricia on social media Patricia on LinkedIn Mario's bio Mario Ferrer is a Lead Content Designer at King Games, the makers of Candy Crush. He strives to help and guide people across digital products and services with the content he designs. He's a firm believer that the collaboration between research, design, content, and development is what allows teams to solve complex design problems. He started Content Design España, a local community of practice that helps newcomers learn more about Content Design and UX Writing through mentorships, workshops, and events that explain how the role provides value to product teams and their design processes. Mario is always trying to find the best tacos in town, listening to stand-up comedy, and teaching his two kids about Mexican Lucha Libre. Follow Mario on social media Mario on LinkedIn Mario on Twitter Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu3qZfIvlcI Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 97. When you play Candy Crush, you see very few words in that game's user interface.
31 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
Cheryl Platz: Design Beyond Devices – Episode 96
Cheryl Platz Modern digital experiences meet humans where they are. Talking to a voice assistant. Typing on a keyboard. Reacting to a vibration delivered by your smart watch. Operating a VR game character with a gesture controller. Wherever you want to be, there is now a device and an interaction modality to take you there. Cheryl Platz is the expert guide who can help you navigate the practice of multimodal design, the new UX approach that connects these many interactions to create one coherent human-centered digital experience. We talked about: what multimodal design entails the inherently inclusive and humanistic nature of multimodal design how a storytelling framework that professional improv actors use can be repurposed as a research framework for designing multimodal experiences how multimodality is a new layer on top of existing design practice how this new design lens shows the need for designing for transitions between modalities the importance of storytelling, especially in the early stages of the design process the possibility of single-sourcing content for multimodal experiences the unique challenges of designing a CMS for conversational agents, like the need for multiple responses in voice interactions metadata strategy for multimodal the inherently collaborative nature of multimodal design the importance of accounting for interruptions and notifications in a world where attention is a precious commodity Cheryl's bio Cheryl Platz is a world-renowned designer, author, actress, and speaker whose work on emerging technologies has reached hundreds of millions of customers across multiple industries. Her professional passions include natural user interfaces, applied storytelling in design and research, and taming complexity in any manifestation. Cheryl’s first book, Design Beyond Devices: Creating Multimodal, Cross-Device Experiences, was published by Rosenfeld Media in December 2020. Cheryl’s career spans a wide variety of high-profile projects at employers including Amazon (Alexa), Microsoft (Azure, Cortana), Electronic Arts (The Sims series), Griptonite Games (Disney Friends, Chronicles of Narnia), Disney Parks (PhotoPass), and presently the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Cheryl also owns design education company Ideaplatz, LLC through which she shares her experience with conferences and companies worldwide. Her work and insights have been featured by outlets including the BBC, Huffington Post, Wired.com, Forbes.com, Adobe, and at venues on 5 continents. Learn more about her unique career - from design to acting - at cherylplatz.com - and follow her on Twitter at @funnygodmother. Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/mLq1YDQ2Mxw Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 96. In the modern world - where you might be asking a smart speaker about online shoes stores in one moment, then looking up size information on your phone, and then sitting down at your laptop to place an order - you really appreciate it when the transitions between those experiences are smooth. Multimodal design is the new UX practice that makes this possible. And Cheryl Platz is the go-to expert on this new approach to designing human-centered, cross-device experiences. Interview transcript Larry: Hey, everyone. Welcome to episode number 96 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Cheryl Platz. Cheryl just published a book called Design Beyond Devices, and I'm really excited to talk to her about that, but she does other stuff as well. So welcome, Cheryl. Tell the folks a little bit more about what you're up to these days and how you came to write the book. Cheryl: Thank you so much for having me here, Larry. I'm so glad to be here, and I'm really excited to talk to you about multimodal experiences and cross-device experiences, which that's...
30 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Marcelo Lewin: Content Modeling for Headless CMS – Episode 95
Marcelo Lewin Marcelo Lewin focuses on content modeling, a long-standing practice that is growing in importance as the need for intelligent content emerges. Content modeling helps you manage your content separately from its presentation in any one medium. This skill is crucial in the new world of omnichannel content delivery, where your content is as likely to show up in a voice app or chatbot as in a mobile app or website. Marcelo is a natural educator and evangelist who can help anyone - content creators, web developers, or business executives - appreciate the benefits of understanding your content's purpose independent of its presentation in any one communication channel. We talked about: his work at HeadlessCreator.com, which offers free courses for content modelers his take on the current state of the CMS market his perspective on the benefits of a headless CMS his theory about why organizations are slow to adopt headless solutions the main reason to go headless: the ability to build intelligent content his definition and description of content modeling the collaborative nature of any content modeling project - the need to involve subject matter experts, authors, developers, and others the importance of always staying focused on the intent and purpose of the content you are working with, not its presentation in a specific context the ongoing need to educate and evangelize this new way of handling content his perception that executives get the benefits of decoupled content systems more readily than authors and developers the importance of adopting good content modeling practice to future-proof your content investment Marcelo's bio Marcelo is passionate about Content Modeling, Content Architecture, Content Strategy and Headless CMS technologies. He is the founder of HeadlessCreator.com, where you can enroll in free online courses about content modeling, headless CMS authoring, administration and development. He is also a Senior Content Solutions Architect for ServiceTitan. To learn more, visit HeadlessCreator.com. Follow Marcelo online: Twitter LinkedIn YouTube Facebook Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/zjS6jfSN-Vo Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 95. Marcelo Lewin can help you navigate the new world of content management. In the modern omnichannel world, it's important to store and manage your content in a way that lets you can present it in any number of channels: on a website, in a mobile app, or via a voice assistant. A headless CMS is the technology that makes this new way of managing content possible. Content modeling is the practice that ensures that your content's purpose is clear wherever it appears. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 95 of the Content Strategy Insights Podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Marcelo Lewin. Marcelo is the founder of Headless Creator. Marcelo, welcome first of all, and tell the folks a little bit more about Headless Creator and what you do there. Marcelo: Hi Larry. Thank you for inviting me. I'm very happy and honored to be on your podcast. 95 episodes. Wow. That's a lot of episodes. I give you major kudos for total consistency on continuing a podcast. That's a lot of shows you put on there, so awesome. Larry: Thanks. Marcelo: But thanks for inviting me. I appreciate it. Like you said, I'm the founder of HeadlessCreator.com. It's a website that offers free courses supported by the community. Meaning that I have corporate support from the headless CMS companies to keep the website pretty much free. And people can attend courses on a variety of topics, all on headless CMSs content modeling, which is my passion. I also work as a senior content solutions architect for a major SAS company doing content modeling on a daily basis on a variety of projects.
40 minutes | Apr 9, 2021
Patrick Stafford: UX Writing and Content Design Education – Episode 94
Patrick Stafford Patrick Stafford has a unique view of the state of content work in the fields of UX design and product management. As the CEO of the UX Writers Collective, his livelihood depends on understanding where the profession is going, which skills are in demand, and how writers and designers can best prepare themselves for UX writing and content design careers. We talked about: his new role as CEO at the UX Writers Collective the current scope of courses they offer and their plans for the future the range of students that the UX Writers Collective serves how he demonstrates the benefits of UX writing to designers the range of job responsibilities and job titles associated with product and UX content work the importance of adopting a content strategy mindset regardless of your role how to build your content strategy thinking muscle the growth of the UX writing profession and salaries the growing body of skills you need to be a UX writer now the variety of pathways into a content design/UX writing career his desire to see more UX designers in design-management roles and less developer-centrism in product management the benefits of a T-shaped skills set for any design professional the need for ongoing learning and professional development to keep up as expectations for the profession rise Patrick's bio Patrick Stafford is the CEO and cofounder of the UX Writers Collective. He is a former Lead Digital Copywriter for MYOB, the largest accounting software provider in Australia, and has consulted with several businesses on UX content strategy. He also hosts the podcast Writers of Silicon Valley, which features interviews with UX writers and content strategists. Follow Patrick online UX Writers Collective Twitter Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/OHu4gf_-WO8 Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 94. Patrick Stafford knows the fields of UX writing, content design, and content strategy better than most. As the CEO of the UX Writers Collective, he carefully follows the UX and content professions to determine how to design and develop courses for them. As a UX writer and content strategist himself, he has developed some well-informed opinions about the importance of content-strategy thinking and about how he'd like to see the field develop. Interview transcript Larry: Hey everyone. Welcome to episode 94 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Patrick Stafford. Patrick has recently ascended to the position of CEO at the UX Writers Collective. And it wasn't just that that I wanted to have him on the show. He's a font of useful information about UX writing and that whole field. So welcome, Patrick. Tell the folks a little bit more about your role there at the UX Writers Collective and what you're up to. Patrick: Thank you so much. I'm so happy to be here. I recently took the position of CEO at the UX Writers Collective. We sell education and training courses in UX writing and related disciplines like content testing and chatbot design, and a number of other courses. Prior to that, I was the lead digital copywriter at MYOB, which is Australia's largest accounting software company. Digital copywriter is a weird title. And I know we'll probably talk about that in a little bit. But it's essentially a content strategist. And so I worked on a number of initiatives there related to logged-out states and a few web apps and things like that. I've also conducted a number of freelance UX writing and content strategy projects in my time for a number of consultancies and organizations down in Australia. But yeah, most of my time now, well, in fact, all of my time is now running and growing the UX Writers Collective. Larry: Okay, well, let's start there. Because I've been following you I think since pretty much the start,
32 minutes | Apr 2, 2021
Rachel McConnell: Content Operations Leadership – Episode 93
Rachel McConnell In Rachel McConnell's world, if content strategy is the engine, then content operations is the oil that keeps it running smoothly. Rachel leads one of the biggest content operations in the world, a team of 100 content designers and editors at BT, a large communications services company in the UK. Her team is a mix of content professionals from both UX and publishing backgrounds who work across a variety of products. This gives her plenty of opportunities to optimize their internal systems and plenty of ideas for both formal training programs and informal knowledge sharing. As her team increases its capabilities and design maturity, they also help raise the digital maturity of the whole company. Rachel's bio Rachel McConnell is a content designer, strategist and consultant who’s used to building and leading content teams. She’s worked with brands such as Deliveroo, M&S, John Lewis and Virgin Holidays and also trains UX professionals in UX writing. She’s currently content strategist at BT and was the content strategy lead for Clearleft. Rachel is the author of "Why You Need A Content Team." Follow Rachel online LinkedIn Twitter Medium RachelMcConnell.me Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBIBwhWwiYA Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 93. Rachel McConnell leads a big team of content designers and editors at BT, the huge British communications services company. Her content operations include about 100 folks, spanning UX practice, editorial publishing, and content management. She focuses on creating and optimizing efficient business systems and helps her team members execute on BT's content strategy with regular trainings as well as structured opportunities for team members to learn from each other. Interview transcript Larry Swanson: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 93 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Rachel McConnell. Rachel is a content design manager at BT, and a lot of our listeners are in the U.S. and BT would be like the British version of Cox or Xfinity or any of those big... What is it, like phone, internet? Whatever the batch of services that you provide. Rachel McConnell: Yeah, telecoms and broadband. Yeah. Cable, that kind of thing. Larry: All that kind of stuff. Welcome, Rachel. Tell the folks a little bit more about what being a content design manager entails. Rachel: Thanks, Larry. Yeah. Hi, everybody. I am a content design manager at BT. That means I'm responsible for the content designers within a specific alliance. My alliance, which is a group of triads and squads, they have a particular focus on capability. My role is I specialize in content operations, which means I'm essentially responsible for looking at how the whole of the content team is operating from always a working point of view and also from a process point of view, capability point of view, and helping improve how everybody's working and how they're delivering work essentially and improving efficiency and effectivity. Larry: Right, and that implies a large organization. How many folks are you... How many content designers do you have there? Rachel: Our team is quite big. I'm pretty sure it might be one of the largest content design teams in the UK actually. We have about 99, 100 content people. About 60% of that is content designers and the other 30% are content editors. They're more like traditional content managers working within the content management system. Larry: Great. Content design is one of those fields where... In content strategy in general it seems like everybody comes from some kind of publishing or media background, but in content design you're as likely to have design-oriented people as you are editorial folks. Are there different considerations when you're managing a hybrid team like that?
29 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
Nicole Buckenwolf: Making Sense of Complex Product Graphs with Taxonomies and Ontologies – Episode 92
Nicole Buckenwolf Nicole Buckenwolf organizes the product information that you see at businesses like Amazon and Etsy. Big retailers use product graphs, ontologies, and taxonomies to classify and categorize the millions of products they carry. Building these massive catalogs involves a variety of users and collaborators. Both the vendors who provide the products and the shoppers who buy them - as well as the in-house teams that build these complex shopping systems - benefit from the valuable metadata that Nicole and her colleagues create. We talked about: her path from medieval studies to her current role as a product ontologist at Amazon the valuable training in taxonomy that she got in her first job her on-the-spot take on the classic "is a hot dog a sandwich" taxonomy question how data helps her taxonomy and ontology work, especially around the lack of standards in creating product ontologies the surprising commonalities between the very standardized topics she worked with in the industrial supply world and the wide-open world of custom goods at Etsy how much she enjoys working at the "hinge point" of the metadata landscape the challenges of categorizing goods at Etsy, where vendors and buyers often disagree about how to classify products how the nature of taxonomy and ontology work can affect work culture how structured data practices can help with taxonomy work the need for fluid taxonomies, since the body of things being classified changes so often how Etsy balances the need to address sellers needs, buyer needs, and the needs of the team building the system how UX researchers at Etsy help with her work some advice for aspiring taxonomists and ontologists Nicole's bio Nicole Buckenwolf is an information professional currently working as an Ontologist for the Amazon.com Product Graph where she gets to live her dream of pondering music data modeling quandaries. As a true "accidental taxonomist" who got her first taxonomy job by Googling "jobs with logic puzzles", Nicole is passionate about mentoring other career-changing library professionals exploring the world of tech. Follow Nicole on Twitter Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho0pnHpm4Q8 Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 92. Nicole Buckenwolf helps digital teams classify and organize product information. She currently works on product graphs at Amazon, but we talk in this episode mostly about her earlier work at Etsy. In both jobs, she has dealt with complex product lines and a variety of users and collaborators. In situations like these, it's crucial to give all of the folks involved a clear picture of the metadata landscape that they're navigating. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 92 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Nicole Buckenwolf. Nicole is currently an ontologist at Amazon working on the product knowledge graph there. But I met her about a year ago at World Information Architecture Day, and she was at that time working with Etsy. Anyhow, welcome to the show, Nicole. Tell the folks a little bit more about your work, how you ended up at Etsy and then Amazon and all the interesting stuff you did before that. Nicole:: Sure thing. Thank you. So right now, I, as you said, work at Amazon. I'm on the product graph team. And the main customer I work with is the Amazon Music team. So I'm building data models for music. Yeah. My bypath here is fairly circuitous as I think a lot of taxonomists and ontologists are. I majored in medieval studies. I was fairly a typical undergrad that I had no idea what I wanted to study. So I played around with some things. Ended up in medieval studies. Graduated with a history degree. Ended up going back to school a few years later for a graduate degree in library science.
32 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Scott Berkun: How Design Makes the World – Episode 91
Scott Berkun Scott Berkun can help you understand design. His new book, How Design Makes the World, helps both practitioners of the discipline and consumers of the products that they create understand how design shapes our world. We talked about: his journey from computer programming to UX design his early switch at Microsoft from UX research to project management the distinction between building things and designing things the hazards of building things that don't solve a problem his take on the concept of "design maturity" how the rise of the consumer web and then the rise of mobile apps accelerated the growth of UX practice the lag in the adoption of UX practice in enterprise products how being right and having a good idea is not sufficient to actually change organizational decision-making the importance of being able to persuade others of the relevance and desirability of your design ideas his intent to give designers tools to democratize the design profession how truly hearing and empathizing with key stakeholders works better than evangelism to get them to appreciate your work the "aha!" moment when he discovered systems theory and thinking how allegiances to UX practice specializations can impede the progress of good design the superiority of non-binary thinking Scott's bio Scott Berkun is a bestselling author and popular speaker on creativity, leading projects, culture, business and many other subjects. He’s a former interaction designer and project manager who worked for many years at Microsoft and WordPress.com. He’s the author of eight books, including The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and The Year Without Pants. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Guardian, Wired magazine, USA Today, Fast Company, National Public Radio, CNN, NPR, MSNBC and other media. His popular blog is at scottberkun.com and he tweets at @berkun. Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgy1KyEWzfU Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 91. Scott Berkun is a prolific author. He's written books on project management, public speaking, creativity, innovation, and remote work. His latest project is How Design Makes The World, a really accessible book that can help anyone better understand and appreciate design. If you're a professional, it can help you explain your work to friends and colleagues. If you're just curious about the field, it can help you understand how the things around you came to be. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode 91 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Scott Berkun. Scott is a well known author, he's author of eight books now and the reason I asked him on the show is his eighth book, his latest book, How Design Makes the World really caught my eye. It's kind of a companion now for me right alongside Don Norman's books and then my other design shelf as sort of a really accessible book about how to explain design and how it shapes the world. Welcome, Scott. I'm curious about, I think a lot of people know you as a product guy and an old school Microsoft PM sort of person, but you have over the years, you left Microsoft, became a book author and now you're writing this brilliant book about design. Tell me how that came to be. Scott: Sure. Thanks for coming on the show to begin with. Wanted to be on the show for a while and I couldn't make it happen. I'm excited that I'm finally here. Yay! Go us. Larry: Likewise. Scott: Yeah, the story is a circle. I was in college. I studied computer science. I learned, I discovered I was not a very good programmer. I was a mediocre programmer. I was good at the first part. I was good to figuring out what the problem was.
34 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
Sabine Ocker: Taxonomies, Ontologies, and Content Metadata – Episode 90
Sabine Ocker Sabine Ocker helps enterprises organize their content. She uses taxonomies and other content metadata to make sure that customers get the information they need, when they need it. Sabine's superpower is her ability to talk about her work in a way that resonates with business decision makers. This ensures that she always has the budget and other support that she needs to do this important work. We talked about: her work as an enterprise information architect focused on taxonomy and metadata how her work benefits end users of enterprise content systems the importance of focusing on the customer and their needs in your metadata strategy some applications and uses of taxonomy metadata how taxonomies and ontologies fit into the continuum of metadata the taxonomy practice maturity model they use at Comtech the importance of tying taxonomy work to a specific business driver why it's important to have an elevator pitch that shows how your taxonomy work supports enterprise KPIs the shift of product documentation from a product-support cost item to a marketing tool her process for convincing key business stakeholders to support her work the importance of matching user intent with the content that satisfies the intent the difference between a taxonomy ecosystem and a true ontology management system the importance of having a foundation of maturity, governance, collaboration, and other business practices in place to enable taxonomy and other metadata work Sabine's bio Sabine Ocker has 20 years' of passionately driving content and metadata strategy and execution in structured markup publishing environments. She has worn many hats: taxonomist, enterprise information architect, data analyst, content strategist, trainer, and DTD developer. As a consultant for Comtech Services, Sabine guides clients in defining functional DITA information models and ontologies, drawing on her real-life experiences with customers, vendors, and clients. Away from her consulting work, Sabine lectures and writes about the history of 19th and 20th century photography. Connect with Sabine online LinkedIn Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/FFCtV49xBEE Podcast intro transcript This is the Content Strategy Insights podcast, episode number 90. Sabine Ocker is an enterprise information architect. She works with taxonomies and other content metadata to help big companies deliver to their customers the right information at the right time. Sabine is not just a great content architect. She's also an expert at convincing decision makers to support her work. She speaks the business language that managers and executives use, crafting concise stories that persuade decision makers to open their checkbooks. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 90 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Sabine Ocker. Sabine is an enterprise information architect. She's currently working at Comtech, a consulting firm. Welcome, Sabine. Tell the folks a little bit more about what you do there at Comtech and what an enterprise information architect does. Sabine: Well, hello, Larry and thank you very much for the invitation to appear here on this prestigious podcast. And hello podcast listeners out there. As Larry mentioned, my name is Sabine Ocker and I'm a longtime enterprise information architect. And the way that I think about that is that usually that means that I might be centered in an engineering organization or in an information development organization. But the work that I do especially around taxonomies and metadatas, really does extend into the tool realm. Having the business drivers of metadata be manifested in the authoring environment and then also be surfaced and exposed and being processable by the delivery platform and the tools and being sort of that facilitator that writes the requireme...
33 minutes | Dec 24, 2020
Noah Iliinsky: Data Visualization and Information Design – Episode 89
Noah Iliinsky When you're drowning in data, it's good to have an information designer like Noah Iliinsky looking out for you. Noah takes a human-centered approach to a data visualization, connecting people with information tucked away in massive datasets. His purpose-driven process is designed to help users quickly extract the insights they need from a flood of information. We talked about: his new role as Principal UX Architect at Collibra, a data-governance company how he accidentally wrote a masters thesis about bringing user centered design perspective to diagram design his work with content professionals over the years: mostly technical writers and UX writers his four-pillars process for teaching data visualization (and other design concepts): Purpose (the why) Content (the what) Structure (the how) Formatting (everything else) how he helps users connect to technology with his interface work his goal to help users stop using the tools and artifacts he creates as quickly as possible, so that that they can get on with their lives how "shallow" recommendations can be superior to full-blown guided experiences how he uses UX research in his work, whether he's doing it himself on small projects or working with a team how starting with purpose keeps his information design projects on track the importance of providing context in data visualizations his assertion that in UX design, "If you can't draw the map, you don't understand it well enough to really build a good solution." Noah's bio Noah Iliinsky has spent more than a decade researching, writing, and speaking about effective approaches and best practices for designing data visualizations. He is the co-author of Designing Data Visualizations, and the technical editor of, and a contributor to, Beautiful Visualization, both published by O’Reilly Media. He has a master’s in Technical Communication from the University of Washington, and a bachelor’s in Physics from Reed College. He loves cats, bicycles, and baking. Connect with Noah online Twitter ComplexDiagrams.com website Resources mentioned in this podcast Four Pillars of Visualization article Guaranteed Successful Design talk Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/VKdwKhe1XMA Podcast intro transcript We live in a world that is inundated with data. Human-centered designers like Noah Iliinsky turn that sea of data into usable information, helping us discover useful knowledge hiding in those huge datasets. Noah takes a purpose-driven and content-focused approach to guide his process of discovering and revealing the insights in our data. One of the most powerful techniques in his toolkit is data visualization. These visualizations can highlight important information and show connections that other displays might miss. Interview transcript Larry: Hi everyone, welcome to episode number 89 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with me my friend, Noah Iliinsky. I know him best as a data visualization guru, but it turns out that he's much more than that. Right now, he currently holds a position of Principal UX Architect at an outfit called Collibra. So welcome Noah, tell the folks a little bit more about yourself and your work at Collibra. Noah: Hi, Larry. Thanks for having me. I've only just started at Collibra, I'm pretty excited to be there. They are a company that does what they call data governance or data management. So you might be a large institution, a bank, or a university or some other large company that's got lots and lots of data from lots and lots of sources. It might be customer transactions, it might be financial records, any number of these other multitude of data sources. And what Collibra does is, it is a catalog of all your data sources that allow someone to come and say, "I need requests on all the transactions we had of October this year from...
34 minutes | Dec 4, 2020
Tom Johnson: Documenting APIs
Tom Johnson Documenting APIs is one of the newer jobs in the technical writing domain. Tom Johnson enjoys the unique challenges of collaborating with and writing for the developers who create and use these Application Programming Interfaces. He also enjoys reflecting on his work and sharing his insights with his fellow technical communicators. We talked about: his evolution from writing to teaching to technical writing to his current focus on API documentation the things he likes about technical writing and how it's such a good fit for him the scope of API documentation and some examples of content provided via APIs the difference between documenting self-contained programs vs. APIs, which don't usually provide a solution on their own how developers access and use APIs how API designers balance the need for flexible use of their API content with the need to not overwhelm users of the API with too much content the differences in assessing and contributing to product design with APIs vs. traditional applications the new ways that usability concerns arise and are addressed in API documentation how tech writers and developers collaborate the differences between writing for technical and non-technical audiences his relationships with field engineers, developer advocates, and other customer-facing teammates how he works with engineering teams the importance of transparency in developer documentation how he manages his workflow when he's supporting multiple teams and products, in particular the importance of being a proactive project manager the unique challenges that solo tech writers face how he feels more engaged in his career when he's writing about it how his academic background in literary nonfiction has had surprising professional benefits how refreshing and fun it is for him to reflect on his professional work and to blog about it Tom's bio Tom Johnson is a professional technical writer in Sunnyvale, California, currently working for Google. When we recorded this interview, he was working for Amazon. He writes a popular blog on technical writing called Idratherbewriting.com, where he explores topics such as API documentation, trends, information design, and more. He also has an extensive online course on API documentation that includes extensive tutorials and other exercises you can follow to build your expertise with APIs, including the OpenAPI specification, Swagger, and more. Connect with Tom on social media Twitter LinkedIn Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/hDGIjU5Hzvc Podcast intro transcript Technical writing used to involve explaining stand-alone programs for consumers and other end users of those applications. Nowadays a lot of computing code is released in the form of APIs - Application Programming Interfaces - which are written by developers for other programmers, not for the end user. This creates a whole new class of duties and concerns for tech writers. Tom Johnson has done both of these kinds of technical writing and is really good at explaining how programmers and writers collaborate to document APIs. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 88 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Tom Johnson. Tom is a senior technical writer at Amazon. He's a prolific blogger at I'd Rather Be Writing. And he also teaches a course, offers an online course on API documentation. And that's what we're going to talk about today, is APIs. But first, welcome, Tom. And if you'd like to tell the folks anything more about yourself, please. Tom: Thanks, Larry. I'm excited to be on your podcast. I'm based in California in Santa Clara. I've been here about seven years, but I'm a West Coast person. I do love to write. I consider myself foremost kind of a writer who steered his career into technical writing and then into API documentation....
35 minutes | Nov 21, 2020
Chris Savage: Video Content Marketing and Analytics – Episode 87
Chris Savage Chris Savage founded Wistia to help businesses understand how well their video content was performing. Early on they stumbled across content marketing, using their own how-to videos to grow their own business. When COVID-19 hit and customers started interacting with companies virtually, Wistia really took off. We talked about: how he founded and has grown Wistia as a video platform to help marketers understand how well their videos are working their focus at Wistia on educating their customers about how to create videos the differences between Wistia and YouTube and Vimeo and other video platforms how the global coronavirus pandemic has driven huge growth in video consumption in 2020 and the dynamics behind this trend how the virtualization of business with the pandemic has driven both entrepreneurship and new media consumption patterns some of the rules of thumb and best practices around video production how to use video viewing data to inform the evolution of your video content how structuring video content opens opportunities for serialization and similar opportunities how owned video assets are are replacing advertising and other paid media placements and the factors behind this trend an example of how much more effective a video campaign can be compared to, e.g., and outsourced e-book how brands like MailChimp use video to engage customers how engaging customers can reduce friction in a company's relationship with them how, regardless of the medium, the customer is in charge nowadays - and the ensuing importance of focusing on your customers needs and giving them the content they want Chris's bio Chris Savage is the co-founder and CEO of Wistia, a web-based software solution that helps marketers turn viewers into brand advocates to grow their businesses. After graduating from Brown University, Chris and his co-founder Brendan Schwartz, started Wistia in Brendan’s living room in 2006. They founded the company with the goal of helping businesses effectively market their products or services more creatively through video. Recently, Savage and Schwartz turned down an offer to sell Wistia and took on $17.3M in debt instead, which allowed them to buy out their investors, gain full control of Wistia, and take the path less traveled in the tech industry. Now, more than 500,000 businesses across 50 countries depend on Wistia's products to build their brands and their businesses, including HubSpot, MailChimp, Sephora, Starbucks, and Tiffany & Co. Follow Chris on social media Twitter LinkedIn Wistia's learning resource area Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/4ne6WTrWUn8 Podcast intro transcript As we move deeper into the multimedia, omni-channel business communications world, video continues to rise as an important content medium. Add a global pandemic that makes face-to-face interactions more challenging and video becomes even more relevant. Chris Savage founded Wistia to help marketers get a better handle on how video engages their customers. In the process of democratizing video production and analytics, he stumbled into content marketing, further leveling the playing field for non-expert video producers. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 87 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Chris Savage. Chris is the CEO and the co-founder of Wistia, the video platform. Welcome Chris, tell the folks a little bit more about your background and what Wistia does. Chris: Yeah. First of all, thanks for having me, excited to be here. And so I started Wistia a year out of college, which was 14 years ago, and basically we built it into a platform for marketers to help them present, market, understand how their video is performing. And that means analytics to measure things, customization, branding control, all that stuff.
52 minutes | Nov 5, 2020
Rahel Anne Bailie: The Content Empress – Episode 86
Rahel Anne Bailie Rahel Anne Bailie has earned the title Content Empress. One of the original cohort of content strategists, over the past couple of decades she has become a leading expert on content operations. While she focuses on content, she might better be described as a business analyst and consultant who helps companies with their digital transformation. We talked about: her title of "Content Empress" and its origins, as well as its convenient over-arching-ness for the many roles she has served the first time she was called a "content strategist" in 2002, long before it was a popular term her take on the difference between content strategy and content design the difficulty of explaining how a content strategist differs from a content creator her recent blog post on the history of content strategy how complexity drives the need for content strategy the origins in stories of old computer manuals of how she thinks about modular content the two sides of content: copy plus the technical things that give it more power the importance of content models in a flexible, agile content system structured authoring for complex environments the devolution of product user-interface content - e.g., the loss of single sourcing as UI content moved from the tech comms department to product teams single sourcing, the idea of a single source of content truth, and how it's a bit of a lost art how PayPal was able to respond quickly to their customer's needs during the pandemic because of the agility afforded by their use of single-sourcing how to sell content strategy: you have to focus on cost savings, not ROI, and the importance of accounting for all of the costs your content incurs the equation that underlies "information enablement": content + data = information the importance of understanding the fundamental nature of content, especially being able to explain it to technologists, who tend to focus on the shiny new stuff over the boring proven stuff the dearth of educational sources for learning content strategy her work with the Content Strategy Alliance on their new content strategy curriculum and their efforts to create a certification program her take on the future of content strategy: more complexity around personalization, growth, scale, and other big issues driving the need for better strategies and plans the importance of content even in systems that don't appear at first to be content-driven her big aha! moment that content strategy is useless with its operationalization Rahel's bio Founder of Content, Seriously, a London, UK based consultancy. Seasoned consultant developing content strategies for efficient and effective content operations. Instructor in FH-Joanneum's Content Strategy Master's Programme in Austria. Co-author of "Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits" and "The Language of Content Strategy"; contributor to several other books. Over 30 years of experience in content, including corporate communications, technical communication, localization management, and content strategy. Lover of gin, Scrabble, and dancing. Follow Rahel on social media Twitter SlideShare Medium LinkedIn Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/NdA8PnZacWI Podcast intro In a field that struggles with what to call itself and how to assign labels to its practitioners, Rahel Bailie has carved out a unique role for herself: Content Empress. The title started as a joke - and as a way distinguish her from a student who had already claimed the title Content Queen. But it truly fits. Rahel was one of the very first content folks to identify as a content strategist. She has pioneered many modern content practices. And she is widely regarded as the world's leading expert on content operations. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 86 of the Content Strategy...
31 minutes | Oct 19, 2020
Noz Urbina: Adaptive Content for Personalization – Episode 85
Noz Urbina Noz Urbina can help you navigate the hype around personalization and create genuinely helpful customized content experiences. Noz focuses on the fundamentals that create useful, usable adaptive content. He starts with customer journey mapping and persona creation to develop an evidence-based picture of his users. Then he builds modularized content models that address those user needs. The result is a human-centered content system that serves up content tailored to answer users' questions wherever they are in their journey. Noz and I talked about: his background as a pioneer in the field of content strategy and his OmnichannelX conference the need for precision around the use of the term "personalization" how to create actionable personas and discern user needs and goals, and how to determine why any one segment might need personalized content how to figure out who your customers and users are the importance of using journey mapping to identify the questions your users need answers to how journey mapping is all-too-often done as a crafts project, not as a genuinely customer-centered exercise how his background in technical documentation helps him to this day how customer journey mapping can elicit aha! moments among stakeholders how content modeling both prompted his interest in customer journey mapping and helps him do it better the need to craft answers that can work across a number of delivery channels his Legos and Russian-doll analogies to describe componentized content new natural language processing (NLP) technologies that can help guide consistency and style and categorization the small but growing number of vendors of these tools - and his appreciation for this small tools ecosystem (a few examples: PoolParty, OntoText, StarDog,Acrolinx, UXPressia) his observation that tech is not the problem - that's never what's holding back big enterprises - the real problems are lack of internal organization, processes, content models, and content design how unlikely it is that even the biggest, smartest companies will ever create a holistic end-to-end customer experience system the upside of the incompletion of 360-degree content strategy adoption: wherever you are, you'll always have the opportunity to move forward the importance of developing good content models Noz's Bio Noz Urbina is a globally recognized leader in the field of content strategy and customer experience consultancy. He’s well known as a pioneer in customer journey mapping and adaptive content modeling for delivering personalized, contextually relevant content experiences in an omnichannel environment. He is also co-author of the book “Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits” and lecturer in the Masters Programme in content strategy at the University of Applied Sciences, Graz. In 2013 he founded his own consultancy Urbina Consulting and in 2018, co-founded the omnichannel events organisation OmnichannelX. Follow Noz LinkedIn Twitter Urbina Consulting OmnichannelX Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/tRapDqAZMlM Podcast Intro Transcript You want to feel like you've been heard and understood and that companies are giving you exactly what you want. Personalization is the business tool that can make this happen. Unfortunately, personalizing content is not as simple as installing software and hitting the "start" button. It requires lots of user research and a strong understanding of how to model and organize your content. For the past couple of decades, Noz Urbina has been listening to users and building the adaptive systems that power content personalization. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 85 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Noz Urbina. Noz is the founder of Urbina Consulting.
42 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
Autogram: Content and Design Systems for Enterprises – Episode 84
Orchestrating the strategy, design, and software work that comes with enterprise-scale digital projects is a complex and painstaking mission. It's hard to imagine a team better equipped to take on these challenges than the founders of Autogram. Karen McGrane Ethan Marcotte Jeff Eaton Karen McGrane, Ethan Marcotte, and Jeff Eaton have each mastered huge swaths of digital business practice. Karen built the venerable UX and content practices at Razorfish and has arguably done more enterprise content strategy work than anyone else on the planet. It's hard to find a content strategist who doesn't cite her as a mentor or source of inspiration. Ethan introduced the now-ubiquitous practice of responsive web design ten years ago. He's working now to develop a holistic approach to creating design systems. Jeff is an accomplished web developer and content management systems expert who has guided the content strategy for many of the largest sites on the web. Together they help digital teams collaborate more effectively. We talked about: Karen's background as a content strategist and information architect and her pioneering work building the user experience practice at Razorfish Ethan's background as a front-end designer and developer and the creator of responsive web design Jeff's background in content management systems and web development and his work in content strategy how their identification of common concerns across content management systems and design systems led to them getting together as a team the Venn diagram that describes their overlapping skills sets: Karen in strategy and design, Ethan in design and software, and Jeff in software and strategy the challenges of getting content management systems and design systems to work for the whole organization, not just the content and design teams how to move from thinking about artifacts like websites to higher level design systems that have a broader impact on the organization how hard it can be to keep content, design, and tech teams aligned over the course a digital initiative the "tangly" challenges of implementing a decoupled content architecture the interplay between decoupled-content systems and pattern-oriented design systems the importance of focusing on the back-end authoring experience and of aligning on language and labels across different parts of the organization how to align teams on a collective shared understanding about design pattern language the tools and approaches you can use to help different teams develop a shared understanding of the concepts in a big, complex digital project the hazards of having complicated systems being led by any one discipline or team the challenges of scaling content strategy and design practices the ongoing thinking among enterprises that technology will fix their problems, when in fact it's 80% people and process work that needs to be done the ongoing work in the design world to develop a common language around building design systems the importance of shared language and grammar across the span of big complex digital initiatives Karen's Bio Karen McGrane identifies and solves problems with content management and user experience design across print, web, and mobile. She has partnered with some of the world’s largest enterprise businesses to streamline their digital operations and governance. Follow Karen on Twitter. Ethan's Bio Ethan Marcotte works at the intersection of design and front-end development, to help organizations design and build sites and services that can be accessed by everyone, everywhere. Notably, he introduced the world to responsive web design. Follow Ethan on Twitter. Jeff's Bio Jeff Eaton helps large organizations understand, model, and manage their content. Whether he’s fixing problems with CMS architecture or editorial workflow, his solutions sit in the overlap between design, communications,
35 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo: Conversation Design Teamwork at Flixbus – Episode 83
Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo combine her linguistics and ethnography skills with his computing and product skills to create computer interactions that feel almost human. Carmen Martinez Paulo Azevedo Carmen and Paulo collaborate to design conversation experiences for FlixBus, a company that helps millions of travelers around the world book bus travel. It's hard to create natural-feeling conversations between humans and computers, but they get better at it with every product launch. We talked about: Carmen's background as a conversational UX expert and Paulo's as a product owner, data scientist, informaticist, and developer their collaborative process in designing conversational experiences Paulo's moment of insight when he realized that his developer team would benefit from having a human-centered researcher and designer on the team how they align human and computer approaches to conversation design how complicated a seemingly simple task like providing a bus stop location is in a conversational interaction design the eye-opening challenges of helping digital conversationalists interact appropriately with humans the wide range of technologies that underlie conversation design how they use ethnographic and other research methods in their conversation design process, and how data from real human users feeds into their ongoing research the huge differences between graphical user interfaces and voice user interfaces the challenges of figuring out what you don't know when their are conversational misunderstandings the importance of having a language person on your conversational design team how conversation design is still a work in progress Carmen's Bio Dr. Carmen Martinez is a Conversation Analyst and Ethnographer of Communication working in Conversational Artificial Intelligence at FlixBus. As an expert in human-to-human conversation, she contributes to a cross-disciplinary team by automating customer service interactions, modelling both text- and voice-based human-to-machine conversations, and developing visual solutions for graphical and multimodal conversational agents. She is the author of “Conversar en español: un enfoque desde el Análisis de la Conversación” published by Peter Lang Berlin. Connect with Carmen on LinkedIn. Paulo's Bio Paulo Azevedo is an IT professional based in Germany, where he's spent the last few years working on AI and machine learning projects at different capacities. He's done data analysis, software development, developed machine learning models, and lately has been focusing on agile project management. Since March 2017 he's been working at FlixMobility, a German mobility startup with operations in 30 countries, where he was responsible for the strategy and implementation of voice platforms. Connect with Paulo on LinkedIn. Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/71phD4niFkk Podcast Intro Transcript When you talk to Siri or Alexa or interact with a support chatbot, you probably don't give a lot of thought to the work that went into creating those conversational experiences. Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo do think about that work - because they do it all day. They design conversational experiences for FlixBus, a company that helps millions of people book bus travel in countries around the world. Carmen and Paulo combine their linquistic and computing skills to get closer every day to conversational experiences that feel human. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode Number 83 of The Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us, Carmen Martinez and Paulo Azevedo. They work at a company called FlixBus in, I guess you're all over Europe, but you're both based in Germany, I believe. Well, welcome to the show, Carmen and Paulo. Carmen, you're a Conversational UX expert there. Tell us a little bit more about what that entails and how y...
33 minutes | Sep 14, 2020
Sara Wachter-Boettcher: Design and Content Leadership – Episode 82
Sara Wachter-Boettcher Sara Wachter-Boettcher helps design and content professionals discover and express their leadership ability. Leaders can come from anywhere. You don't have to be in a management role. With some personal work and a little courage, you can lead from wherever you are in the digital design and content world. Sara and I talked about: the difference between leadership and management her definition of leadership the importance of recognizing that you don't have to be in a management role to lead the need for leadership in our current world situation the many internal and external messages that can lead to impostor syndrome the many ways to beging developing the reflection and other inner skills that are the foundation of leadership how work culture and tech culture can suppress our humanness the importance of recognizing what you bring to the leadership game as you observe and model other leaders the very real and justified bases for having some fear around speaking up as a leader the importance of periodically taking a realistic assessment of the amount of risk you can take - identifying the times when it's OK to be bold how to recognize that you have grown and when to make choices that you might not have made a couple of years earlier her personal challenges with balancing her identity as a content strategist with her current focus on coaching (especially in 2020) the importance in challenging times of checking in with yourself and thinking about what you need to do - "Are you willing to pause and listen to your gut?" Sara's Bio Sara Wachter-Boettcher is an author, speaker, coach, and strategist dedicated to changing design and tech for good. She’s the founder of Active Voice, a coaching and training company helping organizations build radical, courageous leadership practices. Her most recent book, Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech, was named one of the best tech books of the year by Wired. She also wrote Design for Real Life (with Eric Meyer) and Content Everywhere, and has been published in The Washington Post, The Guardian, and McSweeney’s. Find her at home in Philly, on Twitter @sara_ann_marie, or at sarawb.com. Resources Mentioned in the Podcast Brené Brown's leadership website Denise Jacob's Banish Your Inner Critic book Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/gHa8rAb6lI4 Podcast Intro Transcript There's a clear distinction between management and leadership. The two practices are often conflated, but they're really quite different. Sara Wachter-Boettcher helps design and content professionals understand the differences and become effective leaders. You need to do some serious self assessment, and you'll probably need to take some risks, but the benefits of improving your leadership game can be enormous. At the very least, you'll grow as a person. At best, you can restore some humanity to a sometimes bleak digital work culture. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 82 of the Content Strategy Insights Podcast. I'm really happy to be welcoming back Sara Wachter-Boettcher. Sara was on the show, god, more than two years ago, way back in the early days. I'm really happy to have you back. Sara, for the two of you who don't know who she is, I'll just quickly talk about, Sara's a long time or a real content strategy pioneer, a UX practitioner, and she's moved on now, and that's what we're going to talk about today, into more leadership roles around content and design practice. She's really, I think, justifiably well known for the book she's done, Content Everywhere, Design for Real Life, and Technically Wrong. But anyhow, welcome to the show, Sara. Tell the folks a little bit more about what you're up to these days and welcome. Sara: Yeah, sure. Thank you, Larry, it's great to be back. So, yeah,
60 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
Scott Abel: The Content Wrangler – Episode 81
Scott Abel Scott Abel is a content strategy original. He first took the title of "content strategist" in 1999. Since then, Scott has practiced content strategy and become a leading voice for the discipline. When he's not running his consultancy, Scott organizes content events, publishes and writes books and articles, and keynotes and speaks at industry conferences. Scott and I talked about: the serendipitous origins of his moniker, "The Content Wrangler" the gap between the popularity of the term "content strategy" and its actual adoption how he got his title at his first "content strategist" job in 1999 the pragmatic business lessons he learned early in his career managing technical content for a pharmaceutical company how streamlining content workflows can save companies literally tens of millions of dollars how learning to go beyond grammar and other writerly concerns can help you move up from content creator to content strategist how the rise of e-commerce helped move modular content engineering principles and practices out of the technical content world and into broader use on the web how increasingly atomized/modularized/componentized content has made smarter content systems necessary how to deal with the main challenge in content strategy management: people how technically complex systems can enhance and augment human creativity an "Aha!" moment he had at iFixit about how to measure the ROI of content and how that insight improved the content practice there how the pedantic lessons he learned in Mrs. White's Language Arts class ruined his ability to write SEO copy the importance of recognizing and demonstrating content as a valuable business asset the accounting challenges of getting content value accounted for on a company's balance sheet the work of Salim Ismael around "information enablement" - a business practice that enables businesses to grow exponentially the uneven distribution in enterprises of expertise around structuring and scaling content why you need to connect with a leader in your company, ideally in the C-suite, who is scared to death that their company could become the next Blockbuster how the analogy of the human body's immune response can explain the rejection of content strategy and other innovative business practices how content strategists can benefit from the neuroscience lessons in Carmen Simon's book, Impossible to Ignore the importance of expanding our skills sets in the practice of content strategy the even-more-important task of clarifying and articulating our profession, a project that looks to Scott like "a content hairball waiting to be detangled" Scott's Bio Affectionately known as "The Content Wrangler," Scott Abel is the Founder and President of The Content Wrangler, an international content strategy consultancy that specializes in helping content-heavy organizations become information-enabled. Scott helps business leaders understand the need to operationalize their content, with a focus on standardizing and improving the way they author, maintain, localize, publish, deliver, and archive their information assets. In turn, this helps them become capable of serving up the right information, in the right format and language, to the right people and machines, on-demand, for any business reason necessary. The Content Wrangler hosts content industry events including Technical Documentation Roundup, Content Strategy Applied USA and Information Development World and has produced a series of ten books (2018), The Content Wrangler Series of Content Strategy Books, the first of which is “The Language of Content Strategy.” A formal journalism education, combined with 10+ years as a technical writer, makes Scott a natural choice for content professionals and organizations who need the tools to write content once and use it often. Scott is also an internationally recognized content strategist and vibrant speake...
31 minutes | Aug 25, 2020
David Dylan Thomas: Design for Cognitive Bias – Episode 80
David Dylan Thomas David Dylan Thomas can help you tame the unconscious biases that can undermine your design decision-making. These biases are strong. You may never conquer them all. But recognizing them and accounting for them in your content strategy and design work can mitigate the hazards they present. You need to be on your toes at every turn to account for these cognitive biases. They can affect the products and experiences you design, your collaborations with your team, and your own behavior. Dave's new book shows you how to deal with each of these challenges. Dave and I talked about: the importance of understanding how people make decisions and how much of that process is unconscious and irrational how his Cognitive Bias Podcast led to the insights that inform his book an example of using anonymized resumes to remove bias from hiring processes how to re-introduce friction into design processes to slow down your thinking so that you have chance to make less-biased decisions the importance of adopting design practices that check your biases - e.g., "Red Team, Blue Team" or speculative design the hazards of focusing on the positive outcomes of our design work and ignoring the many possible negatives outcome the story of Abraham Wald and how he brilliantly figured out where to put armor on warplanes, leading to insight about "survivorship bias" how cognitive biases manifest in general, in end-user designs, in internal design processes, and in your own personal behavior how the fear of loss is twice as powerful as the prospect of gain, illustrating the bias of "loss aversion" how the design of real-life and virtual spaces prime people for different behaviors the three key biases to consider when looking at your personal behavior: notational bias confirmation bias déformation professionnelle, the bias of seeing the world through the lens of your job Dave's Bio David Dylan Thomas, author of the book Design for Cognitive Bias from A Book Apart, serves as Content Strategy Advocate at Think Company and is the creator and host of the Cognitive Bias Podcast. He has developed digital strategies for major clients in entertainment, healthcare, publishing, finance, and retail. He has presented at TEDNYC, SXSW Interactive, Confab, LavaCon, UX Copenhagen, Artifact, IA Conference, Design and Content Conference, and the Wharton Web Conference on topics at the intersection of bias, design, and social justice. Follow Dave on the Web DavidDylanThomas.com Twitter Cognitive Bias Podcast Links Mentioned in the Podcast Design for Cognitive Bias book Design for Community, Derek Powazek Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, Ingrid Fetell Lee Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/KLEetglYvrc Podcast Intro Transcript We human beings like to think that we're rational creatures, carefully looking at an array of objective factors before we make a decision. In a professional setting like a content strategy or design practice, we may feel like we're at the pinnacle of this rationality. In fact, we're operating on auto-pilot about 95 percent of the time, making decisions based on biases that are hard-wired into our thinking. Dave Thomas can help you understand and tame these cognitive biases and make better design and business decisions. Interview Transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode Number 80 of the Content Strategy Insights Podcast. I'm really happy today to have with us Dave Thomas. Larry: David Dylan Thomas was with us two years ago, shortly after Confab 2018, where he and I talked. So welcome back, Dave, I'm excited to see your new book. It's called Design for Cognitive Bias. So tell us a little bit about the book, and what folks can expect from it. Dave: Sure. Well, first off, we're really happy to be back. I can't believe it's been two years.
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