The User Experience of Good Content / by Gavin Lau

Creating a great user experience has moved further from just thinking about design. Instead, the creative team and the content curators should work together.

Content, videos and images have the ability to influence a reader’s mind. Content strategy is getting all these things in line so that the final product looks deliverable. Simply put, content strategy works like glue that holds a massive project together. It is a plan for creating delivering and managing usable, useful content.

With content strategy and user experience on the threshold of research and technology, integrating these two pillars is important as well as challenging. You can create a content strategy by outlining the objectives of your user, identifying them and delivering what is exactly needed.

 

Why content strategy is important for UX

Bad content can never deliver a great user experience. However, if the content has structure and all the necessary information that a user needs, it will help create a good user experience.

To ensure that your content delivers a great user experience, a writer should pay attention to the following details:

 

Readability through clarity

Making the content easy to digest doesn’t necessarily mean making it shorter, but rather making it readable, understandable and easy to scan. Ensure that your content has a clear structure with appropriate headers and supporting sub-headers. Sprucing up the content with appropriate visuals can help as well.

 

Excellent information architecture

Your content strategy an important part of creating the finest information hierarchy. Organize content so that it can be accessed by the user in a hierarchical way. You can create a hierarchy by emphasizing how content looks when it is on a particular web page. When the content is properly laid out, it improves readability and user comprehension.

Gone are the days when wireframing was just about showing gray boxes with Lorem Ipsum flashing right in front. Nowadays, it’s about connecting through actual content so that the layout itself is enough to capture the entire design intent.

 

Keeping users in the spotlight

At times, the writer can get so carried away with research and content assembly that he/she forgets who the reader is going to be. One can reap maximum benefits from content strategy by implementing the most important rule of UX—keeping users at the forefront. When you create content, create user personas by coordinating with the UX team.

 

Conversion optimization

High conversion rates are possible only if the user experience is smooth and pleasant. A better, content-driven user experience benefits from clear wording, a prominent call-to-action and a value proposition. This is where strategizing your content becomes essential. It serves as a favorable voice and message that can boost your conversion rates.

 

To create content that converts:

  • Find keywords that will focus on targeted customers and relate to your services as well.
  • Create better, informative and readable content around specific keywords.

While mapping content, be sure to include only the information that is needed at a particular moment. To do this, brainstorm on every possible question that a user might ask in each section. Based on that, craft your content so that your consumers can easily find what they are looking for.

 

How visuals and words influence behavior

#1 How readers experience content has changed with mobile

The attention span of users has been considerably reduced with the invention of mobile phones. Users consume all the necessary information in a different way altogether—skimming replaced reading and glancing replaced skimming. This means most users just welcome content that can be understood within a glance.

 

People are on the hunt for experiences that resonate with their personality

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The interplay of design and content should be seamless to lengthen the attention span of the reader. This means you should communicate with the user through both design and content together, in what some call information interplay.

Combining the design hierarchy with compelling content will lead the user to infinitely scroll down an endless string of content, just like Facebook. For content creators, connecting the reader spatially as well as linguistically can be tricky.

The gist of it is...

You can never remove your users from the content design process. Your design should speak of the content and vice versa. Unlocking these things will help you connect with your modern targeted readers.

 

#2 Mobile-first ideology leads to better UX

Customers these days self-educate themselves through research, then make a decision. Since devices have become more important than any physical stores in terms of shopping, it is important to make your website design and content rich. Creating an e-commerce experience for the modern users will help them make faster decisions.

Websites that are content rich offer visitors all the valuable details that are relevant to them. The content may be industry news, useful tutorials, product details or helpful market information.

The gist of it is...

Good design helps your users be present on your webpage, while good content answers their doubts. But an amalgamation of two brings out two most important things that will take your business on top - trust and loyalty!

 

#3 Adding fun to your design? Make sure your story fits in, too!

It’s estimated that a user spends only 10-15 seconds on your web page. A user can be compelled to stay on your webpage if you are able to create a clear proposition in terms of value.

People are on the hunt for an experience that resonates with their personality, and evoking emotion will help build that kind of experience. This is why brands should always be emotionally charged to deliver an exceptional user experience.

To create such experiences, listening and understanding the needs of the customers is important. Tell the consumers what your brand stands for and how it will benefit the users. Don’t just paste some content and think that your users will be able to connect with it. Building stories around your brand increase consumers’ understanding. Just look at how Steve Jobs created a story around Apple and grabbed customers’ attention in huge numbers.

Creating a great user experience has moved further from just thinking about design to crafting content. Instead, the creative team and the content curators should work together.

The gist of it is...

Making your website mobile-responsive with pleasant aesthetics and excellent practices isn’t enough. Your content’s success depends on how well it connects with your targeted users while fulfilling their wants or needs. Without a story, you can never build a strong connection. Be narrative, be simplistic and adopt a holistic approach. This will reciprocate via time spent on-site and leads that are generated in the process.

 

#4 Bridging the gap between designers and writers

A writer’s tendency is to speak too much, while a designer is limited with words. Ask a writer what colour suits the best, he/she will tell you the difference between your choice and theirs. Ask a designer which colour suits the best, he/she will show you the entire color palette.

Encouraging the two teams to communicate for tackling the indifferences is the only possible solution. As mentioned earlier, content strategy stands tall on the foundation of open communication. Creative effort when done in teams will recuperate your design in the long run.

The gist of it is...

When content and design strategists work in collaboration, the outcome will be impactful. Consumers will find it easy to connect and understand the purpose of your design. User experience evolves; let your method evolve, too.

 

The final word

UX can never be defined alone with design. Content should be as impactful as the design.

 

 

Source: http://uxmag.com/articles/the-user-experie...