This article is also published in french Part II - Pourquoi une Stratégie de contenu doit précéder la mise en place d’un site Responsive Web Design?
Before defining a content strategy for Responsive Web Design, we probably need to first define what we do understand about Content Strategy. What do we understand about a Content Strategy in a general internet usage and what does it have to do with Responsive Web Design?
Whatever the content, we need to know if it is responding to an expectation, an expressed need, whether for a forum, a social network, a blog, or for other websites or applications, or if it is a production of the mind, a story or a creation following an analysis or a philosophical reflection proposed to readers.
Today the web is full of content, so why add some more? Are we sure that it interests the reader? This is one of the main questions to ask before going further.
Define how and why should we produce content and make sure it will be served in the most optimal manner, to the user, whatever his or her device, are some of the main objectives of the content strategy.
Content copywriting tools
All content goes through the first writing phase, followed by the presentation. In the world of printing, since the time of Gutenberg and even before, tools have improved in the universe of copywriting.
Whether titles, paragraphs, insets, notes, footers, annotations, quotes, block quotes, images or illustrations, drop caps etc. but also typography, fonts, size of fonts, colors, frames, all of which allows us to quickly understand what we are expressing to the reader, and which way we can address this content to get the main point.
It is important to define an editorial line and to specify the way we must write content, the tone that we will use, the way we address the reader, through language which is very be specific or very generic, and finally how we illustrate it.
Give a hierarchy to text, find name labels, implement a taxonomy, use a controlled vocabulary, rely on a thesaurus, define key words to use when writing content, all this precious items that will allow to get a true architecture of information and so to give meaning and an organization to content.
what else ?
In the multimedia field, and mainly the web, new tools are available which have shaped the publishing world into where it is today.
While the media, such as audio, video, or the animations, seem obvious, other equally now common vehicles are part of the range of those innovations like hyperlinks, user interactions with flyovers, switch, tabs, pop-ups, or exchanges with other users, and more generally with databases.
We could think that everything is there, to help us to create and transmit web content, and we could stop here, but that would cover only a portion of the content, and the perceptible aspect of that content. There are other types of information that define the content and further refines it, such as metadata relating to the structure, to the semantic and to the accessibility.
These new publishing opportunities are extremely important especially when it comes to search engines. These engines ingest the important information in the text and metadatas, to respond to the needs of the search engine user.
So far, we have explored a content strategy.
We have tools to help us define how to communicate the content, we also have tools to learn about the characteristics of the structure and descriptions of it.
First, formalize the text and be sure that it is understandable with no confusion, without any ambiguity. Ask yourself, is it useful and usable by the reader, or the search agent?
Another issue is how the reader, or the agent, will find this content, which can be from a direct link on a newsletter, from a search engine, or after someone surf the web.
Finally, who's going to write the content, maintain it, and remove it when if it’s no longer relevant. The author must be especially careful and insightful, since most writing tools doesn’t offer a friendly user interface that enables to organize and define all the necessaries information proper to content writing.
These questions lead to a multitude of opportunities for content strategy to be analyzed before displaying it in a Responsive Web Design, or not.
It's time to explore your content strategy. Please join me, in a few days, as we visit a new article in which we will discuss what are the expectations on each device, and how the content should be sent and presented to those devices in relationship to responsive web design.
The series :
- Why Responsive Websites Are Not Just a Simple Step for Website Construction.
- Why Content Strategy should be part of Responsive Web Design ?
- What is the User Expectations for Your Website? That depends on context.
- Bringing the Content to Design