Category: Content design techniques

Accessibility tricks and treats

Three lit halloween pumpkins and candles next to a laptop showing the Imperial accessibility website
As you may be aware there were some new digital accessibility regulations that came into force last year called the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. These regulations mean that all public sector bodies (including universities) must ensure websites and mobile applications are more accessible.

There is a project being undertaken to ensure the College fulfils its obligations and to identify those websites and applications that don’t meet the College’s standards.

So what are our standards?

At the College we aim to meet WCAG 2.1 standards (level AA). Most of these standards are to do with the way that the content is structured and delivered in terms of the underlying code in the templates and content types. If you are using the College’s centrally supported websites (such as T4), then most of these things are out of your control as an editor. But, there are some things that are in your control such as how you add images, links and other content to your pages.

With Halloween fast-approaching I thought I would ease any fears and share some tricks and treats to show you how easy it is to improve your content.

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NN/g UX Conference and tips for writing great digital copy

A day at the UX Conference in London

Lanyard for the UX conference in NovemberLast week, I attended the UX (User Experience) Conference in London. The conference brought together people from different industries across Europe, all with a shared interest in user experience. 

There were the usual networking opportunities, but the main focus of the conference was the wide range of training courses covering topics like:

  • Managing UX strategy
  • Information Architecture
  • Content strategy
  • Customer journey mapping
  • User testing
  • Writing for the web

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Techniques: competitor analysis

One useful technique to inspire improvements to your content is to carry out a competitor analysis. This involves assessing how direct competitors communicate similar content including:

  • tone and language
  • key messages
  • format preferences
  • content types
  • content structure (information architecture)

Depicting a competitor analysis by comparing apples and pears

A competitor analysis can range from a full report on several sites or just a few annotated screenshots highlighting good and bad points. The extent of this depends on how much time and resource you have for your new website or redesign project, but it is always worthwhile to do some kind of analysis. One of the main benefits is that it will really help you to break free of the Imperial bubble and think about your content from a different perspective. To illustrate this, I have included a couple of examples of basic competitor analysis that I have done at the bottom of this post.

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Techniques: Content discovery and audience mapping

This technique is all about discovering who your audiences are and what they need so you can map this to the content on your website. Doing this is a really important when creating user-led content.

One great way to get started with this is to run a content discovery workshop.

Get your sticky notes ready! (more…)

Content design techniques: pair writing

Whether you are creating a new website or simply adding a few new pages; one of the most important things to do is to bring the right people together to actually write the copy. There are a number of ways you can collaborate on content writing, but pair writing has proven to be a very popular technique in recent years. In this post I will talk about the technique and how it can improve collaborative working and the output on your website.

Pair writing, unsurprisingly involves two people sitting down together and writing copy in real-time. It really is as simple as that!
Close up of two women doing records in a notebook sitting at a laptop (more…)