Contributions by Erin Kissane
There’s really only one central principle of good content: it should be appropriate for your business, for your users, and for its context. Appropriate in its method of delivery, in its style and structure, and above all in its substance. As Erin Kissane explains, content strategy is the practice of determining what each of those things means for your project, and how to get there from where you are now. We are delighted to present an excerpt from Erin’s new book, (and the third title from A Book Apart), The Elements of Content Strategy.
As an industry, we’ve learned to plan our sites to achieve business goals and meet human needs while shipping on time and delivering compelling user experiences. Alas, despite all the sweat we pour into strategy sessions and GANTT charts, we still have to coax content out of our subject matter experts and get it onto every page of the site. This is where the strongest hearts grow frail, and even seasoned developers reach for Advil or something stronger. But help, in the form of content templates, is on the way. Seize the power.
Most web copy is still being written by people who aren’t writers and don’t have time. The good news? Anyone who touches copy can make a difference by insisting that every chunk of text on the site do something concrete.
Everyone has one. No one likes to talk about it. No, not that. It’s your About page, and it needs a little love. ALA’s Erin Kissane guides you through a beautiful journey of self-discovery.
You’ve seen them around the web, these zombie sentences. They’re not hard to recognize: syntax slack and drooling, clauses empty of everything but a terrible hunger for human brains. Here’s how to fight back.
Groundbreaking accessibility information. Project management and information architecture theory from old-school experts. Plug-and-play solutions to universal design and development problems. Experimental CSS/DOM hacks that use non-semantic elements to do funky design tricks. One of these things is not like the others…which is why we’re introducing a tiny new feature to the magazine.
It’s a style thing. It’s a usability thing. It’s a tricky thing for large content sites and a step up for independents. It’s typographically correct punctuation on the web, and ALA’s Erin Kissane makes the case for it.