Is your technical content meeting the needs of your users? How do you know? Do you find yourself isolated from your actual target audience? Is content filtered through the eyes of your product developers and managers, rather than tested with end users? Is your focus more on meeting a deadline than meeting a need?
Obviously, these situations are not ideal for a user-centric content strategy. But how do you justify a change? What strategies should you have in place to learn about and keep in touch with your users? What do you do with the information you gather? How can it influence your workflow and your final information products? What techniques are effective to validate that you have met user expectations?
Join Comtech instructors and your peers in the industry to explore these questions and put together a strategy for keeping users at the center of your content development. During the workshop you’ll acquire practical techniques to learn about your customers, their goals and their work, and you will create a content strategy centered on those users that will serve as a decision-making tool throughout the lifecycle of your project.
You will learn to
- Make a case for user research focused on the information needs of the audience
- Choose appropriate information gathering techniques
- Focus groups
- Contextual inquiry / site visits
- Cognitive walkthroughs
- Customer partnering
- DACUM analysis
- Social media analysis
- Document your findings in user personas, task matrices, and user stories
- Plan, design, and write your information products based on your target audience
- Agree on the target audience
- Define the minimal viable documentation that meets user needs
- Plan topic-based content using the annotated topic list
- Select appropriate content using critical skills analysis
- Apply a task-first approach to content flow
- Address user search strategies to make content findable
- Validate your design with your end users