I’ve recently joined the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and have been talking to a lot of project managers and Business Analysts working on web redevelopments, providing advice about how to deal with the content aspects of their projects. It got me thinking that there is a gap in the advice market...so last week I published the first iteration of some content design and management guidelines.
What I’ve found is that people in web-redevelopment-project-land are aware of content, and know they need to analyse it, migrate it or rewrite it. But often the people making decisions about how these tasks get done (or the people trying to do the tasks) do not have direct experience, or background knowledge about managing content at that granular level. They are seeking guidance to make sure they are covering off all the right content deliverables. Or they just might not know how to get started.
Filling the content gap
So, in the interests of filling that content gap in the advice market, I’ve pulled together some high level tips and information for anyone wanting a starting point for:
- how to write useful, accessible, user-centred, searchable web content
- what to consider when planning the content aspects of a digital project.
Content design and management guidelines
We content people don’t like duplication, so I have referenced industry sources for more detail wherever possible because, let’s face it, there are websites and blogs and businesses devoted to these topics. What I have tried to do is provide an entry point.
The guidelines are a work in progress. There are more content things to consider in a project phase, and I’ve ideas for a third section that will highlight some of the content management considerations after the project team have all gone home; for those left with a site to manage in a ‘Business as usual’ (BAU) environment.
The guidelines are in an ‘alpha’ stage — and I am seeking feedback. You can get in touch via the email link at the top of each page.
For anyone in government interested in chatting more about content there is also a ‘content design and management’ Yammer group to share ideas and advice. (You have to join the Govtweb group to see the content group option).
Content management, Plain English, Web standards