User experience is about understanding want your users need and creating a website that goes beyond meeting their expectations to delight them. Often when we hear about User Experience (UX) it is in the context of User Experience design, which is the process of research, prototyping and testing that informs the User Interface (UI) of a website. But when you consider the holistic experience of using a website, content is still king.
Benefiting from the user experience process
A good website content development process, like a good website development process, should start with user research, including:
- persona development;
- user stories; and
- journey mapping.
The strategy should then build on this foundation layer with an iterative process of strategy, development, testing and finally launch. This process allows for ideas to be tested and for the site content to be validated by the end user.
By taking the time to develop a customer-centric approach to content development you can improve the overall User Experience through:
A greater focus on the user
Including content in your UX process will enable you to deliver a website that lives and breathes most important principle of UX: the end user. It can sometimes seem quicker, easier and cheaper to make assumptions about the needs of the end-user. This approach will only alienate your audience. By taking a user-centred approach to the overall website experience you can create a site that delivers a richer experience.
Better Information Architecture (IA)
Considering content as a part of your UX research will help you to better prioritise, format and organise information to make it easily accessible to the user. This in turn, will lead to a more informed, usable and logical site information architecture.
A good user experience should translate into higher conversion rates, especially when content and UI design support each other. A content strategy will help you to clearly articulate your value proposition and to craft clearer and more persuasive calls to action through both tone-of-voice and messaging. Your UI design should support this through colour use, template design and visual brand identity informed by user research.
Clarity and Readability
A content strategy is not just about great copywriting. It should inform how website content can be used to achieve business objectives and goals. It should also establish an online standard for tone-of-voice, brand traits and house-styles that will ensure content is:
- easy to read and understand; and
- on brand.
By doing these things you will produce informative, powerful and shareable content which can extend your brand reach and support your SEO efforts.
An overall seamless brand experience
As mentioned above, a content strategy should be developed in tandem with your UX strategy and it should inform and support the UI design. This ensures colour and image section support the brand tone-of-voice. It also ensures information hierarchy and calls to action are reinforced through visual devices and font selection.
Greater cross-channel consistency
When establishing your website content strategy, it is always important to consider how other marketing channels such as social media, email and campaigns will integrate with the website. Will campaigns require landing pages? Will these be temporary or permanent? Does tone-of-voice differ for channels like Facebook and how does this impact website landing pages? By outlining how your marketing channels integrate with the website you can improve greater cross-channel consistency and the overall customer experience.
A plan for ongoing optimisation
A content strategy should set out site governance, roles and responsibilities. By mapping these elements, you can establish processes and roadmaps for ongoing enhancements. Because site accountability and future enhancements documented, they are more likely to be implemented post-website launch.
Wrapping it up
Whether you are developing a new website or just looking to redevelop an existing one, website content should be one of the first things you look at. Unfortunately, it is usually a mad-cap last minute dash to meet the launch deadline. But, by investing the time and money into a content (both strategy and production) you will be more likely to meet your business objectives and deliver a positive brand experience to your customers.
Not sure how your website content is performing? Talk to us about a website content health check. We can review your content and make recommendations for improving readability as well as identify ways your content could better support the user-journey and build brand equity.