Content design & omnichannel at OmnichannelX

What is content design?

Content design unifies various sub-disciplines into a research-driven approach to passing content requirements, planning, content strategy and copywriting through a design thinking and service design lens. It’s based on a research and human-centric approach which puts user needs at the center of all content decisions. Rather than considering producing a deliverable or format in a channel as a goal – for example, creating a webpage or video – the goal is satisfying the requirements laid out in a user story.

The content design movement was founded by Sarah Richards, author, principal of Content Design London, and OmnichannelX speaker.

Listen to Sarah on the podcast

In this episode, we talk with Sarah in anticipation of her Omnichannel 2020 Conference Talk “Content Design 101”. 

Read more.

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Content design means: User first, channel last

Using a channel-last content methodology can be counter-intuitive for many experienced professionals, but content design uses proven methods like journey mapping (also known as customer journey mapping, user journey mapping, experience mapping, etc) to first focus on where value can be added and needs can be addressed. This defines and delivers the most effective vehicle for the message, regardless of channel or format.

It can be applied to creating traditional digital assets, for instance, web pages, social posts, and apps, but doesn’t assume the form of the end solution for the user need.  before going through a full research and design process. This optimises the end result for engagement and user experience that advances the content consumer towards their goals. As a result of maximising value for the user, it also maximises the value of content for the organisation investing in it.

Balance end user emotion with production efficiency, on any channel

Content design carefully considers the use of language and prioritises decisions about the deliverables according to audience emotion and context. It balances these concerns against omnichannel and digital delivery realities that come with applying service design to content creation, such as content structure, accessibility guidelines, and production process efficiency in the background.

In short, content design fosters a holistic and user-centric way of thinking about and creating content that works equally well for UX copy, web pages, social posts, or offline channels. Therefore, the discipline is gaining market traction fast.

Featured OmnichannelX content design sessions

  • [2020 Session] Sarah Richards talks about how and why she stared the content design movement, and how it can be applied to your work 
  • [2020 Session] Carrie Hane will show how systems thinking combined with design thinking unifies the people producing digital products and channels to fulfill the promise of a true omnichannel experience
  • [2020 Session] Michael Haggerty-Villa presents: Design systems, content systems, and the people who need them
  • [2020 Workshop] Noz Urbina teaches a proven methodology to analyse, enrich, and structure your content to help authors create omnichannel and automation-ready content
  • [2020 Workshop] Rob Punselie and Ellen Altenburg lead Customer loyalty in the Digital Age – designing content for your users jobs to be done
  • [2019 Keynote] Mike Atherton asks you to think about the things your audience really cares about, and shows you how to create a richly-linked content structure to maximise your investment and make content available everywhere

According to Content Design London

This definition comes from Content Design London who have long been industry thought-leaders in this space.

Content design is a way of thinking. It’s about using data and evidence to give the audience what they need, at the time they need it and in a way they expect.
The content design process is:
  1. research,
  2. user needs,
  3. channel and journey mapping,
  4. language and emotion,
  5. creation,
  6. sharing,
  7. iteration.

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