Podcast Ep. 13 – Content Models vs Domain Models – Carrie Hane

What is a domain model? What’s a content model? How do they relate? In this episode we hear from Carrie Hane co-author of Designing Connected Content: Plan and Model Digital Products for Today and Tomorrow

She and Noz Urbina examine these questions in the context of effective omnichannel strategy, and the present and future of content and user experience design.

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How do you see your current role?

“I think of myself as a translator. Content strategy is at the center of many disciplines — whether it’s marketing, design, development, search engine optimization, all kinds of stuff. So I focus on improving content past the writing and examine other elements — such as how it meets user needs — in addition to making sure it meets stakeholder needs and business goals.” 

What is holding organizations back from making effective content?

“People don’t know what they don’t know. They are certainly experts in different fields — whether it’s marketing, event planning, or design — but there needs to be more education and empathy for the people you work with, and not just the end users.”

 

Full session transcript

THIS IS AN AUTOMATED TRANSCRIPT

Noz Urbina  00:02

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this omnichannel podcast brought to you by OmnichannelX. My name is Noz Urbina, I am your intrepid hosts, bringing you the greatest minds in omni channel, user experience, content design, content, marketing, governance and systems. So I am very delighted to have with me today, Carrie Hane, author of the book designing connected content. So please, Carrie, can you introduce yourself to our podcast listeners who may not have heard of you?

Carrie Hane  01:17

Hi, I’m Carrie, I am a person without a title. At this point, I don’t like to call my I’m trying not to use the word content strategist so much anymore, because that’s loaded with whatever the other person thinks it is. But I’m a strategist, I’ve been working, doing strategy digital web strategy for over 20 years now. And have just come up through the ranks and started as I had to do the website for my first organization and thought this was a good thing to do. It was new, and worked work through it. And it always focusing on the content, and the organization. And getting to a point where I’m always Trent transforming whatever organization I was working with, to go further with their strategy and usability and make a good experience. When I was in house a few times have been consulting with an agency and now I’ve been an independent consultant for over four years. And working now much more in the digital transformation space. Because as you and I know, and many other people know as well that if you don’t change how the organization operates, content strategy is only going to get you so far, it turns into a bunch of tactics instead of an actual plan. And it certainly doesn’t go beyond just a website or just an app or just a product in to extend to the whole organization. So that you you have that that transformation. So I’ve been working with clients on undoing that little bits at a time to get them to a place where where everybody’s working together collaboratively. And they’re they’re getting out of their their silos so they’re more effective and efficient with their content.

Noz Urbina  03:20

Okay, well, you just touched on everything. In one little introduction, so we’re delighted to have you here, I have to recommend your book highly. It’s I don’t, I don’t read a stack of books per year. I’m not. I’m not one of those kind of one of those kind of guys who chews up books easily. And I have to recommend yours. I referred to it actually at the inaugural conference as a as a book that made me go, damn, now I got to think of a new thing to write about. Because I was busy drafting a very similarly themed book, and you guys did such a compelling and complete job of it, that I am, I’m rethinking kind of where to go. But so your book talks a lot about the whole process of content as design. And so you’re talking about breaking down silos and working with other with other roles. Can you tell us a bit how that how you work, as mentioned, to be a content strategist? How do you work with other roles? How do you see roles working differently before and after you do a project? How it was content? Does that look like for you?

Carrie Hane  04:27

Yeah, so I kind of think of myself as a translator. I think content strategy is at the center of so many of all these other disciplines marketing and design and development and, and search optimization and all kinds of stuff. So I’m, I picture myself at the center of that and if if content is the, the central thing that are the thing that everyone cares about or should care about Ultimately, it’s that the how people communicate, right? And so if we can do that I say, okay, to make this content good. It’s not just the writing. It’s how is it? You know, what is the hierarchy? Does it meet a user need? How is it being displayed on a screen? How is it being delivered via a smart speaker, where there is no screen, and all you have is your content? How are people finding it on on a search engine, how, you know all of these things. And so that means I have to work with all that. And those are just the teams that are creating platforms that deliver content. And then there’s the other side of the stakeholders or clients who need this content to achieve their goals. And working with them to to help them understand what what they can achieve, and make that content usable, so that they can achieve their goal and set measurements. So they know what’s working. And they’re not wasting their time creating a bunch of content that no one’s ever going to read or use in a way that keeps them coming back. And then there’s the there’s just the whole business side, which a lot of stakeholders don’t necessarily think about. They’re thinking about their goal, their specific priority or goal, but the business goals campaign goals, yeah, but the business has a mission. What are they trying to achieve? They probably have a strategic plan or some initiatives in place of, you know, what they’re focusing on these next three years? How do we map that to, to all of it so so it’s, it’s that hub, kind of like, the website is the hub for for content, because you’re pointing wherever you’re sending content out, you’re pointing back to the website. So it’s, it’s getting that helping them figure out what the right channel is to get their message out for whatever their goal is. I was just looking at a site yesterday, just a quick review is like, Okay, this, this looks okay. But, you know, are you meeting your goals? I mean, that’s, that’s the question I asked a lot. And a lot of times people don’t know how to answer.

Noz Urbina  07:16

They don’t even actually know what their meeting goals are not right, because they

Carrie Hane  07:19

have no goals. Or it’s pageviews. And it’s like, well, that’s only one one measure. It’s a measurement for sure. It’s a metric. But it’s not the end goal. There’s something else okay, so people use it now, are more people viewing it and then calling you or ordering or, or coming back next week, or whatever that is. There’s there’s a conversion for almost everything.

Noz Urbina  07:48

What do you think is mainly holding them? Back? Why Why? Why are things in such a state in 2020?

Carrie Hane  07:56

So I think there’s two things, I think there’s one is people just don’t know what they don’t know. They they’re not, they’re not digital content experts. They’re experts in running conferences, or doing education or even marketing, which is a very narrow set, they’re there, they have specific goals. So I think they just I think that’s one issue. And we assume, especially as consultants, but even people who are internal who are on the marketing team, or are on the design team, assume that everyone else knows what they know. And that that just sets us all up for failure, because people just don’t know what they don’t know. So you have to help each other. So I think there needs to be a lot more education and a lot more empathy for the people you work with not just the end users. And then I think the other thing is, and I’ve been hearing this a lot lately, as I’ve been having conversations about why are we still doing content last, you know, some of these questions, and it’s, it’s, it’s all the external business pressures, like, there was a deadline to deliver a design by this date, or the product needs to launch by that date. And so those pressures, which are kind of coming, they’re not necessarily coming from nowhere, but but they’re, they’re coming from a fairly random place, when you look at the whole product management lifecycle. And then there’s not enough communication between, say, the product manager or the design leader, to communicate with the business to say, well, you know, understanding the goals and, and pushing back sometimes sometimes that’s not possible, but you know, finding ways to compromise. Well, we can deliver this which will be good enough to meet the initial goal and then we can go from there, but then, you know, we all know that and VPs often end up living for a long time. Because the reality is you don’t go back, because now we are on to the next goal that you’ve that someone else has set for you. So there needs to be much more discussion about, you know, and this this is at the high level of what role does design play at that point, it really is more about design, the design function, and content is part of that, or are separate, I don’t know, depends on the organization, and it doesn’t really matter, but there needs to be a lot more pushing up, as well as out. So it’s, it’s gotta go from all the places and and, you know, just like the stakeholders, the business leaders don’t know what they don’t know.

Noz Urbina  10:48

Do you have a story? Like where, what’s, how does it manifest? So do you have an example where this kind of lack of communication and understanding of the potential and the requirements and the goals, what ends up happening in the real world,

Carrie Hane  11:02

we ended up getting less than optimal results, and everyone’s frustrated? Because the design team hasn’t been able to do their work well, enough, the copywriters have to fit, you know, maybe because their content last, and so they have to fit their copy into a different container. And then, you know, even though their copy, as originally done, could have been created, and fit, and then that was mapped to the goal. You know, what, what do we want people to do, not just what fits in this button, and then you don’t meet the business goal, or you’re not even tracking it to the goal. But

Noz Urbina  11:48

we’re just making a lot of stuff.

Carrie Hane  11:49

Yeah, they’re just making stuff. And they’re doing the best they can along, you know, with what they have. But they’re everybody’s got their their blinders on and are doing what they need to do, until it comes into conflict, often with what someone else has done. At some point. They all need to work together. And they don’t always fit together, when it’s time for them to, to, to mash up. Yeah,

Noz Urbina  12:16

yeah. So you said a few things, which, which trigger triggered me in a good way, not in the bad way. There was the idea of content last. And it’s actually, it’s funny, because just off a call with a client, before we did came on to record this, that I was talking about the benefits of content last. But from a different point of view, there’s two ways to have content. Last, there’s content last like all the all design work is done, the technical specifications are done. The customer journey mapping is done, user requirements are done. flows are done wireframes images, color palettes, and then people go, Okay, now stick some content in there. There’s that way of doing content last, which is always, you know, inspires me to swear, which I don’t like to do when I’m being recorded that and then there’s content last in the sense that don’t go write a bunch of stuff, unless you’ve actually done your research, looked at some personas, looked at some audience demographics, figured out what user goals are, and tried to target those, as in, you know, work out why your content is supposed to exist, what it’s trying to accomplish, then write it. So that kind of content lasts at the good kind of content last,

Carrie Hane  13:32

right? And that’s really the definition of content of designing the content, right? The designing content for user need. Yeah, and that’s the other end, I think that’s when people hear content first, they think that there’s no way we can have all the content before we start designing like, that’s not the point, it’s, let’s think about the structure of the content. First, let’s think about where it needs to go what the user needs, set up, set up the structure. You can design with that structure, we can create the content with that structure, you can set up your your code and your programming with that structure. So we all agree on the structure first, and then. So it’s it’s really a content strategy first,

Noz Urbina  14:22

depending on your definition of content strategy,

Carrie Hane  14:23

right, right. But it’s the it’s that it’s the content design first maybe isn’t is a better way to say that.

Noz Urbina  14:32

We just had a Sarah Richards on the podcast. And she she used the term content design and I’m, I’m really, I’m really into it. I’m really thinking it’s a really good term, to clarify that what we mean that the design focus the user focus, the requirements focused and process focused aspects of content strategy, to get us to a structure where we know that’s the right way to do content. I think content design is something that even non experts can kind of get. Whereas content strategy, as much as I love the term and I am a content strategist, that term is running all over the place. And it’s everything from I’m you know, I’m just a web copywriter who wants to tack 10% onto my onto my earnings to you know, I’m a brand strategist or I’m, you know, I do I do messaging or so many people are co opting the term and I’m not saying that they’re not content strategists. But I think that there is a room to talk about the content design aspect, which is I think, what, what you and I focus on in our projects, as as its own discipline, and something that needs to be brought to the forefront, not to toot our own horns. Something else, which you mentioned in your book, too, about getting all the stakeholders and different people on the same page is the discipline of domain modeling, which is dear to my heart as well. And I have never heard a client yet asked me to do a domain model, I have always kind of nudge them towards it. So can you talk a little bit about domain modeling? What it is how you use it in your projects?

Carrie Hane  16:18

Yeah. So I have had people ask me to do domain modeling, you’re lucky woman? Well, because I wrote the book. Well, I wrote it with with Mike Atherton. And actually, he brought the domain modeling to the process that we outlined in the book. So it’s something that’s fairly new to me as well. But it makes perfect sense. So I’ve been able to incorporate it in to my work sometimes. Now, just because, you know, there’s been a handful of people who have asked, because they’re, they’ve become familiar with the concept through the book or through talks that Mike or I have done. So I’ve done it a couple of times with product teams. In fact, I was just, I was just with a with a client two weeks ago, working on a domain model, that one was to define a problem space. They are a software company, and they have many, many products. And they knew that they had this one problem that went across industries when across products, but they weren’t really sure what to do about it. So they decided to to use the domain model to define what what it what makes up this problem. So that then they can overlay the products, they can overlay the industry standards.

Noz Urbina  17:43

Let’s let’s back up. I think for the uninitiated, yeah. So basics of what is a domain? What

Carrie Hane  17:48

is the domain model? So a domain model is a representation of the concepts or objects within a subject area? So it’s really it’s boxes and boxes and arrows. You know, it’s a relatively simple thing, the way I look at it, and it gets you the foundational agreement, back to the question of why this align stakeholders because you can get a bunch of people in a room. And if you all work for the same company, you already you already understand your subject area, what subject area and or you’re probably in multiple, but you understand that and you can agree on the truth of that without thinking about an interface without thinking about what goes on the homepage, or no one can agree. You know, what, what channels should we be on? What marketing campaigns should we have? You’re not thinking about any of that yet. You’re just saying, this is this is the area that we work in. And this is what it looks like,

Noz Urbina  18:54

you’re not even thinking really about the content yet, either?

Carrie Hane  18:57

No, not yet. I mean, you have to kind of start thinking ahead to make sure things map up map properly. But you’re not you’re like, Okay, and so like, for example, I used to work for the American Society of Civil Engineers. Their domain is civil engineering. That’s huge. There’s, there’s some sub domains. But you know, I, if I had known about this, at the time, we started our web project, I would have done a domain model of civil engineering, and I couldn’t have gotten, you know, 10 people 12 people in a room who could all agree that civil engineering includes projects and engineers and sites. Sites are probably part of project how do we make project is project a big thing or is it a bunch of smaller things, but we could their specialties there.

Noz Urbina  19:51

Realize I said sites, I don’t mean websites. I mean if you’re doing works,

Carrie Hane  19:56

websites, and those could be part of the project or or not? Because the project would be like the finished thing. Like could be an attribute. But you but those are the discussions we would have.

Noz Urbina  20:09

So location, its own thing, or is the location just part of a project? So

Carrie Hane  20:13

but we can have those because everyone is on the same level. And we’re just thinking, oh, yeah, does that does that fit, right? And you can map that out. So everybody’s agreeing. So now, we’re now they’re thinking about civil engineering, instead of the website. And so that’s why it’s alignment. And honestly, as much, as much as you’re getting people to start thinking differently, you’re getting that because they’re part of the process. And I think through the whole process we described in the book, the reason you get stakeholder alignment is because you’re involving stakeholders, early and often. And at places, so by the time you get to designing the content for the website, there, they already have agreed on priorities. So they’re just they’re just saying, Oh, yes, this one is more important than that one. Instead of, I want my stuff on the homepage. Or that person can’t write my content, I need to write it kind of stuff. You they you’ve gotten that stuff out of the way.

Noz Urbina  21:19

And you build some bridges. Yeah, yeah, I, I did my first time where I was teaching domain modeling at the university this year, as part of our content modeling course. And I gotta say it went shockingly easily. It was it was just so we were doing the what does it mean, English? supermarkets? What is it? Like retail foods? grocery store? Grocery? Yes, yes, sorry, supermarket and grocery stores. That was the that was the subject domain. And so it was easy, because you know, everyone, everyone knows the domain. So you can if you’re just a student, you don’t have to be a subject matter expert. And you can start thinking about, you know, the franchise versus the franchisee locations, like you have the individual physical locations, and then you break down locations, to know that they have that they have types of products. And then we were relating that to, from different perspectives. Like if you’re if you’re the shopper, people start thinking about other things like they come in expecting foods, and those foods are intended to be ingredients. And then so you’ve got, we had your brushing up in between cooking in recipes, and groceries and supermarkets. So but it was all really relatable, because they’re domains that we all know. Right? And it was interesting, because as easy as it was you you immediately started getting getting synonyms, like, is it? Is it a franchise? Is it a branch? Is it a outlet? Is it a what do you call the physical instance of a supermarket. And then you have different things like in some countries, rather than being a top down thing like McDonald’s where they own the brand, and then you buy a franchise in it. There’s like cooperative brands, where it’s actually co owned by all the locations who are funding this thing. It’s a different kind of power dynamic. And so it was it was very interesting exercise. But it was really good. To get that separation between delivery and what we’re talking about. I think that that’s what I think is really powerful for domain modeling is is it’s so hard to get people to stop thinking pages output, who owns what and get back to the the matter at hand, the subject and what it is we care about.

Carrie Hane  23:51

Yeah. And I find that when, when we do that people, ideas just pop into their brains, it opens up so many opportunities, because they’re thinking differently. They’re like, Oh, well, we could also do this. And they do start thinking about the website, but in a different way. Like, oh, no, oh my gosh, yes, we could have all of these things connected to this one thing, and we could sell more probably, or we could get more people to read our blogs or sign up for our newsletter or whatever it is. Because now they can see that wealth of content, because now they’re thinking, Oh, I have all of this stuff. I want people to get it. And it just opens it opens up so many opportunities. And that’s why I think it’s a big brand opportunity. Because you define define what space you’re in. And sometimes that’s a little bit different than you think. So I find the even defining the domain to be a good exercise and often it changes from where we start when we start the actual domain. model to where we finish. Because either we defined it too, usually we’ve defined it too broadly. And it we’re actually in a different space, I had a client a couple of years ago, they made their manufacturer and so we started with the thing that they manufacture. And we ended up with a little bit bigger space, because they wanted to expand beyond that like, but one day, you know, we want to solve these these problems. And this might not be the right solution, but we could still make it. So they wanted to make sure they were forward thinking. And so we expanded the domain, and it was very scientific. So there were there were a lot of things in the domain that, that they hadn’t thought of, they would never think of as the website, but they were huge educational opportunities for their potential customers don’t know what they want, they have an idea. They know what they need in the end. But they don’t know what it’s called, they don’t know how to get there, they don’t know why this would be the right solution. So by thinking about the domain, they opened up many more educational opportunities that would get them better SEO, get people in the door sooner, as they’re doing research to solve their problem.

Noz Urbina  26:21

The last thing, which I think is cool about domain domain modeling is getting also people are aware of how much disagreement there is on what things are called. So it’s kind of the beginning of your, the beginning of your taxonomy is the beginning of your content model. But it’s also your beginning of your understanding of term equivalency. And and being you know, having all those alternate terms for SEO reasons, because you may call them converters. Now other people might call them processors, whatever, like the end, it’s actually when you’re in the room and a bunch of people were somebody who you worked on the hall from for years goes, don’t call it that.

Carrie Hane  27:03

Even internally, they don’t call it the same thing. How are we supposed to have one face? And then yeah, and agree agreeing on that? I asked a lot of that the question I’m asking during facilitation is, what does that mean? Is that the right word? Is that what people call it?

Noz Urbina  27:21

Not quite the same thing is because there’s there’s the common term is the term that the business mainly uses the term that the techies in the business use, versus the ones that are in the marketing side of the business. And it’s very, it’s very important and very useful to get all those terms up on the board together and start to say, Okay, what, what is what? And how does they actually relate?

Carrie Hane  27:42

Right. And I think that leads to a point of getting the right people in the room to do the work, whether it’s a virtual room or or a physical room, is you can’t just have the marketing people, you need to have some, you need to have subject matter experts who wouldn’t normally be involved in any sort of content process. But they’re, they’re really important at that stage to to understand all of these concepts and, and to map them out in a way that can be useful by anyone down the road.

Noz Urbina  28:15

And so how I know a lot of people is especially gonna be listening, this podcast will be familiar with the term content model. So how does the content model and domain model relate as far as you’re concerned? You know, what, what do you what did you want useful for? What is it the other useful for well, how are they different?

Carrie Hane  28:31

The way I think about a domain model is it’s, it’s defining the space you’re in the universe that you operate in. And then the content model is your place in that universe as an organization, because the domain model theoretically could be used by anybody who’s in the same space.

Noz Urbina  28:50

So one competitors could use the same,

Carrie Hane  28:53

technically. So I use the example that I do in workshops of live music. So we make a domain model of live music. Now, going into the content model, bands could use it artists and bands could use it, venues could use it, or ticket sellers could use it, but they care about different objects within that model. So they’re defining, okay, I’m a ticket, ticket seller. You know, there are things I don’t care about, I don’t care about when a band member was born, I just care about what their name is, you know, what the name of the band is and what their performances are, what their tours are, and and what the tickets are, you know, all the information about the tickets, you may not even list the band members, right? Whereas the you know, the the artist isn’t just in the live music business, it’s in other you know, isn’t recorded music but it you know, they care about the band members. And and maybe just the the tour and then they link off to the ticket seller for the performances. As you know, so things like that. And then even like a venue cares about the venue just like a ticket seller does. But the ticket seller basically needs the name and address of the venue. So people know where where the performance is. But the venue has a lot more attributes in their content model, because they have their name, their address, history, seating, menus, all this other stuff. So that’s all happens in the content model, they’re using the same domain model, but different content model, because it’s only what they care about. Not only what they care about, but what they can do at the app at one time. So you might find that, you know, we really, we really can’t put any information about the, you know, the band’s background, at this point, we don’t, we don’t have time to create artists by you know, individual biographies for a band site. So we’ll leave that to later. But we know that’s the thing we could do in the future and, and link them up together another time.

Noz Urbina  31:04

There’s, I still sometimes have a temptation to put actual, like deliverables or documents on domain model, like because they people will talk talking about them so much like the annual report, or a bulletin, or something like that, when I know that that’s not the domain model is for? How strict are you about that. And

Carrie Hane  31:24

I never put those in my domain model. Those usually appear in the content model. So when we’re going from domain model to content model, the first step is, okay, if we’ve done a domain model, which of these objects need to be content types. So we transfer those, then we say, Okay, what else is there, there’s always business things, editorial things like blog post, a blog post isn’t in the domain model, a blog post is an editorial content type, but it exists, reports exist. And those kinds of things end up in the content model, because they’re their content, but they’re not part of that domain. Or, in any case, there are a part of every single domain, and users don’t care about them. That’s purely business. So that’s, you know, again, if the domain model is universal truth, the content model is organizational truth. The organization cares about the reports. More than than anybody else,

Noz Urbina  32:29

I would get tripped up sometimes with software, for example, where there’s almost no real world objects. So they’re kind of the, the, the things approach content complicated when you’re talking about the software domain, because there’s none of the things are things. They’re all concepts, really. And so it’s been easier sometimes to to slip into sliding in another non thing, which might be a content asset there. But I’m actually more comfortable than now. But I wouldn’t be it was very interested to hear your, your feeling about that. So what do you do you think that domain models are going to start to get kind of commoditized, I am in this shooting a world where especially people like you, and I can start to share these because it’s another shitloads of work to produce? And once we’ve created one for banking, or retail banking, or investment banking or pharmaceuticals, like, do we really need to then go in and do it again, with another company?

Carrie Hane  33:32

So this is interesting, I was just having this conversation with my client a couple of weeks ago, as it was really hard for us to define that domain in the end. And it has been suggested to me that, oh, you should just create this library of domain models. Which sounds great, except it’s impossible. Because every organization really like the way they define their domain is fairly unique. I think there are certainly some that could be but you know, even like my example of civil engineering, that might be too broad to be useful. Maybe we need the specialties. People. I’ve done some work with higher ed. So their domain isn’t education. They’ve got lots of domains, they’ve got student life, they’ve got academics, they’ve got resident, you know, they’ve got residential life. There’s all of these different domains that connect those probably could be because because the institutions that would use them are so alike, but I think there’s a very limited set of domains that really would be useful to be created ahead of time. They certainly would be a good foundation for organizations but but it’s I think it’s it’s something Anything that needs to be thought about to be useful and meaningful, it needs to be thought out a little bit more carefully than than that. Because if you’re, you’re too generic, it’s too big. The domain model is too big and too generic to

Noz Urbina  35:15

be super useful. Yeah, I’m, I’m torn in two directions here. On the one hand, it just seems like an eventuality, like schema.org, for example, is defining, you know, like, a retail store, a theater, live event person? No, there’s they are, they’re already kind of creating this, this global shared, semantic model, which they’re trying to use to under unlike power of the web. And so I’m very tempted to say that we can kind of we could do something where you could start with a domain, let’s say, let’s say pharma, or security software, I wouldn’t go as far as software because I think that’s, you know, Pokeyman go and IBM WebSphere are very different software applications. But then, Could you could you start with like, this is the menu and can we punch out the bits, which you don’t think are relevant. On the other side of mind thinking, the bridge building, and the thinking, that happens during the exercise is so important. That skipping, you know, even doing anything with skipped forward to kind of shortcuts the team through that also seems like a risk.

Carrie Hane  36:39

Yeah, that’s a good point. Because, because it’s that process that, that getting people together and talking about it. And if you if even if you started with a domain model, and dumped people in to say what works for us, they wouldn’t understand it enough to make good decisions, because they’re not, it takes a while for people to get what they’re doing. And then for them to warm up and get comfortable with, with what we’re talking about. And you you’d skip all of that, which leaves the understanding that it would take to make to make choices from from a common model. But that said, you know, like, you know, schema.org is a good example. That’s something I’ve I’ve just recently been starting to, to use, in my models, my content models, so that I’m at least giving my clients a start at semantic language,

Noz Urbina  37:42

this fundamental fundamentals like, you know, person, or opening hours or like this stuff, you don’t have to reinvent.

Carrie Hane  37:49

Yeah, and yeah, I think I kind of pull from, from my knowledge, and my, my library that I’ve created before, to help jumpstart some some of the conversations and decision making during the modeling for sure,

Noz Urbina  38:07

yeah, there’s, there’s always a, for me, there’s a balancing act, you know, as a consultant, even if the client wants to just get to the end result, you’re doing them a disservice if they’re, if they don’t understand what happened. Like if you if they’ve just threw their problem over the wall, and you fix it for them, which I’m thinking of it’s very specific client. And if you’re listening, you’re listening to this, you know, who you are. Who, you know, who just was just like, What do you like, why do we have to have a team? Why do we have to have a project manager? Why can’t you just do this for us? And I was like, well, we could theoretically, if you throw enough budget at it, but then you will just be in the same situation, when we’re, when we leave your job is gonna be utterly dependent on us. So there’s that thing about, I really believe that what we’re doing and domain modeling is a great example. What we’re doing with digital transformation, is preparing people for the futures of their careers. They have to understand how this stuff works. Because everybody’s gonna have to understand how this stuff works. So think something like understanding how do you map out a domain subject domain? What are objects? What are object relationships, one to many, one to one, that kind of thing? And then how does that relate to designs, web designs, application designs, that’s, it’s such a core piece of knowledge that I don’t, as much as I would love to just show up and go, Hey, look, you look at your domain. It’s all it’s all clear and up there. If it won’t be clear, they won’t get it fully if they didn’t do it themselves.

Carrie Hane  39:46

Right. Right. And my goal is always as a consultant to work myself out of a job, because like I don’t want them to be dependent content is too fundamental to an organization to always rely on someone When else to do it? And so I’m teaching them along the way, which is why, you know, have worked more on that transformation and the operations of okay, do you have the right people? Do you have the right processes, and so that you can set up your governance and keep this going, and you won’t have any, you won’t have all these sunk costs in a website that has to be redone in three years, because you, you didn’t learn what you needed to do. Or you’re repeating the same things over and over for every channel, because you’re in silos and in these people didn’t participate in this part. So they don’t understand the what the other one is doing?

Noz Urbina  40:42

I think so I think that that’s a really, I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s important to come to this altruistically. And this is one of the reasons that I invited you to speak at the conference, because I think that the mission is to make the world a better place, you know, make more competent, more effective digital participants and citizens on whatever channel or method they’re using, because that’s, that’s just makes everything everywhere, run better. So I think that’s a good note to end on. So I want to thank you, I’m looking so much forward to getting to hang out in person in June. If you’re, if you’re listening to the recording. After the conference, I’m sure you missed a good show. And you should check out omni channel x dot digital to find out when the next conference is coming up. And if you’d like this podcast, depending on where you’re watching it, you can go to omni channel x dot digital slash podcast, find us on Spotify or iTunes or get the links off of that page that I just mentioned. So thank you very much, Carrie, I will be seeing you in a few months. Thank you to all our listeners. And I hope you get out there and model some good domains.

Carrie Hane  42:01

Thanks, guys. Bye everyone.

Noz Urbina  42:02

Cheers. Bye bye. Thank you for listening. This has been the omni channel podcast with Noz Urbina, founder of Urbina consulting, drop us a comment on our LinkedIn or Twitter and let us know what questions you’d like to answer next time and who you’d like to hear interviewed. See you then.

About our guest


Carrie Hane is a creative problem solver and connector of people, processes, and technology. For more than 20 years, she’s been helping organizations transform to meet the ever-changing needs of the people they serve and take advantage of the latest technology.

She is the co-author of Designing Connected Content: Plan and Model Digital Products for Today and Tomorrow (New Riders, 2018), a handbook for a pioneering approach to sustainable digital publishing. As a former consultant and in-house lead, she has created a variety of content models, designed content around the model, and developed content-centric digital publishing processes. In her current role as Head of Content Strategy Relations for the content platform Sanity.io, she advocates for future-friendly structured content as means to make content operations more efficient and effective.

When she’s not working, you can find her at the pool swimming with her Master’s team, at her son’s baseball game, or reading with her dog.

Past #OmniXConf sessions