The C word

Focus on the user, craft content accordingly and engage.

Posted by Mark Kirkpatrick on July 10, 2015

Working in digital communications for over a decade, it can still surprise how solely inwardly-focused some organisations can be in terms of presenting product, service content online.

Many will recognise those moments of being presented with the verbose welcome of a CEO, or a large graphic to download the latest annual report on the home-page of a website when trying to research/buy/engage.

Typically these are organisations that have not come to terms with or know their users.

Inevitably marketing, channels teams etc. initiate development, design endeavours without grasping the needs of their users first.

Ultimately, without this knowledge and a focus on those needs, any content implementation online will probably antagonise users rather than enhance credibility or improve bottom line.

First and foremost, content on your online platforms should be shaped to meet user needs concisely, clearly.

The great wall of content

Never let your content get in the way of users completing tasks you want them to complete.

A user will rarely read that 300 word overview you spent time putting together; recognise this and use that time instead to create avenues for meaningful engagement online.

"..the web is filled with fluffy, purposeless, and annoying actively wastes time and money and works against user and business goals."

If your users are not engaging, spend time focusing on them. Analyse your statistics to find out what your users are doing on your site.

Online content publishers should stop thinking about 'their' websites etc. and start thinking about how to provide an online service that evolves and incessantly meets its user needs.

Paper wireframes on table with different devices A content review could be the start of a reconfiguring of your online service to be externally focused, externally led.

If there is a time and a place for the 'we are a dynamic organisation..' type narrative online, it is not on a key landing page when a user wants to buy online/contact you/download a report/register for an event; whatever your user needs to do.

So before you embark on any online endeavour, consider the C word - content (text, images, video etc.); does it get in the way of your users engaging online?

If it does, there’s the other C word you’ll need to consider - cull.