User-centered content strategy


As delivered at Confab 2018 in Minneapolis, MN.

Customer journey maps. Ecosystem maps. Storymapping. User stories. Personas. There are so many great tools available to user-focused content strategists that it can be hard to know which to use when! And some of them never seem to fit quite right when you try to apply them in your own organization. Why not create your own?

In this session, we’ll bust apart popular tools for describing users and understanding their journeys into their common patterns and components. You’ll begin to see the method behind the magic and leave equipped to choose, adapt, remix, and/or invent just the right tool for focusing your content on the people who really matter—your users!

  • The User's Journey by Donna Lichaw (about driving design with stories)
  • Mapping Experiences by Jim Kalbach (well-structured breakdown of various mapping and alignment tools)
  • User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton (a deep-dive on one specific methodology with lots of great quotes and anecdotes about planning and alignment in general)
  • Just Enough Research by Erika Hall (you can't focus on users if you don't know anything about them!)
  • Content Design by Sarah Richards (especially for the breakdown of user stories and job stories)
  • Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug (introduces the Goodwill Meter and a many other useful concepts for seeing the world the way your users do)
  • Mental Models by Indi Young (a robust methodology for understanding the needs and motivations of your users)

Reading list

Books that influenced the presenation and deep-dives on some of the mentioned tools.

Stuff from around the web to help you be more user-centered in your content strategy work.