Sometimes the best website user experiences are derived when the user goals are curated from a content strategy prior to writing actual content since the focus is on accessing information and engaging with it. This form of curation via the information architecture for site structure and user experience screen schematics can also be used for the content writing process as an outline that's specific to the website. It ensures that the website isn't retro-fitted to copy that is written in a manner that's best suited for print - as in a linear process.
HOW USER EXPERIENCE INFLUENCES BRAND STORYTELLING
Creating a website user experience is very similar to the content writing process - perhaps with more emphasis on how the content is "placed" in a brand consistent, engaging and curated manner to be accessed by users. Writers can use these user experience outline and schematics as a content outline for copywriting and brand messaging.
The following steps help define this outline:
- Step 1 - User Research: Define the story goals & audience along with their needs
- Step 2 - Site Structure: Curate Information paths based on story goals & audience needs (information architecture/ site map/ outline) in a simplified manner.
- Step 3 - Site Schematics/ Wireframes: Use the audience paths to further curate the "details" on how the audience engages with the story, with functionality that's approachable, informative and useful on a screen level.
- Step 4 - Content Outline: Use the curation as an outline to write content - defined by the story, audience, along with the curated path and details. This step can potentially occur simultaneously with step 3 based on the curated path as an outline for content writing.
MORE ON DEFINING THE STORY GOALS & AUDIENCE
1. Consistent Premise
The premise of the story is informed by the Client's core brand values. The direction they want to take it in is how the story is told. No matter what form the story is told: be it a marketing directive, ad campaign, social blast, a simple newsletter or other efforts across integrated efforts, consistency of the premise across them is paramount to the identity of the brand.
The audiences that will be consuming this story is vital for how the story is told. Hence the multiple integrated venues to reach the wider possibilities. Understanding the audience alone isn't enough - understanding their needs when accessing the story online needs to be researched as well in the form of Personas. Personas are information on the audience (users) and their goals for interacting with the story.
3. Storytelling Directives
In the case of a website, another way the story is told, we start with content strategy and a creative brief based on the premise and marketing directives for the brand.
- Content Strategy is a broad term in the digital agency world since it encompasses the contribution from account services, creatives, user experience, writers, SEO, technologists.
- This strategy helps further define how the story is told beyond the website.
MORE ON STORY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH CONSISTENT CURATION OF INFORMATION
Online audiences need a more engaging and curated approach to accessing information - hence the need for a user experience that makes this possible based on the consistent story premise, audience needs and directives.
1. Site Structure - Macro Level Curation
This is the information architecture for the online experience for accessing the story and also how the story flows logically from one sep to another across the chapters/ contents that are possible on the site. This curation is usually on a higher level and also lends itself to an outline for the content. It can also further define the venues of storytelling as part of the information paths - for example via a websites, app, landing pages etc.
2. Screen Schematics - Micro Level Curation
Creating a wireframe is similar to telling or writing a story. It uses the high level curation or information architecture to further define each content item in an engaging manner. It is a micro level curation of how the story evolves within a page and presents itself for the user for engagement.
- The content placed within such a document is never the final copy - it is more on a placeholder and descriptive level to communicate the need for final copywriting as part of the curation process.
- It can also further define the venues of storytelling - for example via a websites, app, landing pages etc.
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