SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Research about closeness of content and navigation?
Re: [Sigia-l] Research about closeness of content and navigation?
> "Marius van Dam" wrote:
>> In your company, how is the text in a website created? In what phases,
>> and by whom?
>> (you can answer off-list if you want)
It's been sometime since I worked closely on the website content issues.
However, as Chris just pointed out, this is the same that goes for product
(web application) development too. The approach of IA for information
site, as Chris explained, is similar to the approach we take for Designing
UIs for our financial and decision-making applications.
Just to give background about the processes – we try to control and
specify the user (and UI) requirements through wireframes. These
wireframes are very detailed – they carry data level information, copy,
messaging (error/warning/etc.), and every UI widget in detail with the
interaction model explained throughout with boxes and arrows.
Let me take a step back and come to your original question – When we
start on the UI design, after requirement and task analysis phase, we
start with the activity of building blocks and putting content around
them. UI team always works closely with Business Analysts, Writers, and
Designers at this stage. When the task of designing is carried in
isolation, dummy text is used for all the copy, however stuff like
"labels", "Nomenclature for navigational entities" etc. are kept open for
refinements. After completion of initial Design phase everything goes for
text review. Many a time when design is carried out in team, writers are
responsible for closing all the content related issues, and Designers are
for the interaction, data level specification and UI widgets. As I said
earlier, the work of “ID” and “Writing Content” is documented within the
wireframes. And the ownership of wireframes is shared between Designers
There are also two kinds of Writing work that come out of the whole
process of building products – one is to help build the UI and other is to
help development with contents for final release, such as, user guides,
release notes, technical documentations, etc. Sometimes during the phase
of UI design, Writers are brought in after the task analysis is complete
and UI framework is in place. This is typically the time when Design is
also shared for Visual Design, Text Reviews and Legal consultations.
This is not the best approach if you consider yourself a killer Writer.
And I have seen other alternatives too. It’s idiosyncratic to the group
and project you are working. This is no different than music composition –
Sometime the tune is decided first and lyric is tailored to suite it, at
other instances, you pick the lyrics first and create the tune. I have
seen good examples of both these approaches.
Hope this will help. Ask me any further question you may have.
eBusiness, Fannie Mae
> I work as part of an internal consulting group for a large company. The
> "Creative" team is made up of IA, Visual Design and Content.
> During our preliminary design process, we do a set of "pre-wireframing"
> exercises which are intended to get us collectively "on the same page"
> with what goes on a page, and it's relative importance. Content and IA
> tend to wrestle a bit with what exactly goes on a page, but either a
> "content strategist" or a writer (sometimes the same person) is
> responsible for the final copy that goes into the cms for our websites.
> Content is responsible for the nomenclature of the navigation (global,
> pervasive, subnav etc) -- I don't understand how or why one would split
> them up.
> Our Content team is actually in the process of writing up an internal
> style guide to help others in our group, and among our clients
> understand why and how they're copy is written. For example, they use
> the principle of "progressive disclosure" and rely on the "active
> Hope this helps!
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: Tue Mar 23 2004 - 14:45:37 EST