The Mutual Benefits of Content Strategy and UX Design
User experience design (UXD) is a strategic undertaking. At minimum, it requires a fundamental understanding of digital sociology and the principles of storytelling and website design. While UX designers are often exceptionally intelligent people, there are always ways in which they can improve their overall output.
One way is to combine their knowledge with that of a content strategy team. As we’ll explore below, both job functions are crucial to facilitating positive user experiences as well as company success. To begin, we’ll define each role. This will allow you to see the general connection between the two jobs. Then we’ll elaborate on the importance of positive collaboration between them and the improved results that can be achieved with website and UX content strategy.
What Is User Experience Design?
At its roots, it’s precisely what its name implies: the designing of users’ experiences within a given medium, most likely digital. There are a multitude of products, platforms and industries in which a UX designer can work—anything from the touchscreen in your car to the e-reader you use to read your favorite books. However, UX designers are most frequently employed as key members of website development and maintenance teams.
UX designers’ work is concerned with the users’ journeys, and the decisions they make impact the ways in which we all move through—and interact with—digital spaces.
What Is Content Strategy?
It’s a well thought-out plan and approach to the deliverables (written, visual, video, etc.) of a specific space, with the goal of increasing user interaction and directing it to meet specific company objectives. Content strategists wear many hats. On one hand, they must deliver organic material that is legitimately informed as well as interesting. However, they’re often also responsible for fulfilling other vital marketing criteria, such as increasing search engine optimization (SEO) and funneling readers to designated landing pages and other conversion spaces.
Simply put, creating interesting content is only a fraction of the content strategist’s role. Their value is far greater than simply delivering material; they develop the hooks that get and keep the users informed, interested and, ultimately, coming back.
The two definitions above illuminate the inherent symbiosis of user experience design and content strategy. Basically, content strategists are focused on the development of media and materials to simultaneously benefit the users and the company while UX designers are concerned with creating seamless ways to move the users through that content.
Given how interconnected these two functions are, it only makes sense that they would work best when in communication with one another. When content strategists include UX design within their planning, they are able to create a more detailed and dense content stratagem. They will be able to discuss ways in which users might move from one piece of content to the next, and therefore can be more knowledgeable on how to deliver content throughout a site.
The same is of course true for UX designers. By incorporating content strategists into their design process, teams can get a fuller view of where their users will land. Having a firm grasp of the content allows the UX designers to be more creative and confident when mapping user journeys.
Basically, when UXD and content strategy are on the same page, it’s the ultimate win-win scenario—for the company and for the users.
Interested in learning more ways to improve your UXD skills? Discover how storyboarding can help you craft the perfect user experience. Then, when you’re ready to take your knowledge to the next level, learn more about Kent State’s online Master of Science in User Experience Design.