Content strategy: Diagrams and infographics

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This blog post is part of a series on online content strategies developed in cooperation between the Europa.eu web team and web consultant Sue Davis. We will look at key resources, the relationship between content strategy and other tasks like Information Architecture (IA) and some essential tools and processes.

Here are some content strategy processes and ideas explained through infographics and diagrams.

Mobile and content strategy by Sue Davis

I’m kicking off with a diagram I’ve created. This shows the various approaches to content for mobile.

  • Graceful degradation: At the bottom is the easiest and cheapest solution: making sure your website is viewable on mobile devices – that it degrades in a way that ensures it is still usable. This may just involve tweaking your site to remove Flash content.
  • Next comes responsive content: content that is laid out according to the device that the site is viewed on. Often sidebars and navigation will be moved down the screen when the site is viewed on a mobile. For an example take a look at the dConstruct conference website and make your browser window much narrower to see the mobile version.
  • Adaptive content is less about changing the layout, but more about changing the experience and really making the most of your content: displaying different content for different devices. Karen McGrane points to National Public Radio as an example.
  • A mobile site will be viewable by all mobile devices. Differing operating systems will have little effect on the browsing experience – unless Flash is used. Mobile sites are built using standard html and web technologies, but are perfectly optimized for mobile viewing i.e. on a small screen.
  • At the top is the most time-consuming and expensive option: a mobile app. Mobile apps will need to be created separately for each mobile platform – Android phones, iOS phones, Blackberry etc. – but will take advantage of their individual features and nuances. Apps are usually data-heavy and involve advanced interactivity with data stored on the device and sometimes data online. They will also make use of the hardware such as a camera and GPS.

Content Audit Template by John McCrory

This is a great (rather tongue-in-cheek) way of presenting content audit findings to teams. The degree of detail that you put in each area is up to you. You could list specific pages or general topic ideas. See the larger diagram.

Workflow: Publish a new press release by Richard Ingram

Richard is my favourite content strategy diagram-maker. This is an excellent way of visualising complex workflow which shows people, tasks (both human and automated), complex sign-off procedures, milestones, and how the CMS (content management system) fits into the process.

View the larger diagram (PDF). See Richard’s blog for more of his content strategy diagrams.

Our methodology by Predicate

This shows the main content strategy processes that happen during each stage of website creation. Read more about Predicate’s methodology.

Approaches to Web Content Strategy by Richard Ingram

People arrive at content strategy from a variety of backgrounds: writer, designer, information architect, editor, brand strategist. This diagram shows the diverse skills and approaches which are part of content strategy as a discipline.

View a larger diagram and Richard’s commentary.

Five Ingredients for a Tasty Content Strategy by Mark Smiciklas

Maybe it is getting too near lunchtime… Tasty content means carefully considering your audience, content theme, voice and tone, content format and the right channel. Leave any ingredient out and it isn’t so nourishing. Web content is also an easy take-away, a snack, not a 3-course meal. View a larger diagram.

Liverpool.gov.uk usage vs screen space by Digital Liverpool


Copyright @conormoody and @KevinJump

Conor Moody and Kevin Jump of Liverpool Direct looked at the current (in 2011) screen space allocation of the Liverpool.gov.uk website home page and compared that to what their users said they wanted.

View larger diagram.

The Periodic Table of Content by Andy Crestodina


The infographic weighs types of content weighted according to lifespan and creation time. The infographic is great and the supporting commentary is beautiful.

It is similar to the periodic table of SEO factors and the periodic table of visualisation methods.

The Content Strategy Quad by Brain Traffic

This graphic and article on Brain Traffic is a great way of showing the essential elements of a content strategy. It is split into the content and people components.

Content Lifecycle by Erin Scime

There are many other diagrams showing the web content lifecycle, but this is the best, in my opinion. It is a great summary of the five content lifecycle phases (audit, strategy, plan, create and maintain) and the tasks that happen under each phase. View the diagram and read about how Erin produced the diagram.

Seven ages of content maturity within organisations by In the Content Lab

This one shows the stages from infancy (content projects not finished or started) through to passionate and second childhood (taking content risks aided by better data). See if you can spot where your agency or DG falls within the diagram.

Anatomy of an experience map by Adaptive Path

The experience map for Rail Europe represents readers’ various touchpoints – ways they interact across all channels (call centres, apps, mobile, visitor centres, print). As content strategists we need to be aware of the language used in all our media plus what expectations the readers have of our website content having experienced us in another media. “A good experience map feels like a catalyst, not a conclusion,” says Chris Risdon of Adaptive Path.

We’ll see you again next week. Use the comments below if you want to suggest a specific subject we should cover in this blog series.

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