User-centred content – Helen Triggs & Mike Dunn

We know content that meets audience needs is key to user-centred design. But under pressure to get the work done it can get neglected, copied over wholesale during a migration, or written with business needs – not user needs – in mind. Wouldn’t it be better if you could help an organisation discuss the value of the content and, if need be, say no?

We’ve developed a simple tool to help you identify that sweet spot where content meets user needs and business objectives. It lets you take representative (or controversial!) content and score it against audience needs and organisational objectives. It then highlights if there is a mismatch between the two. This can be used to inform conversations about whether the content is doing its job – and if not, why not.

We work with lots of clients in the charity, not-for-profit and governmental sectors. Our goal is to go beyond user-centred design by helping instil a culture of user-centred thinking at the organisations we work with. Content is central to this but budgets are always tight, and the temptation is to save money by leaving difficult conversations about it for another day. This tool really helps us have those conversations!

In the introduction to this session we’ll explain why content is key to user-centred design and transformation. We’ll then discuss some of the wins and losses we’ve had helping clients adopt a more user-centred approach to their content.

Then we’ll take you through using our content scoring matrix so you get some hands on experience on how you can apply it when you get back to your desk. We’ll supply dummy content, personas and business objectives for a fictitious travel company, and ask each table to use the content scoring matrix as a framework for a conversation about what content to prioritise, and why.

Helen Triggs
Mindful of poor design and likes to think how she could improve it, Helen has found her calling as a User Experience Consultant. She helps our clients deliver simple, usable websites. She cares about intuitive online experience, business efficiency and helping clients focus on what is important to their customers and business. With a degree in Environmental Science she has been applying her logical mind to web projects since 1999 and online communities since 2004. As well as user experience and information architecture, Helen has experience of digital strategy, content governance, project management, business analysis, business development, marketing and Geographical Information Systems. She has previously worked for Ordnance Survey,, Landmark Information Group and Virtual Business Networks.

Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is a User Experience Consultant who joined Sift Digital in 2013 after a couple of years working in the world of corporate IT, most recently as a Business Analyst. Before this he alternated between work and postgraduate study. As a postgrad he was also involved in setting up and running blogs and online communities, as well as editorial work. User Experience is the perfect role for Mike as it allows him combine his analytical and creative skills with a love for all things digital. He’s worked with brands including Historic England, Parkinson’s UK, and the British Heart Foundation.