A presentation at Button 2020 by Jonathon Colman
Most content design leaders stretch their teams to cover many products at once, or sometimes 5-10 or more. This unintentionally causes the team to constantly switch context, drive less product impact, lag in their career development, earn less pay, and ultimately burn out and leave, only to repeat the cycle elsewhere.
This is normal… but it shouldn’t be.
I’ll show you how we redesigned content design to increase people’s focus and depth of work, multiply their product and business impact, and even accelerate their growth and compensation—all by working on just one team at a time.
The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.
The term “content design” was defined by Sarah Richards at the UK Government Digital Service (GDS). Between 2010 and 2014, Sarah and her team invented the discipline of content design by applying new techniques to their work.
In this book, Sarah Richards explains what “content design” really means, and tells you how to put those techniques into your organisation and your web project. This book is short, lively and practical. Using real-world examples and imagined examples, it takes the reader through the content design process one step at a time, explaining everything along the way.
“Today, we’re making those conversations quicker and easier by introducing a new way to share and discover music, TV and movies.”
Amy is the Chief Design Officer at Gusto, a former UX director at Shopify, and we used to work as content strategists at Facebook. In this talk, I reference her metaphor of how content strategists sometime “dust” the content rather than actually solve the problem.
This profile of Mark Zuckerberg includes a quote that’s often cited as part of the foundation for Facebook’s “Move fast and break things” motto: “Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”
This practical guide provides guidelines for creating and leading design teams within your organization, and explores ways to use design as part of broader strategic planning.
This is the source of Dave Malouf’s quote “DesignOps is everything that supports high quality crafts, methods, and processes.”
Authors: Dave Malouf, Meredith Black, Collin Whitehead, Kate Battles, and Gregg Bernstein (editor).
This book introduces one of the best-known conceptual models in all of experience design: the five planes of UX. I reference this when talking about “full-stack content design.”
“The Double Diamond is a visual representation of the design and innovation process. It’s a simple way to describe the steps taken in any design and innovation project, irrespective of methods and tools used.”
The complete list of competencies, expectations, and career paths for designers at Intercom, including both product and content designers. Note that the expectations and career paths are almost exactly the same for both disciplines. Funny thing, that, considering what a strong distinction most organizations make between the two roles.
The home of Intercom’s product design team. Includes our design process, principles, levels & career paths, how designers have product impact, and more resources that are all licensed for re-use through Creative Commons.
In August of 2019, the UX Writing Collective surveyed the industry to learn about compensation. Among other insights, they found that “74% respondents as identified as female, or ‘mostly female’” (n=208).
Kristina Halvorson’s 2008 article in A List Apart codified and popularized the practice of content strategy for the web.
“The $1.28 billion customer messaging platform Intercom announced to employees Wednesday that it’s letting go of 39 people globally and relocating some roles to Ireland. The layoffs impacted about 6% of its 649 total employees amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”
This was the alpha-version prototype for the talk you’re looking at right now. It was given at the Sydney Content Strategy Meetup in August of 2019.
Button is a new conference for people who are excited about product content strategy, content design, and UX writing.