Designing Content for Product Experiences

A presentation at User Interface Engineering (UIE) Virtual Seminar by Jonathon Colman

Content strategists at Facebook plan, structure, and create content for more than a billion people. But they’re not writers or content marketers—they’re interaction designers, information architects, and UX practitioners. They design and build product experiences that are simple, straightforward and human.

And so can you. Content strategy isn’t just for big organizations. It’s for anyone who’s building an experience. And by using our approach, you can start building better content.

In this presentation, you’ll learn:

  • How content strategy works in a context of product design and development
  • A framework for minimum viable content that provides quality and consistency
  • How to build and iterate on product content experiences to meet people’s needs
  • How to stand up and become a better advocate for the people using your products

Inspired by Maria Giudice of Facebook, Ian Lurie of Portent, and Jason Mesut of Plan. Based on the works of Jesse James Garrett, Simon Sinek, A.H. Maslow, Kristina Halvorson, Rachel Lovinger, Dan Saffer/Kicker Studio, Erin Kissane, Michael Powers, Sarah O’Keefe, Hilary Marsh, Wouter De Bres, Matt Toback, Eric Ries/The Lean Startup, Dr. Chun Wei Choo, Libby Brittain, and more. Featuring the design work of the Facebook Analog Research Lab, including concepts by Julie Zhuo, Russ Maschmeyer, and Adam Mosseri of Facebook along with content standards from Facebook’s Content Strategy team.


The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.

  • 200+ free Content Strategy resources

    I’ve collected over two hundred of the best content strategy resources. My goal is to make it easy for you to learn about the field of content strategy, find content strategists and blogs to follow, and, hopefully, start contributing to our community.

  • Designing Content for Product Experiences

    Designing content for interfaces poses challenges that we don’t often see with static content for web sites or marketing collateral. When we work with interfaces, content strategy doesn’t just mean “writing the words” any more than design just means “making it pretty.” Rather, content is inseparable from user experience because language itself is the interface. That’s why we must design content as an experience—not just as a marketing campaign.

    In this seminar, Jonathon Colman shares a framework that anyone can use to build useful, usable content experiences for products. You’ll learn the principles of content strategy for interfaces by looking at several real-world examples. And you’ll gain the confidence you need to self-identify as a content designer, so you can act as a user advocate and have an impact with your organization or clients.