So why content design?
Let’s go back to the beginning. It’s a story that starts as long ago as 1999. I headed into the web space with a new copy of ‘Information Architecture for the WWW’ under my arm, and started work on some IA projects with a bit of lean user research added. Over the next few years I came to realise that, without content, IA was simply empty boxes and arrows (a favourite IA website at the time). In an attempt to redress this I found myself writing a lot of different types of content but always in a rushed and ad hoc way.
Realising I needed a team to do this work well, I started Weave (a digital agency) in 2009 and immediately brought in my first web writer, Angus Gordon. Later that year, in a stroke of luck for us, the marvellous Kristina Halvorson published her groundbreaking work 'Content Strategy for the Web'. I knew this was what Weave wanted to achieve – a strategic approach to content. It now had a name (thank you, thank you Kristina) as well as great advice and real world examples. But now we also had a goal. Angus and I were determined to be a part of this new discipline and to grow awareness of content strategy in Australia.
We included content strategy in all our projects from then on – whether the client asked for it or not (shhhhh). Angus is now our lead content strategist and we’ve brought more clever content people into the Weave fold. We have also been running the We Are Content Strategy meetup in Melbourne since 2015.
We couldn’t have done this without the large, diverse and always generous content strategy community. Since 2009 (and even a bit before) we've hung on the words of these greats: Karen McGrane (I'm convinced she can see into the future), Jeff Eaton (Drupal structured content guy), Rahel Ann Baillie (Content Ops - more than just the web), Gerry McGovern (top tasks, long neck, we love you) and so many more.
Sarah Richards is another of these voices. A clear thinker with a pragmatic approach and a great vision for content, Sarah is the inventor of the discipline of content design. When we read her book ‘Content Design’, launched in August 2017, we realised this was a missing piece of the great content puzzle.
Content design has changed Weave’s thinking, and actually our process for creating content. It's given us tools to achieve things we've struggled with over the years. It's made us think differently about problem-solving. And it's made us more courageous in our advice.
Sarah made a trip to Melbourne and spoke at our meetup in 2018 to a packed house (of course). She'll be back in Australia this November to launch the first of the Content Design Workshops 12-13 November in Sydney.
And the good news is that Weave has been invited to run these Content Design workshops for Sarah Richards and Content Design London (CDL) in Australia. Yes! We are super excited and quite a bit flattered.
So come along and learn how to be a confident, courageous content designer!
This CPD-certified course is for people who have some experience in writing for the web but would like a complete grounding in producing user-centred, evidence-based content.