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Gimme Content: Part 3

May 16, 2014

Did you miss Part 1 or Part 2 of the Gimme Content series? Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. Read on for Part 3 of the Gimme Content series: What Makes Good Content?


Good content has a purpose.

Each piece of content should have a clear purpose that gives insight, informs, persuades, etc. Content is sometimes too long and boring, or too short and vague. Make sure that the content provides value that someone can take with them, and that it is information actually worth sharing and distributing.


Good content is for the people.

Get in their heads. Walk in their shoes. Content should take on the personality of the target audience and be intuitive and straightforward. Have empathy. Good content adopts the cognitive frameworks of the audience. Successful content is not narcissistic or self-absorbed in substance that alienates others. For instance, internal document archives, long mission statements, long staff/director lists, long lists of press releases, long legal pages, redundant paragraphs of information, splash pages, annoying audio-video intros, overuse of logos that are stickered obnoxiously throughout an entire site, endless FAQ pages, or pointless About pages, are some examples of content that should get tamed. It''s better to show outcomes, progress, personal stories and examples of the product or service that people are actually interested in.


Good content delights and captivates.

The language of the content is what shapes and influences the behavior of users. For instance, injecting humor or a playful tone that is relevant to the topic can bring life and personality to a page. Adding photography or other visual elements also helps to enhance the experience and to establish the right tone of voice. These little things can surprise and bring a smile to someone''s day. Good content is clear and concise. Most people have hectic, busy schedules, or are often too distracted to read every snippet of information that is offered. It is best if the language is written in a way that is easy and simple to comprehend. Anything that is unnecessary should be omitted.


Good content is organized.

Finally, one of the most important pieces of gathering content together is keeping it all organized. Where is the content? Make sure all documents, files, sources and folders are clearly labeled and organized. Include documentation or notes somewhere to ensure that all pieces are being placed in their correct location. This helps all the people involved in a project to find everything they need in the future, without any hassle.


Now go forth, and find and produce some good content that will help shape design and will provide a worthwhile value to the end user. Thanks for reading!