Sarah’s new book, Content Design, is now available

          As someone who writes for the web

           I want to learn what content design is, and how to start doing it

           So that I can communicate in the most user-centred and efficient way for my audience

 

Between 2010 and 2014, Sarah and her team at the Government Digital Service invented the discipline of content design by applying new techniques to their work. In this book, Sarah 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.

 

What’s in the book

Foreword by Kristina Halvorson

Introduction

Chapter 1: Why content matters

How content has changed recently, different types and what content design is.

Chapter 2: The science of reading

How we read, including eye fixation zones, memory and typography.

Chapter 3: Content discovery and research

Discovery is a technique to find out more about your audience, including how they speak and think, which channel they are on and what they need.

Chapter 4: User stories and job stories

There are 2 techniques for producing content in an agile environment. Both help you to produce really sharp, on-target copy. Whoever your audience is.

Chapter 5: Bringing your organisation with you

Most of us don’t work alone. If we want good content, our organisation needs to understand why we do what we do. This chapter is about managing tricky stakeholders.

Chapter 6: Designing content

Understanding how to display information the way the audience wants it at the time that they want it is the fastest way to successful content.

Chapter 7: Writing content

Learn how to correctly use headings, writing and punctuation, plain language, emotional language and images for usability and accessibility.

Chapter 8: Pair writing

This technique can help speed up content production and sign-off. Pair writing with peers and stakeholders can take you a long way to faster content production.

Chapter 9: Crits

A ‘crit’ is a nickname for a critique of work. It is to move the product forward, build teams and work on style guides. It is never about the person; it’s only about the work.

Chapter 10: Finished pages

Throughout the book, we have used an example of a fictional company so you can see all the advice and guidance in action. Here, you’ll see the finished content.

 

Buying Content Design by Sarah Richards

 

Option 1 – give Sarah more of the royalties

If you want to give me more of the cash and don’t care about the – frankly horrific – website design and time to receive the order, you can order on createspace, which is part of Amazon.

Option 2– buy on Amazon

If you are an Amazon Prime customer or just want to order through Amazon, you can do that: Content Design on Amazon.co.uk. (Is available in other countries on Amazon.)

Testimonials

“A great practical guide to get you started in creating content that truly puts people first. It’s no-nonsense, sensible stuff. Sarah provides a set of techniques to create content that will work on the Web. Content that is designed for the way we search, read and live today.”

Gerry McGovern
Customer Carewords

 

“Clear-eyed, practical, and immediately useful. Sarah Richards shows us not just what content design is, but how to actually do it—and why doing it well takes more than a knack for writing. Whether showing us how to gain support from stakeholders, research user needs, or critique content without hurt feelings and huffy standoffs, Richards’s experience leading some of the largest, thorniest content projects around shines through”

Sara Wachter-Boettcher
 

“Content design” is the label Sarah Richards gives to the art and science of creating content so people can use your service, buy your products, and validate your organization’s reason for existing. Sarah is one of the brightest minds in content strategy today, and she generously shares her wisdom, so the rest of us can put these principles into practice.

 “This book, filled with examples and real-life stories, shows how to develop smart content that will help you beat your competitors, create legions of loyal customers, and be more successful.

“The end goal is to create the right content in the structure and format that will tell the most compelling story.

 “Designing content in a transformative way is a journey of knowing best practices, understanding your audience needs, and bringing that understanding to the organization so everyone can think about the content in a whole new light. Come along for the ride – you’ll be glad you did.

 “Every content-rich organization needs this book!”

Hilary Marsh
President and Chief Strategist, Content Company