Integrating content strategy into your product design workflow

4 min read
Jennifer Aldrich
  •  Sep 14, 2016
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Content strategists define a product’s voice and tone, ensuring consistency across the product. That’s one of the big reasons why they’re such a huge asset to product design teams.

Without a content strategist around, you’ll likely have a million different designers and developers adding copy to your product, making it sound and feel manic. All that inconsistency is distracting—and it increases cognitive load as users make their way through your UI.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of design teams now, and I’ve recently been introduced to a content strategy integration workflow using InVision that works really, really well.

“Inject content strategists into the design workflow early.”

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The Awesome Workflow

The process flow goes like this:

  • The project manager reaches out to the content strategist about the project. They hop on a call with the lead designer to quickly review the functionality via rapid prototype made with InVision.
  • After the call, the content strategist dives in and adds copy suggestions to the prototype
  • The PM, CS, and designer sync up on a quick call to review and tweak the copy, and then the feature moves into development

This process is extremely efficient.

The Hot Mess Workflow That Makes Content Strategists Want to Jump Out a 5th-Story Window

Now let’s chat about the trainwreck that I’ve heard so many content strategists encounter:

  • Once a product feature has already been developed, someone pings the CS and says, “Write some copy for this feature”
  • No context is provided, and and the CS can’t get a hold of anyone to answer questions because the rest of the team is already working on the next feature
  • Adjusting the copy is a low priority compared to meeting the next feature deadline, so most of the time the copy doesn’t even make it into the release

This approach is obviously completely broken and a huge waste of everyone’s time.

Content strategists can make a big impact on usability if they’re given the opportunity to do their jobs at the right point in the design process. Inject content strategists into the design workflow earlyTwitter Logo to get the most bang for your buck.

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