How Bobbu Abadeer does content design

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The ask

A large analytics company was migrating a sizable content library from a one Wordpress website onto a new one, in preparation for launching a new brand that would take ownership of the majority of this content. They needed with restructuring the content architecture to fit their new brand goals, themes and voice, without losing their hard-earned search engine rankings. I joined other Sparck teammates including product designers, digital consultants, and UI designers to provide strategic insight.

Challenges

The main hurdles were the quantity of content involved, the unavailability of existing long-term metrics, and the how long a period the content had been created over. In the short timescale we had available, this meant that we couldn't make the kind of detailed recommendations we normally would. Instead, we had to analyse at a high level, and provide them the tools to move forward with that analysis themselves while still meeting their needs for their imminent brand launch.

Analysis

We ran competitor analysis to understand the context of the marketplace the new brand was placing itself in. We performed a taxonomic review of the existing content, and their current tagging system. Armed with this basic understanding, we engaged in a number of workshops with the leadership of the new brand project, to understand their goals for the content migration.

An example of some of the workshop questions
An example of some of the workshop questions

Information architecture

Based on the combined analysis and workshop outputs, informed by their work-in-progress brand strategy, and after a few iterations with the client, we put together an architecture diagram. This was used to guide the content migration team in building their taxonomies, and the design team in structuring the navigation flow through the website.

The proposed information architecture map for the client
The proposed information architecture map for the client

Content migration strategy

After all this investigation, and with an architecture that the team would be able to align the content to, we put together our recommended migration strategy. On presenting the first attempt to the client we realised that they needed more of a step-by-step guide, rather than just the key insights we had produced. After a little additional refining, we had constructed an approach that would allow their team to get started immediately, while empowering them to develop their understanding of the content value as they went.

The detailed content migration strategy summary diagram
The detailed content migration strategy summary diagram

If you wanted to take a similar approach yourselves, we created a template diagram that has been generalised (and saturated into excessive brightness), which can be tweaked to apply to a multitude of situations. You can download the Draw.io of this

The extremely colourful content migration template
The extremely colourful content migration template

Bonus advice - language pickers

The client also requested some advice on accessibility, and the best approach to take with their language picker. I did some independent analysis examining similar businesses and organisations to identify what users would be used to, and investigating various best practices in web design.

Best practice recommendations for using language pickers
Best practice recommendations for using language pickers

These were wrapped into recommendations for the client's particular use case.

Client-specific use recommendations for the language picker
Client-specific use recommendations for the language picker