GET CURIOUS: WHAT TO ASK WHEN STARTING A NEW CONTENT DESIGN PROJECT
As a content designer or UX copywriter, when you start a new project you’ll need to quickly get to grips with the business and user needs.
A great way to do this is to adapt a classic UX design technique: the UX questionnaire.
The style of questionnaire pioneered by UX Designer, Leah Buley - author of The User Experience Team of One - is particularly effective.
It focuses on:
- The teams you’ll be collaborating with
- Business goals
- Users' needs
- Unique selling points and overarching strategy
- The purpose of the digital product or service
Using the UX questionnaire as a framework, here are some questions to ask during the early stages of the project. Some will be answered by your project manager, others will be for you to find out through research or talking to other teams.
Some will be questions to ask yourself to help you decide your content strategy.
- Will you be working with a UX or UI designer? Can you work with them from the beginning so your copy is included in their wireframes and prototypes? For the best user experience, you should be involved from the earliest design stages.
- Who are the subject matter experts? When can you have a download session with them to learn from their expertise. Will they be part of the sign off process to ensure content accuracy?
- Is there a data analyst you can work with to get insight into current page use and the performance of your new content?
- Do any other teams have quantitative or qualitative data about your audience you can use?
- Who are the developers you’ll be working with? When will they be allocated to the project? When will you be able to proofread the content they code?
- Who will be signing off the content? At what stage? Do they have availability for regular meetings (at least once a sprint) so you can share the research and insight informing your content decisions?
- Why does the business want to launch this new product or service?
- Have any key performance indicators (KPIs) been set? What does success look like to them?
- Who is the audience?
- What are the pain points for users that this product or service is going to solve?
- What does the user want to get out of the product or service?
- What motivates them? Why would they bother to use it?
- What are the unique selling points (USPs)?
- How is this new product or service different to what’s already out there?
- How does the digital content fit into wider marketing and business strategies?
- Are any complimentary products or services being created?
- What are the main actions users are going to complete?
- What parts of the product or service are going to help them achieve their goal?
- What are the different scenarios for different user groups?
You won’t get all the answers straight away, but asking these questions gets your team and the wider organisation talking about the content early on. It gets stakeholders and in-house experts to consider what you need to deliver great content and introduces them to all the thinking that goes into content design.