In The Making: Guide for Episodes 1-12
Dec 1, 2015
Every two weeks for the past six months, I’ve sat down and talked with a content strategist or UX designer about their work. Mostly we’ve talked about how we’ve gotten to where we are now, untangling the twisted paths that most of us take to arrive at our odd, inevitably hybrid disciplines.
I’ve mostly done this podcast as a way to keep in touch with friends in the industry, and to have actual conversations with people I’ve jabbered with on Twitter for years. Because how often do we actually get to sit down with someone for a half hour and just talk with no distractions?
But somehow, during all of this, I actually managed to get a few people to listen to the damn thing. I couldn’t be more grateful to the guests who have been on the podcast, and the people who have listened in and helped to share it. I’d also like to thank Christie Montague, who has produced the podcast from the beginning.
Below you’ll find a list of all of the episodes to date. We’ve grouped them into a few different categories to help you find some that might be interesting to you.
Higher Ed Content Strategy
Content strategy was made for higher education, because few institutions can benefit more from structuring complex content into lucid information systems more than our university systems. And seldom can we see the benefit of making information more accessible more than we do in higher ed. These conversations helped me better understand what people far smarter than me are doing to make the content that saturates higher education more useful and easier to navigate.
- Amanda Costello – Content Strategy in Higher Education
- Georgy Cohen – Finding the Voices of Work and Self
I have a complicated relationship with marketing. Sometimes (and sometimes more than sometimes) we content strategists are guilty of perpetuating a sort of Sharks-and-Jets rivalry with content marketing industry — though the choreographed dance-fighting seems to only be happening on one side of the fence. In these conversations, I looked for ways that content strategists and UX designers can build bridges with our marketing peers.
- Steven Keith – CX vs. UX, The Hawthorne Effect and Change Management
- Ronell Smith – The Ever-Changing Role of the Content Strategist
- Mike King – Entrepreneurship in Content Strategy
Copywriting and UX Writing
I love copywriters. I started as a copywriter, and in my mind the practice of writing effective copy is one of the great, old, disciplines of communications. In these conversations, I got to see two different but equally compelling visions of the modern copywriter: one which positions the copywriter deeper within the technical disciplines of marketing, and the other of which asks us to begin thinking of the copywriter as a designer.
Merging Content Strategy and UX
It would be too easy to say that content strategy and user experience are sibling disciplines, simply because our aims are both centered on creating better experiences for the people who use our products. But really, we’re cousins. We share plenty of DNA and show up to the same awkward reunions, but we certainly have different parents. In these conversations, we explore the weird, mushy areas between content strategy and user experience (and, of course, a few other disciplines), to learn about how we can work better with one another.
Finding Your Path
When I first started this podcast, I was mostly concerned with how we came to do what we do. That’s why I called this podcast In the Making — I wanted to get a better picture of how people grow into content strategists and user experience designers. Turns out they grow a lot like mushrooms: the ones that grow in the wild tend to be wonderfully strange and unique (and maybe even poisonous!), but the ones that are grown intentionally in our educational institutions tend to be pretty damn good mushrooms who know their way around a wireframe. So it goes.
- Greg Harbinson – The Disparate Threads of Social Media and SEO
- Greg Harron – Similarities and Differences Between Testing Tangible and Digital Interfaces
- Jillian Cairco, Joe Bond, John Lane – Learning about UX in College, and Pursing Careers in Web Design
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I’m a content strategist with an affinity for user experience design and information architecture. My parents think I’m a web developer.