​​Designing for the Hidden Persona - Enabling Drupal content authors to realize their digital strategy and create exceptional engaging experiences.

Jacob Bell, Meaghan Shanley, Tim Senft

Web strategists get consumed by developing personas for end customers. Makes sense. However, there’s a “hidden” persona critical to design for: content authors, themselves. Success is reliant on an author’s ability to use Drupal to transform content strategy into a marketing engine. Like designing for any persona, planning for the role of content author is critical. Launching an exceptional Drupal experience is like that of a space ship. Content authors are our astronauts and through proper preparation and training, success is enabled and risk minimized. This presentation demonstrates process and tools aimed to effectively train content authors. We’ll show how to breakdown components and scale content strategy into engaging experiences.

Clients see the value of the Drupal platform, however, when they implement or try to improve the experience they treat it primarily as a technical endeavor and fall short on the business and customer experience aspects, particularly with the importance of organizing and writing effective content for their new user experience. This presentation provides perspectives and process to shift the thinking and approach, and at the very least help reframe the endeavor into something that is more effective and productive.

Having worked with a wide range of Drupal clients ranging from Health Systems to Colleges and Universities, it is apparent that an ample process, framework, and mindset are required to successfully enable clients to create, scale, and distribute content (and with agility). This session covers our approach to developing content author expertise through three primary (and parallel) viewpoints:

1. Content Strategy & Planning - As a content author, we know content is one of your primary challenges. We’ll cover how to start the content creation and planning phase early (i.e., day one), how to establish key checkpoints to ensure you maximize your efforts, and how to align your strategy with your new Drupal digital ecosystem. We’ll talk about how we’ve prepared our clients from strategy (module mapping, taxonomy) to creation (content workshops, training) and show real examples to apply to your current or next project.
2. Product Playbook - We will talk about transforming your content strategy by defining a comprehensive approach to Drupal content implementation. The Product Playbook process and documentation incorporates a framework to tailor the Drupal experience for how content authors work. This includes an iterative and prioritized release cycle while designing alongside content authors for how their implementation is created (e.g., what will the page templates look like, how will the feature and functionality modules work, what things will they have to update, what requires edit vs layout mode, etc.).
3. Technical Process to Optimize the Admin - Also, we’ll explore the technical process our Drupal developers take on to implement features tailor made to our content authors’ workflow. Specifically, the Drupal modules we install and methods for how we customize the authoring experience for the needs of users.

Together, this provides a strong focus on thinking through the content authoring environment for ease of use and page building efficiency.

Session Key takeaways will include:

- An understanding on how to properly design and build Drupal for your content authors and managers
- New processes for the content creation, planning and implementation phases (tools, workshops, frameworks)
- Tangible ideas on how to implement a test and learn approach with the content authoring experience

*Session Materials*

When & Where

Thursday, 10 December, 2020 - 09:15 to 09:55
Main Stage