CS Awareness Tactic: Play the Content Card Game

A while back I tweeted that one of the biggest problems with selling the virtues of content strategy within an organization is that the people on the other side of the table rarely use their own web sites. This is especially true the higher up the food chain you go. Senior execs rarely ever visit, let alone use, their company’s site.

Here’s a tactic I like to use. I call it the Content Card Game.

  • Go to the organization’s website and put yourself in the shoes of the user.
  • Imagine the kinds of common tasks users would try to accomplish on the website. (Variant: if SEO is an issue, imagine tasks involving search engines.)
  • Imagine different kinds of users: Customers, prospects, job seekers, investors and journalists.
  • Be nuanced. Picture the users in different contexts: a noob user vs. a power user. A happy customer vs. an angry customer.
  • Identify the content trouble spots. Where the content encountered doesn’t help the user accomplish the task. Keep an eye out for ROT, lack of content, writing quality, off message, forms, navigation, etc.
  • Matrix these trouble spots and task with the company’s business objectives.
  • Next, write down each task on an index card until you have a sizeable deck of cards.
  • At your next meeting, ask the representatives of the company to each pick a card. Then have them go online and try to accomplish the task in a set amount of time with no help from anyone in the room.
  • One variant is to have people from one department pick cards related to parts of the website that are NOT their responsibility.
  • When they’re done, pull out the matrix. The results are a great conversation starter.

Adapt and improve at will. Anyone have any quick and dirty tricks?


2 comments on “CS Awareness Tactic: Play the Content Card Game

  1. Clay Delk
    February 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Excellent idea! Yet another great use for index cards.

    I’ve never done it with cards like that, but I’ve a similar activity with clients and their competitors’ websites. After we figure out the main tasks/goals of our site, we will go to key competitors’ and try to accomplish those goals.

    This helps the client better understand what they like/dislike about that site, or to understand that while it may look pretty, it’s not as functional as it could be.

    Thanks for the great tip!


  1. Tweets that mention CS Awareness Tactic: Play the Content Card Game | RICHTEXT -- Topsy.com - February 24, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BrainTraffic, sharon knowles. sharon knowles said: RT @richtextfr CS Awareness Tactic: Play the Content Card Game http://t.co/CYYN57y […]

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