Readers and content consumers today take many things for granted that those in the digital content space must handle on a daily basis. All web content, be it video, audio or written word, has one challenge in common; resource management. This can be particularly challenging for web publishers, who need a variety of skills and knowledge on-hand to go from conception to online.
Key metrics for businesses and clients alike are speed and cost effectiveness while achieving goals, so optimizing your content workflow can have major benefits for your organization.
In line with that, here are our top 7 tips on optimizing your content workflow;
1. Define your requirements as early as possible.
Before you even begin working in your web content project, you need a plan, and it starts with asking some critical questions:
What brand identity are you using?
Does the style sheet exist?
What pages, sections, chapters are needed?
Does it need to follow any regulatory requirements for design or accessibility?
These are just some of the example questions you need to ask stakeholders before any work ever begins. Getting all your ducks in a row before setting off will ensure that each step of your process happens as quickly and efficiently as possible.
2. Define the platform
This could easily fall into our first point above. But it’s so critical we think it deserves its own mention. Figuring out what platform(s) you are targeting will allow you to refine the small details early on. Be it a PDF, Website or Single page and what frameworks or solutions you’ll use to make that happen are important. For example, PDFs aren’t responsive and are a bad user experience unless your font choices are mobile friendly and certain web platforms might have restrictions or lack functionality critical to the project.
This leads into our next step as you’ll find some back and forth is needed here!
3. Adopt a process (and stick to it)
There are a number of project management approaches that aim at a structured and optimized workflow for meeting requirements. A number of them have started life in software development but are widely adopted as standards for all business processes. One such approach which has achieved massive popularity is Agile. Which is an iterative approach to delivering a project, focusing on continuous releases incorporating stakeholder feedback. One gotcha with adopting a process like agile is being able to stick to it. It’s common for small teams to adopt a process only to fall back into old habits, which results in the process being less effective.
4. Use a task management tool
Tools like Monday.com, Jira and Trello will help you organize tasks for each of your team members, keep discussions on each point organized and will even let you export reports on progress and time taken for certain tasks so you can improve estimates going forward. These can often let you run multiple projects at once ensuring that no one team member is left waiting on others. For example a web developer could work on another project while waiting on fresh designs for a page or client.
5. Reuse work
It sounds like cheating, and maybe it is! But almost every creative, be they a writer, designer or programmer will have tendencies to certain patterns, phrasing etc. Use this to your advantage and keep a stockpile of bare-bones layouts at hand, ready to freshen up with new content, styling and graphics. As they say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and that’s very true when it comes to web content, particularly if the content needs to be responsive. This will reduce both design and implementation time, if you are relying on developers to convert your designs for the web and get them online.
Post pandemic most organizations and teams have learned how critical communication is. Keeping each other up to date on what work is done and being done can help optimize your workflow going forward identifying bottlenecks and areas for improvement. Schedule a regular catchup, either via call, chat, or in person. Try to keep it short and straightforward and use it to identify things for follow up. There’s a common joke; “I survived another meeting that should have been an email”. Time is the most expensive resource in any project and you don’t want to use it with your team at half attention in front of a webcam when they don’t need to be there.
7. Use a content/design platform.
Consolidating processes and tasks is the most effective way of reducing overhead and improving turnaround. While our previous points all stand on their own merit, adopting a platform that can solve the previous points is a major time and cost saver. Platforms like Experios can consolidate your Design and Development workflows, while enabling regulatory compliance for accessibility that the usual PDF format can’t always provide. Your design team retains much of the design control they are used to and your web team is freed up to tackle other projects. Experios also offers other benefits such as team roles, Branding and style guides, Prebuilt templates, blocks and pages (as well as creating your own) and much more.
To sum it up. The keys to a better turnaround are organization and consolidation. Organize tasks and stages to each piece or project so that each member of the team gets things on time and in the state they’re needed.
One last notable point also is to listen to your team. They might have just the idea to improve their workflow such as adopting processes or technologies to reduce the steps and resources needed. You might also find modernizing your platforms and media also has a bigger impact on readership and conversions!
Experios is 3D Issue’s all new Content Experience platform that allows you to build both internal communications and external content easily, while implementing your company branding. You can create annual reports, newsletters and brochures for your employees as well as your customers.. You can get started with Experios for free today, schedule a demo or start your free trial.