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Examples




Goal: Get unbiased feedback from users


Content design thinking:

* Offer an even number of answers to avoid defaulting to ‘middle’ options
* Avoid peak-end rule bias by asking less questions more frequently
* Avoid star ratings due to inconsistent interpretation and anchoring
* Show benefits of participating
* Design for errors - make everything reversible
* Give closure on the interaction and give the right info at the right time
* Use social comparisons to encourage seeking behaviour


Goal: Make choices easier


Content design thinking:


* Sketch out and design from a minimum meaningful conversation
* Remove status quo bias using choice architecture and social comparisons
* Make messaging clear, concise, and useful
* Chunk up information through filtering and sorting
* Make all actions reversible

Goal: Communicate naturally at scale


Content design thinking:

* Make bot software sound human
* Don’t teach commands
* Speak in packets of 7 to 10 words, or sentences that can be spoken in one breath 
* Keep the conversation advancing towards the user’s goal
* Use the cooperative principle with turn-taking and reframe errors as constructive questions 
* Use plain common language
* Give progress indicators and give closure to transactions

Goal: Make time-consuming processes fast


Content design thinking:


* No errors in conversation - use helpful prompts and validate input before proceeding
* All actions are editable - so users can recover quickly
* Keep conversation progressing towards a goal
* Chunk up questions to reduce cognitive load
* Allow users to leave and come back
* Speak in packets of 7 to 10 words
* Give closure after actions

Goal: Make digital support better than phone


Content design thinking:

* Make it clear that a bot isn’t human - manage expectations
* Use social nudges and visual hierarchy to change behaviour  
* Do pair writing with experts - to encourage cooperation and inclusion
* Write in plain English
* Find a balance between clear, concise content that’s useful
* Avoid choice paralysis by only offering 3 answers at a time
* Use multimodal patterns (chatbot and browser) and progressive disclosure to shield users from detail they don’t need

Goal: Give advice without alienating people


Content design thinking:

* Be respectful and kind by being clear - over-explaining erodes credibility
* Don’t judge or alienate people with inconsiderate language
* Be careful with concepts of choice and ownership of health decisions
* Don’t assume anything about your users’ background or social situation
* Use title, summaries, tags, and headings for SEO and search descriptions
* Write for the web - active, front-loaded, chunked up text with headings

Goal: Create compelling yet sensitive messaging


Content design thinking:

* Identify top tasks and design content using job stories
* Use card sorting exercises to design the site’s menus
* Give the right info at right time
* Use clear, concise, plain English - it’s easier to understand and interact with
* We’re writing for refugees, so avoid the sensitive notion of ‘home’
* Write for the web - active, front-loaded, chunked up text with headings

Goal: Make new digital products intuitive


Content design thinking:

* Use the gestalt principle to distinguish between actions and browsing
* Create conspicuous calls-to-action
* Avoid nouns, use more verbs - it makes things more intuitive
* Design flows based on real user behaviour
* Create structural breadcrumbs - it helps users understand where they are, and where to find things
* Write in plain English
* Do pair writing with experts for technical information  

Goal: Help vulnerable users get important things done


Content design thinking:

* Don’t make assumptions about users, eg having a partner
* Give constant feedback for reassurance
* Explain consequences of actions
* Say what’ll happen next
* Give guidance info exactly when it’s needed - don’t force users to remember anything, this creates unwanted cognitive load
* Design for errors - make sure steps are reversible
* Make it accessible: use aria tags, hidden text, screenreader structure, and write in plain English
* Use active simple language, it feels more human

Goal: Make complex systems easy to use


Content design thinking:

* Explain the value of certain actions, eg this allows you to spend money
* Give feedback and implications of users’ actions
* Orient new users with on-boarding questions and advice about what to do next
* Make complex things simple - chunk info up and use simple language
* Use a consistent syntax for multiple elements of content - this helps users scan and ignore irrelevant stuff
* Avoid errors - make actions reversible