Content is a key element of the product experience development workflow in our technology-led culture. Ideally, content designers will create content in real time in order to keep up with the ongoing iterations of developing product experiences. This is where Agile comes into play as engaging content can’t be created in a vacuum and should be an integral part of the product development process.
Agile is defined as rapid cycles of planning, development and response to feedback, and enables organisations to refine their product offerings quickly:
- by interacting with stakeholders
- by getting regular feedback
- by continually testing and refining their products
And, as a result, ensuring that content and product experiences meet their customers’ requirements.
As an example, financial institutions are often required to refine their offerings quickly to meet changing regulations in a heavily-regulated industry and working in a responsive and Agile environment allows them to be responsive to market and regulatory needs. Legal, compliance and risk requirements can be taken into account during the content creation phase, including the necessary reviews which can be included in the content development timeline.
There are benefits to having a content person (or people) on an Agile team. A content designer can share their expertise with a focus on substance and design and influence the development of a product, bringing their experience of user expectations to the team. There is an easy synergy between content and product designers in this culture as the team has a single focus – delivering the customer experience. There is, however, a challenge for the content discipline as the role may be seen as that of a copywriter rather than a strategist offering a holistic view of the content development process.
A note on tools. If content is kept in a source-code repository with an author-friendly Content Management System (CMS) interface it can be accessed quickly and easily by users enabling them to make real-time changes and monitor the product development timeline. As customers now expect product updates to be available on all devices at all times, developing tools which enable rapid iteration and delivery is a key element of the Agile process.