Accessibility statement for Natural Resources...
This is part of the content and publishing manual
This strategy sets out the guidelines and processes for creating digital content at NRW. It is presented in a way that it is focused on doing the practical steps to create content.
Its aim is to guide you through how it works, whether you’re a subject matter expert, a content designer, or are involved in another capacity.
This strategy helps us make good decisions when it comes to creating digital content.
Content strategy guides the:
of useful, usable content.
A content strategy helps us manage our digital content over the long term, so that we can make consistent, replicable decisions about how we create and present our information.
It connects the organisation’s digital content efforts with business goals and user needs and is an integrated approach to planning, creating, and managing content.
We work together to create digital content that meets the needs of our users and our remit.
We create bilingual digital content using content design techniques.
Content design is the process of using data and evidence to give the audience the content they need, at the time they need it, and in a way they expect.
Effective content design means knowing your audience’s needs, preferences, and expectations. When you balance these with your business goals, you can identify content design requirements that deliver useful, usable content.
We’re interested in creating repeatable processes to ensure content integrity over time and allow us to create, deliver, and manage content according to consistent standards and meaningful outcomes.
The digital team owns and is responsible for the user experience of the website and intranet.
This includes the information architecture, tagging, style guide and tone of voice.
Subject matter experts own factual accuracy of the information.
Colleagues work together to create bilingual content that works for users.
These areas of the website are managed by the comms team:
Sometimes content requests that come through the form will be passed to the comms team to be more appropriately handled.
The proposition explains what content should go on the NRW website. Check the need against the proposition before starting work.
The content principles guide the way we plan, produce, deliver and govern content.
Duplicate needs from different business areas will have joint owners and they must work together when producing content.
We should create a list of NRW user needs. This is a piece of work that needs doing before moving to a new content management system.
How NRW decides what content to publish:
Content designers work on content with a clear user need. Usually there will be a high volume of users needing this information or to complete a task. They tend not to work on content that is only for a very small set of users or is for information only.
Subject matter experts use the content request form to get in touch with the digital team.
The smart form asks questions about the content and need, adapting the questions depending on the answers.
This form is sent to the team’s inbox, where it is looked at and added to the planner board.
If the request falls in ‘business as usual’ for example, it doesn't need a rewrite or redesign, it is managed by the digital officers. There may be a clarification call, depending on the need.
If it is outside of ‘business as usual’ it will be allocated to a content designer.
During the two weekly content meetings, new content requests are added to the planner board ready for prioritisation and content designer allocation.
The team gives a progress update as to existing content that’s already been allocated.
The clarification meeting is between the content designer and the subject matter expert(s).
The purpose of this meeting is to agree the work and decide how it will be managed.
It is designed to discuss the important elements of the content upfront so that expectations are managed throughout.
Typically this meeting should last 30-40 minutes.
Areas to discuss include:
What content designers need from SMEs:
Make sure you’re clear about asking about these - they have the potential to derail the content you’re working on.
The outcomes will be shared with all relevant people.
This stage will have a huge impact on how the rest of the workflow happens.
Make sure all relevant people know what’s happening and what’s expected of them.
Too much communication is better than too little.
If it is decided that the content will be created without a content designer on board, the content and publishing manual is available. It is maintained by the digital team.
The content creation process at NRW is complex, so agreeing roles and sticking to them is crucial to be able to meet milestones and go through the process efficiently.
A RACI chart helps people know who to keep in the loop about a project, and in this case, a piece of content.
The NRW content RACI helps identify who is responsible, accountable, consulted and informed about content, to help us communicate clearly.
The RACI can be filled in during the clarification meeting.
All those identified in the RACI matrix must agree their roles and responsibilities in terms of involvement.
Content creation should start with two things:
It’s useful to list the information you need to be able to meet the user need, before you start creating content.
It is also worth agreeing this list with relevant people before starting to create content too, to manage expectations and work efficiently.
A content brief help you plan and structure content so you can meet the user need.
A good content brief includes:
The clarification meeting will mean that at this stage, you know:
If there are several subject matter experts it can be helpful to have one as the ‘lead’ to organise and rationalise feedback.
To reiterate: the digital team owns the user experience and navigation of the website and subject matter experts own the information.
These colleagues work together to create content that works for users. There are several ways you can do this:
Colleagues always review content together.
Creating content together helps colleagues:
The digital team and subject matter experts must make time to update each other and the others identified in the RACI. Managing expectations is a crucial part of successful content creation.
There also needs to be space for regular meetings between stakeholders and the Digital team leader to make sure the content creation processes are running smoothly. This is also an opportunity for different areas of the business to flag upcoming content needs.
Another communication channel to consider is with strategic partners, such as Welsh Government.
To increase alignment in meeting user needs, NRW needs to be able to show how it is creating user centred content. This could be done by making the content handbook open, by meeting regularly to discuss content needs and more.
The content designer sends content to the translation team. They will usually receive it back within a few days, depending on availability.
If the content is high profile, it is worth considering pair writing or trio writing. This is where a combination of subject matter expert, content designer and translator work together to draft the content.
Content is reviewed throughout the creation process and checked before publishing.
Colleagues review content together before publishing. It can be quicker and easier to do this on a call or in person. The review covers:
Content designers can help each other out during ‘crit sessions’. These are short, informal sessions where someone brings content they’re working on and asks for help or ideas to help improve it.
A crit session is a useful way to help someone feeling stuck, come up with ideas and share knowledge.
Content is put into the test site so the content designer can talk it through with SMEs and stakeholders before sign off.
Putting it into the test site allows for the content to be seen as it will do once it’s live, allowing for more context as to decisions that have been made in terms of content design.
A 2i check (meaning a second pair of eyes) should be done on the final version, in context, by a content designer within the digital team. This will usually be in the production or test site.
If the content needs to change whilst preparing the final version in the content management system, then the content must be checked with the SME for accuracy.
The 2i check is the final check, and the style guide and writing for the web guidelines should be used.
Proofreading is its own stage in the content creation process, especially as different parts of the content may have been worked on at different times.
Proofreading checks for consistency, catches grammar and spelling mistakes and allows for anything not in the right tone of voice or against the style guide to be changed.
Digital colleagues do the proofreading of content for the NRW website and intranet.
The person or team with sign off should be agreed at the clarification meeting, making this step straightforward.
The content should be expected by the person giving sign off, and it should not need changes making at this stage.
If this milestone becomes complex and convoluted, it means the process to this point has gone awry. It’s worth investigating how and why this happened.
NRW’s website has a centralised publishing model. Only the digital team and comms can publish content to the site.
Two other areas that are able to publish are:
Content should be monitored to ensure it is factually accurate and still solving problems for users.
Content should be reviewed:
Subject matter experts will be responsible for keeping content factually up to date.
To help determine how well the service is meeting user needs, data and analytics will be used including: