Design for Learning: The Future of the Web

written by andrew

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Over the next few years, websites will change from validation tools to learning platforms. Through your website, people will want to learn from your business, connect with your ideas, and develop strong relationships. Remarkable content, coupled with smart design, will help make those connections. The best communication professionals will help drive those connections and must be prepared for the changes immediately ahead. The talk will discuss a brief history of the web, how content is changing online, why we talk about learning, and where design and communications will be most impactful in the next few years.

For us poor folks who are in the communications, marketing and public relations field, the web at the moment looks something like the below. It is a very crowded, very busy, very intense marketplace of ideas, information, and transactions.

Last week, I presented on the topic of distinguishing your site from the rest by designing to educate customers, which I believe is the future, or definitely a future, of the web. The event was sponsored by the local chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society, a membership-driven organization that supports professional communication and PR professionals.

I geared the presentation to discuss how content marketing has evolved and where it is heading. The overarching point that I wanted to get across was that these will be very good times for communications professionals who can address content strategically over the next few years. And I focused on three main topics:

Content Must be Helpful

Relevant, remarkable and regular content, created at the right time with the right tools, allows audiences to better understand and connect with a given organization. Using inbound methodologies, communication professionals are focusing on helping customers without interrupting them. It’s a more human, effective and enjoyable approach for organizations (offering ideas, services or products) to connect with people.

Design Must be Useful

Just putting up new content (e.g. a blog post, video, infographic, ebook) online will not fundamentally transform relationships with audiences. The best communication professional are using clear, thoughtful, and structured design approach. Websites need to not only attract customers with good content but they need to be friendly, enjoyable to use and responsive. Good design supports a great content strategy.

Analyses Must be Made

Good content and design will help forge new relationships and shine a new light on the organization and its services or products. When tying content, design and analytical and automation tools together, however, professionals gain a system for measuring their messages’ impact and growth. New platforms and tools integrate the process of creating and distributing content to very specific audiences and those tools, in turn, allow you to see what is working.

These are the three keys to creating an adventure in content marketing and marketing automation. We here at Manoverboard are becoming a HubSpot partner to further assist our clients in developing the content, methodologies, and sophisticated design for learning tools that it enables.

Here is the full presentation via Slideshare. I’d be happy to provide more detail about the talk if you are interested. And I’ll parse some of these slides further in a subsequent post.

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