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UX for Publishers_ What You Need to Know
Design Publishing

UX for Publishers: What You Need to Know

Mar 12, 2019

User experience design (UX) is all around us, and we aren’t just talking about what’s online. Everywhere you look and everything that you interact with contributes to your experience of the world as a ‘user.’ Don’t believe us? Just think back to the last time you tried to push open a door, only to realize that you were supposed to pull it. Frustrating, we know.

More often than not, those small frustrations you experience when something doesn’t behave the way you expect it to is a sign of poor UX. While the process of designing products, platforms, or experiences for optimal user delight may not be new, the discipline itself is taking off across almost every industry.

So what can publishers learn from UX designers, and how can bringing good UX to your workflow not only improve the experience for readers, but for development teams as well? We’ve gathered some of the top tips from the world of UX that publishers need to know to take their content (and their process) to the next level:

1. Make it Mobile

Mobile-first design, or the exercise of designing for the smallest screen size first, helps publishers streamline the production process and make sure that they get their content in the hands of the modern-day reader.

By introducing production teams to a digital-first workflow, publishers can optimize their content for user experience. Whether the reader prefers their content on a smartphone or in print, having the right process from the start takes the worry off of content creators and lets them get back to what they do best—creating great content.

2. Keep it Consistent

Consistency is one of the golden pillars of user experience design because it allows audiences to easily transfer their knowledge between different contexts (think page-to-page, or even cross-device) and learn new things quickly without pain.

While consistency isn’t a new concept for publishers, the pressure is on to deliver cross-platform content that provides equitable access for all readers. Tools like MyEContentFactory empower content delivery teams with the workflow they need to edit once and publish everywhere, ensuring consistency for every reader, regardless of their access point.

3. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse

Speaking of consistency, user experience advocates are all about keeping things simple by re-using designs and content throughout the customer journey. Providing familiar designs and experiences not only reduces the cognitive load for the user, it also creates efficiencies for both the designer and the production team as a whole.

In publishing, content libraries can do more than just increase efficiency. Storing familiar and effective user experiences in one central location means that every team member has access to reusable learning objects, which help to prevent cognitive burnout and maximize memory in a short time frame.

4. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

User experience designers are no strangers to using templates to help them structure their thinking. In the world of UX, templates allow designers to deliver consistent quality up against drastically tight deadlines.

The same thinking applies in the world of publishing. Giving teams access to prebuilt template libraries not only increases efficiencies and cuts costs, it also takes the pressure off of content creators and lets them focus on the learning experience for the reader rather than the digital experience.

5. Keep Design Inclusive

Being digitally accessible means building content that can be used by a wide range of people. This includes those with visual, motor, auditory, speech, or cognitive disabilities. Accessibility is no joke to UX designers, and creating a good experience means that everyone gets to enjoy it.

Content creators have a responsibility to be the first line of defense when it comes to accessibility, and while staying up-to-date on accessibility guidelines is a good place to start, keeping content aligned with these standards should be embedded in every step of the process. 

6. Put Your User First

Last, but certainly not least, all good UX designers follow one key principle that every publisher must know: the user always comes first.

This applies to content teams just as much as it applies to readers, and delivery teams with internal tools and processes that support good UX are sure to find new efficiencies in the process. Access to features like collaborative authoring and a simultaneous digital and print workflow allow team members to stop sweating the small stuff - did someone say endless revisions and email chains? - and focus on creating content that their readers (or users) will love.

To learn more about how you can bring great user experience to your workflow, or get a demo of MyEContentFactory, get in touch today!

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