an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary
In the book The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg explains how habits are formed and what it takes to break an ingrained habit. The book references a 2006 study from Duke University that found that 40% of the actions that people perform each day are habits, not purposeful decisions. Habits impact our daily lives in many different ways, even in how we interact with websites and applications. Being aware of how habits may influence interactions users have with your products can help you design better user experiences.
The Habit Loop
Duhigg breaks down how habits are formed into a very simple habit loop:
A cue triggers your brain to respond in a certain way
You respond by doing a routine or action, which could be physical, mental, or emotional
A reward is given for doing the routine, telling your brain that the habit is worth repeating in the future
Content strategy is hard. It’s clear that having a content strategy in place is critical to ensuring the success of most if not all projects. However, the reality is that actually doing content strategy work involves a lot of long, often tedious, and mentally challenging work. For that reason, when working on the content strategy aspects for a project, it’s important to find ways to structure the activities and to keep track of the outputs of those activities.
In parts 1 and 2 of the “Mind Mapping for UX Design” series, I discussed applying mind mapping to sketch mapping and research mapping. Mind maps can also be used to help you wrap your head around the content strategy needs for a product or service and to make those activities more tangible, organized, and structured.
In almost all cases, a mind map alone won’t be sufficient for completing many elements of content strategy (e.g. content audits, governance plans, metadata and taxonomy definitions, etc.). However, mapping out the high-level elements of content strategy can help ensure that the elements of your strategy are aligned and can help serve as a reference point when compiling the various aspects into a comprehensive strategy.
What are content strategy maps?
Content strategy maps outline content strategy activities and deliverables along with the top components that make up those activities. These maps can serve multiple purposes:
Generate a list of the content strategy activities that you will be conducting
Document the primary outputs of content strategy activities
Create a framework for identifying relationships between content elements (for example, how voice and tone can be used to support the content’s purpose)
Help reflect the scale and scope of a content strategy effort, helping to plan and resource activities effectively
Create a visual reference of the most important elements of your content strategy for reference throughout a project