How To Conduct A Content Audit

Hi, I am Donna Spencer and today I’m going
to be talking about how to conduct a Content Audit for your website, intranet or mobile
site. You’re not necessarily going to want to
tackle a content audit. It’s one of those un-sexy, tedious jobs that hardly anyone talks
about. But you can’t undertake a redesign of a content-heavy site without it. A content audit is the activity of checking
all of the content on a website, and compiling it into a big list. Having this comprehensive
list of content is the main benefit of the process, but it’s not the only one. Just
by taking the audit you’ll get a much better understanding of the content. You may find
things you didn’t know existed, spot duplication and identify all kinds of relationships in
the content. So how do you conduct a content audit?
The most important thing to know is that there really is no right or wrong way to do it—it’s
a tool for you to use throughout your project, so create your content audit in a way that
will help you. And don’t be afraid to adapt it after you start—each client and project
is different, so each audit will be different. Start your content audit by creating a list
of the top-level items—this will often be the primary navigation for your site. Choose one page to start with and dive into
it, the information you decide to collect will depend on your project, but could be things like the navigation label, the displayed page title, the URL, who owns it, when it was last updated, and any comments that you might like to make a note of. You'll also want to record something about the content hierarchy—a way of showing the relationships between the content items. If that first page has sub-pages, make a list of
each of them, and repeat the process for each of these in turn.It's easiest and tidiest to finish one section of the site before moving to the next. Then just keep going, until you’ve explored
and written down everything you need to. That’s really all there is to it. Don’t expect the content audit to be fast.
Big sites can take days and days to audit. I use a Content Audit as an excuse to buy new music,
then I sit down and plough through it. And when you're doing it, don't just try to knock it over as quickly as you can. Pay attention to the content as you go through it. Whether you decide to create a comprehensive
list of every item, or just a sample selection, a content audit is a crucial first step in
the path to understanding any content-heavy website. While the process may sound tedious,
doing it will provide you with the insight and understanding that you need to make really good design decisions. Creating a content audit doesn’t require
years of experience, but it does require patience, persistence, curiosity, and attention to detail—all
good traits for a UX Designer!

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