Recap: Overlappings and Underpinnings: Content Strategy and Information Architecture

In his presentation to Michigan Usability Professionals February 10, 2011, Chris Moritz of Campbell-Ewald proposed “information architects and content strategists can create the same deliverables. The difference is what you spend the bulk of your time on.”

Thanks Chris for a great presentation and for posting your slides online. Here are my notes from his talk:

  • What everyone thinks content creation is:
    • create
    • review
    • approve
  • What content creation actually is:
    • audit
    • analyze
    • strategize
    • categorize
    • structure
    • create
    • review
    • approve
    • publish
    • update
    • archive
  • Some people argue that information architecture and content strategy are:
    • the same
    • completely different
    • partners
    • redundant
  • There is no single way to do information architecture and content strategy; it depends on the project.

Chris shared a chart used in Campbell-Ewald projects to define responsibility for tasks and deliverables:
How tasks are divided between information architects, content strategists and content marketing

Additional notes

  • Focus your content creation by developing strategic pillars.
  • What’s different between information architects and content strategists? Content strategists need to know more of what’s going on page(s).
  • Information architects define structure. Content strategists define mass. Creatives define surface.
  • Ensure continuity between information architects and content strategists by having them report to same person. If it’s a small project, have one person manage content strategy and information architecture.
  • Good resources for content strategy and writing:

Posted by Deborah Edwards-Onoro, an officer for Michigan Usability Professionals’ Association since 2008. She owns Lireo Designs, a web development company, is a group leader of Refresh Detroit and Tweetea. You can find her tweeting about usability, user experience, accessibility and higher education @redcrew.

Overlaps and Underpinnings – Content Strategy and IA

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chris MoritzYou’ve no doubt heard the buzz that 2011 is the “year of content strategy” (just like 2010 was supposed to be).

You’ve read blog posts, magazine articles, heard podcasts and watched videos on the topic. You’ve got deliverable lists that include content audits, taxonomies, labeling guidelines, etc. Sound familiar? Isn’t that what many of you are already doing? Does that make you a content strategist?

For our February meeting, Chris Moritz, Digital Content Strategy Manager at Campbell Ewald, will provide his definition of the practice of content strategy and where it overlaps and diverges from information architecture. We’ll discuss the maddening ambiguity and energizing opportunity of the pairing and partnership of these critical disciplines.

You can find Chris on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Campbell Ewald
30400 VanDyke
Warren, MI 48093 (map)


$5, Current students
$10, Michigan Usability Professionals’ Association members
$20, All others

Register online at Guestlist so we know who’s coming and how much refreshments to go around. We’ll also take payment (cash or check) at the door. Questions? Email events {at} miupa dot org.


6:30pm, Networking, food, announcements
7:00pm, Program begins