Better decisions by design.

Call to Action (CTA)

A CTA is the next action a user should take. Most of the content your organization produces should have a CTA, as there is usually some next step you’d like the user to take. Try to offer just one CTA for each piece of content, or at least design with a primary CTA in mind.

A page or newsletter without a CTA is often a dead end for your audience, which doesn’t help anyone.

Content Design

Content Design is the practice of developing content that prioritizes users’ needs. Content Designers study audience needs and produce content in the form that will best meet those needs. Rather than defaulting to traditional forms of communication with an audience — such as generating PDFs — a content designer might produce a video, calculator, or podcast to reach the intended audience in a way that produces a desired outcome.

For more, check out Content Design by Sarah Richards.

Conversion

A conversion could be a ticket sale, a member enrollment or renewal, or a donation or sale. We also describe a newsletter sign up or a new follow on social media as a conversion. The word “conversion” is helpful because it represents a change in status for the user. When a visitor completes a conversion, the nature of their relationship with the organization changes. 

SOP (or Runbook)

SOP = Standard Operating Procedure. An SOP is a document that lists the tasks for any project or activity with multiple steps. Detailed SOPs reduce cognitive load. The more you can externalize complex or mundane activities, the more mental RAM you have to focus on creative endeavors.

I use SOP and Runbook interchangeably.

User-Centered Design

UCD is an interative design process that involves the user in the design process. UCD studies the context in which a product or service is used and develops solutions to meet users’ needs, always validating solutions against actual user behavior.

UCD reduces risk for organizations that are developing new products or services. Designers are able to identify unforeseen challenges and opportunities earlier in the design process, which allows organizations to make necessary changes before a great deal of resources have been invested in an initiative.

Visitation-Based Membership Organization (VBMO)

A membership organization that primarily serves patrons at a brick-and-mortar location. Examples include museums, arthouse cinemas, yoga and fitness centers, and historical societies.