Heuristics and Practical Plans for Content Strategy

In my last post on content strategy, I talked about some high-level practices for strategizing around website content. I advocated for aligning content with user goals and being merciless toward your content when you prioritize quality over quantity. Successful content is useful to users and entertaining.

Now I’d like to look at some tactical practices that will help you connect with your users, ensuring that your website content is in line with their goals while helping your stakeholders execute their business model. Read more on Heuristics and Practical Plans for Content Strategy…

Your Design Review will Succeed or Fail in the First 5 Minutes

It’s the moment that every designer both loves and dreads: the design review with your customer or stakeholder.

Whether you realized it or not when you set out to become a designer (I’m guessing “not”—I’ll admit that I didn’t), effective communication and presentation are core parts of a designer’s job—and these skills set the excellent designers apart from the rest. Read more on Your Design Review will Succeed or Fail in the First 5 Minutes…

Technology: More than a Constraint for User-Centered Design

User-centered design that ignores the technical landscape is folly. The designs may tell compelling stories and cause stakeholders to pull out their checkbooks. They may make everyone feel like all those dot voting exercises were time well-spent. But without a healthy view of technology to ground them, they’re nothing but fever dreams drawn in the swirling brainstorm vapors still choking the air in your project room. Read more on Technology: More than a Constraint for User-Centered Design…

The Art and Science of Content Strategy

Most of the projects we take on at Atomic don’t involve a huge amount of content. The great majority of our work has to do with solving complex problems for humans through the intersection of software and hardware. However, I have had the opportunity to work with organizations for whom the path to a successful redesign project has involved wrangling large amounts of content. As a result, I’ve gained practice in the art of content strategy. I’ve seen what success looks like, and learned how to gauge when you’ve arrived. Read more on The Art and Science of Content Strategy…

The Day the F Went Missing


I check Atomic Spin every day (and I hope you do, as well). One reason is because there is always interesting content, and I can learn about some new area that I knew nothing about. Another reason is that it can help me to get to know my colleagues better. And a final reason is that I’m a tester, so I want to check that the content is correct.

A few weeks ago, I was reading the latest post and noticed that the “f” was missing from the word “find.” I thought it was just a typo, made a note so I could correct it, and carried on reading. A bit farther on in the post, I noticed “ilter” instead of “filter,” then “irst” instead of “first.” It seemed that whenever a word started with an “f,” the “f” was being lost.

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Making Sense of User Interviews in 5 Steps

Atomic is a software design and development consultancy, not a research firm. There are all kinds of research consultancies that specialize in market research, which isn’t our niche. Still, we try to find a middle ground on our projects and utilize research techniques such as observation and interviewing as a part of our human-centered design process. Planning time for user interviews can pay off and lead to insights that otherwise would be hard to gain. Read more on Making Sense of User Interviews in 5 Steps…

Asking “Why” in Design – A Cautionary Tale & Six Resources

Though great designers employ a myriad of tools to solve problems, perhaps the most powerful tool is effective use of the question “why?” Why? Because it helps the designer understand the deeper need (the why), as opposed to a solution (the what).

Having become more proficient at asking “why” myself, it’s become more evident to me when a designer does not ask this critical question. I’m going to describe a failed user experience I had recently using Microsoft Project — the negative consequence of Microsoft’s team not asking “why.” Read more on Asking “Why” in Design – A Cautionary Tale & Six Resources…

Create a Local Copy of a Website with HTTrack

I’ve recently been experimenting with HTTrack, an open-source utility that makes it possible to download a full copy of any website. HTTrack is essentially a web crawler, allowing users to retrieve every page of a website merely by pointing the tool to the site’s homepage.

From the HTTrack homepage:

“[HTTrack] allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site’s relative link-structure.”

I thought I’d share my experience with it.
Read more on Create a Local Copy of a Website with HTTrack…