Small Content, Big Impact: How Microcontent Elevates User Experience
By Adrian Lam and Zhuona Ma, Information Architect Co-Ops at Precision Content
Do you ever find yourself lost in a digital interface, clicking around aimlessly without a clue of what to do next? Do you ever wonder how some websites or apps just seem to intuitively guide you through their pages? Well, my friend, the answer might just be in the power of microcontent. In this blog post, we’ll explore the magical world of microcontent – what it is, why it’s crucial to user experience, and how to create effective microcontent that will guide users through any digital platform with ease.
What does UX have to do with Content?
In the ever-evolving world of digital technology, users demand instantaneous gratification and faultless experiences. They do not have the time or patience to sift through pages of content, nor do they tolerate complicated interfaces that require too much effort to understand. If they cannot locate the necessary information or complete tasks with ease, they can get irritated and bounce off the platform entirely.
To emphasize: Users expect content to be easy to find and use and are frustrated when it is not.
What is Microcontent?
This is where microcontent comes in. Microcontent takes the form of a “topic” that is focused, discrete, and comprehensive. At Precision Content, we define microcontent as content that is:
- about one primary idea, fact, or concept
- easily scannable
- labelled for clear identification and meaning, and
- appropriately written and formatted for use anywhere and anytime it is needed.
Benefits of Microcontent for UX
While poor content structuring can make or break a user’s experience, effective microcontent can make all the difference in a product or service, as it helps to make the user’s journey seamless and intuitive. Microcontent primarily benefits two areas of UX: navigation and accessibility.
Microcontent and Navigation
Narrow Topic Focus
Microcontent’s focused format should make the subject of the content obvious. Each topic is about one idea and will be less ambiguous compared to lengthy articles that may or may not contain the answer the user needs. This makes their browsing experience more efficient and effective, reducing time wasted, minimizing frustration, and improving navigability.
Chunking and Labelling
Similarly, each microcontent topic is broken down into smaller chunks and individually labelled. After finding the right topic, this makes it easier for users to scan through and find the specific part of the topic they need.
Microcontent and Accessibility
Navigation and Accessibility
Improvements to the navigability of content are inherently improvements to accessibility. With microcontent, it is easier to find the topic that a user needs and easier to skim the topic to find the chunk they need. While these improvements to navigation help everyone, they may particularly benefit users with special sensory needs.
In today’s digital age, where information overload is a common problem, it is crucial to streamline content and present it in a way that allows users to quickly and easily identify the information they need. By streamlining the content, users can easily identify the relevant information without having to sift through unnecessary fluff. This makes it easier for users to focus on understanding the content rather than spending time trying to decipher what is essential.
Smaller chunks of content have also shown to be easier to remember and are easier to reference back to in case users forget the content. Improvements to digestibility are simply good UX, but also follow the guiding principle of content that is “understandable” as laid out by the WCAG Guidelines.
Microcontent for Accessibility Tools
Microcontent follows a consistent structure, including standards for sections, titles, and alt text. As such, it is inherently machine readable and can be converted into alternative mediums more easily. Anyone using a screen reader or similar accessibility tool will be able to process microcontent more easily than traditional articles and other forms of documentation, following the WCAG Guidelines of content that is “perceivable” and “robust.” Additionally, voice interfaces such as chatbots can be more easily trained on your content given the semantics in your structure and metadata.
In conclusion, microcontent is effective for improving UX through both navigability and accessibility. Microcontent makes content easier to find, easier to parse, increases efficiency, and improves the overall browsing experience for users. By adopting microcontent structures, you’re not just helping your users save time and reduce frustration. You’re also providing them with a seamless experience that integrates smoothly with the rest of your product. It’s a win-win situation! So, what are you waiting for? Start using Precision Content microcontent strategies today and give your users the experience they deserve.Tweet