Blog Post

August 3, 2023

Seattle Happy Hour


Courtney Doane

For the July Content Strategy Seattle meetup, we gathered in person at a sweet little space called The Lab at Ada’s Bookstore. It was a great turnout and the room was lively with conversation, great nosh, fine craft cocktails and some non-alcoholic spirits too.

In addition to providing an opportunity for some of our local members to meet and mingle, the event featured an informal panel. Paula Land led a conversation among Scott Pierce, Ahava Leibtag, Ariel van Spronsen, and Susan Stainsby, each of whom was selected because they bring years of expertise in content strategy and their careers span multiple industries and settings, from healthcare to technical help to in-product content, and much more. Whatever the setting they’ve worked in, they all have a common goal: Designing clear content for their users. Conversation started out with panelists discussing the differences and similarities of working in-house, being a freelancer, or working within an agency. We also covered how to deliver content to a range of stakeholders. 

One of the highlights was when Ahava, who works in healthcare content marketing, made the point that users who are encountering a new landscape are in unfamiliar territory, and that we have to care for that newness as well as the general clarity of the information. As an example, Ahava talked about how the prevalence of complex language in her industry, can add an additional level of complexity for users who are commonly in a state of stress about health issues they may be having. Susan shared that in in her work with GoDaddy, she also sees  users coming to the help center with some level of confusion and needing assistance.

Panelists emphasized the importance of using clear language that matches users’ mental models, using data to make decisions about content, and working directly with users to test the viability of their content. You could tell these professionals really enjoyed the conversation as they bounced ideas back and forth. Audience members said they came away with some great insights and everyone enjoyed connecting with fellow content folks!

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