Having worked out what kinds of people you expect to be using your site, you need to ensure that your content is suitable for all of them.
Writing down initial content
Begin by writing a brief list of each piece of content that you plan. Try to include everything that you intend to put on the site, even things which might seem trivial like a page of contact details.
For example, the cake recipe site might include:
- Cake recipes
- Photographs of the finished cakes
- Brief biographical information about the site's creator
Considering user types
By considering each type of users in turn, you can improve your planned content. Put yourself in the place of each type of user, and look through the list of content to see whether it is suitable for them.
Here are some common questions to ask yourself about each type of user, and each piece of content:
- Is the content relevant to the user? (If not, it might be necessary to provide more content suitable for them, or to give up support for that kind of user.)
- Will they understand it? (If they might not, can it be made clearer, or can background information be provided?)
- Will that user be left wanting additional content that you don't provide, even though it seems (to the user) obvious that you should?
If some content isn't of interest to any of your user types (be honest), don't include it on the site.
Example changes to content
In the cake recipe site, considering inexperienced cooks helps to come up with the following additional content:
- A grading of the recipes by difficulty
- Explanation of technical terms used (e.g. the technique of "beating" a mixture)
Considering international users suggests the need for:
- Some way to convert measurements between your preferred units (metric or British imperial) to units used by other important parts of the world (metric or US imperial).
It isn't always necessary to actually create all the required content - it should be possible to find a conversion chart or utility program somewhere on the Web, so a link to that would be sufficent.
Revising your own content
Follow this procedure with your own user types and site contents, considering what each type of users might find missing from your site, and what you could add to remedy it. Again, this is best done in a group, by taking turns to discuss each person's site.
At this stage, don't consider your ability to provide - list required content, even if you know you wouldn't be able to create it.