Decide

Focus the effort around a design hypothesis.

Content audit

What

A listing and analysis of all the content on an existing website (including pages, files, videos, audio or other data) that your users might reasonably encounter.

Why

To identify content that needs to be revised in new versions of a website. Content audits can also help you identify who is responsible for content, how often it should be updated, and what role a particular piece of content plays for users.

Time required

3-8 hours

How to do it

  1. Identify a specific user need or user question that you’d like to address.
  2. Create an inventory of content on your website. Navigate through the site from the home page and note the following about every piece of content. (For repeated items like blog posts, consider capturing just a sample.)
    • Title used in the site’s navigation for that page
    • Title displayed on the page or item itself
    • URL
    • Parent page
  3. Identify the main entry points for the user need you’re addressing. This could be external marketing, the homepage, a microsite, or another page.
  4. From each entry point, trace the pages and tasks a user moves through until they address their need.
  5. For every piece of content they might come across on that task flow, note:
    • Author(s): who wrote or created the page
    • Content owner(s): who ensures its credibility
    • Updated date
    • Update frequency
    • Comments: qualitative assessment of what to change to better address your identified user need

Examples from 18F

Additional resources

Applied in government research

No PRA implications. No information is collected from members of the public.

18F