Instead of a selection of actions to follow up on my query, I’m presented .
In 2012, content strategist Karen McGrane wrote that”you don’t have to decide which platform or device your clients use to get your content: they do.”
The prevalence of voice as a mode of access to information makes supplying structured, machine-intelligible content more important. Intelligent software agents and voice aren’t solely preventing users from their computer keyboards, they’re changing user behaviour. Based on LSA Insider, there are numerous important differences between voice queries and typed queries. Voice questions often be:
You’ll also notice that while Dr. Stacey Donion is an specific match in all of the listed search results–which are numerous enough to fill the first results page–we are revealed a”did you mean” link for a different physician. Multicare does provide semantic and related profiles that are data-rich to get their physicians.
If we run Dr. Ruhlman’s Swedish Hospital profile page through Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, we can observe that content about him is structured as small, discrete elements, each of which can be marked up with descriptive types and attributes that convey the meaning of these traits’ values and the way they fit together as a whole–all in a machine-readable format.

Google Structured Data Testing tool, showing the markup for Dr. Ruhlman's profile page on the left half of the screen, and the structured data attributes and values for the structured content on that page on the right half of the screen.

HTML is both semantic and presentational because people understand what lists and headings look like and mean, and they can be recognized by calculations as components with defined relationships.

Program broker hunt and semantic HTML

Although this usage of semantic HTML offers distinct benefits over the”page screen” styling we saw on the Town of Boston’s website, the Seattle page also reveals a weakness that’s typical of guide approaches to semantic HTML. You’ll observe that, at the Google Assistant results, the”Pay by Phone” option we found on the webpage wasn’t recorded. This irregularity in semantic arrangement could be what’s causing Google Assistant to omit this option .
These kinds of fast interactions, but are only one small part of a bigger issue: linked data is key to preserving the integrity of articles online. The organizations I have used as examples, like the hospitals, government agencies, and colleges I have consulted with for decades, don’t measure the success of their communications efforts in page views or ad clicks. Success for these means linking community members, constituents, and patients with accurate information about the business, wherever that information may be found and solutions. This communication-based definition of success applies to any sort of organization working to further its business goals on the web.

The Google Assistant search, however, offers a effect than we see with Boston. In this case, the Google Assistant result links directly to the”Pay My Ticket” page and also lists a number of ways I can pay my ticket: on line, by mail, and in person.
In addition to excerpting and finding information, such as parking ticket payment choices or recipe steps, software and search representative algorithms now today aggregate content from multiple sources by using linked data.

  • Designing Connected Content, Carrie Hane and Mike Atherton
  • Connected data extends the fundamental capacities of semantic HTML by describing not just what sort of thing a page component is (“Pay My Ticket” is a

    ), but also the real world concept that thing signifies: this

    represents a”cover activity,” which inherits the structural characteristics of”trade actions” (the market of goods and services for money) and”activities” (activities carried out by a broker upon an item ). Linked data generates a more nuanced description and it supplies the structural and technical advice that algorithms need to bring information together from disparate sources.

    In this instance, we could see that Google is able to find plenty of links to Dr. Donion in its standard index results, but it is not able to”know” the data about these sources well enough to present an aggregated outcome. In cases like this, that the Knowledge Graph understands Dr. Donion is a Kaiser Permanente doctor, but it pulls in the wrong location and the wrong physician’s name in its attempt to construct a Knowledge Graph screen.
    On creating material systems that work for algorithms and humans alike, practitioners from throughout the design community have shared a wealth of resources in recent years. These books and articles are a Terrific place to begin, to learn more about executing a content that is structured approach for your company:

    The City of Boston website's “How to Pay a Parking Ticket” page, showing a tabbed view of ways to pay and instructions for the first of those ways, paying online.

    Layout practices that build bridges between consumer requirements and technology needs to meet business goals are crucial to making this vision a reality. Content strategists information architects, programmers, and expertise designers all have a part to play in designing and delivering content options that are structured.
    In late 2016, Gartner called that 30 percent of internet browsing sessions could be achieved without a display by 2020. Earlier the exact same year, Comscore had predicted that half of all searches are voice searches by 2020. Though there’s recent evidence to imply the 2020 picture might be more complex than those broad-strokes projections imply, we’re already seeing the effect that voice search, artificial intelligence, and smart software agents such as Alexa and Google Assistant are producing on the way information can be found and consumed on the web.

    The City of Seattle website‘s “Pay My Ticket” page, showing four methods to pay a parking ticket in a simple, all-text layout.

    The search for another recommendation, Stacey Donion, MD, provides a different encounter. Like the City of Boston site over, Dr. Donion’s profile on the Kaiser Permanente website is perfectly intelligible to a sighted human reader. But since its markup is presentational, its content is imperceptible to software agents.
    Semantic HTML is about the relationships between document elements, as opposed to simply describing how they should look on display.
    In their latest book, Designing Connected Content, Carrie Hane and Mike Atherton define structured content as articles that is”planned, developed, and connected out an interface so it’s prepared for any interface” A structured content design strategy frames articles tools –such as recipes, articles, product descriptions, how-tos, profiles, etc.–not as pages available and read, but as bundles composed of little chunks of content information that all relate to one another in meaningful ways.

    Google Assistant app on iPhone with the results of a “what time does Doc Dr Stacey donion office close” query. The results displayed include a card with “8AM–5PM” and the label “MulitCare Neuroscience Center, Monday hours,” as well as links to call the office, search on Google, get directions, or visit a website.

    The model of building pages and then anticipating users to detect and parse those pages to answer queries , though time-tested from the age, is becoming inadequate for communication. It precludes organizations from engaging in emergent patterns of information seeking and discovery. And it may lead software agents to make inferences based on erroneous or inadequate information routing customers to competitors who communicate efficiently.

  • Content Modelling: An Expert Ability ,” Rachel Lovinger
  • These elements, when designed well, communicate connections and data hierarchy visually to algorithms, and semantically to readers.
    Say that I want to gather more information about two recommendations I have been awarded for surgeons.

  • Content Strategy for Mobile, Karen McGrane
  • There’s not enough evidence in this small sample to support a wide claim that algorithms have”cognitive” bias, but even when we allow for possibly confounding variables, we could observe the compounding issues we risk by ignoring structured content. Regardless, the Kaiser Permanente outcome we are given above for Dr. Donion is for the wrong doctor. What’s more, from the Google Assistant voice hunt, the discussion format doesn’t verify whether we meant Dr. Donlon; it only provides us with her facility’s contact information. In such cases, providing clear, machine-readable content can work to our benefit.
    In addition to the indexing purpose that conventional search engines perform, smart brokers and search algorithms are now bringing two ways of accessing information. As a result, design efforts that focus on creating pages that are visually effective are not enough to guarantee accuracy or the integrity of content. Rather, by focusing on providing access to information within a structured, systematic way that’s legible to both humans and machines, content publishers can ensure that their content is equally accessible and accurate in these new contexts, whether or not they’re creating chatbots or tapping into AI directly. In this guide, we’ll consider effect and the forms of structured content, and we are going to close with a set of resources that can help you get started using a content approach to information design.

    Linked data and content aggregation

    The City of Seattle’s”Pay My Site” page, though it lacks the polished visual design of Boston’s site, also communicates parking ticket options obviously to human visitors:

    The City of Seattle website’s “Pay My Ticket” page, with the HTML heading elements outlined and labeled for illustration.

    Voice queries and articles inference

    This statement was intended to help strategists, designers, and businesses get ready for the rise of cellular. It continues to ring true for its age of data. With the increasing prevalence of voice-based queries and assistants, the site of an organization is less and less likely to be a visitor’s first experience with content that is abundant. Such as ratings, hours, phone numbers, and locating location info — in many instances –this pre-visit participation might be a user interaction with an information source.

  • Content Everywhere, Sara Wachter-Boettcher
  • Google Assistant app on iPhone with the results of a “how do I pay a parking ticket in Boston” query, showing results only weakly related to the intended content.

    It’s possible that during repeated exposure to the research phrase”Dr. Stacey Donion,” Google Assistant fine-tune the answers it supplied. The very first result, nevertheless, indicates that smart brokers may be at least partially susceptible to the exact same availability heuristic that affects humans, wherein the information that’s simplest to recall often appears the most correct.
    MultiCare Neuroscience Center, you will recall, is where Dr. Donlon–the neuroscientist Google thinks I might be looking for, not the surgeon I’m actually searching for–clinics.

    Google Assistant app on iPhone with the results of a “how do I pay a parking ticket in Seattle” query, showing nearly the same results as on the desktop web page referenced above.

    Structured content is currently a mainstay of various kinds of information about the internet. Listings, for example, have been predicated on structured articles for years. When I hunt, as an Example,”bouillabaisse recipe” on Google, I’m provided with a regular list of links to recipes, in Addition to an overview of recipe measures, an image, and a set of tags describing one instance recipe:

    Google search results page for Dr. Donion, showing a list of standard links for Dr. Donion, and a 'Did you mean: Dr Stacy Donlon MD' link at the top. There is a Google info box, as with the previous search results page example. But in this case the box does not display information about the doctor we searched for, Dr. Donion, but rather for 'Kaiser Permanente Orthopedics: Morris Joseph MD.'
    Google search results info box for Dr. Ruhlman, showing an photo; a map; ratings; an address; reviews; buttons to ask a question, leave a review, and add a photo; and other people searched for.
      Google search results page for Scott Ruhlman, MD, showing a list of standard links and an info box with an image, a map, ratings, an address, and reviews information.

      This”featured snippet” view is possible because the content writer,, has broken this recipe in the smallest meaningful chunks suitable for this subject matter and audience, and then expressed information about those chunks as well as the connections between them in a machine-readable way. In this example, has used both semantic HTML and linked data to produce this content not only a page, but also legible, accessible data that may be accurately interpreted, adapted, and remixed by algorithms and intelligent agents. Let’s look to learn how they work across indexing, aggregation, and inference contexts.
      In a design procedure that was content that was structured, the relationships between content chunks are specifically defined and clarified. This makes both the content chunks and the connections between them legible to calculations. Algorithms can then translate a content bundle as the”page” I am looking for–or remix and adapt the exact same content to provide me a list of directions, the number of stars on a critique, the amount of time left until an office shuts, and any variety of other concise answers to specific questions.

      A combined HTML code editor and preview window showing markup and results for heading, ordered list, and list item HTML tags.

      To be able to tailor results to such questions, software agents have started inferring purpose and subsequently using the data that was linked in their disposal to assemble a succinct response. If I ask Google Assistant what time Dr. Ruhlman’s office shuts, for instance, it responds,”Dr. Ruhlman’s office closes in 5 p.m.,” and displays this result:
      Not one of the links provided in the Google Assistant results take me directly to the”How to Pay a Parking Ticket” page, nor do the descriptions definitely allow me to know I am on the right track. (I didn’t ask about requesting a hearing.) This is because the content on the Town of Boston parking ticket page is designed to communicate content connections visually but isn’t structured in a way that conveys those relationships to algorithms that are curious.
      HTML markup that focuses just on the presentational facets of a”page” may look perfectly fine to an individual reader however be completely illegible into an algorithm. Take, as an example, the City of Boston website, redesigned a few years ago in collaboration with top-tier design and development partners. If I want to find advice about how to pay a parking ticket, then a link from the home page takes me directly to the”How to Purchase a Parking Ticket” display (scrolled to show detail):

      Google Assistant app on iPhone with the results of a “what time does dr. ruhlman office close” query. The results displayed include a card with “8:30AM–5:00PM” and the label, “Dr. Ruhlman Scott MD, Tuesday hours,” as well as links to call the office, search on Google, get directions, and visit a website. Additionally, there are four buttons labeled with the words “directions,” “phone number,” and “address,” and a thumbs-up emoji.

      Getting started: who and how

      The City of Seattle website’s 'Pay My Ticket' page, with two HTML heading elements outlined and labeled for illustration, and an open inspector panel, where we can see that the headings look the same to viewers but are marked up differently in the code.

      The machine reads an enormous difference Though each of these elements would seem the exact same into a sighted human producing this page. Even though WYSIWYG text entry fields can encourage semantic HTML, in training that they all too frequently fall prey into the idiosyncrasies of the most well-intentioned content authors. By making content structure a core part of a site’s content management system, organizations can create correct HTML for each element, every moment. This is the base which makes it feasible to capitalize on the relationship descriptions afforded by data that is connected.
      As a person reading this page, I understand what my choices are for payingI can pay online, in person, by mail, or over the phone. But things get a little confusing if I request Google Assistant to pay a parking ticket in Boston:

      The business case for content that is structured layout

      The Use of structured articles

      By communicating in a digital context that currently includes inference and aggregation, associations are effectively able to speak to their users where users are, be it on a web site, an internet search engine results page, or even a voice-controlled digital helper. They’re also able to keep greater control over the accuracy of their messages by ensuring the correct content can be found and hauled across contexts.
      Because it is composed of content that is marked up 36,, despite the simplicity of the City of Seattle parking ticket page, it effectively ensures the integrity of its content across contexts. “Pay My Ring” is a level-one going (

      ), and every one of the options below it are level-two headings (

      ), which indicate that they are inferior to the level-one component.
      In this example, Dr. Ruhlman’s profile has been marked up using microdata based on the language. This foundation provides the foundation on. The Knowledge Graph info box, for instance, comprises Google reviews, which are not a part of Dr. Ruhlman’s profile, but that have been aggregated to this overview.
      Google Structured Data Testing tool showing the markup for a bouillabaisse recipe website on the left half of the screen and the structured data attributes and values for structured content on the right half of the screen.
      The same page seen in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. The values that are machine-readable are shown by the pane on the right.

      These results aren’t just aggregated from disparate sources, but are translated and remixed to provide a answer to my particular question. Getting directions, placing a telephone call, and obtaining Dr. Ruhlman’s profile page on are all at the tips of my fingers.