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.

In this example, we could see that Google can find plenty of links to Dr. Donion in its own standard index results, but it isn’t able to”understand” the data about these sources well enough to demonstrate an aggregated result. In this case, the Knowledge Graph knows Dr. Donion is a Kaiser Permanente physician, but it pulls in the wrong place and the wrong doctor’s title in its endeavor to construct a Knowledge Graph screen.

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.

The City of Seattle’s”Pay My Ticket” page, though it lacks the polished visual style of Boston’s site, also communicates parking ticket payment options obviously to individual visitors:
Although each of these elements would seem the exact same into a sighted human the machine distributing it reads an enormous difference. That they too often fall prey into the idiosyncrasies of the very content authors while HTML can be theoretically supported by WYSIWYG text entry fields, in training. By making content structure that is meaningful a core element of a website’s content management system, organizations may create semantically correct HTML every time, for every element. This is the base that makes it feasible to capitalize on the relationship descriptions afforded by data.
A structured content layout strategy frames content tools –like articles, recipes, product descriptions, how-tos, profiles, etc.–maybe not as pages available and read, but as bundles composed of small chunks of content information that all relate to one another in meaningful ways.
Because people understand what lists and headings look like and mean HTML structured in this manner is both semantic and presentational, and algorithms can recognize them as elements with defined, interpretable relationships.

Voice queries and content inference

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

Say that I would like to collect info about two recommendations I have been given for orthopedic surgeons. A hunt for a first recommendation, Scott Ruhlman, MD, brings up a set of connections as well as a Knowledge Graph info box containing a photograph, location, hours, telephone number, and testimonials from the net.
Not one of the links provided in this Google Assistant results take me directly to the”How to Purchase a Parking Ticket” webpage, nor do the descriptions definitely let me know I’m on the right track. (I didn’t inquire about asking a hearing.) This is due to the fact that the content on the Town of Boston parking ticket page is styled to convey content connections visually to individual readers but is not structured semantically in a manner which also conveys those relationships to inquisitive algorithms.
These elements, when designed convey data hierarchy and relationships visually to calculations, and to viewers. This arrangement allows Google Assistant to reasonably stipulate the text in these

headings represents payment options under the

going”Pay My Ticket.”

These outcomes aren’t only aggregated from sources, but are interpreted and remixed to provide a answer. Getting directions, placing a phone call, and accessing Dr. Ruhlman’s profile site on are all at the ends of my fingers.

The very first result, nevertheless, suggests that smart brokers might be at least partly susceptible to the same accessibility heuristic which affects individuals, wherein the advice that’s simplest to remember often seems the most appropriate.

You’ll also observe that although Dr. Stacey Donion is an exact match in all the listed search results–which are a lot of enough to meet with the initial results page–we’re revealed a”did you mean” connection for a different doctor. Multicare related profiles and does, however, provide semantic.
Design practices that build bridges between technology needs and consumer requirements to meet business goals are crucial to making this vision a reality. Experience designers all, content strategists, developers, and information architects have a role to play in providing and designing successful structured content solutions.
In addition to the indexing function that search engines function, smart brokers and search calculations are bringing in the mainstream two modes of obtaining information: aggregation and inference. As a result, design efforts that focus on producing visually effective pages are no longer sufficient to ensure the integrity or accuracy of articles published on the web. Instead, by focusing on providing access to information within a structured, systematic manner that is legible to both machines and humans, content publishers can make sure that their content is equally accurate and accessible in these new contexts, whether they’re creating chatbots or tapping into AI directly. In this article, we will look at effect and the forms of material, and we’ll close with a set of resources which could help you to get started with a material that is structured approach to data design.

  • Longer;
  • more inclined to inquire that, what, and where;
  • more conversational;
  • and much more specific.
A combined HTML code editor and preview window showing markup and results for heading, ordered list, and list item HTML tags.

The model of constructing pages and anticipating users parse and to detect those pages to answer questions from the pre-voice era, is becoming inadequate for communication. It precludes associations from participating in patterns of information seeking and discovery. And it can lead software agents to make inferences based on inadequate or erroneous information, possibly routing clients to rivals who communicate more efficiently.

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

Getting started: who and how

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.

In this instance, Dr. Ruhlman’s profile has been marked up using microdata based on the language. This structured content foundation provides the base on. The Knowledge Graph information box, for example, comprises Google testimonials, which aren’t part of Dr. Ruhlman’s profile, but which have been aggregated into this overview. The overview also has an interactive map, made possible because Dr. Ruhlman’s office place is machine-readable.

Regardless of the simplicity of the Town of Seattle parking ticket page, it ensures that the integrity of its material across contexts because it is composed of organized content that is marked up semantically. “Buy My Ring” is a level-one heading (

), and each of the options below it are level-two key words (

), which indicate they are inferior to the level-one component.

  • Content Modelling: An Expert Ability ,” Rachel Lovinger
  • There’s insufficient evidence in this little sample to encourage a broad claim that algorithms have”cognitive” bias, but even when we allow for potentially confounding variables, we could see the compounding issues we hazard by dismissing structured content. Regardless, the Kaiser Permanente outcome we are given previously for Dr. Donion is for the wrong doctor. What’s more, from the Google Assistant voice search, the discussion format does not verify if we meant Dr. Donlon; it just provides us with her facility’s contact information. In such cases, providing transparent content may work to our advantage.
    This”featured snippet” perspective is possible because the content writer,, has broken this recipe in the smallest meaningful chunks appropriate for this subject matter and audience, then expressed information about these chunks as well as the relationships between them in a machine-readable way. In this example, has utilized both semantic HTML and linked data to make this content not only a webpage, but also legible, accessible data that can be correctly interpreted, accommodated, and remixed by algorithms and smart agents. Let us look to learn how they work across indexing, aggregation, and inference contexts.
    On creating content systems that work for algorithms and humans alike practitioners from the design community have shared a wealth of tools lately. To learn more about implementing a content that is structured approach for your organization, articles and these books are a great place to start:

  • Content Everywhere, Sara Wachter-Boettcher
  • HTML markup which concentrates just on the presentational aspects of a”webpage” may seem perfectly fine to a human reader but be completely illegible into an algorithm. Take, for example, the City of Boston site, redesigned a couple of years ago in collaboration with top-tier design and development partners. If I Wish to find information about how to pay a parking ticket, then a link in the home page takes me directly to the”How to Pay a Parking Ticket” screen (scrolled to reveal detail):
    In a design process that was content that was structured, the connections between content chunks are explicitly defined and clarified. This creates the relationships between them and both the material chunks legible to algorithms. Algorithms can then translate a content bundle as the”webpage” I’m searching for–or remix and accommodate that same content to give me a list of directions, the number of stars on a critique, the amount of time left until an office shuts, and some number of other concise answers to specific queries.

    The Company case for structured content design

    As a human reading this page, I understand what my choices are for payingI will pay online, in person, on the phone, or by email. However, things get a bit confusing if I ask Google Assistant to pay a parking ticket in Boston:

    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.
    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.
    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.

    These kinds of interactions, however, are just one small piece of a much larger problem: connected data is key to maintaining the integrity of articles online. Like the hospitals, government agencies, and colleges I’ve consulted with for years, do not measure the achievement of the communications efforts in ad clicks or page views. Success for these means linking patients, components, and community members with information about the business that information might be found and services. This definition of achievement easily applies to any type of company working to further its business goals on the web.
    Than we see with Boston the equivalent Google Assistant hunt offers a more helpful result. In cases like this, the Google Assistant direct links directly to the”Pay My Site” page and lists a number of ways I will pay my ticket: online, by email, and in person.

  • Designing Connected Content, Carrie Hane and Mike Atherton
  • This announcement was meant to help designers, strategists, and companies get ready for the imminent growth of cellular. With the growing prevalence of inquiries that are voice-based and assistants, an organization’s site is less inclined to be a visitor’s first experience with content that is abundant and less. Such as hours locating location information, phone numbers, and ratings –this pre-visit participation might be a consumer’s only interaction with a data resource.
    In addition to finding and excerpting information, such as parking ticket payment choices or recipe steps, applications and search agent algorithms also now aggregate content from multiple sources using linked data.
    In its most basic form, linked data is”a set of best practices for linking structured data on the web.” Linked data expands the basic capacities of semantic HTML by describing not just what sort of thing a page component is (“Pay My Ticket” is a

    ), but in addition the real-world concept that item represents: that

    signifies a”pay action,” which inherits the structural attributes of”trade actions” (the exchange of goods and services for cash ) and”actions” (actions carried out by a broker upon an item ). Data that is Connected creates a more nuanced description and it provides the structural and technical information that calculations need to bring data together.

    Software broker hunt and semantic HTML

    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 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.

      When I ask Google Assistant what time Dr. Donion’s office closes, the outcome isn’t just less useful but actually points me in the wrong direction. Rather than a concentrated selection of focused actions to follow up on my query, I’m presented .
      In late 2016, Gartner called that 30 percent of web browsing sessions could be done with no display by 2020. Even though there’s recent evidence to suggest the 2020 picture may be more complicated than these broad-strokes projections imply, we are already seeing the impact that voice search, artificial intelligence, and intelligent software agents such as Alexa and Google Assistant are creating about the way information can be found and consumed on the internet.
      The prevalence of voice for a manner of access to data makes providing structured content more significant. Software agents and voice aren’t solely freeing users from their computer keyboards, they are changing user behaviour. Based on LSA Insider, there are several critical differences between voice inquiries and typed queries. Voice queries often be:
      Semantic HTML is markup that communicates information about the purposeful connections between document elements, as opposed to simply describing how they ought to look on display.
      To be able to tailor results to such queries that were especially formulated, software agents have started subsequently and inferring intent using the linked data at their disposal to build a targeted, succinct response.

      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.

      When we conduct Dr. Ruhlman’s Swedish Hospital profile page through Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, we could observe that articles about him is organised as small, different elements, each of which is marked up with descriptive types and attributes that communicate the meaning of these attributes’ values and how they fit together as a whole–all in a machine-readable format.

      Google search results page for a bouillabaisse recipe including an image, numbered directions, and tags.
      A”featured snippet” for about the Google results page.
      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.
      Exactly the exact same page viewed in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. The pane on the right indicates the machine-readable values.

      The Use of structured content

      Stacey Donion, the hunt for another recommendation, MD, provides a very different experience. Like the Town of Boston site over, Dr. Donion’s profile on the Kaiser Permanente website is perfectly intelligible to a sighted human reader. But because its markup is presentational, its material is imperceptible to software agents.

      While this use of semantic HTML offers distinct benefits over the”page screen” styling we found on the Town of Boston’s site, the Seattle page also reveals a weakness that’s typical of guide approaches to semantic HTML. You’ll observe that, in the Google Assistant outcomes, the”Pay by Phone” option we saw on the webpage was not recorded. This irregularity in semantic structure may be what’s causing Google Assistant to omit this option from its results.
      Content is already a mainstay of various types of information about the web. Recipe listings, for example, have been predicated on articles for years. While I hunt, as an Example,”bouillabaisse recipe” on Google, I’m provided with a standard list of links to recipes, as well as an overview of recipe steps, an image, and a pair of tags describing one example recipe:

      MultiCare Neuroscience Center, you’ll recall, is where Dr. Donlon–the neuroscientist Google believes I might be searching for, not the surgeon I am really searching for–clinics.

      Linked data and content aggregation

      By communicating clearly in a digital context that currently includes inference and aggregation, associations are able to speak to their customers where users actually are, make it on a search engine results page, a website, or a voice-controlled digital helper. They’re also able to keep control over the truth of their messages by ensuring that the proper content are available and communicated across contexts.