What is content design?
Content design done well answers two questions for users: “What does this product do?” and “How does it work?” Content design done really well answers another question too: “Why should I use it?”
Content design is part of product design
It improves usability in software products through the use of clear and conversational language. The discipline of content design includes information architecture, principles and standards, conversation design, product narratives, taxonomies, tone frameworks, and more.
Content design requires collaboration
Content designers partner with visual and interaction designers, product managers, technical writers, localization engineers, product marketing managers, and brand teams to shape the look and feel of a user experience.
What’s the point of content design?
If you have a job at a technology company, you’re probably adding to an ever-growing pile of web pages, videos, ads, tweets, and documents that collectively describe the software you sell. (Unless you work in facilities, in which case, thank you.) And the software your company builds is itself loaded with screens, components, interactions, symbols, icons, and of course, words.
We help you scale a mountain of concepts
It’s a mountain of concepts that millions of humans use every single day. But without meaning, a mountain of concepts is impossible to climb.
The branch of knowledge concerning the meaning of individual concepts is called semantics. Providing meaning to clusters of complex and related concepts, however, requires narrative.
We help craft narratives
Narrative is the momentum propelling the words you are reading right now. It’s not enough to know what a word means. What you really want to know is: what’s the point?
Without an underlying narrative, user experiences are disjointed. They are frustrating to use and impossible to navigate. (Give this one a try.) Establishing the narrative flow doesn’t happen by accident. It must be designed. This is the point of content design.
Content designers are the folks responsible for the narrative flow of a user experience. While we certainly tinker with words, that’s like saying an interaction designer tinkers with boxes. We use language to create conversational experience with real people, develop and maintain standards to ensure a quality experience, and leverage patterns to do all of it consistently and at scale.