If you’re reading this, then you’re likely not the person in charge of writing content for your WordPress sites. You may not be able to dictate how much content is written for a site or the actual words used by the writers, but you can finesse how it’s…Read More
Content is the core commodity of the digital economy. It is the gold we fashion into luxury experience, the diamond we encase in loyalty programs and upsells. Yet, as designers, we often plug it in after the fact. We prototype our interaction and visual design to exhaustion, but accept that the “real words” can just be dropped in later. There is a better way.
More and more, the digital goods we create operate within a dynamic system of content, functionality, code and intent. Our products and services drift and spill into partner websites, social media feeds and myriad electronic aggregators, all seeking to shape visitor behavior and understanding. Systems build on systems, and, in short order, we’ve cobbled together a colossus the breadth of which sends minds a-boggling.
It’s not exactly a new subject, but lately I’ve had reason to revisit the skill of content modeling in my team’s work. Our experience has reached a point where the limitations of how we practice are starting to become clear. Our most common issue is that people tend to tie themselves and their mental models to a chosen platform and its conventions.
Instead of teaching people how to model content, we end up teaching them how to model content in Drupal, or how to model content in WordPress. But I’d prefer that we approach it from a focus on the best interests of users, regardless of which platform said content will end up in.