Content Strategy vs. Interface Design

In the traditional paradigm, an “interface designer” optimizes buttons and menus and usability, whereas a “non-interface content strategist” focuses on curation, workflows, and content audits.

The only problem is this distinction doesn’t work, says Facebook’s Content Strategist Tiffani Jones Brown.

“You cannot make a division about the interface. The idea that only some content needs a system is wrong. It all fits within a design system,” said Brown.

There is a strong connection between content and design, says Andy Chung, a designer at Facebook. When he worked at Mozilla, one of their content interface strategies was to focus on reducing complex issues into simple statements.

Content strategy is about design; the two are interrelated, says ex-Boeing content developer Keith Robertson. (At Boeing, Robertson sometimes had to choose words based on pixel size.)

“Content strategy is process driven. There is workflow and audits. You need to ask ‘Who is the audience?’ and ‘What problems are you trying to solve?’,” says Robertson.

One good strategy is taking out half the content, Robertson continues. But content strategy also looks at the context to simplify it.

“If you have to do content on your own, make sure every word serves a purpose. This takes time to understand. But one exercise makes sure each content piece is very tight: See how they fit together,” explains Robertson.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Rdoke

Image by Flickr

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