The Web Isn’t A4

Why the document creation tools we use today are holding us back

Redundant?

At Codogo, we’ve been thinking a lot about the tools we use to write and create content. In particular, the ways we create digital content.

Most of you probably use Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Evernote or Quip — powerful layout tools. But when writing content for a digital medium like a website or blog, where the design is dictated by the medium, why do we still use layout tools?

Why do we agonise over minute details like font size, when the real should be on creating well written, valuable content? How long have you spent pointlessly trying to get that picture to stay in place in Word?

“It’s comical how similar MacWrite looks like [the tools] we use today”
Bret Taylor, former Facebook CTO and Quip CEO

If you’re a Marketer, you’re writing digital content constantly. Fundamentally, marketing is rooted in writing, and the tools marketers use to create content are lacking. Writing content in Google Docs feels pretty much the same as using MacWrite did in 1984; the software we use today looks just the same as it did 30 years ago though the approach, end format, and even the language we use has changed dramatically.

How people write and create in 2016 is not supported by existing interfaces, and this goes beyond the time wasted worrying about the details of layout; the whole writing paradigm of these layout tools is ill-suited to the way we think and work.

Layout tools start from the assumption that you know exactly what you’re trying to layout, making restructuring and reordering content a real hassle. This doesn’t match up with the iterative way content creators work, and it certainly isn’t the way creative minds work. Medium’s editing interface is a great example of a neutral interface making writing easy, but even here the process isn’t perfect.

We need more tools that understand the way people think, write, and create. If you feel the same, watch this space.


Originally posted on the Codogo Write blog.

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