3 things your content designer is not
Content design is a still-evolving field, with few rigid definitions and even fewer limits. That works just fine for me as a content designer. I love learning new skills and enjoy a state of being beyond a strict job description. But I can still tell you a handful of things I’m not.
1. A fixer
We’re not here simply to edit a piece of content that a designer, marketer, or product manager wrote. Content should be a consideration important enough to warrant inclusion in the project from the beginning. We have a process, too, and it’s hurtful when our teammates don’t fully utilize our broad skillset.
It’s hurtful when our teammates don’t fully utilize our broad skillset.
2. A finishing touch
We’re also not here to fix your shitty interaction, promo, or product. Content isn’t a layer on top of your design; it’s as part and parcel of the design as the interactions and the visual look and feel. Sensing a theme?
Inclusion in the design process is key to avoiding the creation of content problems. Content designers can raise concerns early, before your design is already built and we have to write 5 lines of explaining to make the dang thing work even a little bit.
3. Your patron
Get off your knees, guys. Stop begging us for our time or our ~*~magic.~*~ It’s our job to co-design with you, so even though we might be resourced to a lot of projects at once, we can find the time to make those meetings happen. You’re not bothering us by asking us to do what we were brought on to do.
You’re not bothering us by asking us to do what we were brought on to do.
As far as the magic, well, we appreciate the confidence, but it devalues the struggle. Some folks outside the content professions have this idea that anyone can poop out a few golden turds — I mean, words — in mere seconds and plop them into a UI. That’s not how it works… most of the time. We brainstorm, iterate, seek feedback, and test, just like you do. Even though the final output may be “just” words, the difference between well-crafted UI content and a sentence you wrote in an email one time is still real as hell.
Content designers wear many hats; some days I need to wear my strategy hat, sometimes it’s best to don my interaction hat, and other times call for my hairy, in-the-weeds, Apocalypse Now-style M16A1 hat. So long as content design is treated like an integral, valuable part of the design process, any hat is OK by me, except this one: