Content design has evolved to become a crucial role in the UX design process. Teams rely on content designers to ensure products deliver the highest quality content that meets user needs precisely when they need it.
Table of contents
- What is Content Design?
- What Does a Content Designer do?
- Content Design Best Practices
- Content Design Resources
- Content Design With UXPin Merge
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What is Content Design?
Content design encompasses a digital product’s content strategy, including text, images, video, maps, graphs, and other graphics that communicate with users. A content designer’s primary goal is presenting the right content to users when needed–like a helpful error message with explicit instructions to fix a problem.
Although content design falls within the UX realm, content designers often work in cross-functional teams or consult on projects–like helping the sales team craft an email or writing scripts for customer service.
The evolution of content design
Content design is a relatively new term coined by Sarah Richards (now Sarah Winters, founder of Content Design London) while working for the UK’s Government Digital Service, which designs and develops the country’s digital products.
Traditionally, organizations tasked UX writers or copywriters with adding words to user interfaces or editing copy. But as the role evolved, UX writers approached their role as a UX designer does. So, UX writers became content designers to reflect this change.
While content design primarily focuses on words, they do sometimes use images, videos, and graphics to communicate with users; therefore, content designer makes more sense than UX writer.
Beyond creating copy, content designers identify where content must go, its hierarchy, and the type (text, image, video) to solve user needs adequately. They rely on user research and data to identify what content a product and user interface needs. Content designers work with UX writers, graphic designers, and other content creation professionals to produce these assets.
Content design vs. UX writing
Many organizations use content designer and UX writer interchangeably, but slowly these are becoming different UX specializations.
- UX writer: focuses solely on a digital product’s copy.
- Content designer: a holistic approach to content (text, image, video), including hierarchy, structure, messaging, voice, tone, etc.
What Does a Content Designer do?
Content designers collaborate with other UX professionals throughout the design process. They must understand user needs, communication, and language to produce helpful and informative content.
Content designers don’t only solve problems; they also collaborate with marketing teams to create user-centered content for landing pages, sales funnels, email nurturing sequences, and other lead/sales touchpoints.
Like any user experience role, research is the core of a content designer’s decision-making. Content marketing design must understand users’ needs, wants, motivations, and desires to increase conversions. In contrast, task-related product content focuses more on solving problems, providing context, and eliminating pain points.