Content design: a venn diagram

Ah. That ol’ question. What exactly is content design again?

There are many answers (Sarah recently listed quite a few of them). But by far, this venn diagram by Jo Dimbleby has to be one of my all time favourites.

A venn diagram with 3 overlapping circles. The words "Content design" sit in the middle of all the circles. In each circle, there is 1 word. Creativity, Logic and Emotional Intelligence. In the secondary overlapping sections, there are the words, strategy, UX and copy.

Image credit to Jo Dimbleby

Content is so often neglected by product teams and organisations. I’ve heard this narrative far too many times: “Let’s just get someone in to do the words.” This is swiftly followed by shock and horror at content breaking a page or worse still, a service. All because it’s been treated as an afterthought.

When we work on content, it’s absolutely essential that we have empathy for the users of it. The emotional intelligence is two-fold: first, in our understanding of how our users might be arriving at the content, and second, reflecting that back to them with our content.

But then you might ask, what’s logic got to do with it? The way I see it, this is about prioritising information and viewing all of your content as service touchpoints. There’s a flow and a rhythm to it. Content designers need logical thinking to figure that out.

Obviously then, content design is problem solving. Format is a deep consideration for content designers. Does it need to be a poster, an app, a form? Both creativity and logic help to come up with these solutions.

So I’ll keep banging this drum: content designers are not word processors. Content doesn’t appear purely by magic. And this lovely venn encapsulates all of it. I suggest waving it loudly and proudly at all non-believers.

Do you have a favourite way of describing content design? Share it with us @ContentDesignLN.

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