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The Cheeky Monkey Media Blog

A few words from the apes, monkeys, and various primates that make up the Cheeky Monkey Super Squad.

Rick Bjarnason - Owner and CEO, Cheeky Monkey Media

Reimagining Content Design

The main purpose of websites is to build and present content. When it comes to creating compelling content, it can be a challenge for lots of Internet marketers to think outside the cage. Web designers like us specialize in creating the best Drupal sites because we view the empty screen as a canvas, and excel at creating customized design to meet customer needs.

The average user, however, relies heavily on WYSIWG editing capabilities for day-to-day web content tasks. WYSIWG is an acronym standing for What You See Is What You Get, and is used to describe content editing features that enable users to publish content directly to a website without using any HTML or coding properties, and to instead use formatting properties similar to a typical word processing program. WYSIWG remains one of the most popular WordPress and Drupal features because it allows anyone to quickly and easily publish basic content such as blogs or press releases.

Karen McGrane, a renowned content strategist and recent keynote speaker at DrupalCon Portland, believes that over reliance on the WYSIWG is limiting our creativity in content design. According to an article by Tom Wentworth covering McGrane’s keynote speech, she believes, “The problem is that the WYSIWYG mentality forces uses to think about the page as the container, just like the in desktop publishing world. But in the digital world, the page is just one container. Your content is likely going to be consumed in all sorts of ways, in all sorts of formats, and all different types of devices.”

In short, McGrane’s view is that changing styles of Internet usage and technology will require the sort of compartmentalized metadata labeled content that Drupal is uniquely positioned to provide. This type of content is preferable in McGrane’s mind because of its increased flexibility and capabilities going into the unchartered waters of the future. Not just with changing screen sizes, as we’ve seen in the past 10 years, but in changing usage styles, such as the increasing use of audio and verbal interfaces.

Drupal websites offer the WYSIWG capabilities that most users want, but it is not limited by such capabilities. As McGrane points out, limiting yourself to the capabilities of a desktop publishing world in an ever changing reality would be bananas, and not in the good way. This is something Drupal designers have always known, and one of the reasons that so many forward-thinking site owners are taking steps towards Drupal migration.

What are you doing to move your content beyond the standard word processing constraints of a WYSIWG, or do you feel that such devices provide all the content design needs you require?

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