One of the keys to success for any brand is having high-quality content, but it won’t be enough! Content must also be designed for the audience and presented to them how they want it… and that is what Content Design is all about.
The target of any content is its user, and it must help them with their questions and needs. That is why knowing your audience and what they are asking for is important. You can’t give good answers if you don’t know the question.
A good content design will help you grab the attention of your readers and set better UX strategies. Now, let’s delve deeper into this subject.
What is Content Design?
Content design means designing, creating, and presenting users with content that perfectly meets their needs. It involves using a user-centric approach to research users’ needs, choosing suitable content types, collaborating with other teams to design and deliver the most suitable content for the target audience, and answering their needs.
In short, Content design is the strategy (& art) of providing the content that best serves the users and their needs without extra information… just the right amount.
One of the best content writing tips is to make simple and clear content for any reader and specifically focus on their needs. But unlike content writing, the backbone of content design is providing useful and straight-to-the-point content based on what the audience is asking for. Whether a thorough explanation is needed or a quick summary will suffice is up to the content designer to recognize.
In order to understand Content Design better, we need to know why it was invented in the first place, so let’s take a quick look at its history.
Brief History of Content Design
During her time as the head of the content at UK Government Digital Service, Sarah Winters, and her team used their innovation to change the public sector information on their website, which was very scattered. By changing the structure and design of their content with a user-centered mindset, she helped their users quickly find out what they needed.
Her book, Content Design, was published in the early 2010s and goes into detail about merging user-first digital designs with content strategy.
The Importance of Content Design in 2024
Year by year, attention spans are lessening. Top social media apps stay relevant by researching their users’ needs and adapting their content to them.
Without a good design that is based on the audience’s needs, any top-quality content is a loss of potential. The design ensures the contents, whether they’re in the form of text, visuals, infographics, or videos, have the best possible place to be seen and allow them to explain themselves.
So, in that sense, a well-thought-out content design is crucial as it leaves the brand with more satisfied users. Let us explain in more detail how design is important to the content.
3 Ways Content Design Helps Your Brand
There are many factors that influence a brand’s growth, but a good content design will directly affect these parameters:
- User Engagement: Well-designed content captures visitors’ attention and keeps them engaged. This will increase the time spent on the website, resulting in more interaction with the brand.
- Conversion Rate: Effective content design will guide users towards desired actions, whether signing up for a newsletter, purchasing, or filling out a contact form. Clear calls-to-action, compelling content display, and user-focused design can boost conversion rate.
- Bounce Rate: If content is engaging and well-structured, visitors are less likely to leave the site quickly. A lower bounce rate often indicates content that meets users’ needs and interests.
Now that we know what and how important content design is, we can better explain the question ‘What is a Content Designer?’ and what their responsibilities are.
What Is a Content Designer?
Content designers are specialists who research data to figure out what the users’ needs are; then, they make sure to present information in a simple and effective way for them. With their user-first approach, content designers guide the content production process towards meeting the target audience’s demands and giving them what they need and however they need it. The main focus of a content designer should be satisfying the users, who they believe are the voice of the brand. After all, happy customers with well-met needs are the dream of any business!
What Does a Content Designer Do?
Content designers are integral to the product design team, focusing on crafting the textual and visual journey of a user through a website or app, similar to how a UX designer plans the user’s overall experience, but not quite the same. They strategically place micro-messages, aiming to optimize user interaction with the product.
Their role often extends to content strategy, where they set the tone of voice and ensure consistency across the user experience. It’s important to distinguish them from copywriters and other content-related roles in marketing teams, as content designers specialize in the finer details as they strive to meet their customer’s needs by using their versatile skills.
What Skills Do You Need To Be a Content Designer?
Being the masters of research and understanding users, content designers also need to be a bridge between other marketing team members and have excellent communication with them. Here is a list of skills you need for content design jobs:
- Research: The ability to research users and their needs, which is the first step for defining the content design strategy.
- UX Writing: Being good at writing and having UX knowledge is required. It won’t be the main task, but you must understand them well, as they are content pillars.
- Strategic Designing: Involves thinking ahead, understanding what people need, and figuring out the best way to meet those needs while also ensuring it’s good for the business.
- SEO: Having basic search engine optimization knowledge will help content rank better in search results. This will allow content designers to have better communication with the SEO team.
- Communication: Strong communication skills are required while collaborating with other team members such as SEO specialists, content writers, and UX designers.
- Problem-Solving: Breaking a problem down into smaller parts and figuring out how to solve it. If something isn’t working or if users get confused, content designers use their problem-solving skills to fix these issues.
Differences Between Content Designer and Other Careers
Most of the job positions in marketing teams are collaborative jobs and work toward the same goal. The reason for the abundance of job names and descriptions is to divide the responsibilities. Content design is commonly misconceived as UX writing, content strategy, and copywriting.
Yes, some areas of these fields do overlap, and in many [small] companies, a content designer may take various responsibilities, but in detail, these jobs have differences, and the terms cannot be used interchangeably. Let’s take a deeper look at these differences:
#1 UX Writing Vs Content Design
UX Writing is specifically focused on the words used in user interfaces. It involves writing concise and clear text to guide users, like buttons, menus, error messages, and instructions.
On the other hand, Content Design has a broader view and outlook and involves the overall planning and structuring of content. It’s not just about the words but how the content is organized and presented to meet user needs effectively.
#2 Content Strategy Vs Content Design
Content strategy involves high-level planning, governance, and management of content. The content strategy mostly has a content-first approach as it determines what content is needed and how it should be created, managed, and eventually archived or updated. Meanwhile, Content design is more focused on the creation and practical implementation of content. It’s about presenting user-friendly and helpful content, often within the framework of a content strategy.
Content strategists usually develop a content plan and hand it to the production team. Meanwhile, Content designers have a much more active role throughout the process, supervising each step, from researching and designing to creating and publishing and offering help.
#3 Copywriting Vs Content Design
Copywriting means writing persuasive and engaging text for marketing and advertising purposes. Its primary focus is encouraging readers to take specific actions, like buying a product or subscribing to a service.
While Content Design can include elements of copywriting, it is a broader term. With more emphasis on user experience, a content designer creates and organizes content in a way that is easy to understand by the target audience. It’s more about clarity and user experience than persuasion and creating a hooking message.
Now, we know what being a content designer means and how impressive and challenging it can get. The question is, why would anyone want to become a content designer? Is becoming a content designer worth it?
Content Designer Salary in 2024
In the world of content, the appeal and preferences of audiences are ever-changing. Any marketing team needs an excellent researcher who can get to the bottom of the users’ psychology, find their likes, and design the produced content based on their needs. That is making content designer jobs grow in demand.
As a Content Designer in the USA, you can expect to make an average of $77,000 salary per year with additional pay, while beginner content designer salaries are around $59,000, which is the lowest price bracket.
If you become experienced in this field and have a decent content design portfolio that displays your success, you can almost triple your salary, as the top content designers working at Meta have a yearly salary of $226,000.
Examples of Top Content Design Portfolios
When applying for a content design job, having a successful portfolio can be quite impactful and influence the recruiter’s decision. Here, we take a look at some of the most innovative content design portfolios for inspiration:
#1 Kasturi Roy
Kasturi Roy’s portfolio webpage has gained a lot of attention because of its clear and friendly structure. Her content design experience is vivid as it’s used on the home page.
It sure is difficult to showcase your projects, achievements, skills, and reviews on one page, but Roy has done it beautifully.
#2 Meg Long
It is not always a good idea to overcrowd a website’s content, and simplicity goes a long way. So, instead of forcing information into the users’ eyes, one can focus on the experience of the users and give them a pleasurable visit.
By using soft color combinations that go well together, short but on-point textual content, and smooth transitions, Meg has created an inspirational content design portfolio, and it is correctly sitting on SERP’s first page.
#3 Tyler Womack
Focusing on your projects and achievements is another method for designing your content design portfolio, as Womack has done.
As mentioned, a key factor for good content designing is simplicity, and Womack has decided to showcase his top projects and his capabilities clearly to make a recruiter’s job easier.
Here are 3 questions that are frequently asked regarding the content designer’s payments, experience, and the impact they have on content:
Q1. How Do I Get Content Design Experience?
Content designers must have basic SEO and UX designing and content writing knowledge in their arsenal and understand their principles well. You can start by taking content design courses and actively researching news in the world of content. You can also take content design internships, as the best way of learning is through hands-on experience.
Q2. Is a Content Designer Job Worth It?
Yes. In short, becoming a content designer is worth it, has a decent average salary, and is high in demand.
In 2024, the average salary of a Content Designer is around $77,000 per year, while entry-level content designers can expect a yearly salary of $59,000. Remember that the demand for content designer jobs is increasing, and an experienced content writer can make +$200,000 per year.
Q3. Explain How Design Is Important to the Content.
Design is fundamentally important to content as it significantly influences not only the message but also the emotional impact on the observer. By enhancing content with visual appeal, the design ensures that the audience is engaged and the information is communicated effectively, making the overall piece more compelling and memorable.
Content Design is about making content easy and enjoyable for people to consume. Using their creative minds and innovative ways of thinking, content designers mix art and knowledge to ensure the content is appropriate to users’ needs. Through collaboration, content designers can help reach the ancient old goal of any business, happy customers. That’s why they earn good money for their work, and their expertise is in high demand.
For anyone who loves getting creative with information and helping people, being a content designer is a pretty cool job to have!