Infographic by Florence Nightingale, 1855

In the 1850s, famed nurse Florence Nightingale was the first person to use and compare statistics by creating elaborate infographics, diagrams and color-coded flowcharts for her presentations to persuade hospitals of the need for change.

To this day, infographics are an important and effective tool to digest and make sense of the vast amounts of data we gather. They clearly and visually break down the information and offer an easy-to-understand overview or quick explanation of a complex topic or process.

And they are the perfect fusion of content + design.

Nonprofits engage in storytelling to communicate and create effective outreach…


Whether you want to redesign your website and prepare your current content to migrate over, or whether you’re building a new Content Management System (CMS) and need to specify the types of content modules to include, you first need to audit all your content by performing a complete inventory and then evaluating its quality.

A thorough content audit starts with a complete content inventory, followed by an editorial content evaluation, and concludes with the next strategic steps.

A Content Inventory means thoroughly cataloging all the content pieces you have. This step is also known as a Quantitative Audit.

You discover…


“When we came back to Paris it was clear and cold and lovely.” With these words, Ernest Hemingway opens chapter 2 in A Moveable Feast (1964). For grammatical purists, this sentence flouts a few basic grammar rules, with its simple adjectives, repetitive “and” and lack of a comma after “Paris”.

But the sentence sings.

It has rhythm, uses the principle of three (that any brand, advertising and marketing writer knows all too well for its effectiveness) and moves the reader along. …


The web has no borders. And yet, most of us have a site audience persona in mind that fits our cultural background when designing websites. We assume that our site visitors come mainly from Western, educated, industrialized, rich, or developed countries. We want to reach a global audience but design with our peers, and sometimes only our own gender, in mind. We treat the web as an extension of our own experiences and leave many potential clients, or donors, scratching their heads. A cross-cultural design approach can help you prevent this.

The fact alone that most websites are consumed in…


Sometimes, the shoemaker has no shoes. Since I am a web designer and work with websites all day long, you’d think I would take care of my own website as well. Wrong.

In 2018, 20 years after I hand-coded the very first iteration of my site, I finally redesigned the thing and brought it to its current state.

Granted, my site went through many versions since I first launched it, but until 2017, it was still an old non-responsive HTML-based website that looked terrible on mobile, with a separate WordPress-powered blog on my domain (that blog was once hacked and…


Wix
Wix

You want to build your website. You have your content in place, a design idea formulated but are faced with one daunting decision: Should I do it myself, hire my niece, give in to the tempting ad that promises a website for $50 — or should I rely on a professional designer and face steeper costs?

I hope you will decide on the latter. Here’s why.

Cheap or free website builders and platforms are dying trends for serious businesses because designing websites is more than copying/pasting text into pre-defined templates. Good designers have your back. They have a clear content…


A male avatar as default. I don't wear ties.

I just stumbled upon yet another example of puzzling, gender-biased UX/UI that flies under the radar and dismisses half of its users.

ManageWP places on every profile a male avatar wearing a tie as default that can’t be changed easily. The company suggests you pull into your profile a new avatar by heading to a 3rd party site, Gravatar, where you have to register to proceed. …


WordPress fuels simple 1-page blogs AND it handles enormous fully-featured commercial and publishing endeavors; it grows with your needs and you’re in charge. But there’s more to it.

WordPress was first introduced in 2003. What started as a simple intuitive blogging platform on a pre-defined design theme has since grown into a massive web development tool. Back then, it helped millions around the world — from internet novices to techies — gain their first web presence to get their message out or to start their business. …


Without quality content, you don’t have a website. Without a clear content strategy, you’re not being heard. Without the right content flow, your website is just a beautiful vessel that leaves no lasting impression and won’t convert.

Content-first design is an approach that stresses the importance of your content while defining the design, the layout and the navigation of your website. It ensures that your users’ needs are met. Only then, you will design and style your website to adapt. This concept emphasizes the close collaboration between writers, designers and developers.

Content-first design is a fairly new concept. It relies…


The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation.[…] [It] isn’t inherently complex. The Semantic Web language, at its heart, is very, very simple. It’s just about the relationships between things. [Its] real power will be realized when people create many programs that collect Web content from diverse sources, process the information and exchange the results with other programs.” — Tim Berners-Lee, “Scientific American”, 2001

Almost two decades ago, in 2001, the concept of the Semantic Web, aka…

Tekla Szymanski @ Content + Design™ LLC, New York

Content Strategy & Curation, Editorial Services, Web Dev for Content-Rich Websites with a Global Reach. | tekla-szymanski.com | linkedin.com/in/teklaszymanski/

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