Content Pyramid

What content gets what treatment in our digital environment.It’s easy to look at the web and get the sense that any piece of content can go anywhere, but is that the best user experience and the best use of the specific digital platform?


I’ve used the idea of a pyramid to talk about priorities to content. In the past it’s been specific for communication with customers about product updates. For example, if you change the button style on your site from square to round you probably don’t need to make a press release. In the same regard if you have a major feature addition it might be necessary to create all sorts of content surrounding that launch (videos, landing pages, etc).


The same can be true for specific pieces of content. In our terms we use disruptive and affirm pieces. Stay with me as I try to walkthrough this…


On the top of the pyramid you have your most disruptive pieces. These are the ones that we need to spend the most time on. We might create all sorts of content surrounding them. It’s the pieces we make the biggest deal over. This is possibly the best case for a product like Ceros or any other custom web CMS. These should have a short life span and won’t live on for more than the duration of a marketing campaign. It’s fresh and it’s new.The reason I think Ceros is a good option for this type of piece is that platform allows you to create a single custom experience with speed and ease.In other words, creating global styles is difficult on that platform.


Once a piece of content needs to be systematized and templated it needs to move down the pyramid. These are our middle of the road pieces. Yes, they require new content, but the style of the piece falls more into the affirm category. I see our own CMS or WordPress being a good solution for these. We can globally control the design and make sure the user experience is in top shape, but the creator doesn’t need to spend time on things like layout or colors. Instead the designer is now helping strategize overall messaging and visuals used on the page. Greater emphasis is given to how the site flows with content rather than the visual language.


The bottom of the pyramid is for the pieces no one seems to want to design but are necessary, nonetheless. This might be where we us generic pages on our CMS or even interactive PDFs. This is for things that are mundane and utilitarian. We need to give people information in the clearest, simplest way possible. Design needs to get out of the way here.


You might be thinking. Cool, so corporate visual design only needs to worry about the top of the pyramid. I’m not so sure. As stewards of the brand we have an incredible ability to see cross functionally and into how the business works. We see how important the mundane design is to the success of the company—customers need this information. We need to not only build but maintain that pyramid’s foundation. Like any good foundation it constantly needs to be checked for cracks and fixed when needed. We might want to add more weight and floors to the top of the pyramid or there may be new pieces that need to flow downward from disruptive to affirm. It’s crucial to have a solid design foundation for this to all work. Pieces will flow back and forth from different levels of the content pyramid and the design foundation, if maintained, can allow them to do that effortlessly without losing core brand attributes along the way.


Long story short, you can’t have natural wonders like the Pyramids of Egypt without the strong foundations they are built on.