Designing content is designing user experience

June 30, 2015

Read time 2 min

Hi there! My name is Tommi and I’m one of the summer user interface designers (aka kesäkarpo) here at Reaktor. I thought I’d share a few thoughts on work, design and coffee.

I’m currently working in a small project, mainly creating content for a help site. At first I was a little afraid, as the project was really content driven – where’s all the design work I signed up for? After a while, though, I realized that content is actually a huge part of design. As Ilona Hiila said in her keynote in Design Day 2013: “Content is the data people consume online and is supported by the visual and technical design.”

After working with content for the past five weeks, I think I get it now. Like Ilona said, it is the data people consume, not the design. They search the web to find content, not visually satisfying implementations (unless they’re someone like me).

Content can be frustrating, enjoyable, efficient or beautiful. Unsatisfying content can make the whole brand look bad and vice versa; brilliant content can make one fall in love with a brand. In my current project, the difficulty lies in making complex content seem simple and understandable for the users. It truly is a nice challenge for the summer.

Work here at Reaktor is extremely motivating. I have all the tools I need for my work, talented colleagues and a community supporting me. Reaktor also supports all sorts of activities outside the workplace. During these six weeks I’ve managed to get to know quite a bunch of people by playing laser tag, getting lost in a forest, sailing and doing chin-ups with them.

Finally, a word about coffee. My background in coffee is this: I’ve never drunk a cup of normal, filtered coffee. Never. I remember sitting in a coffee shop in Reykjavik, applying for summer jobs and laughing at the “Did we mention we love excellent coffee?” at the Reaktor careers site.

Well, I’m not laughing anymore. I once decided that I wouldn’t start drinking coffee before I could get decent coffee from work. Well, nowadays I enjoy at least three cups of espresso during a normal workday. Reaktor truly loves excellent coffee.

– Tommi

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