The Content Ecosystem

Content lives within an ecosystem much like any other organism on the planet. Like other organism there are a multitude of factors have influence over its existence. It’s important to know what those factors are in order to develop a strategy to deal with them.

Content Ecosystem Infographic
A look at the ecosystem that a single piece of content lives in.

The infographic offers a quick overview of just a fraction of all the possible factors that a person can encounter on their way to discovering even a single bit of content online. The graphic only scratches the surface with regards to contexts in which a person experience the content and focuses more on the physical act of accessing it.

Even though its scope is limited, the message is clear that the challenges of content are vast and, by the way, still growing. It’s time to make a commitment to creating quality content that can stand on its own regardless of what it looks like or how people want to access it.

Text below is from infographic.

The content ecosystem illustrates many of the challenges that we face with online content.

From the variety of devices and their various browsers to user concerns like connection speeds a their limited attention span. This is a view of the ecosystem of a single page of one a single website only. As such it’s far from an exhaustive view of every possible scenario. It doesn’t even cover how one content type may have different needs then another, like text vs video vs pictures and only scratches the surface of context.

Content is the reason that people come to a website. Whether it’s for product information, customer reviews, technical or customer support, it’s all about accessing content that’s important to them. A solid content strategy is critically important to making that happen.

Designing content out, mobile first with progressive enhancement is an effective strategy to ensure that whatever circumstance brings a person to the content that they receive an appropriate and memorable user experience. Freeing content from predefined presentation styles will help make it accessible to the greatest number of users.

Each channel shown should not be considered in isolation but paired up with related considerations from the other three channels to see the diversity of challenges. For Instance, a person on an iPad 3 on a 3G network while at the mall trying to do a search on Google will have different challenges then a person at home on their PC using Internet Explorer 8 and a sites navigation to get around. It becomes easy to see how many challenges there are.

About the red circles

The red circles highlight some critical and eye opening facts that shine further light on the challenges we face. Like the fact that we now have to consider how retina displays create an additional challenge to present the best looking images. To look good, images need to be hi-res, but retina displays are currently only available on devices that may be on low-bandwidth networks.

Published by

Mike Donahue

Just a guy that's passionate about creating useful, usable and desirable experiences for all humans. I love nature and wildlife photography, it's my source of artistic expression and inner peace. I live and play in South Florida with my wife Nikki and our girls (dogs) Layla and Cassidy.

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