Hello and welcome to another installment of “Gen shares quotes from a rad thing they read,” this time with an article from 2015 called “Design Machines: How to survive the digital apocalypse“. A coworker shared this in our work slack, and it’s 100% my shit right now, and feels even more relevant now than it did in 2015. It’s a solid read, especially for people who are involved in making websites. I’m also including some screenshots because the design of this piece is also just excellent.
Content on the web is not king. Half the time it’s barely the jester. Unless created by an individual or one of the dwindling sources of legitimate journalism, it’s rarely produced for noble intentions like education or entertainment.
There’s a lot of writing happening, but so little of it has any substance. Superficial content is cheap. It’s outsourced to content farms and social media consultants. We hire interns, students or project managers to “maintain the blog.” Publications have reduced the number of in-house staff and rely on armies of underpaid freelancers who have no budget or support for investigation, research, or anything more than a shallow thought.
So much of our best independent writing is contributing to a single monolithic platform under the pretence of convenience, distribution, and freedom.
Call me naïve, but I refuse to sit back and let our digital culture fade to corporate beige. That’s not a digital world I want to be a part of, and I’m going to fight every step of the way to fuck up the plan.
I believe there’s an opportunity for those of us who are willing to stick our necks out. Nothing makes a drop of colour brighter than when it’s set against a wall of grey.
Designing from the heart of our messages out means we fully acknowledge that they will not speak the same way to every person. We’re no longer chasing numbers. Instead, we’re thinking about how we should treat each piece of content, designing to reflect its subtle personality. The content should speak to the few people who can identify with this personality because this is the only audience that matters. No machine will ever A/B test its way to a more meaningful relationship.