Joscelin at Medium
This is part of a series – Words go here – about a writer’s role in product design.
Writing can be excruciatingly hard to do, according to Joscelin.
Most adults of a certain generation have written a book report. You may have written an email love letter. Or at least a tweet. You can blunder through writing, or you can study and practice and develop the skill. Even if you never reach artistic heights, you’ve done something hard. The commitment ceremony of words on a screen (or on a page, if you’re old-fashioned) converts ideas into something more than notional. Writing is a fundamental design skill.
Good writing feels like witchcraft. An elegant narrative is a near-rapturous experience that beguiles without the mechanics showing. I love reading and re-reading passages to detect the subtle structure that makes good work land with aplomb. To practice content-first design, you don’t have to be a great writer, but recognizing it in the wild, and understanding the basics of narrative structure, certainly help.
Her essay isn’t about creating content, or writing even, it’s about how to design meaningful products by starting with an examination of the contours of your content. It’s also about how content exists only to create meaning for users.