A Jeffrey Zeldman's conference Content First – An Event Apart Boston – June, 18th – 2012
Our job as designers is to serve the right content to the right user at the right time. We can not think about our webpages as brochures we serve to our users. For many reasons, they might « break » them. We don't have full control over the visual aspect of what we do. If we don't give the content to our users, they will get it by themselves, with softwares such as readability, which takes what they need from our pages and strips it from all the rest. Design that doesn't serve people doesn't serve buisness, sites that trick us with fake buttons or hidden ads lose our confidence and their credibility. Fake or bad content is bad for buisness.
You are not designing if you are thinking about styles without thinking about content, making a page for a news site doesn't have anything to do with making a page for a game site. Content is the most important part of design. Designing without thinking about content is senseless, it is just decoration. Content should be accessible under any circumstances. No matter the tools your users are using, they should be able to get the content they need. This is why we should design with « progressive enhancement » in mind, making very simple and easy designs accessible to the most basic browsers and small screens. This is why we have to think our content very thoughtfully and carefully, because we don't always have control on the rest of the visual aspects.
Jeffrey Zeldman is an author, web designer and podcaster. He is deeply involved in the development of web standards and has greatly contributed to the popularisation of CSS. He is a pioneer in the internet community. He is the founder of « A List Apart », an e-zine about innovations in webdesign and front-end development. He founded a design agency specialised in user and content-focused design. He also created « An Event Apart », which consists of a series of events bringing together web conferencing, and « A Book Apart », a publishing house dedicated to good practices on the internet.