The Content Design Manifesto

Why this document

We want to help everyone understand who content designers are, how we work, the impacts of our work, and the future we plan for ourselves. We hope this understanding results in more success for content designers, for the organizations that employ us, and for the people our products serve.

Who we are

We are content designers, shared owners of user experience (UX) design processes. Our job is to design experiences that are clear and meaningful for the people who use them. Clarity and meaning drives business impact for our organizations.

Our skills and perspectives are unique in our teams, and uniquely enable us to ensure UX content is accurate, actionable, and inclusive for every person—wherever, however, and whenever they need it. 

How we work

We work as one of the many disciplines of experience design. Our work is informed by data, research, strategy, business objectives, and deep understandings of human behavior.

We work with comprehensive breadth, depth, and scope across product areas. We connect with customers and collaborate with partners and stakeholders in engineering, research, product management, design, legal, marketing, customer service, and executive roles, among others.

What we know

  1. Content is valuable. Organizations can’t create experiences for people without UX content. Content designers reduce expenses and increase income, impacting metrics for engagement, conversion, adoption, retention, satisfaction, brand affinity, and more. Content designers reduce risk, ensure quality, increase accessibility and inclusion, enable discovery, and affect how people feel. 
  2. Content design is more than writing words. We design across systems to ensure cohesive, ethical, high-quality content that reflects how people think. We create outputs such as brand voice, content design systems, conceptual models, governance processes, content-centered research, and terminology.
  3. Good data enables good content design. Content design requires deep understanding of people, their needs, and the business opportunities. Like all other design, content design improves with data-informed iteration.
  4. Details matter. We apply rigorous thinking to every iota of the content and its communication, because it matters to the audience’s experience of the product.
  5. Tools that ease language empower content designers. We embrace large language models, spelling- and grammar-checkers, and other tools. These tools help us do the heavy, repetitive language work, enabling our focus on strategic impact. 
  6. Words that aren’t working indicate a UX deficiency. Content designers ask important questions, conduct research, and iterate designs to uncover and correct underlying problems in the design and product strategy, even when words can’t fix the problem.
  7. Content design works from product concept to product launch. Our value is in the depth and quality of our thinking. Expect the most value when we are engaged early in the design process, and allowed time to work. 
  8. Our community is inclusive. We hire, mentor, sponsor, and educate content designers so that our community reflects and serves the world’s populations.

Where we’re going

With our truths in mind, here’s where we intend to take this field in the next few years. Any one content designer may have few or none of these in their direct control, but as a group, we can influence the industry to shift in this direction by choosing our projects, employers, and priorities.

  1. Content designers, in-house and freelance, will be compensated competitively. Our skill sets and scope of ownership are comparable to product designers and UX researchers, with different outputs. Many companies have already begun to pay all UX roles equally.   
  2. Content designers will drive product design projects. Leading strategic design is a skill we share with our peer product designers and UX researchers, aided by our skills with language. Some projects are best approached visual-first, and others content-first; the most suitable practitioner will take the lead.
  3. Content design managers will be elevated as cross-functional leaders. Leading and managing teams are skills we share with design managers and UX research managers, enhanced by our skills with language. 
  4. Content designers will selectively focus on strategic, high-impact efforts. Beyond its cosmetic importance, content design is understood to be foundational to UX. Content designers work end-to-end as valued strategic UX professionals. 
  5. Access to content design careers will expand. We promote free opportunities for those looking to get their start, make entry-level positions available, attract career-changers, and work to amplify credible resources and certificate programs. 
  6. We will mitigate the carbon footprint of digital content. We strive to balance the needs of our audience with our impact on the planet. Our work contributes to efforts that increase sustainability and reduce harm. 

About this manifesto


Signatures moved to its own page, because the long lists were making this page difficult to use.

If you support this manifesto, we welcome your signature, translations, and other participation.

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