This is not about designing around real content (a must). It’s about knowing how this content will change. So often in the “design phase” of a project, designers (sometimes) learn what the content will be but not how, when, or why it will be created. Who will change it? What are their abilities (writing, photography, design, etc.)? How often will content be updated? Is there a content limit (words, number of images, etc.)? What types of content will change? What are the technology limitations of these content updates? How should people be alerted to content updates? These are the questions that help create a content strategy: the strategy behind the who, what, when, why and how content is created and updated.
If these things aren’t thought about from a design standpoint, you’re designing for now, you’re not designing for the future. That’s an important distinction, and one of the primary challenges for interactive design. If we, as designers, know the strategy for what will be created next, we can create design solutions that work both today and tomorrow. It’s not a “set it and forget it” scenario. It’s about creating beautiful, interactive designs that adjust based on the content strategy. Successful interactive designs are beautiful because the content is constantly being updated, and the design takes this under consideration.
There is so much potential for what we can create from an interactive perspective. Designing for static content is obsolete. Designing for dynamic content is no longer enough. Designing with a content strategy in mind is what the future holds.