Focus on the content

Less is more.

Content is king

I've been writing a few reports and a lot of documentation recently, and have gone from the ubiquitous Microsoft Word to using iaWriter. No more farting about with page numbers and positioning images: I've focussed on the content and not the appearance, and have been far more productive.

Use of iaWriter allows the user to focus on writing and it has a simple UI to that feels good to type with. For more advanced users iaWriter offers custom templates do the legwork of formatting and presentation, but lots of simple 'Markdown' tags can go a long way too.

I'm not in the business of promoting specific products, but the separation of content and format is an approach that would certainly improve the quality of many websites (and web-related products) as well as written communication more generally.

Most of the websites I pass on to clients have a very minimal text-editing interface; this is deliberate to reduce the amount of 'cruft' that users can enter, sometimes wrecking the appearance of a website design.

Minimal text editor layout

CKEditor is quite popular but the temptation to add in millions of formatting buttons is overwhelming: I generally offer the bare minimum. Initially this is quite frustrating for some clients, as they want the full DTP experience. However, once they see their content appearing higher up in search engine rankings and distributing easily across multiple channels, there's no going back...

Less is more and content is king