RGD's Top 10

The Future of Content

by RGD

December 9, 2016

RGD’s Future By Design: The Future of Content panel brings together experts in content strategy, research, marketing and innovation to discuss new ways of connecting users with information




On Nov 29, the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) hosted local screenings across Western Canada of "The Future of Content," a panel discussion in its "Future By Design" webcast series.


Panelists were Toria Emery, creative director of Copy & Content Strategy and the digital design firm Sequence; Caroline Sinders, artist, machine-learning designer and Eyebeam Project Fellow with the BuzzFeed/Eyebeam Open Lab; and Winston Birch, chief digital officer of Deutsch North America.


Emery kicked off the presentations with an introduction to how design and data are shaping user experience, and what this means for the future. Next, Sinders provided an overview of her research into surveillance, privacy regulation and immersive design, sharing her work imagining the future of a regulated web and interconnected life. Presentations wrapped up with Birch, who explored how ad thinking can lead to designed communication that is impossible to ignore.


Here are RGD’s top 10 insights from The Future of Content:

  1. “We are competing with everything that exists on the Internet today. You have to find a way to make an idea so great that people want to talk about it and share it.” - Winston Birch
  1. “There will always be a place for linear stories, but more and more we’re moving to a model where content responds to us.” - Toria Emery
  1. “The web isn’t just one thing. It’s immersive. It is a place to congregate, a place to engage in political action—but also a place to shop and do very mundane things like pay your bills.” - Caroline Sinders
  1. “In a sea of generic stuff, the thing that has personality will stand out.” - Toria Emery
  1. “No one cares what you have to say. You have to build a compelling reason for them to interact with you, and it has to go beyond function, beyond solving a problem. There has to be an emotional connection, a reason why.” - Winston Birch
  1. “User research is one of the most important things you can do. It’s how you figure out if you’re using the right types of data. Otherwise you’re designing for the people around you, who likely aren’t your consumer at all, and you may overlook so many things about the consumer you’re trying to reach.” - Caroline Sinders
  1. “If you don’t get into the mind of the consumer, you can’t even start to pretend to know what they want. They might not be able to tell you exactly, but you can find out what they need by talking to them. Identify the gaps in their experience and go from there.” - Toria Emery
  1. “When you’re designing customer-facing technology, don’t let engineering get in the way. Remember that people are humans. Relate to them on a creative, personal and human level and it will be highly effective.” - Winston Birch 
  1. “If you can write well, understand tone of voice, look and feel and personality and write jokes, there will be a place for you in the world of content creation.” - Caroline Sinders
  1. “We need to reframe the word vision. Great vision is asking a lot of questions. If you keep digging and digging, there will be an idea waiting at the end.” - Winston Birch



For more discussion from "Future By Design: The Future of Content," search the hashtag #rgdFBD on Twitter. Click here to find out more about hosting a discussion group in your city.


The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) promotes professional standards in the graphic design industry and authors a Top 10 list on the Applied Arts website.


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