With a passion for user experience design. That’s us.
We deal with (design) issues around the use of content in digital environments. Content creation, modeling, management, conversion and use are all areas involving this specialty.
Today, most content is unstructured: just words poured onto a page. To signify where one part ends and another begins, writers use formatting, like upping a font size to be a headline or putting an author’s name in italics. This works fine if your content is only going to be used on a single page and viewed on a desktop monitor, but that’s about it. The world needs intelligent content.
To be intelligent, content must be modular. Modular content is designed for reuse. Instead of creating documents one at a time, we create discrete components of content (modules) and assemble them into documents and other content products.
To be intelligent, content must be structured. Structured content is designed to be both human and machine-readable. With structure, we can automate content delivery and manipulate content in a variety of ways. Without structure, it is almost impossible to automate content delivery.
To be intelligent, content must be reusable. Content reuse is the practice of reusing existing modular content components to develop new content products. Reusable content reduces the time required to create, manage, and publish content products and reduces translation costs significantly.
To be intelligent, content must be format free. Format-free content does not include presentation information, such as instructions about fonts, column widths, or text placement. Because intelligent content is separate from its style and formatting instructions, we can tell computers to apply the appropriate look and feel for the content product being created.
To be intelligent, content must be semantically rich. Semantically rich content is content to which we have added extra, machine-readable information that describes what the content is, what it’s about, and more. We call this added information metadata. Computers use metadata to understand and process content on our behalf.
Content engineering is a term applied to an engineering speciality dealing with the issues around the use of content in computer-facilitated environments. Content production, content management, content modelling, content conversion, and content use and repurposing are all areas involving this speciality.
Typically, content engineering involves extensive use of embedded, XML technologies, XML being the most widespread language for representing structured content. Content management systems are often key technology used in this practice though frequently content engineering fills the gap where no formal CMS has been put into place.
Interaction design is specifically a discipline which examines the interaction (via an interface) between a system and its user. It may also incorporate design focused on how information should be presented within such a system to enable the user to best understand that information though this is often considered to be the separate discipline of “information design” too.
Keeping a low profile
It is not a speciality with wide industry recognition and is often performed on an ad hoc basis by members of software development or content production staff, but is beginning to be recognized as a necessary function in any complex content-centric project involving both content production as well as software system development.
Bridging the gap
Content engineering tends to bridge the gap between groups involved in the production of content (Publishing and Editorial staff, Marketing, Sales, HR) and more technologically oriented departments such as Software Development, or IT that put this content to use in web or other software-based environments, and requires an understanding of the issues and processes of both sides.
In intelligent content:
Neil Thomas, Comply365
Our demanding environment requires us to be responsive and nimble. We look for partners who are like us and can help us achieve our goals. The Liones team has been a significant part of our journey and contribute to our success. Whether it’s helping us implement existing solutions or working with us to develop new highly innovative solutions that will be valuable for our business, Liones continues to be a valuable extension to our team.
Edoardo Morso, STCC
The Liones team has been instrumental in our success. From the earliest design stages to the post-launch improvement releases, the team is extremely responsive and committed. It is clear that their unique mix of in-depth experience of dealing with legally-intense content combined with and a modern ‘UX first’ approach that is essential to build a web-solution, is really working.”
Yingxin Jiang, Sofwire.com
The team provided us with invaluable, hands-on support. One of their team flew to London initially to guide us through the setup in detail. After that, they continued to be really responsive in helping us add complex customisations. More recently, they cleared their schedule again to assist us in migrating to the React-based version of Fonto. Throughout, they’ve been friendly and helpful, and a pleasure to work with.
Harrie van Luxemburg, Wolters Kluwer
Our authors have been involved every step of the way, therefore we weren’t surprised at their enthusiasm over the result but are nonetheless proud.
Nathan Fast, Comply365
The Liones team knows their product, technology, and their industry inside and out. They are responsive, well-organized, and tackle difficult problems with relative ease.