Summary: Push publishing broadcasts content from organisations to users, while pull publishing responds to user queries. Content design balances both to meet user needs and organisational goals.

Freelance Web Designer Harrogate - Push and pull content in modern content design 2

The two publishing models: Push and pull content

Before diving into content design, it’s essential to understand the two primary publishing models: push publishing and pull publishing.

Push publishing

In push publishing, information flows one way from the organisation to the user. Imagine a company boasting about its desks: “Let me tell you about my desks and why they’re the best.” Here, the organisation is pushing information out, focusing on what they want to say rather than what the user wants to hear.

Traditionally, this model involved teams of writers and sub-editors working in silos, with senior people deciding what content went out. This approach wasn’t well-suited to the digital age, as it lacked cohesion and adaptability.

Pull publishing

With the advent of the smartphones, everything changed. Users began searching for specific information, often struggling to find relevant results. Today, Google processes 35 billion searches daily – 40,000 every second. Smartphones have made search even easier, with 88% of UK adults owning or having access to one.

Pull publishing caters to this shift. It’s driven by user needs: “I need a desk that fits my office.” Users search for specific information and pull relevant results. This model focuses on helping users find what they need, aligning organisational goals with user needs through content design.

The impact of changing technology and behaviour

As technology evolves, so does our online behaviour. Social media has transformed our reading habits; we’re now accustomed to scrolling through content and have less patience for lengthy or complicated text.

For content designers, this means creating content that’s accessible, engaging, and user-centric. In push publishing, organisations dictate content, while pull publishing responds to user demands. This shift necessitates a new approach to content design, blending organisational goals with user needs.

Content design: Bridging push and pull

Content design is all about matching business objectives with user needs. While push publishing focuses on what organisations want to convey, pull publishing is driven by user queries and requirements. Effective content design integrates both, ensuring that users find the information they need while organisations achieve their goals.

Push and pull content: Wrapping up

The evolution from push to pull publishing underscores the importance of a user-first approach in content design. By understanding and adapting to changing behaviours and technological advancements, content designers can create meaningful, relevant content that serves both users and organisations.

In the end, content design isn’t just about creating content; it’s about creating the right content for the right people at the right time. By balancing push and pull strategies, we can ensure a seamless, engaging experience for our users.

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