My approach to content design and content strategy

Micheal Foley
2 min readMay 3, 2022
Approach icons created by dDara — Flaticon

I created a basic Venn diagram to help explain portions of my job to colleagues. I tell folks that my work as a content designer and content strategist makes me a mixture of Tron, Marie Kondo, and The Lorax.

A Venn diagram with three overlapping circles labeled as Tron, Marie Kondo, and The Lorax.

Tron: “I fight for the users.”

I’m always advocating for a user-based approach to content and design. The organization’s goals always important, and there’s no shortage of people pushing for content to match those goals. But I often find myself as the lone voice when I stand up for user needs and expectations.

Marie Kondo: “Does it spark joy?”

I take a minimalist approach to content. I don’t directly ask “Does it spark joy?” when a stakeholder is considering whether to remove content. Here are some things I do say:

  • “The best way to emphasize something is to have less other stuff.”
  • “This is just a hurdle for the user while they are on their way to what they really want.”
  • “Our target user isn’t going to care about this. Is it very important to you that it remains?”

And it minimalist approach goes beyond just content design. I’m dedicated to organizing all our content, governance, systems, workflows, and processes, and throwing out what no longer serves us.

The Lorax: “I speak for the trees.”

I‘m an environmentalist in my personal life, and I’m always looking for ways to incorporate good environmental practices into my work as well.

Since learning of the negative impacts websites and digital products have on the environment through energy consumption, carbon output, and mining, I have made it part of my mission to convince stakeholders to consider the carbon footprint of their content.

Thanks to excellent work by Gerry McGovern and Tim Greenwood, I’m hoping to make sustainable web design a key principle our organization considers when creating content.

What characters would be in your Venn diagram? Tell me in the comments.



Micheal Foley

Car-free. Content designer. Content strategist. Backpacker. Bicyclist. Art lover. Volunteer. Veteran. St. Paul, MN.