Have you noticed how cards are gaining traction as a new web design standard, a response to the need to make content work across the widest range of formats, from desktop through tablet (landscape and portrait) to mobile – and potential new devices such as Google glass.
Benedict Evans pointed to the changing face of Twitter, and the potential it opens up for content marketers, in his post Twitter, canvases and cards:
Then Twitter pivoted … and took control of the interface. The obvious thing that it did with that was to deliver a predictable offer for advertisers. But the more interesting thing to me was that it created a canvas – which is now turning Twitter from a protocol to a platform.
Twitter is turning ‘Twitter cards’ into a platform. You can embed video, or slides, or music – all sorts of things. You can embed a call to action that will harvest the account’s email address. And, increasingly, you can drive acquisition – of Spotify users, or apps, or customers. And thanks to retweets these cards can end up anywhere on Twitter, far beyond the original poster’s network.
What are cards?
Cards give a quick shot of information, a summary, with the ability to link to more content. You can also mimic cards in the physical world, with content on the reverse, turning the card with a click.
Cards can be used to provide an aggregated approach to content, a screen filled with nuggets of information (i.e. cards) assembled by the site according to your previous interactions, very much like Pinterest which provides a different home screen for every user, based upon your previous pins.
This is easily adapted to the mobile screen by using a ‘deck of cards’ structure. As described by Insideintercom:
This [mobile] is driving the web away from many pages of content linked together, towards individual pieces of content aggregated together into one experience.
Google has also moved in this direction, with a frequent appearance of a right hand panel in Google results and the re-design of Google+.
Cards offer scalability, flexibility and a clean look from desktop to mobile. A way to provide the user fast access to the information she wants, whilst also allowing space for serendipity – for putting content in front of the user that he didn’t know he wanted. Not wholly unlike the kind of experience (that used to be) offered by flipping through the racks at a record store.
Self promotion follows!
Want to know more? Or need a copywriter who knows how to make a modular approach to content work for you? Then do get in contact.