Features February 22nd, 2020

How is Motion Storyline different?

Motion Storyline vs. Wordpress

When creating a business website in Wordpress a number of considerations are paid in terms of page speed load times, lighthouse audits, mobile usability, general style and professional appearance, and ease of use.

On the down side, Wordpress has some pitfalls - for example, using plugins that add frontend modification (CSS, HTML, etc) can cause bloat. This is basically a phenomenon caused by a developer creating a plugin product that does many things for many people, as opposed to creating a specific solution to a specific problem. Bloatware affects performance, and can decrease ease of use when too many plugins have too many settings, and non trustworthy plugins can even allow security vulnerabilities.

Wordpress has a rich ecosystem that allows a website owner to be able to do anything under the sun - there is a plugin for that. But having so many options can become daunting, and it starts to become unclear what should be done. Trendy or wrongly focused 'effect' types of design creep their way into business decisions.

Where Wordpress shines is in ease of use and maintainability. Large websites can scale as long as the servers can handle the traffic.

As static sites became popular with their obvious speed performance benefits, a few successful projects demonstrated a version of decoupled Wordpress where the frontend was a static site and the content was entered into Wordpress environment and the frontend consumed it via an API. In the early days this was a somewhat difficult task because plugins did not necessarily consider the Wordpress API. For example, the Yoast SEO plugin would snippet inject header meta content into pages but these modifications were not necessarily exposed in the API.

In addition to building out a bridge for the high priority plugins to connect to the plugin, a good amount of custom building out of the user interface dashboard of Wordpress via ACF or similar approach was necessary to support a dynamic user interface to allow content to be placed into a very custom design, especially on above the fold home page showcase designs. To really stand out a lot of design planning had to be placed into the main presentation, and to bridge that to a Wordpress dashboard that was fully customizable by a content updater required some extra fields more than just a text input with default controls.

What if the focus was not on having the ability to do anything under the sun, but instead to focus on doing the important things well? If we use an eye catching design or effect, does it translate to mobile users? Is it on brand consistently, or does it cause jarring feelings across multiple channels and formats? Do all the various forms of content drive the story and narrative forward, or is it confusing with mixed messages. As the content and information base grows, does it remain easy to maintain and update?

By reducing options and forcing a structured writing style, more possibilities emerge. This does not seem intrinsically obvious.

Motion Storyline vs Adobe Spark / Canva / Canva for video

What is scalable content? I personally have no idea. It's a jargon word and can mean many things. So I would like to define it in the context of Motion Storyline:

Say you have an IoT or hardware device and you have a marketing blog for it, and in addition you want technical documentation for it as well as an offline version. A simple text change comes in from a department. Scalable (or maintainable) means you can change it in one place and have a semi automatic (or at least easy and straightforward and fast) export process for your blog pages, technical documentation, and PDF assets. If you don't, it becomes an endless task, or a full time job, to maintain updates and keep information current.