One requirement for the web redesign project is to design and build a site that has an ultra-flexible design framework consisting of a large number of modules or components. Instead of thinking of our website as a number of page templates, we think of it as a series of parts, which when combined create a variety of page layouts and designs.
Looking to LEGO for Inspiration
Perhaps the easiest analogy are LEGOS… they come in a variety of sizes—one, two, three, four, six. etc.; in thin pieces, in blocks and in many colors. LEGOS can be laid out in a nearly infinite number of different combinations to suit any build project or builder.
When modular or atomic design is applied to content types, e.g., student testimonials, program highlights, brand messaging, content featurettes, videos, images, lists, events, among others, an infinite number of combinations of page layouts can be built—across one column, two columns, four columns, six columns or more.
We change our focus in page design from whole pages into content parts, making it possible for our website to combine content and design, but also allowing our content management system (CMS)—what we use to manage website content—more control. This will allow us to build out pages in ways that make sense from a visual, marketing and business perspective. A modular or atomic approach to design and populating content will offer us a more flexible and adaptable website that is nimble enough to address changing institutional and visitor needs.