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Improving the content authoring experience

April 15th, 2021

7 min read

A series of overlaying clean white structures, giving a futuristic look.

Written by

Elise Bentley


Product-Led Growth

Content creators; their expectations seem to only ever increase and their demands for new features, new functionality, and ongoing support never seem to end. It is the constant juggling of both engineering, and product teams, to get the priorities right. Not to mention, these demands are on top of the need to focus on increasing adoption, releasing new features, and maintaining existing code. 

We find a lot of companies turn to Tiny when they are struggling with their content authoring experience. The desires for an improved experience are beginning to weigh the product down, and they need to invest in a more advanced editor to help them scale. After all, the key to adoption, and increasing the underlying value to their product, is in a frictionless experience that delights their customers. 

The case for an improved authoring experience

Reason 1: Reduce support burdens and complaints 

A more instinctive authoring experience that content creators are used to, means fewer support tickets for the team, not to mention fewer complaints to the product team. Happier users that aren’t breathing down your neck, and that are empowered and able to solve their own problems are not going to create extra work and friction in this regard. 

Reason 2: More complex use-cases without developer intervention

Every developer, and every product manager, has been on the receiving end of a content creator, or stakeholder, demanding/expecting more than what can possibly be delivered within a reasonable timeframe. Not just in terms of features, but also in terms of delivering a more “fancy” piece of content, or a more complex document. 

By empowering content creators with more advanced editing experience over and above the simple bold, italics, they will be able to create more self-sufficient content without the handholding currently needed. After all, I have never met a developer that enjoys sitting there and helping code a custom piece of content when it can be avoided. 

On top of this, providing experiences users are accustomed to (with platforms such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs), they are empowered to create more complex content by themselves - or with the help of designers. Yes, developers will still be required for more code-intensive projects, but by giving users the features to be able to do the work themselves you can free up development resources to focus more on higher priority activities. 

Reason 3: Improve the quality of the content 

Giving the creative power back to the authors themselves can actually improve the quality of the end product. Especially when you begin looking at more complex use-cases. 

The author knows their content back to front, making it easier for them to transfer content into a platform. Not to mention, maintaining and creating content directly within your application lets them focus on improving the quality of the content. They will no longer have to deal with the frustrations that come from a suboptimal editing experience. By not having the frustration of thinking they have to make a support ticket, wait for a developer or support resource to become available to help them, they feel more empowered. And more importantly, they begin to love your product even more. 

Reason 4: Faster turnarounds 

Better authoring experiences mean that creators can work through and complete their content faster, getting it shipped faster. This improves productivity and lets them focus on the next project or activity they have on their plate. With the development and support team no longer needing to get involved in some of the lower-value activities they also see their productivity increases, allowing them to turn around higher priority items in a shorter time period as well. 

Reason 5: Increasing underlying value of the product 

People leave and migrate to different products partly because they are unhappy with the value they are being provided for the price they are paying. A lot of this feeling can come from the amount of frustration and fiddling they feel they need to do to make the application work for them. 

Empowering end-users to be more autonomous, freeing themselves up to work faster and more efficiently, helps create the underlying perception to your users that your product is providing even more value to them. Happier customers that value your product are much more likely to stick around, and even become advocates for your application. 

The case against improving the authoring experience 

Whilst we have discussed a number of the positives for improving the authoring experience, this doesn’t mean there aren’t negatives to consider in this debate. 

Reason 1: Upfront development costs 

One of the biggest reasons to not consider upgrading or improving the content authoring experience is development costs. Something that all product and development teams need to be constantly weighing up is, are the additional costs of building these tools worth it as part of the overall roadmap and priorities they need to achieve. 

Reason 2: Ongoing maintenance costs 

When you commit to building a new feature or enhancing an existing product it comes with the trade-off of maintenance costs. When it comes to building new features the cost isn’t just in the original build, but also in the ongoing maintenance of any features you provide to users. 

One of the ways to help overcome this is to buy software such as TinyMCE, where another external software provider takes over all the maintenance costs of enhancing and improving core features. This puts the maintenance, improvement, and innovation burden on a software partner, freeing your team up to focus on enhancing your product. This is something that all product teams have to deal with in the never-ending build v.s. buy debate

Reason 3: Priorities and resources 

Product managers are constantly being pulled in different directions, with different internal stakeholders, and external customers, constantly competing for priority and resources to resolve their issues. 

It, unfortunately, becomes a reality at some point, that content authoring whilst is very important to your product, may not be your highest most pressing priority you need your in-house development team working on that very moment. This means improving the content authoring experience can be kicked further and further down the road until it becomes an urgent issue you have to resolve as it is causing customers to churn and you are falling behind your competition.

In this case, your team should consider buying an authoring experience from a company that specializes in it and takes away that complexity on a permanent basis before it becomes an urgent issue costing you revenue and churn. This way you can stay ahead of the innovation curve when it comes to providing content experiences without having to segment and dedicate an entire R&D team to it.

How can Tiny help?

Tiny is the maker of TinyMCE, the world’s most advanced rich text editor, it is our business to create great content creation experiences that make creators more productive and happier, and free up developers to work on what makes their application great. 

Being a company full of developers who create software for developers, we focus firmly on the developer experience. After all, as a team that faces many of the same challenges as other professional software teams out there, we understand it is about having software you can trust to work well, scale with you, have the flexibility you need, and integrate with ease. 

TinyMCE focuses on nailing the core of scalable content creation, making life easier for developers whilst improving productivity for end-users. With our latest 5.7 release, we have focused on continuing to provide stable, enterprise-ready upgrades to existing features. This release included;

  • Upgrades to tables; supporting more convenient and flexible ways to dynamically adjust the table when columns are added or removed. 
  • New premium Skins & Icons; introducing the Bootstrap icon pack, one of the more popular web frameworks to allow developers and designers to skin the TinyMCE experience to fit seamlessly into their product
  • Font Upgrades; introducing new core functionality to allow developers to more easily upload and maintain custom fonts
  • Embed Media upgrade; interactive content is a must-have for most applications, with this latest release we have improved the support for the rendering of live audio and video
  • Real-time Collaboration open beta; a new era in content collaboration is here with a focus on collaborative experience users are beginning to demand 
  • Quality of life improvements; the hallmark of any good editing experience is those small consistent upgrades that support content creators and developers in their everyday work 

Looking to try out TinyMCE for yourself? 

TinyMCE is free and open-source, allowing you to take charge and enable an advanced core editing experience for your users. 

If you are looking to take your editing experience to the next level, when you sign-up for a free Tiny account, you will get access to a 14 day free trial of all of our Premium Plugins to see how it can help you achieve your product roadmap faster.

If you are interested in learning more about how Tiny can help you reach your product roadmap, get in touch with our sales team.

Product Development
byElise Bentley

VP of Marketing at Tiny. Elise has marketing experience across a range of industries and organisation sizes, and loves to blend the creative aspect of marketing together with data to develop engaging and effective marketing strategies and campaigns.

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