Content – Community – Call-to-action


One of the first things that I do when designing a website or an app is brainstorm and capture all of the different features or functionality that might be required.

I’ll start by drawing three columns on a piece of paper and labeling them “content”, “community”, and “call-to-action”.



For the content section, I would start brainstorming all of the features that would make someone interested in the site/app in the first place. These are the “hooks”, a.k.a. the reasons someone would be actively interested in finding out what this site or app has to offer.

Examples include:
- articles
- blog posts
- photo galleries
- reviews
- rss feeds
- “About Us”

Anything that is going to be available on this site/app should be listed here.


The community section is for features that would be of value to second-time users (or things that would entice them to continuing coming back). It also would contain any of the sharing or social features that are needed.

Examples include:
- forums
- tell a friend
- contact us
- polls
- events
- comments
- facebook/twitter/instagram/pinterest integration


Finally, the call-to-action section is for listing all of the ways that a site or an app will be monetized.

Examples include:
- banner ads
- Amazon affiliate links
- members-only sections
- subscriptions
- in app purchases
- Cafepress or Zazzle t-shirts/swag
- e-commerce products


No matter where you are in the design process, making a quick 3c’s list like this will help make sure functionality that was requested does not get overlooked. It’s frustrating to have to reorganize or re-architect wireframes when a feature gets forgotten, and having this as an initial list of requirements also helps in the scoping (time and cost) of a project.

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