For any content to reach the intended audience in the right manner, it must first be designed in a way that facilitates quick and efficient information processing and usability. There are various techniques employed during developing any content, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The modular and structured design techniques are the two most often utilised methodologies in content development which can be applied to any type of content.
Modular content is a common and fast developing technique to content modelling. It represents any content which is created as smaller segments for optimal usage and results with capabilities for reuse and adaptability in a variety of settings. It allows the same content to be utilised in different contexts and customised as per needs, thereby reducing redundancy, and saving time. It is a subset of structured content, but in the form of components. When compared to other content modelling methods, modular content is more efficient and dynamic in nature.
Structured content is defined as content that is arranged in a specific format and classified in a predictable way using metadata. It is used to store and convey information in a clear and concise manner. The content is frequently tagged and can be linked to different elements and attributes. XML is one prominent content storage format which is used for storing structured content. Structured content can also be saved in other available standard formats.
Some of the common differences between modular and structured content are listed in the table below:
| Modular Content
|| Structured Content
|Modular content Is in the form of smaller units called modules which can be separated and assembled anytime to form new content.
||Structured content usually has fixed format and is logically well organized.
|Modular content is easily adaptable to various contexts and is also reusable.
||Structured content is easily understandable and interpretable.
|Modular content does not have any specific order or format.
Structured content is usually well organized.
|Modular content is easily manageable.
||Structured content is easily readable.
|Modular content has no specific rules or tagging.
||Structured content is usually tagged and classified.
|Modular content can be used for multiple purposes.
||Structured content can be used for specific purposes.
|Modular content is customizable for various requirements anytime.
||Structured content is customizable in certain cases.
Modular Content Usability:
Modular content can be utilised where there is a need for either a portion or the entirety of any content that can be picked up and applied to various contexts in various situations needing the same information with little or no adjustments. It is more flexible as it is not dependent on any one device or platform.
One of the best examples where modular content can be used or applied is while presenting periodic stock performance information such as stock prices turning high, low, or remaining constant in relation to common performance metrics, which can be reused and replicated across various stocks and stock brokerage companies by changing only the numeric values or any such specific details with minimal effort or changes. The same content or parts of it can be reorganised and used in any a different sequence to represent a different context such as the stock performance report for a different daily or weekly report etc.
Structured Content Usability:
Structured content can be utilized in situations where information must be presented in a certain structured fashion. For example, when presenting user data for stocks, the user data must be structured in some specific manner. Details such as the user's name may need to be placed at a higher hierarchy level when compared to the company from which the user has purchased the stocks. Similarly, the dates of stock purchases will precede other personal information about the stocks. In such cases, a structured approach is preferable than a modular format.