I’ve previously written about major brands combining .design domains with their Medium publications to create stand alone sites focused on their internal design processes. This is perhaps the easiest and most professional way to create a design blog that builds the breadth and personality of a brand rather than just glom on an existing .com site.
We’ve already seen this on npr.design, booking.design and medium.design itself. These sites function as designer recruiting and content channels much like uber.design and facebook.design but are not built with the same intensive web design and presentation work. All they require is a Medium publication, a .design domain name, and a onetime fee to Medium to connect the two.
In case your understanding of online forums stopped developing at Twitter, just know that Medium is a blogging platform. The 2000’s expression, “Read my blog” didn’t actually help anyone find your blog, anyone that says “Read my blog” now is likely taken it as a given that you can find them on Medium.
OpenTable notes on its inaugural post on opentable.design that while the company is nearly 20 years old, the design team is not yet even 5 years old! Clearly it has become a positive force for growth at the company as the team is now 30 people strong. Opentable lays out their corporate mission and the .design team blog of one of modern communication and community:
“We know there’s so much more that we can do to both support budding restaurateurs and reflect the richness of the culture and conversation around food and dining in our brand and product experience, and the team is full of ideas on how we do that. Watch this space.”
- Ben Fullerton, opentable.design
While they aspire to build their brand’s communication and community involvement, I don’t think it is a coincidence I first met their team at the IxDA show in NYC, where they had a recruiting table. They are surely hoping to strengthen hiring via thought leadership and engagement.
Meanwhile, slack.design is not the first Medium publication to be released by the incredibly popular new messaging app. It follows slack.engineering, which is an incredibly content rich destination for coders and engineers from that team at Slack. They note that,
“With this blog, we now have the chance to share the backstory — the research, methodology, content strategy, and overall process behind our work.”
Like OpenTable, Slack promises to share an inside look of their design department and its processes. They are joining a growing chorus of important companies, many of them in tech, that are laying claim to being a ‘design first’ company. Indeed, as Slack notes, this use is proliferating, writing that they’re “excited to join the already rich online conversation about research and design.“ Of course, a .design domain is the perfect place to build this, leaving their main .com site to instead create relationships with the their blog’s target constituents: designers.