If Michelangelo would have been a designer he would have gone Headless

Partners Francesca Montisci Francesca Montisci
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The new Renaissance of the Content Experience has begun.

When the Pope entrusted the decoration of the Sistine Chapel to Michelangelo, he had to face numerous difficulties, all of which he brilliantly overcame thanks to his talent.
Michelangelo and his collaborators would have had to spend months painting those walls: on the one hand the artist had to think about how to work effectively at a height of 15 meters; on the other, he was worried about the final result. He was afraid that the classic scaffolding used up to that point in time would have left visible holes in the ceiling. So Michelangelo built a scaffold himself, a wooden platform on supports made from existing holes in the walls, and placed at the top near the windows. This structure was organized in steps, in order to allow easier work for all his team, in every angle of the vault.

Before focusing on the production of his masterpiece, he thought about which instrument he could use to allow him to create one of the most majestic works in the world. He thought about the quality of the final work and put himself and his collaborators in the conditions to work at their best.

He focused first on creating the content infrastructure before moving on to the actual design work. If he had lived today, Michelangelo would have been a UX Designer.

What does the Renaissance have to do with the Headless approach?

Both were born from a clear change of course with respect to the previously known schemes.

Michelangelo rejects the limits given by the ‘canvas’, and creates a new tool that allows him to work freely, at any height from the ground and with any degree of inclination of the wall. He has no limits imposed by the structure.

The same can be said of the headless approach. The logic of a headless CMS completely separates the data from the design, managing the content in the back office and customizing it through the frontend, also depending on the channel on which they are going to be displayed. Furthermore, thanks to the API system, the same content can be distributed simultaneously on an unlimited number of channels. Imagine if Michelangelo, by spreading the color on the wall, simultaneously also imprints it on the pages of an art history book or on a t-shirt on the shelves of the Vatican Museums shop.

Storyblok editing capabilities

Can we all be ‘Michelangelo's’ thanks to a headless CMS?

Let's be honest, No. If you work in the logic of an endlessly reusable template, a showcase site with little content, or empty storytelling with no character, forget it.

Headless technology is aimed at agencies and businesses capable of producing a high-value customized design, entirely functional to a strategy designed to concretely elevate the client's status.

The real value of a headless CMS is being able to overcome the limits of monolithic platforms such as Wordpress, Drupal or the closed circuits of a pre-composed DAM, each project can have the level of customization and creativity that it really requires. You are free to choose the framework language with which you prefer to develop. You are free to choose the number of channels in which to push the content. You are no longer tied to and constrained by the plugins available for your CMS, but you can choose to connect the programs and platforms that best meet your needs. Or, of course, you can connect them yourself, via API. When the time comes for integrations, the headless approach allows you to choose "the best of breed" and it is precisely here that the customization of your project can reach levels never proposed before.

You have the tools to do what you want. Just as Michelangelo thought about the tools and scaffolding before actually painting the Sistine Chapel, a proper headless architecture sets the foundation for a free and creative mindset on the frontend.

Get out of the constraint of maximizing profit with minimum effort, and enter the era of design that truly puts the user at the center: free yourself from static storytelling, always the same and banal. It’s time to involve the user by experimenting and developing features and tools in which they can feel comfortable and recognize.

The Hand of God discovering Storyblok

Headless is not the future: it is the present.

We live online. You have probably ordered your lunch more times from your phone than in the flesh in a restaurant. Yet in Italy there is still a huge portion of digital realities heavily reliant on UX, UI and medieval design. Think of the sites of the public administration, municipalities, citizen services. There is a need to raise the quality of standards, providing online users (as a modern David Ogilvy would say: give your wives, your children and yourself) the online experience they deserve.

Is Storyblok the solution?

Storyblok is the tool. Storyblok is the scaffolding that allows you to lay out the colors as you prefer. But technology cannot replace the creative genius, however in Italy, let's face it, this has never been lacking.

Leonardo decided that man was not only terrestrial and he could fly. Brunelleschi went beyond the limits of the structural engineering of his time. They gave Michelangelo a vault to paint, and brought the Sistine Chapel to life.

What would have happened if these creatives hadn't ignored the imposed rigidity of their time and gone further? It's time to dare again and enter the Renaissance of the Content Experience.


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