The 3 C’s of Web/App Design

Jeffrey Berthiaume
2 min readMay 10, 2022


Content — Community — Call-to-action

(Originally written on June 13, 2013)


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”. (Back in the days of Web 1.0 we just called it “commerce” for areas of potential revenue.)


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.



Jeffrey Berthiaume

Jeffrey Berthiaume is a technology veteran and senior executive, who has spent decades creating and innovating technology.