Fictive Kin

Workhorse Modules

Workhorse modules are the ones you will use most frequently and will make up the majority of the surface area of your site. An effective web system will typically have between 12-20 such core modules depending on the overall storytelling needs.

The best workhorse modules are part of the lingua franca of the internet. Your internal teams will expect to have them at their disposal and your visitors will understand your messages more clearly with them. That said, even though the underlying structure is the same, the look and feel should be totally different and branded to your company.

Notice in these two examples how each version of the same module feels unique and very native to the individual brand.

Hero Module

Three Up / Four Up

As the name implies, workhorse modules are about giving your team raw horsepower and storytelling flexibility. They contribute meaningfully to both the legibility, usability, and overall conversion rates of the site.

They are not where you separate yourself from the competition. For that differentiation, we turn to our next two module types.

A Note on Uniqueness

Some organizations struggle with the idea of using patterns common to the web. They feel that they are a completely unique company (true), so they should have completely unique designs across every part of their site (false).

Unique is another way of saying brittle. The more unique your core modules are the less flexible your storytelling will be, and ultimately the less performant your site will be.

Your message is what counts. Make sure it is read, seen, and understood by your visitors.

“Don’t reinvent the wheel.” is a phrase I just invented.

The workhorse modules are very much “wheels.”