Let’s Not Make It The Chicken Or The Egg
Content can’t grab a hold of someone’s attention and design can’t deliver a message. But let’s sing praises of our creative, knowledgeable and hardworking web designers as they don’t have any problem with people saying that content is king.
Perhaps it is not a wise move to put the design in the red corner and content in the blue corner of the ring. The result will be a tie as both are equally important. Both are important cornerstones for building a website that is almost certain to be a success.
No matter how great it appears; despite its user-friendliness, the design will be of no use without content. Just like this bicycle.
Even when the content is made holy with the great potential of generating leads, it will not even come close to a single lead if you pay no heed to the design. The design will leave the first impression. And, the content will leave the lasting impression. The design attracts and the content converts.
So, if you have some cool web design ideas then put your excitement on the backburner and wait. The content producer is going to put their content somewhere in your design. What comes first? Obviously, design. However, the design will lead to dead end if there is no content.
The Design First Approach
The creation of a website begins with its appearance. The focus is on theme, layout and other aspects of the design. Images, text or any other type of content to be displayed on the web page is left to be considered later. This does make sense.
However, it does not mean that you should completely ignore the ideal space required for the content. You can’t just create some random boxes and fill them with content once the design is completed. This might look ugly.
You might be setting up your website for failure. People do like a cool design but you can’t say that your design will remain etched in the memories of the visitors.
However, they do remember the services, products, features, discounts and special offers the website is bringing for them.
Visitors will also remember anything that drives them to distraction such as annoying popups, difficult navigation, autoplay audios and videos, flashing ads or anything else invading their browsing experience.
So, if you are giving a little or no thought to the content while designing, your website might deprive visitors of the enjoyable browsing experience they want.
Incorporating Content Planning In Designing Phase
There is no need to start writing website content straight away. Simply start planning the content when the design is in its early stages. This will help in creating SEO friendly web design. You can create ideal spaces and spots for keeping content well-organized on the website.
No one appreciates the cluttered content, neither user nor Google. Populating design even with dummy content will provide with a good idea of typography. The designer can design according to the font size, style and color and length of the text.
Start With a Roadmap
The teams of designers and content producers should work together and try to get an idea when web design will be completed. Both designers and content producers should work together to create a roadmap consisting of several stages with dates to achieve the final goal.
For example, first of all, create mockup which is followed by planning and writing homepage content. After completing layout, start beta testing and write FAQs and policies. After that, add all product images and start site testing.
Finally, populate the website with the remaining content and launch the website after final testing.
However, the design is often reviewed and some new changes are proposed. Same goes for the content. Therefore, expected changes in the web design and content should be considered while creating this roadmap. Sometimes, the team of designers and content producers are working remotely from different locations.
Web-based project management solutions such as Basecamp are of great use for both teams. Project managers can assign roles and responsibilities, define deadlines, communicate with teams, track the progress and collaborate. Even small and medium-sized companies can afford these project management solutions. Setting up checkpoints and scheduling reviews will keep both teams on the same page.
Which Comes First?
Though it is not OK to make it web design vs. web content, it is important to understand that the content can’t be planned without the design. It begins with the web design.
So, if you are going to work on a new website or you are asked to redesign an existing website, don’t get into the question – design first or content first? Ask web designers and content producers to sit together and create a roadmap.
Set checkpoints and deadlines, schedule reviews, choose ideal project management solution and always remember, content producers and designers should not work independently.
After all, it is not all about attracting, conversion can’t be achieved without educating.