Have you ever wondered what should come first, your content or your design?
A Content Design approach to creating your website is your answer. Because designing a website without copy is like creating a book cover before writing the book. It helps you launch a well-functioning website with highly effective content and encompasses content strategy and UX/UI writing.
Content designers gather each content element to establish the correct content flow. They decide, for example, whether information needs to be placed in a sidebar to stick out; whether content can be left out/added when accessing a site on mobile devices; whether the content would be more effective as an infographic, video, bulleted list, or as a separate site element. And whether a piece of information is crucial to users and merits a separate page with straightforward navigation.
Content Design is a new content-first mindset that encompasses content strategy and UX/UI writing. Click To Tweet
These content assessments are examples of Content Design at work. You create and evaluate your content to display it most effectively. In the end, your content dictates the design and ensures that your readers get all the information they need, when and where they expect it — and that it is easy to find and consume. It shows that you respect your readers and focus on them — not on yourself.
So, content designers are designers and writers. Designing and writing are more alike than you think. Both are about storytelling, forming ideas and giving ideas form. They are compatible languages and inquiries that reinforce each other.
This content-first approach…
- is not a technique but a way of thinking.
- puts the audience first and offers user-centered content and design.
- is about finding the best-suited content (words, visuals, media, charts, maps, infographics etc.) to work within a site’s structure.
- anticipates and answers the users’ needs or goals and finds the best way for them to consume the content.
- analyzes and prioritizes user research data and evidence.
- respects users’ expectations and goals.
- is a form of digital ethnography.
- ensures that design and information work together and are accessible.
- guarantees that each word fulfills a purpose.
- is part of the product creation process from the get-go.
Designing content-first is an essential approach to reaching your site visitors and respecting your readers.
I’ll be in your inbox periodically with actionable content + design tips and tricks, checklists and tools that you can apply immediately. I’ll share with you links to relevant blog posts (mine and curated recommended must reads) and other engaging content that will help you amplify your message and find the right site design.
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