If you have ever tried to design a website, no matter how large or small its a pretty much given fact that you will at some point hit a wall when it comes to content.
There still seems to be a reluctance to put content first both by agencies and clients alike with a split between focus on aesthetics by clients and functionality by agencies. This isn’t always the case depending on the project but my point is there is often little to no focus on content. We are all well aware that content is king, however I don’t see this in practice a great deal.
By not putting the initial focus of the project on content you will invariably run into the majority of these issues:
- Delays, delays, delays… in design, build and launch
- Designing templates that don’t fit the content
- Lack of content planning can result in designing too many or not enough templates
- Designing with dummy content causes issues when the real content is finally produced
- Those beautiful full screen photographs you got from Shutterstock are replaced with the poor quality ones produced by your client - instantly destroying the design
Content strategy mixed with audience goals should be at the heart of all web design projects, letting functionality and aesthetics naturally flow from the data available.
Asking questions of your client at the beginning of the project such as:
- Who will be creating the initial content? (always suggest professional copywriters)
- Who will be collating the content?
- Who will be creating content going forward on a day to day basis?
- Is the content plan sustainable? (will you be able to produce new news/blog items each day/week)
It is important to reinforce the fact that producing and collating content for their new website isn’t a five minute job that they can do while they have a break from their everyday routine. Sit down with the client and produce a content plan, set realistic goals for you and the client that are sustainable and only create designs that are based on content that you know can and will be produced.
For some great tips on content visit blog.gathercontent.com
By Rob Suckley Creative Person at Creature Digital