Ask a designer to design a website without any content and you may as well be asking an architect to design a house without specifying the number of rooms.
Whereas in the past, digital agencies have often created the web design first and the content for it second, today more and more are adopting a content first approach. Why? Because it makes complete sense.
Users access a website for its content, not its design, so it only seems right for the content to take priority. Whilst a design created without real content may end up looking okay, it will never be as impressive as a design created around actual content.
If you want to create the ultimate website, adopt a content first approach.
Avoid wasting time and money
Humans are highly visual creatures, so it’s easy to see why one would assume that web design should come before web content. However, if you make the mistake of creating a beautiful web design, before considering its content, you could end up wasting a significant amount of time and money.
Think of it in terms of creating a product. If you design the packaging before you’ve created the product, how do you know that the product is going to fit the packaging? Sure you can try and jam it in but it’ll never look as good as if you designed the packaging around the product. See your content as the product and your web design as the packaging and you’ll see where we’re coming from.
The benefit of designing the website around the content is that you will be able to highlight the most important information to users and ensure it delivers the optimal user experience.
Improve user experience
Whilst web design has an impact on user experience, the experience itself cannot exist without content – after all, no one’s going to enjoy a positive experience from visiting an empty shell.
Content should be easy to find and presented in an engaging way that draws users in and captures their attention. If the content has been left until last and crammed into the design, you may find that it doesn’t fit, meaning that you’re going to have to cut it short and miss out important information or re-design your website completely.
Miss out important content and it could end up negatively impacting your user experience. If you don’t answer user’s queries or meet their needs, they’ll simply take themselves to one of your competitors’ websites instead.
Focus on what’s important
Content first effectively strips away all of the luxuries and leaves you focusing on the necessities – the elements that are fundamental to creating a good website. It’s about gathering a company’s assets and ordering them in terms of importance. This will ensure that your content and in turn the design is optimised for the right audience and that the message is put across in the most effective way possible.
Initially, content first may not be something your clients are comfortable with, as most will be used to the design first way of working. However by explaining the benefits of content first design, they too will see just how important it is in creating the ultimate website.
Adopting a content first approach will essentially streamline the design process, with fewer design drafts, allowing you to meet both your client’s deadlines and budgets. Ultimately it leads to the creation of a better website, which in turn increased client satisfaction.