Is it time for you to update your website? If so, you are probably aware that there are two major factors at play: content and design. What you may not know is that these two factors work together to produce a cohesive look and feel. Often times, people develop their new websites without taking this relationship into account. They will create a design and develop content separately so that when they bring the two together, major issues arise. This typically results in one having to concede to the other. We want you to understand the importance of maintaining cohesion between your design and content and we’re here to tell you how.
Developing Content That Fits Your Design
The copywriter and designer should work together out-of-the-gate to develop an overall concept. Are you envisioning a lot of content or a little? Also, will there be full paragraphs, bullet points, or one-liners? And which will do the talking: imagery or content? Once you have both come to an agreement, the copywriter can then create a sitemap. A sitemap is representation of the overall navigational structure of the site. Your sitemap will be based on your discussion with the designer and will represent an overall idea of what the content consists of (i.e. amount, placement, key points, etc.).
Creating a Design That Supports Your Content
Before the copywriter solidifies any content – while it is still in a conceptual phase – the designer can create a preliminary mock-up. Remember: the copywriter and designer should still be in a back-and-forth phase during this process so that neither one “steps on the other’s toes”. Once the designer has created a basic design, he or she can propose it to the copywriter who can review for any major issues. If no major issues arise, the content development phase may begin.
Maintaining a Cohesive Strategy
As you can see in the process outlined above, maintaining a cohesive strategy is the most important thing. Here are a few tips and things to keep in mind:
- Focus on the back-and-forth from beginning to end. This means maintaining a collaborative relationship that relies on the input of one another to move forward.
- Both parties should be willing to compromise for the other’s sake. Again, by forming a collaborative relationship, you will learn to concede when necessary and will place the client’s needs above your own desires.
- Focus on what is most important and how that can best be communicated. Understand what your overall goals are and work to find that perfect balance between great content and a stunning design.
- Don’t let your perspective cloud your judgment. Of course the copywriter is going to be focused on the content and the designer will be focused on the design, but this doesn’t mean that’s all you should focus on. Learn to see it from your partner’s perspective to better understand how the design can support the content and vice versa.
We understand that developing a new website can be intimidating and time-consuming. By following these basic rules for content and design cohesion, we assure you that your redesign will go much smoother and yield much better results. If you need assistance with a website redesign or content development, contact Informatics.