How content helps your website design

September 8, 2015 10:11 pm

When designing a website, one of the earliest questions we will probably ask you is “can you pay us in gold-plated rocket yachts?”… or more likely, “what content do you have for ready your website?”

Before we go too much further, by content we basically mean the text and pictures on a page.

Typically clients have a pre-existing website we are updating for them, and often indicate to us that content is “going to be like that, but better” – perhaps overcoming many of the shortcoming or inadequacies.

But let us tell you plainly now: knowing what content you want, and even having it prepared as early as possible in the process will increase the quality of your design tenfold.

Why? Content informs design.

Our jobs as website designers is to make an interface where people can get the information they need from you. But without knowing what information you have to start with can make things a bit trickier (although not impossible). By being informed, we can make better choices about what to put where, we can make affordances for what to focus on, we can choose a design pattern that suites you best.

Lets look at an extremely vague real world scenario: We are designing your homepage. We might leave space on it for a paragraph about who you are, but in practice you can fit it into a single sentence. We might feel that promoting your individual staff helps make your business feel more human, but it practice you might not be able to share personal details.

Knowing your content before you see a design is often difficult. If you’re like us, visual learners who can make a better connection when seeing a polished design rather than a wall of text.

Our process tries to help you find out this information; when we meet we ask lots of questions to help us understand as much about you and your business as possible. It’s a bit of team work, creating ideas and execution for your content together.

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