Tree frog using a megaphone

Creating the Best Website: Content, Design, & Function

Tree frog using a megaphonePutting all the Pieces Together

Content’s job is to communicate—whether it’s in the form of text, video, audio or images. Website design also communicates by visually representing your business brand. Site function and usability send messages too (whether you intend it or not) about respecting your visitors’ time and attention by being easy to navigate, addressing accessibility, revealing your level of web savvy and, quite possibly, your business expertise.

Beyond and alongside the complexities of creating great content we must also account for the many ways the newly created content will drive design and development decisions. Design and function need direction, and we derive direction from the content itself—in everything from visually representing your brand to accommodating content-related demands with user-friendly layouts.

A web design expert will be able to convey a great deal of information in a condensed, coherent, and comprehensible fashion. IF they know what needs to be conveyed from the outset. After all, how would you put something together without information about what that something must address, accommodate, and actually DO?

6 Key Reasons Why Content Must Be Created First

1) No initial website structure (information architecture) stays the same throughout a project—while developing content in alignment with your business vision, site structure and requirements inevitably change.

2) As the site structure evolves and emerges, no time, effort, or money is wasted on adapting initial designs to unexpected factors. By creating all the content first, we know exactly what to expect in the final phase and can focus on making your site look good, work for your audience, and help achieve your business goals.

3) Text heavy sites benefit from adding more images for visual interest. If a designer doesn’t know how much text they have to accommodate on various pages, sections, and the site as a whole, their design will be less effective.

4) Images should relate to text on the page—choosing and placing related images requires the actual content.

5) In the age of mobile, the ways that designers deal with content will become more important and reflect site quality for visitors in new ways. When mobile device users look at your site, what they see differs from what someone looking at a desktop monitor would see. But your customers and clients increasingly do both or skip the desktop all together—and the number of mobile users just keeps rising. Starting with all the content and parameters of your site allows us to provide better solutions for different viewing situations.

6) Effectively incorporating marketing messages, testimonials, definitions, or other breakout content into a design requires a holistic and balanced approach to each page and the site as a whole. That approach both requires, complements, and builds on the site content.

All in all, we believe that web services companies who say they take a holistic approach to creating your web presence should guide you through:

preferably in that order for a myriad of practical, technical, and success-related reasons.

If someone tells you that a design is the place to start to make your site a success, then all you have to do is provide the content after you see the design, beware. It’s time to think critically about what that approach will mean for your project—then smile, wave, and keep walking.