How content-first is more important than design?

Posted on Nov 22, 2019 By Krunal Soni

Content or Design? It has always been a topic of debate in the marketing world. Although we don’t fight about it much, it always remains like what came first- egg or chicken. 

But we go with Jeffry Zeldman’s teachings – “Design in the absence of content is not a design, it’s just decoration.”

The Content-first strategy

The core motive of your website is to deliver content. The design elements play a supporting role to put an emphasis on the content. You get visitors due to the attractiveness of your website but to keep them interested, you need high-quality content.

Once the focus is on the Content-first concept rather than on design-first, it allows your website to reverse engineer the interaction with the user. The graphics are helpful to allow maximum accessibility to the user but the content is always most sought-after. With this method, the content is all there and ready so it is much easier for you to design the welcome mattress for your users.

Your content comprises of a wide range of media, including interactive words, text, audio, video, and graphics. This strategy pushes you to understand the purpose of the design and helps you get ideas to achieve that purpose.

The content sets guardrails for your design. It is the story or the message that needs to be told. The strategy answers questions like “What is the catch for readers?” If there is no clear story in front of them, the designer may find it difficult to create a sensible seamless flow for the call to action.
The designers get a full picture via Content

Designers prefer having a clear idea and not just a gist of things. They need to know how the different segments should fall in place and work together towards a common goal.

The designers could take some pieces of the larger puzzle and then get down to some great designs or layouts that manage to move people to a single point of action. But that’s just one tiny spur wheel in a much more intricate system.

Content first saves time

Why? The content writers can spend hours and hours to find a perfect word. The designers don’t have much time and ideas for that. Also, it is a tough task to update any tiny change in every draft.
Writing the content and finalizing it beforehand saves a lot of time and effort for the design creation.

Prototyping Content

Content-first at Thrillax is started by prototyping content. This is the text file or Google doc that we test with customers or seniors to ensure that the points are getting across. The contents look different for every project but in reality, we ensure that it’s a dialogue between you and your customers.

The design follows the content bringing your conversation to life in a beautiful visual format. Starting with content not only saves your time, but it also promotes productivity and allows you to work out the tiniest details before even getting started, so the design process runs easily.

Connecting the Minds Behind Content and Design

To make the project work wonders, the writers and designers have to agree on a concept. We believe in combined efforts by the writers and the designers to make the final product stronger. It becomes easier to proceed with the concept that way.

For example, if we are making marketing materials for a Travel Website the content regarding travel diaries will probably precede design. The design or background will support the words.

However, on the landing page, the design is more valuable. Here the content should be adjusted to suit the work of the designer.

The writers should actually try to avoid meaningless words that flow-in without a prior warning! As for the designers their job is not just to make things pretty. If the writer spends quality time to make a copy, it is the designer’s job to make a design that ensures it is read and absorbed by the customers.

It is also necessary for the designer to understand the feel and tone of
the website and each segment, guaranteeing readability through layout and whitespace.

Let’s Consider two website sample images:
Figure 1:

 

Figure 2:

Think for yourself. Which is the better design and where the content gels-in smoothly with the layout? You will answer it is the first one because the content and design are going hand-in-hand giving the landing page an interesting feel. However, in Figure 2, there is too much content on the landing page and it gets difficult for the visitor to understand the gist at a glance.

The concentration should be on the call-to-action (CTA) in order to make it draw the reader’s attention and you need to carefully fit it on the page. Whereas, on the content size, the CTAs should be brief. On the design side, they should be striking and lively.

The Key is in the Content

Functionality is the most crucial thing for your design, and your text.
A great practice to follow for writing copy is to focus on the customer’s problems and solve them.

The questions that you need to consider are-
Why did the visitors come to this website and what can you offer them?

The content and design should be in a way where people can connect emotionally with the product when it adds value to their lives. Good content is what needed to communicate that.

Example of useful Content-based solutions:

Shopify – Polaris is a great system that helps Shopify to build a great experience for its merchants. They have use cases for everything from applying color to describe how things function in their interface, to the dictionary and cast of every button or direction that maintains their brand’s “opinion”.

Content and Design never compete with each other, they always work together!

When we get down to it, we know, writing and design should be centered on the reader and their needs and to improve the user experience. Our approach is to build the trust of your potential clients with the content and design that are matched to develop communication. It’s a dainty balance.

Balancing your content and design is a piece of cake with Thrillax as we never have a limit when it comes to creativity. Join us for an interactive session to discuss more. Let’s be unstoppable together!

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