June 26, 2015

How Content and Design Go Hand in Hand

For long, it has been a belief that content and design are two separate disciplines, that one does not have anything to do with the other. But it is not so. Content and design support each other, enhance each other, and are united by a single goal: to convey an idea and grab people’s attention.

It is easy to view content as the final component of your website-creation journey. First comes design, then coding, and then content. After all, isn’t it prudent to save the process of populating your website with words for the end? As it turns out, this is the least smart thing you could do as someone who’s looking to create that perfect website. Content cannot be saved for last. It has to work hand in hand with design right from the beginning. Here’s why.

When you write a piece of content, your main aim is to put a message across. An announcement, an advertisement, an awareness campaign – whatever it may be, your copy is sending out a thought. At the core, you are communicating with the reader. Now, you may have employed every trick up your sleeve in the content that you’ve created. But you must also consider the visual element. If the reader is looking at a message that is badly aligned, or poorly laid out on a webpage, he will immediately dismiss it. This renders your content invisible and useless, and drives people away from your website.

To make sure that your content and design fit together like pieces in a jigsaw, you need to make sure that the content writers and designers work together in tandem. Writers can help designers to keep pages simple, and make the brand message clear and concise. They can also help them avoid blocks of text where they’re unnecessary. Design, too, can return the favour by encouraging the writers to edit text to go with the current trend of maximizing white space – this way, the text is sharper and colours used stand out better, ensuring that the message comes out clearly.

While design can be created roughly around bad content, it is close to impossible to design an entire user interface and then bring in the services of the writer to fill in the empty spaces. This is why the two should go hand in hand. Many designers create wireframes with the standard ‘lorem ipsum’ text. But these types of dummy text often create unrealistic design, making the content writer’s job that much harder.

With videos being a popular way of communicating with the consumer today, content and design have to work together more often. A video requires the idea and concept, and most importantly, the copy, to get started. Tweaks will pop up during the design process, necessitating the need for content changes. This is perhaps the most important juncture at which content and design have to meet in order to create something spectacular, not to mention relevant.

A good website reflects the best of content and design. The time is nigh to recognise that the two disciplines go hand in hand in the process of creating a spectacular website. Ensure that the content on your website is visually appealing by using good colours and typography, and not just dropped into a hastily created template. This will reflect well on your website and ultimately, your brand as well.