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Web content design, full strategy to produce website that fits its content

As a designer, the site content should not be your responsibility! This is a fact but it’s lacking a few points. Your responsibility as a designer is to design a site that accommodates and displays the content effectively! 

 

One of the common mistakes made by web designers is to start the design process before they even know the nature or type of content they are going to deal with. Web designer’s task does not end when the site is delivered to the client. It actually begins at that point, where the main focus of the designer would be on the user’s experience and what could be affecting it.

Designing the content rather than creating it 

Creating the content should not be a responsibility or a task for web designers and developers. The main task for web designers is to design the content rather than creating it. 

The main role of the web designer is to find the best and most effective way to view the content on the site to help visitors understand and interact with the content of the site. 

Web designers should be able to create sites that meet the following criteria: 

  • Easy to use and navigate through 
  • Have the same corporate identity of the company 
  • Help the site’s admin to organize the content easily and effectively 
  • Giving an idea of the site’s content from the first glance at the 

Relationship between design and the content 

When a client asks you to design or develop their website, they often have all the content ready and they seek to present the content in a suitable and effective way. Therefore, your task here is not to create the content, but to find a solution to organize and present the content online and to make it easy to read and understand. 

The first step before starting the design process is to get all the information and content of the website from the client in order to review and discuss the best ways for presenting it online. 

Ignoring the content = high cost 

Starting the design process before getting the content from the client could lead to big issues later on in the design process. For example, if you create a site based on ipsum lorem text without knowing the nature of the content which is going to be used on the website, you might end up redesigning it from the scratch or spending a lot of hours modifying the layout to fit the content.This can lead to waste of time for both you and the client. 

The cause of the problem here is a lack of analysis before starting the design process. Such issue can be easily avoided by analysing and learning about the nature of the content before designing the layout.  

Give yourself some time to look at your client's business and products and discuss the content which is going to be used on the website .

TIP: If you get a client, who wants to design a website without having some conception of the content, you need to advise them to go back and invest more time in determining the content they want to put on the website. This will avoid wasting your time and ending up with a  generic website that may or may not fit the content.

How to deal with the content 

Most clients have an idea about the content they are willing to display on their website, but they may not know that printed materials are not suitable for websites. Therefore, your task is to guide your client and advise on what type of content can be used online.

The steps of handling the content by designers can be divided as following: 

  1. Ask for the real content asap
  2. Analyze the content and classify it as following:
    • IMPORTANT: this is the content which you want the visitors to get from the first glance
    • NOT IMPORTANT: this content can be in a smaller size or grouped in tabs or slides
    • NOT CLASSIFIED: client will determine if this content is important or not
  3. Categorize content and see the relationship between pages to determine how the content can be structured
  4. Create a sitemap

Understand the nature of writing for websites

Text generators such as Lipsum generator are useful tools but it limits our creativity in term of designing a website that fits its content, therefore having the content ready before jumping into the design process is essential for web designers.

We should know that creating and designing the content are two different tasks which should be handled separately. To achieve the best results and create a website that is optimized for its content, you need to have the real content before starting the design process.

Mohamed Kurdi

A holder of Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Graphic Design from
Teesside University UK

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