Designing with content in mind

Working together for the perfect fit

Are you often left wondering how you can get the content to fit your new design? Are you spending time rewriting content you’ve been sent?

It’s completely possible to avoid this sticky situation.

We share our advice so your content and design can work seamlessly together.

Content that fits design

Content that fits

When it comes to delivering a website to a customer, we like Tim Green’s (from TheBold.nz) take on it:

“If the content writing is not shaped for the web, or if it’s given
to me at the 
end of the project, it’s like trying to design a shoe
box without knowing what size the shoe is.”     

And it’s true: Shoes make the (wo)man.

You’ve seen sneakerheads when they get a new pair of Nike Air Jordans. They treat their shoes like a national treasure, guarding  the shoebox with love and care. It’s part of the total package; it holds everything together so nicely.

So you can imagine the frustration – and embarrassment for everyone involved if the shoe doesn't fit the shoebox, right? If the Air Jordans are bursting through the box or are squished horribly inside of it?

There’s no way to sugarcoat this one: iI the shoes, or the the content in this case, don’t fit the box, your design becomes a major disappointment.

With a discouraged customer hovering over you, it’s back to the drawing board for the designers and copywriters. More time and money spent.

How can you get the content to fit your new design?

Get on the same page

Let’s face it: We all want to deliver good work. And if you’re working with someone else to deliver a project, you want to start off on the right foot.

Where do you start on a new website?

The website objectives have been set with a detailed brief. While you’re starting on the wireframe of the website, the website content writer is going to start working on the content straight away.

So, for just a second, put your content creation hat on: What is a copywriter going to do first?

The copywriter, or the content creation team, is going to figure out the sitemap so they can identify key pages to create and flesh them out.

Wouldn’t you want to know that as a designer? Content creators love to know what their visually-inclined collaborators are up to. The gameplan is more concrete, easier to follow.

Do you share concept designs?

By sharing what the other is doing, you can then throw in your two cents and figure out what is best for the customer and their business.

By comparing concept designs and draft content, you can both pinpoint potential obstacles, as well as highlight possible creative solutions.

For example, you can avoid the risk of mismatching the amount of content for pages by getting the web copywriter to show you properly formatted copy as they complete it.

Keep the surprises to a minimum and talk!

Communication isn’t just key between content and design. It’s the fabric that holds your project together. 

So get in contact with your content creators as soon as you figure out their name.

Make your life easy with content completed on time

To make everyone's lives easier, ask your content creator to put the final content into a form that makes sense for the web.

The desired outcome is the customer is proud of their new website and doesn’t want to make a thousand changes at the end of the project.

“Reduce the risk of doing design revisions at the end of the project”

Because there is a strong cohesion between web design and web copywriting, you reduce the risk of the project going over budget and having to re-do the design.

You also reduce the risk of not meeting your deadline.

Avoid doing extra work by contacting your content creator

So get in touch with whoever is writing up the content for the website ASAP. The sooner you start working together, the less time will be spent on fixing mistakes – big, medium and small. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot! 

Instead, give them the total package. Deliver design that walks the line with content.

Here are the key ingredients to box up what you’ve just read:

  1. Finalise brief
  2. Create initial concepts
  3. Share
  4. Sign off
  5. Handover

Are you ready to get content tailor-made for your design? Get in touch for your content fitting!

Image above courtesy of Jason Briscoe


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