Did the Chicken come first or the egg???
Content and Design Battle? What comes first in Website Designing?
This is the classic tug-o-war question, isn’t it?
While the question “chicken came first or the egg?” is decades old, the answer is still debatable. Similarly, content and design fight a similar battle of who shall come first. Some web design experts are in favor of content first, while others prefer design first.
This is because the content writers appreciate a layout first, so as to write the content which fits perfectly in the design. And the designers prefer content first so that they can sketch up a design around it.
Now who’s right and who’s not we’ll leave it for you to decide by the end of this post.
Let’s start by counting the points for Content and Design individually and then come to a conclusion for this classic engagement.
Okay. Content should come first. But why?
“Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” – Barry Lopez
This is exactly how important content writing is to users, websites owners and businesses.
Many experts fancy content-first approach when designing a website, or an emailer, or a print product or anything which requires the mishmash of content and design. Additionally content includes everything, right from the text to videos, podcasts, images, essentially every information on your website.
Therefore it is advised to figure a plan for what all information you’ll be including on your website. And start collecting, writing or creating that content beforehand.
Let us read some noteworthy reasons of writing content before design.
A. Content builds a fence for better designing
Do you remember your Kinder Garten classes?
Wasn’t it much fun and easier to draw or write in boxes?
Well content sets up the area for designing with an imaginary line around it.
Thereby helping the designers to set up an easy-breezy flow of the layout.
With the content information in hand it is easier for the designers to work-out a basic plan of the layout. For instance where to introduce the Call-to-actions, or where to expand a note becomes all the more clear when a designer has the content.
B. Content Gives the Designers a helping hand to achieve goals
By content (in this point) I mean driving a content strategy so as to achieve the ultimate goal of your business.
A well-structured content strategy should have an objective. This objective can be either increase the CTR, or an increase in sales or anything likewise.
Now, when the content strategy is ready the web designers can use their skills to push the success ratio of those goals even further.
Well it is actually very smart to design a strategy focused on content, but pushed an extra mile with designing efforts.
C. Doing Content first Saves Money (as Time is Money)
While writing, then rewriting, then again rewriting is simple on a Word file. It isn’t a designer’s favorite task to make a change in content multiple times in a mock-up.
Therefore drafting a content copy, at least close to, if not completely perfect will save a reasonable amount of time of a designer.
No No Design First. Done. But again, why?
“Design can be art. Design can be simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.” –Paul Rand
Designing is sure simply an art, but a complicated one. And isn’t it such a relief to finish the complicated part in the beginning itself?
Yup, I know you are saying yes to it.
Therefore as per many industry experts, a design-first approach is the done thing between content and design.
Let’s now see why designing before content is a better deal.
A. Design sets an awesome foundation for content
A good content writer will draft efficiently around the mockup or the layout set by the designer.
Using the dummy content in the layout, a writer can write with the word count limit in mind. And in turn save a lot of time to rewrite considering the word limit to fix in a particular box.
B. Design first gives a clear picture
The power of a well written content is even more sharpened with a perfect design.
Therefore when you place the content on an already designed page or emailer or any other design pack, it gives a lot better understanding of the concept.
Summary of the Content and Design battle
It is clear from the above post that content and design and inseparable. While it is still debatable to start with which section, I have managed to reach a conclusion:
Content and Design are the two opposites that attract each other.
In other words while both content and design are two different strategies altogether, but they both work towards the same goal; the business growth.
And now the same question again, what do you think, the chicken came first or the eggs?
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