Website Design or Content? Which One Should You Have First?

Website Design or Content

Which one should you have first, the website design or content? Even today, this question gets you a lot of black stares from people. If you are someone who has a strong background designing the websites, I’m pretty sure it’s easier to interpret the importance of understanding this question.

Having a brilliant website design alone is never going to help, it should be tuning with whatever message that is being presented. The only purpose businesses need a website is to get an online space for giving their message to the audience and make them do business with them. So blindly, if a website is created without any purpose, the medium fails to make an impact. The same is true for your content. If you have good information but presented badly to the readers, it will not work.

You’ll understand these things entirely once you work around the things that I have explained below.

  • Container-First Approach- Designing a Website without Content
    • Cooking without a recipe, how does it sound? And how do you think the dish will turn out? I’m pretty sure you will be having good ingredients to use but without a plan on how to use each of them. I say it will be a disaster.
    • Till now it’s been a practice to use ‘Lorem Ipsum Greeked type’ while creating a website sans any content. Till now it might have worked brilliantly for few, but it will not anymore in the future.
    • Hoping that some content will fit your layout or design is not a bright idea, not anymore. It’s almost similar to building a house without learning how many people are going to stay in there. As a designer, you should have at least some basic picture of what content is going to come up with the layout. The services that will be offered, and the audience that you will be targeting, only then your website design will have an objective.
    • There are few instances, where the content follows the design, Twitter, Pinterest, if you have used these platforms, you would understand the restrictions imposed on content. But these are exceptions, UX designers cannot always work their way around the layout or designs without content as it will mess up the whole appearance.
    • Using ‘Lorem Ipsum’ should be your last resort. There are a lot of ways that will allow you to keep yourself in the loop if your client has not provided content. If you are designing a website for someone who is into the wine business, you try and do some research on the competitor’s website, even if you get a rough picture how things should fall, you will be accurate in formalizing the design.
    • Pssst, a small advice for you – stop using Lorem Ipsum, it kills your design.
  • Content-First Approach- Designing a Website around the Content
    • You don’t have to know every point that is about to be included on the website, but a little whiff about what could be the content will let you do a wonderful job.
    • There is huge number of benefits if we take designing post content development. You will be moving with clear guidelines. By keeping content as the base of your website design you need not have to make changes to the designs, which is time-consuming as well as cost building. There will be no clashes between design and content; rather everything will be fine-tuned just to appear before the audience.
    • There is more actually. Your design team will not feel clueless. They will feel easier to spin a design based on the available content and the job will be done in less time. It doesn’t matter whether they are creating a low-fidelity wireframe or high-fidelity prototype, but having a website designed around some content is a lot better compared to some gibberish content.
    • If you are designing a site not knowing that it is a content-heavy website, you will be in a real mess. If a website is beautiful, it will only ATTRACT the audience. If the content is beautiful, it will HOOK the audience to your website. If both content and website are beautiful, your audience will turn into CUSTOMERS. So how to do that?

Solution?

  • Build Content and Website Together

    • If you want to build the best website, then use both website design and content to convey your message to your audience. If you have 10 web pages, let UX designers know on prior that you are planning so. Because the whole navigation depends on the amount of content you will be developing to have on your website. Website content is not just words; it encompasses a lot of other things like infographics, images, videos, and illustrations.
    • If you are designing a website for a client, the best thing you can do is discuss with them about their goals, audience, and what they are going to provide. Once you have an idea, work with your content team and it would be great if both the teams collaborate and come up with design and content that reflects the brand vision.
  • Make use of Flexible Layouts

    • What’s good if your layout breaks or you have to cut-down the content size, just because you have used fixed layouts? Web designing is expensive; content development is time-consuming, together, it will be a waste if you have to work on these elements at the end of the phase.
    • Fixed-width layouts were once popular, but not anymore, so it’s time you move on to the flexible layouts.
    • With flexible layouts, you don’t have to work with content overflow or shortage. Whatever the amount of content is available you can clearly fit them into your completed design layout.