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How Content Driven Website Development Drives Better Design

People tend to react best to visual stimulus. We are motivated by whatever is pleasing to the eye, and when pitching a website idea it is tempting keep this in mind. When we come together with a client or company we want to show off and wow them. A page of text seems like a boring prospect that doesn’t show any real progress. That's why Content Driven Website is necessary.

Additionally, generating content can be time-consuming, and for companies that want to get their website launched well-crafted content seems like a waste of time.

Why put content first

But though there are concerns about putting content first, there are also many benefits that outweigh such concerns. After all, the content of a website is central to what the user is there for.

Content often refers to written copy, but it can also include downloadable content, video, and audio. All of these should convey a message. The content should be centered on the increasing the comfortably of the user when on a website.

Understanding the content enables a client to create better content and improve websites. If we put design first we often end up having to retrace our steps. Without appropriate content, we might fall into the trap of creating a design which doesn’t fit the concept. It may mean that we would have to create more features or modules.

Ultimately the content is the reason why a user visits a website. It can shape a user’s action when they visit a website. If content takes such a central role to the user then it follows that it should be central to building effective website design.

Look at Instagram or Medium. These are the prime examples of how content colors the design and makes it better for the users. Both of the mentioned websites are very plain, once you strip all of the content off. The colors are white and black, with nearly none others in the design itself. However, when you add the content, you get all of the color you need. It allows the users to focus on the content, without distracting them with loud design. The content is the point of any website, the design is just there to frame it and make it functional. So, keep that in mind.

Understanding Content

To generate content it is important to consider how the product and user will interact. Many content writers will create a customer persona to ask questions of. Understanding the obstacles a customer may face will help you create better and more useful content.

As a business, you should seek to lay out all the possible content you could develop for the website. With all of these materials available you can start creating the ‘Information Architecture’ you will need to understand the user journey. You can create a list of minimum viable content, the very least that you will need to bring users to your site.

There is no need for the final content to be the guiding principle. Content will always evolve as a business grows. But developing a good content strategy can help to structure the website. Instead, you can create rough ideas, drawn either from existing content or from competitors websites.

Once you’ve mapped out the content along the lines of the user’s goals you’ll get a good understanding of how your designs will support the content.  You will also know in advance the parameters the design should have.

There are endless options for what your content could be about. Keep in mind that content doesn't just mean text but also images and videos, infographics, courses and many other things. Basically, anything you create.

The important part here is that the content matches your brand. So, you can't write about shoes if you sell or make perfumes. It doesn't make any sense. However, you can write about perfume-related topics. There are always plenty of things to do here.

One of the most popular types of content is the How-to. Now, it used to be the how-to article, but people also love to see a good how-to video. Of course, you can make it something entertaining. For example, in the case of perfume selling company “How to find your perfect perfume before you are 30”. That's an entertaining topic that many people will love.

Look at Quora and other similar websites where people ask questions to find out what your users want to know about your specific industry and then create content based on that.

You can also take a lesson from Medium or Instagram and ask your users to create some content for you.

Applying Design to Content

The design is meant to present the content in a meaningful way. Whilst it may be flashy to have a wide array design of concepts at your disposal, design requires form. Therefore it’s a good idea to abandon Lorem Ipsum when creating typefaces. Blank, dummy prose is designed to look good in any font, but you may find that the end product doesn’t lend itself to the typeface designed

The idea of each page or category should be clear to everyone involved in the development of the website. With the content and the design working with each other, it should start to become clear what the copywriter has devised.

The important thing is to incorporate content creation into the design phase. Before you set some deadlines, you need to have a good idea for when everything will be completed. You can't create content alone first without having at least a vague idea of what your website will look like. So, the process has to be simultaneous and it has to work together. Creating a roadmap is a good idea. You do need to know how many times the design will change, how much content you may need, what content you already have, how the content can help shape the design and so on.

You can also use a project manageement solution to allow your teams to collaborate smoothly.

Content is essentially, the most important element of your website. Of course, as mentioned, it needs design to make it easy to find and consume, but content itself is what the users are looking for. Bounce rates are statistically higher for website where the design is in focus while contnt remains last. Look at the examples mentioned – Instagram, Medium, even Youtube and so on. All of these make sure that their content is in the main picture. And while these samples may not be close to your business, you can't argue with the fact that content really is the key. Users are looking for solutions for their problems and they need content which can give them that. The rankings also widely depend on the content and not so much on the design itself. Relevant content is the priority.

You need to understand your content needs and then develop your content at the same time as you develop your website design. This will help you understand all elements of your website and develop everything properly.

Understanding that content can serve as a guide to the design of a website. Content-driven design should serve the bare minimum of what the user requires. With this in mind, you can plot out each page with an understanding of user flow.

More than Content Driven Website ?

We believe that this article has covered enough on Content Driven Website and their benefits. If you want to design or redesign your websites with WordPress, you may consider the Award Winning WordPress Themes from D5 Creation. All of these Themes have Free Versions, too.

You can also find many Articles in our Blog Section more than the content driven website topics. You can find SEO, Optimization, Speed, Security and various website design and development topics there.

Author : Aimee Laurence

Aimee Laurence writes on content marketing and entrepreneurship for Help with Research Papers, educational website.

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