Nope, that’s not a typo in our headline. We didn’t mean to write a blog about the value of the contents page in a book (although we do find a good table of contents useful—especially when we’re trying to find a vital bit of information for that Uni essay due tomorrow).
But, we’re not talking about books or essays. No, our last-minute essay-writing days are well and truly behind us (and we swear it only happened that one time). We make websites now. We design them, we build them, we optimise them.
We’re also content creators.
Because we know that a good looking website is worth nothing without good content to go with it—and the emphasis is on good. There’s no point just having mountains of content (enough, for example, to cover tables and thus explain our headline)—unless it has quality, substance, and merit to it.
Content is vital from day one of web design—and we mean literally from day one. Your content needs to be integrated into the overall build of a website, and not something that is simply an afterthought once the website is made functional and aesthetic.
Content should both influence and complement the design process and vice versa. Web design is a holistic endeavour.
‘But how can content influence design?’ we hear you ask. ‘Should I be writing my articles in the fanciest font I can find? Do I need to wear a dinner suit when I record my vlogs?’ While details like these are important, this is not quite what we’re talking about.
Too often web designers will focus solely on aspects such as sitemaps, wireframing, and functionality—with zero thought given to the content that will populate those web pages.
If the design is looked at with a content-focused approach, it can inform these decisions and save headaches later on—not to mention time and costs.
Think about it: if you put all your effort into just designing a ‘pretty’ site based on what you think it needs, rather than designing a functional one based on what you know it has—you’re probably then going to have to bloat it with content just to make those superfluous pages feel like they serve a purpose.
Your target audience is going to be able to spot the fluff a mile away, and if anything, it’s going to drive them from the site rather than entice them to stay.
After all, the internet is a crowded place. According to this report, there are over 1.8 billion websites as of January 2018. If you want yours to stand a chance of being seen, you’ve got to be smart about its design. Content is just as important as every other aspect, and should really make the design process easier overall.
So, if you need a content-centred website design, then we are Dando.
Contact us on 1300 932 435 or firstname.lastname@example.org