Content First Web Design Approach
Over the last few years, many design approaches have been introduced to the market in order to improve the quality of websites. Content First Design is one of the approaches that became popular due to its capability of enhancing websites’ quality.
We would like to start the article by providing you with two simple examples of how the Content First Design approach works and how it is able to add value to the design.
As the first very simple example, if the designer knows that the topics of the content are longer than normal before starting the design process, it would be easy to design accordingly and allocate sufficient space for long topics. Otherwise, you will be ended up by either a messy website or going through a redesign process!
Furthermore, think of an online store that is working in the mineral water market. In this case, providing additional specifications and multiple pictures doesn’t add any extra value to the business, so the whole process of selecting and buying the product should be done in the main store page. Also, such an online store doesn’t need some important ecommerce features like comparison tools and wish lists! Therefore, if the designer is already aware of the content, the design will be developed accordingly.
These two examples are representing two simple applications of the Content First Design approach. Now, we will go deeper through the concept in order to discuss it further.
Jeff Zeldman tweeted back in 2008: “Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration”
Therefore, Content First Design is about designing a website based on what the website is providing and what users are expecting to see on the website. You can get free consultation for “Web Design“.
Content First Design Advantages
There are important benefits that come with Content First Design .We will take you through the advantages below.
Clear guideline and roadmap
The team of designers, when aware of the content nature, will be restricted to design in compliance with the content type. Hence, no extra features and templates will be created by the design team which is not appropriate for the website as the framework is clear. Furthermore, by designing based on content, almost no change is required, as all content elements have already been set and understood by the design team.
Website is built uniquely for your goals
Having a content strategy based on your objectives, prevents you from losing the way, which you have initially created to achieve your goals. As you go forward, the probability of missing out the content elements that are crucial for your business goals increases. The benefit of starting your website design based on a transparent content strategy is to prevent you from ignoring the vital elements that are crucial for your content, based on your business goals.
Also, there are many website features and elements out there that can be added to your website, whilst they are not needed at all and make you end up with a lot of money spent on features that are not required for your business.
User Experience enhancement
You may design the most beautiful website in the world. That’s a good point for your website. However, it wouldn’t convert the visitors to your loyal customer, if you fail to provide their required information, service or product. Even though users enjoy a beautiful design, they are basically after getting a particular service in a most convenient way, otherwise they would go to a museum to see beautiful things! Hence, the design team should be fully aware of what users are after and how they prefer to interact, in order to design appropriate user paths and relevant tools which leads to a better UX for your website.
The Content First Design approach needs a content strategy to be in place. The strategy must be created based on your business objectives, your audience preferences and needs, your competitor performance and content crucial factors, in order to be in compliance with your goals. Content strategy helps designers to design your website as perfect as possible to be capable of reflecting your needs and goals. Hence, by sticking to the content elements which have been set and cleared in the content strategy, the quality of your contents will be at its highest level and in compliance with your business goals and marketing strategy. Furthermore, more users will be attracted to your website as the contents meet their satisfaction.
As a matter of fact, the Content First Design approach tends to improve UX and SEO. Designers should deeply understand your objectives and marketing goals, analyze your competitors, and understand your audience’s behavior. We suggest you read the “UI/UX and Conversion” article to find out more about the importance of UI/UX in conversion rates.
The Content First Design approach costs you more money in comparison with standard web design
As specified above, designers should spend more time to finalize their researches. Also, they should have multiple meetings with the client in order to understand their business nature and goals, content type and much more elements. Hence, the cost of the project will increase considerably, however, we can assure you that it is worth it. As much as you spend on the Content First Design approach, you will be rewarded back by having a quality website with many loyal customers and more traffic. You can check “Web Design Pricing” to find our more.
This new method is supposed to be more expensive? what about the timing?
This method is kind of combination of SEO and Web design. We will apply all the necessary elements and strategy from the very first point. Generally I can say it would cost more and usually take 20 days more than a regular website. But you cannot imagine the quality of the outcome!