Is Content-First the Enemy of Design-First?

A chalkboard with the words web design

Putting content first in web design is all the rage right now!

One of the most important benefits of this approach is that it accelerates the process from the planning phase to the finished website.

However, as most web design firms in UK know, you can never ignore the relevance of design. Design must work hand-in-hand with content in order to build a truly complete website. That’s why designers need to work in collaboration with copywriters and vice versa.

That way, the client can get the best of both worlds while saving the extra resources that would be required when trying to fill the gaps left from leaning too much in one direction. Now, if you still need a bit more convincing on the shortcomings of the exclusive content-first strategy, then have a quick read through the advice from some of the best UK web design firms.

Writing is Time-Consuming

Coming up with really good written content day in and day out can be a really difficult task, which is where the inspiration of design elements comes in. Seeing the layout from the web designer can help the writer come up with creative content ideas, which makes the final result even more harmonised.

  • Cohesive Content Strategies Are for Copywriters

This is actually a myth because, in order for the content strategy to be comprehensive, it needs input from the full content team, including the designer. This makes it easier to create a comprehensive and cohesive strategy.

  • Writers Tend to Make Stuff Up

As soon as most writers start to struggle with copy ideas, they’re not averse to cooking something up on the fly. That’s why the writer needs to work with the designer so that they can get a better idea of what the website requires as per the web development process.

Design-First is Not a Good Idea Either

Just as content without design is like bread without butter, design without copy makes the website all flash and no substance.

  • It Slows Things Down

Opting for the design-first approach often leads to a need to constantly make revisions in order to accommodate the copy, and vice versa. The more revisions are done, the longer the web development process will take. The best way to speed things up is to simply ensure an on-going collaboration between the writer and the designer from the get-go.

  • Increases Empty Placeholders

As any UK web designer firm will tell you, filling the CMS with placeholder content while the design process is underway could lead to a lot of needlessly empty space for you to fill up later.

  • Increases Scaling Issues

You could run into serious scaling problems when the content on hand is actually bigger than the space available. This is why you will encounter issues like disorganised layouts, long menus, as well as the addition of navigation elements that will simply spoil the page layout.

  • Unplanned Content Constraints

You might need to sacrifice your initial expectations about your website’s aesthetics. The correction of the placeholder content can be very time-consuming.

Now you know more about the pros and cons of content first and design first according to professionals. Which method do you support? Which strategy is more appropriate according to you or your business?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!