It’s time to bring your website into the 21st century. But before you start redesigning with fancy image slideshows, catchy header images and various plugins, consider the most of important part of your website: the content. Create a content strategy before you build out the design for a website that’s tailored to your audience.
The “Content First” Philosophy
The “content-first” philosophy guides the design process towards a design tailored towards user-experience. This method is a lot more efficient, as it puts content before design. In other words, you won’t have to struggle fitting content into a beautiful design before finally launching your website. Instead, designers and developers build out a design based on the content. That is not to say that function and form get pushed aside, as these are equally important components of a website. Rather, these aspects are considered in the context of your website’s content.
Why should you focus on content? Content drives traffic to your website, it promotes SEO, and it highlights your expertise in a specific field. Users visit your site for the content, so it’s important to take your audience into consideration when planning a redesign.
Establish a Content Strategy
What is Information Architecture (IA)?
Once you’ve fleshed out your content strategy, take your planning to the next level with information architecture (IA). In this step, discuss how your content should be structured, organized, and labeled. Think about how visitors view your content. Is your organization logic for users? How does the content guide the user? A common tool for IA is a sitemap. A site map acts as a blueprint for your website and lists out all pages of the website. With this method, you’ll be able to see the hierarchy of pages and content in the context of the entire website. This will allow you to see what pages, if any, need to be adjusted or removed entirely.
IA plays a large role in your content strategy as well as the design process. Use the IA to determine the best approach to design, wireframing, and prototyping. IA includes four main aspects:
- Organization Schemes and Structures: How will you categorize and organize content?
- Labeling: How will you represent content?
- Navigation: How do users move through your content?
- Search: How are users searching for your content?
While there are many ways to approach a redesign, it’s important to consider the audience visiting your site. The content-first approach puts users in the center of the design process, so that content leads the look of the website. Furthermore, it’s a lot easier to create a design based on content as opposed to forcing content to fit into a design. We work with some of the best design agencies in Atlanta, whose processes take users and clients into account. Talk to us about building your next project.