Content Before Design
When it comes to designing a website, tasks have to be done in a certain order. If these tasks are completed out of order it costs valuable time in getting a site coded and ultimately launched.
Why? Well, would you write a paper before researching the topic? No, right? That’s how creating a website should go as well. After all, what is a website at its core if not information. Second and third is making it look good and being user friendly. But first, before anything, is information.
So why would you skip the most important part first?
A well structured site always begins with most, if not all the written and visual content already curated. That way, the designer knows how to display it to the best advantage. Let’s take a simple example: Say in the beginning, you only have 100 words of text and the designer contours the page around those 100 words of text. Then, a couple days after the site has been designed and coded, you decide to post 1,000 words instead. It’s like parking an SUV in a spot designed for a sports car. It’ll fit if you shove it really hard, but there’s going to be some damage.
When you see a website, there’s a lot more that went into creating that site than just what you see. If it’s good site, there were likely lots of designs and lots of planning before a final product was created. And the first step in that creation process was content. It’s not just about text, it also applies to images as well. If you have a lot of vertical images, the designer needs to know that so they can design the website layout accordingly. Same goes for horizontal pictures.
In a perfect web world, we’d be able to put whatever we want, wherever we want and it would look just right. But as hard as we try, it’s just not possible. As the old adage goes: “measure twice, cut once”.