Content or design? – A question that has existed from the beginning of time. (Or from the beginning of digital marketing at least)
When it comes to curating a new website for your business or brand, you want to make sure that everything complements each other. After all, it’s the holistic customer journey that shall give you those valuable conversions.
But where to start? Content creates relevance and delivers the brand tone, products and services, the USP, purpose and pretty much everything your business holds dear to the heart.
On the other hand, the design is why your prospects shall stay around and indulge in what you have to stay. It defines the UX of your website, making the digital environment something to look forward to.
Now there are two means to go about this; you can either hire an agency like MintTwist or do it on your own. No matter what you do, the decision shall always be yours.
So, let’s take it one at a time. We’re going to dive into both approaches – Design First and Content First to see who comes out on top. (once and for all)
Design First Approach
The design first approach is about building trust within your prospects. When they land on your website, the first thing they see isn’t going to be the over-sized headline you’ve put in place but, the colour scheme, the element placement, the directional flow, and everything in between. Even the most brilliantly written content can’t save you if the words cannot be found naturally.
Here are some reasons why a design-first approach is imperative.
It Tells Them Where to Go
The easiest way to understand how a customer feels is going through the process yourself. Log on to your website and try to buy the product you have in mind. How did it go? The answer to this question shall decide the complexity of your navigation. Site maps that are simple to follow boost customer confidence and guide them exactly where you want them to be.
The Brand Aesthetic
Your web design shall be the key contributor to the brand tone. The colour scheme you set and form of the elements shall decide in what light your brand is perceived. It further applies to the concept of brand recognition where a similar colour or structure shall be associated with you, no matter where it is seen. For example, look at the iconic Coca-Cola typography and red-white contrast. You can recognize it anywhere, can’t you?
Speaks for Your Credibility
Credibility is the factor that shall make the customers feel at ease when they finally decide to shell out the money. Your web design acts as the background to this feeling by displaying a level of professionalism and authenticity. It goes like the need to dress for the job you want. For instance, Apple brings in the trust by using a combination of white space and minimalism. The site is designed in a way to move your attention from everything around to what matters.
Web design is like creating a marketing hype for an upcoming product. Yes, your product can be the best thing to happen to the world since the Big Bang but, it’s not getting anywhere if no one knows about it. The layout, colours, elements and navigation give the content a podium to stand upon where it can finally be valued for what it is.
Content First Approach
Content is what shall keep your customers engaged. It gives the space to tell your brand story without being constrained by the boxes set by design. Following your own brand voice, there is always a better opportunity to create something fresh and alluring, rather than just chasing the next big trend. Even in the most desirable colour schemes, it is the content that shall decide whether your prospects turn into a lead or not. With the content in place, the words can define the designs that do complete justice to your brand proposition.
Here is why a content-first approach makes sense.
SEO Takes the First Bite
SEO, being the mammoth it is, requires a seamless configuration between both design and content. The issue here is that optimization is hardly paid attention to while designing a website. The preset content pieces bring the whole puzzle in place by creating a complementing environment. It enables the SEO strategy to consider user-orientation and ensures that every blog, image, video or product ranks the best it can from the get-go.
Content Drives the Development
The defining aspect of quality content is that it doesn’t need to be restricted. Once you have the content in place, designing the website around it comes with ease. On the other hand, an over-enthusiastic design sometimes requires you to cut short on the content, making the whole brand objective disappear within a set aesthetic. Moreover, with the length of content decided, design elements do not need to be revised every time, saving both time and effort.
Helps in Building a Responsive Website
Around 57% of users don’t recommend a website if it is optimized for mobile devices. Hence, not creating a responsive web page can seriously hurt your chances of getting the required user engagement. The process of building one requires you to fit the designs you have in a limited space. A content-first approach allows you to perceive the dimensions that shall bring everything together. Since all the elements can’t be crunched into a box, content helps decide what should stay and what shouldn’t.
So, What’s the Answer – Content or Design?
While this might sound a bit anti-climactic, the answer is – NEITHER.
Both content and design should be started simultaneously. Since both of them are mutually dependent, the collaboration between your designers and content writers shall give rise to synergy, making the whole much bigger than the initial sum.
The design should accommodate the content, forming a natural flow of interaction for the users. On the other hand, content must drive between the lines with the upcoming trends, delivering what the users expect at the end of the day.
Essentially, both content and design should glorify the brand vision, tone and voice, which resonate with the audience.