Content in site design

Hi @channel We are looking to improve our web UX processes and frequently get stumped with content. When and how to introduce it earlier in the process so the layout and flows follow the content more specifically. How do others integrate content audit and authoring in their website projects?

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@melanie_seibert is the person that you need for this one!

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Thanks @HAWK!

Hi @andrew_lamont, I’m a content designer/content strategist who works with UX designers on sites and apps. Here’s how we’ve started integrating what we call “content design” (some use the term UX writing) earlier into our process:

  • Ideally, you would have a discovery phase with content audit happening alongside strategy and research first. (We’re lucky to work with researchers, but if not, you can do it yourself. I recommend Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think and Sarah Richards’s Content Design for information on research.)
  • Those insights would inform the content design for your design/redesign. Use your content audit to figure out what information to keep vs. get rid of.
  • We start with a draft of content, which can be as simple as a Word doc. This gives us metadata, content structure, IA, and calls to action. A good primer on this here: Content-First Design – A List Apart
  • Once we have a draft of content, I meet with the designer to help them think about structure both across the site and in pages. This is a collaborative working session.
  • After that, they start creating prototypes and we meet regularly (2x a week would be ideal) to discuss and iterate on those. I offer ideas or tweak copy, and we present to the client weekly.

Those are some steps we’re taking to help solve this problem. If you don’t have a dedicated UX writer/content designer, you can wear as many of these hats as you like. I’m really glad you’re thinking content-first; your designs and your process will benefit from it!

Let me know if you have any questions.

Melanie

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Hey @melanie_seibert thanks so much for this. I like the content first approach. We already do what is basically on your steps, except often our clients who are responsible for content production cant get to doing this until further down in the project and approve templates without really thinking of the content on the page, so a content first approach may work. Thanks again

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