How to design with words
Finding effective ways in the website design process to design with real content is a big challenge. Using placeholder text, as many of us tend to given timelines and project management schedule, is really a big no-no. It does not give us as designers the exact sense of how that section should communicate details to the user in order to create a content first user experience, rather than focusing on bright shiny objects on the page. Its time to get in that content first user experience mindset.
Creating a content first user experience
When we sit down and start to plan out a website, getting into the wireframe details and sorting out how and what it will tell the consumer, building those integral first steps of the relationship, it is important to grasp what the core messages will be. Using placeholder copy, while great that it takes one minute to come up with, forces the design and flow of the website to be in unknown realms. Having the proper content, minus a few copy tweaks, will let the designer use her skills to create the best possible user experience. Making sure the visitor engages with the content, and starts to build that integral relationship with the brand.
3 Content roadblocks
In building and getting into that content first user experience mindset, there are a few roadblocks that come up consistently. Here they are together with a solution.
- Psychological: Writing feels a little like homework. Solution: Let all those involved in on a little secret, conversations are fun and super easy.
- Process: Creating copy can be expensive and time consuming. Solution: Try using a conversation map over user flows, creating a first draft of the copy.
- Agency-client: Words are not sexy. Solution: Staying in the content first mindset, and talking about it from the onset as past of the web design process.
Knowing what the four content roadblocks are is half the battle. Navigating them, that’s a whole other approach.
Tools and resources for improving the content design process
Regardless of how you fix the problem, an integral first step is to convince people that design really does work better with real content. I have outlined some tools and approaches for improving your content fist design process, and help sell through the concept:
- Content first user experience podcast
- Content and Design Are Inseparable Work Partners
- Writing first design
- Designing content first for a better UX
- Content first prototyping
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