Content before Design or vice-versa?
The purpose of a website design is to cater the user and all his needs. The purpose of the typical website visit should be absolutely clear and must be achieved and supported by the design. Development of designs should not be more focused on than the actual content and the user’s expectations from the visit. The website should be made to deliver the desired content to the user at all times instead of just trying to be trendy in terms of competitors’ designs and template trends.
Pay attention to the user, not only the trends
It so happens usually that when a person approaches a firm, they usually come only with website design requirements including scrolling, menu, background requirements. It is nothing short of a blessing if a person shows up with data that pertains to the user’s needs and the website’s vital goals.
What happens is that the owners of the website start focusing only on designs and their competitors. Then they start looking for ways to stay visually trendy and modern in accordance with their audience. Everything becomes so revolved around the user’s view that the actual visitor’s concerns are left unaddressed.
Disappointment is also caused when after the designs are finalized, the content is unable to fit appropriately within the finalized template. The reason for this is that the process followed has wrong numbering of steps and the content finalizing should be done BEFORE the design decisions are made.
Develop content first, make better designs
The main steps like documentation of user flow, paths etc. are usually done only after the design has been finalized. This is the wrong tactic because it means the content is developed to complement the design and this is the wrong order. The design should be made to complement the whole of content on the site.
The first step of the process is to determine the aims and objectives of your own project, rather than setting heart to competitors’ websites.
It is important to develop user personas, the various challenges, the proposed solution and all of the visitors’ paths.
However, this does not mean that graphical designing is unimportant. The point is that the designing tasks should be performed not at the start of the development but at the most appropriate time in the process so as to ensure maximum productivity in terms of the website’s performance when the user visits and browses.
It is a fact that a design devoid of content can only suffice as a decoration instead of design in its truest form.
The most basic footing of a website is composed of the messages and content that a visitor has to interact with. This obviously means that they should be of the highest priority before attention is paid to decorative items.
The conclusion remains that the purpose of the design is to only add more significance to and better enhance the display of the content in the eyes of the visitors of the website.