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The Right Approach to Website Content Design
Understanding the true purpose of website content design is one of the first steps leading to user friendly webpages for your website visitor. If your visitor wanted to see art, they would have gone to a museum where they can find Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, not your website.
The reason your visitor is on your site is to find information. Therefore the purpose of website content design is to communicate effectively with your visitor. You communicate through your words on your visitors screen.
This discussion assumes that you have read about developing your website concept or the subject of your website. If not please visit the Make Your Website section of this site and learn as much as you can about the importance of your website niche and how to develop one.
Planning Like A PresentationYour website concept is very important in shaping your content design. You have to have a visual in mind of what your website will look like, what it will include and why. This planning process is often underestimated by many web designers. They later realize that their website is just all over the place and doesn’t really communicate well to their readers.
Treat content design no different that a presentation you would give to a small group of individuals. Typically a presentation involves communication between you and your audience. You might use devices like a white board or an overhead projector. However, your message is the main product of your presentation right?
So just like you would plan for a presentation, plan out your website’s subject and the topics you want to cover within. Then come up with sub topics. List them all out and arrange them in the most logical order you think your visitor will be able to follow you. A website is really no different from a presentation. This little paragraph alone can be a synopsis of how content design should really be approached.
Content Design is Often NeglectedYou have heard me say many times that content is king on the Internet. So wouldn’t it make sense to design your website around the content you want to communicate to your visitor?
While you may say yes, you’d be surprised how many web designers go about this the exact opposite way. Hours are spent on website design (graphics and appeal) with all kinds of bells and whistles without really focusing much on content.
Content is something that is “just added” on the backend to complete the skeletal frame and add some “beef” to it. This is just so unfortunate isn’t it? If you have been there before you know what exactly I am talking about. If you haven’t been there before, don’t ever go there!
Focus on content design first and then the skeletal design of how your webpages look. After all, skeletal systems can’t communicate. Only your content will!
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