It was only a few years ago when a typical website would be designed first with image editing software then coded and finally filled with content. Designers had to anticipate how much, where it would be and what type of content was going to be put on the website.
As a result I’ve often seen beautiful designed websites turn unnatural and unappealing by the time they launched. This was not the designers fault nor the clients nor anyone involved in creating content. The process was wrong, design and content were seen as two separate things when in fact they are not.
To avoid confusion, content, in my view, is far from limited to the bigger chunks of text on a website. It also includes imagery, video’s, labels on buttons and menu items…. All these elements contribute to what the web page is telling.
To create a compelling website, content and design need to be working together. This isn’t new, we’ve been doing this for a long time. Take a look 10 years ago when Flash reigned the internet and every new product got a separate product website built in Flash. Highly immersive websites that could include full screen video, lot’s of animation and content specific written for that product heavily integrated in the page.
The purpose of design should be to take all the content, to help and tell the story by visually separating the different pieces, create a visual hierarchy and guide the viewers attention. While doing all that creating a specific look & feel around it.
Both content and design need work together to create a compelling and immersive story that guides viewers to a specific outcome. This can’t be achieved when design and content are out of sync. They are equally important to each other to have the best possible results.