If websites are primarily a vehicle for content delivery, why do so many web projects still disproportionately focus on visual design and functionality, at the expense of the content? When we treat content as an afterthought we limit our ability to make good design decisions and our sites fail to achieve their goals.
It is a constant challenge we’ve been wrestling with for years, as we try to push content to the heart of the design process and the users’ experience. This guide shares some of that experience and the practical techniques to help you emphasise content at each stage of a typical website project.
Who is the guide for?
We’ve written this for all the people that want to make smarter, content-led decisions on their web projects. If you’re an agency working with clients on their website redesign projects, or part of an in-house team working on your own redesign, this guide is for you.
It’s for the UX and visual designers, content strategists, the business development and sales people, account managers, copywriters, project managers, and developers that all play their part in a successful web project.
What will I learn?
This guide is full of practical advice based on many years of experience.
- what happens when you don’t put content first … they aren’t good things
- how to make the case for putting content first
- how to validate your content ideas
- what content questions to ask at the start of your next project
- how to perform a content audit
- how to map the content ecosystem
- how to conduct an effective competitor analysis
- how and why you should design with proto-content (and what proto-content is)
- how to govern your content after launch
Table of contents
The business case
What are the benefits for a content-first approach.
Project sales and buy-in phase
Start to win more work or get stakeholders on board easily, by selling in your content-first approach.
Advice and techniques to kick-off your web projects with the right mindset.
Introduce smart techniques for immediate insights that will benefit the entire project (and beyond).
Project sales and buy-in phase
Pick up our proven methods for designing with real and proto-content to make smarter design decisions.
Learn how to sustain website content from “Day 1” onwards.
Here’s a peek at what some industry experts think about the topic:
“Content strategy may be the right thing to do but doesn’t mean anyone cares. They care about what hurts, ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼they care about selling, they care about establishing long term relationships with clients.”
“When we all approach a problem by first considering the content, we set ourselves up to wrestle with its purpose and communication goals. As writers, designers, and marketers, we come together around the content, first, to then plan our tactics. Our goals and their form drive the details and execution, as it should be.”
“If we can take the time to discover the possibilities and challenges of a project, then get stakeholders to agree and align on how the content can be leveraged as a real business asset, it’s never time wasted. I’ve only seen it saving time. Crucial conversations build a knowledge base and efficiencies for design and development resources.”
About the Author
Liam is Founder of Lagom Strategy, a UK consultancy specialising in UX and sustainable content strategy.
With over a decade of content production and strategy experience in the UK and Australia, Liam has built up a wealth of practical knowledge on how to put content back at the heart of web projects.
Liam was previously Senior UX Architect / Content Strategist with Sydney agency, Digital Eskimo, where he introduced and led the agency’s successful content strategy services. Before heading to Australia in 2009, Liam was a Web Producer at the UK Parliament and the Senior Web Editor at the UK Foreign Office.
Liam also has a Masters degree in Web Journalism.
You can read the full Guide to Content Strategy for Website Projects online too.