Why designers want your copy before they start designing the website
Website is like an interior
Designing both is a kind of a challenge with various number of possibilities and limitations. You have a space which you have to fulfill. You need a content, you need a purpose. You need also a kind of guidance.
Room is a home for a person. Website is a home for content.
Content first approach means, that the design of the website is mostly based on the content which will be present. It is about the copy and the message. Copy is text- massage is the impression you’d like to leave in viewer’s head. Content first approach is the most desirable for designers and developers. It helps to see how design will work across various devices and to design the layout which fits perfectly to the client’s needs. Designer can dose the tension to keep the viewers attention. Can prepare the layout choreography, the dance of letters and images which aim is to attract potential client attention. When you don’t have the content… …the design will be prepared according to common rules, kind of accurate, for universal usage. Will be good, but most likely without personality. Will be just correct (and possibly bit boring).
To see it bit clearer…
Just imagine that the content is your visitor, for whom you need to design a room, where he/she will be living for year or so. You have just plain walls, nothing more. Some budget and that’s it. No content scenario means that you have no idea, who your guest is. You don’t know the gender, age, you have no idea about her/his hobbies and daily routine. What would you do? There are two basic scenarios To design universal room, like in basic hotel. Bed, desk, chair and perhaps bookshelf. Play it safe, because you have no idea what are the expectations. You want to be ready for anybody but you know already that you will need to put an extra work to customise it later.
Yeah I know those temporary solutions, especially at home, they last forever!
Other idea is; design it in a way you like: nice paintings on the wall to make it more glamour. Soft and elegant sofa. Antique desk with wooden chair… Lush! And then… guest arrives 17 year’s old boy, grandson of your grandmother niece’s cousin. You designed very nice room, but will he like it? Will he fell comfortable there? Exactly. When designer works on basis on guess there might be a surprise. You can also risk and use specific style, but it may be hit or miss, with small chances for winning… This is why I always tell my clients.
Please prepare the content for the website first, then I will build the best home for those letters and images, customised and reflecting your company values. Perfectly crafted for desktop and mobile.
I don’t have the copy yet, will my new website be a disaster?
If you need a website, and you don’t have copy yet, you don’t have to be worried (too much)! You just need to prepare yourself for in-depth interview, where you will be asked many questions which will help to create the most accurate brief for the job. But then… well this completely other story.