The internet has transformed how we search, process and interact with information on websites, apps and digital products. Consideration to content and how it is presented often comes too late during a project timeline and is never given the attention it deserves.
Content design considers the users requirements and presents information in the most meaningful way that allows them to understand and consume it simply and easily.
A website user may wish to:
- Read, compare and evaluate product information
- Read a news article
- Browse a gallery of images or videos
- Login to a secure area
- Learn more about the story behind a brand
There are two important factors when considering content design:
- Content – what information is being presented
- Content Presentation – is it written, tabular, an infographic or diagram, photographs, video or a combination.
Good content design is about understanding your users needs and designing your content for them.
Benefits of good content design
Well researched and concise material, presented in the most suitable way can benefit both you and your users in many ways;-
Benefits to your brand
Your website will attract search engines which will in turn lead to improved rankings and increased website traffic. This in turn will grow your brand’s online presence and could increase your customer base both on and offline. Good quality content is more likely to be shared on social media platforms improving traffic to your website organically. Your users will associate your brand as being professional, will think more highly of you and could develop a more personal relationship with your brand.
Benefits to your website visitors
Engaging, interesting and informative content will be more pleasing for your visitors to consume and share – can make purchasing decisions more informed, quicker and faster and allow them to complete tasks efficiently and build trust with your brand. Well structured content can reduce the amount of pages and provide more simplified and streamlined navigation.
Implement a content design strategy
Implementing a content design strategy should be a important part of your website goals for the future. You need to consider that each user’s needs maybe completely different – their path of arrival to the page, their knowledge of the topic, the motivation behind viewing the page and their reaction to it – they may require more information, request a call, make a purchase, visit a physical store, ‘add to basket’ for later or download a file. You shouldn’t assume that the reader will read, act and interpret the content as you expect them to.
The following should be considered when implementing a content design strategy.
- Research – is it accurate, up to date and optimised for both readers and search engines.
- Is it well written, concise and relevant to the topic.
- Connect with your readers – does the content flow, is it easy to understand with a structure.
- Tell your story – you aren’t just selling a product or service, you are making a human connection so reach out to the audience.
Design & Technical considerations
- Consider how the content can be best presented – articles, videos, diagrams, sound or a combination.
- Images and video are powerful medium – make sure they are of a high quality, well composed and relevant to the subject.
- How will the content look and feel on different devices – consider mobile, tablet or TV users. How does the typography look and feel at different screen sizes.
- Consider users who may have slow or limited internet connections – a video may not be suitable as the only way of presenting the information.
- Avoid duplicate content across different pages as this can produce poor search results, and confuse users.
- Change the layout of pages to match the content – implement different layouts, photos and video sizes to present the information in the most suitable way.
- How long will content stay on a website, should it be updated or removed after a certain time.
- Can longer articles be broken up into more manageable sections with snappy, strong headings.
- Spelling, grammar and punctuation – check and double check.
The content on your website leaves a lasting impression on your visitors and indicates how seriously you take your digital and online presence. Users don’t simply read websites, they interact with them, experience them and the feeling they get from how you present your content can make a lasting impression.
If you take the time to really understand your users requirements and design your content around them the result is a simple, cleaner and faster website and more satisfied users.