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Content + Design, Together Forever

My two biggest pet peeves about business include design and content.

Design and Content go together like peanut butter and jelly, Hall & Oates, or smartphones and selfies. It’s hard to have one without the other — and be successful.

You can have great content, but if it’s not laid out well — no one will read it. You can have great design, but if the content is awful — no one will pay attention.

So why are there so many crappy websites, brochures or otherwise marketing assets?

In my opinion it’s because design and content are often at opposite sides of the workflow. Companies redesign without considering the content. People write content without taking into account the design attributes.

Here are 3 tips to help you keep design + content together forever!

Think about the social sharing journey. Your website isn’t just a collection a photos or images. Your visual assets mean something. It’s great that you’ve enabled your site to be social sharing friendly, but what happens when I pin a photo to Pinterest or share on Facebook? Typically, nothing. It’s just an empty container waiting for substance to be added. But your end user isn’t going to do it for you — or at least not how you’d want them to. Instead — develop content that adds value and context to the social share so your message can live on!

Consider the Customer Journey. It used to be your business was discovered in the same way most of the time. People would visit your website, first; then contact you, second. Now, thanks to a bevy of touchpoints, from social media to search to word of mouth to email and more, there are so many ways a person may come to discover a company. As a result, you can no longer rely on just one touchpoint to tell your story. You have to design each touch point to help your customer make their way through the customer journey. It’s a great excuse to invest in each channel or touchpoint so that no matter where a customer finds you, they receive an experience consistent with your brand’s values.

Evaluate, Experiment, Evolve. Content and design may go together, but doesn’t mean that your current design or content will remain relevant forever. Like anything, content and design must be re-examined to remain up-to-date. Perhaps there are new words to incorporate, new colors to consider or new channels to integrate. By developing a strategy that relies on consistent evaluation and experimentation of new ideas, your brand’s content and design can evolve organically over time.

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