Marketing writer and graphic designer since 2013, working with the two strongest marketing tools: words and graphics.
The Blurring Lines Between Design and Content
Only a few years ago, it was normal to hire designers and writers separately to work on any marketing product, be it website, banner, landing page, infographic, or simply a blog post with images. But have you noticed that design and content are becoming interrelated now? These days, truly great products are being created in environments where designers and writers cooperate.
3 Benefits of Combining Design and Content
If you compare websites that were done five years ago with those created today, the difference is striking, and it’s not just about design—it’s also about the way content is presented. Now, it looks like the words and content are integrated within the design and are even a part of it. This interaction has three key benefits.
1. Shorter Design Project Lifecycle
When writers and designers work together, it rids them both of any project-related confusion. Ideally, they sit together to create the entire product structure. Writers choose the information they would like to include on the website, banner, or elsewhere, and designers immediately suggest the ways where and how to locate this information. It’s not a writer who should create an informational infrastructure of the website or any other page. The role of a designer is important here too. As a result, it is possible to avoid endless structure confirmation updates and reduce project lifecycles. Who wins? Designers, writers, managers, and, for sure, customers.
2. Better Readability and Scannability of Content
When text and graphics are created independently from each other, the final marketing product lacks consistency and doesn’t look like an integral piece. But when designers and writers exchange their ideas since the very beginning of the project, the chances are higher all the elements will look coherent together. No difference in styles should be felt. Let’s say, if a writer wants to convey a message in a formal business style, it is important to make sure a designer will use the same style for graphics. However, such aspects have to be discussed in detail, and this is where content & design interaction makes a real difference.
3. New-Level Approaches in Creating Marketing Materials Are Possible
Everyone keeps repeating: “Content first.” But there are over a dozen of reasons to disagree. Content-and-design interaction presupposes that content is not written until design structure is confirmed, while design is not created until content elements are ready. Sounds like a paradox, but this is how marketing materials should be written and designed today. In other words, content and design should always be done simultaneously.
How Can You Make Content and Design Interact?
- If you own a local business, you could just transform your in-house business processes and increase interaction between writers and designers. If teams work remotely or you simply need to find someone to design a website or any other marketing product for you, it will be more difficult to encourage interaction between them.
- Substitute face-to-face meetings with web conferencing where your designers and writers could freely discuss their ideas and suggestions.
- Need someone for your one-time project? Hire teams where designers work together with writers.
- If it’s a small project that does not require extended teams, it is actually possible to find one person who can handle both writing and design. It can be an infographic, a few banners, or blog posts with suitable custom images.
- Industry professionals with both writing and design skills are a rare but precious find. They could easily work on some small projects that require both writing and design expertise.
The importance of good content structuring makes design projects tricky. Designers often easily get stuck only because they don’t know what content is going to be placed on the page. In the same way, writers get stuck because they don’t know how the designer is planning to locate the elements, which length and style will be suitable, etc. Proper interaction between designers and writers will serve as a favorable solution to this problem. It will make project processes only healthier and smoother. It is no longer possible just to leave a designing part to designers and a writing part to writers and expecting them to figure out what is what independently.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2016 Natalia Fesak