It’s risky to start a design before paying close attention to what a site will feature and why.
A good site design creates a structure that enables a clear two-way dialogue with all its users.
Content is our problem
A lot of designers think that web design is about the interface, and that content is what’s added on later, or else it’s “the client’s problem”.
I’ve seen designers argue that the content must be changed to fit the way the site was designed.
This only represents the designer’s failure.
Designing for the content should be the designer’s problem and focus, because content is the key to success.
Remember the purpose of design: To enable communication between the consumer and the content.
Content is what it’s all about.
It’s content that makes a site work, flow and communicate well with the right tone.
That makes it the web designer’s problem, because effective communication is our problem.
It’s our job to maximise a web site’s effectiveness and that means understanding how users will interact with a site’s content.
Designing for communication
It always helps to have a framework to start from, so that we’re not designing into thin air.
A good way to build a framework is to list what a site has to say, and then prioritise those messages.
I like to picture an active two-way conversation between the site and the user.