Content design – the first steps to a better website

Website development projects normally focus on design and structure, often leaving content overlooked.

Compelling content is vitally important for any website because it can make it accessible and easier to find through search engines.

So how can you ensure that your website content meets users needs?

After all, if five writers were given the same content brief, the result would be 5 different articles.

Learn from the UK Government!

Let’s consider how an example organisation, the UK Government, approaches this challenge.

Every day they publish vast amounts of information and services which need to be accessible and easy to understand.

Their aim is to deliver clear and accessible public services whilst providing significant efficiency savings for the taxpayer.

The United Nations 2019 e-Government report stated that the United Kingdom, was becoming more user-centric in the delivery of services, “using design thinking in creating, delivering and using services”.

Content Design

UK Government refers to their approach as Content Design. Designing content that “allows people to do or find out what they need to from government simply and quickly using the most appropriate content format available.”

Content design can appear complex so we’ve listed three initial design questions for you to research before starting any redesign project.

What do your users want?

Read your website content through the eyes of your users (or ask a friend or colleague to do it). Create some sample user questions and read your content to find the answers. Your website content was most likely written over several months or years so you may find a range of issues. If you have the budget, recruit people from your target audience and run a focus group session.

Can you find answers on your website?

Take the same questions, start from the homepage and check the navigation and the menu headings used to describe your products or services. Can you find the answers? Extend the research and ask friends or colleagues to find specific information and record what they say.

Is your content consistent?

Review your website images, brand colours, videos and animations. Do they have a consistent tone and style that projects your brand/product/service clearly and simply? If not, create a simple content guide which can be shared with all content contributors.

Click here to find out how we approach the content design process at Threekey.

 

You (might) need professional help. Talk to us about how we can help you design compelling content for any target audience.