How Content Processes Affect Site Design

Too often a website is designed by marketing/business development people and only then is handed over to a content manager around the time of the launch. The content manager is then left to develop content processes to fit around the site that has been designed, compounding any errors made in the site design.

Building a site for web content

Building a site for web content

As an example,  a site may have a news section prominent on the homepage, which seemed like a great idea to the people who would never need to generate content for it. Of course – it was never going to end up as their problem. Later on, the content manager may find that they do not have the resources to generate enough news articles to justify the prominence of this section. Do they then let other parts of the site suffer in order to maintain the news section or do they concentrate on what the site is best at and hope to get the site redesigned as soon as possible? Swapping out the news module for something else may not end up as the best option.

Too often companies end up with a site that needs redesigning within months. Of course, it doesn’t happen due to budgetary reasons so they limp along with what they have for as long as they can.

Content processes are crucial in informing site design. You can never be 100% sure of what you will be doing in the future but a content manager can plan with more certainty than anyone else.

The content manager needs to be involved in planning and wireframing the site, ideally after conducting an extensive content audit. The audit will tell you clearly what you should port over to the new site and what you should leave behind. When you understand what you will be doing every week on your ideal site, you can start to design and build it.