Website content and kitchen sinks – it’s all in the planning

Like so many websites, much of our domestic architecture is planned and built with little thought given to their everyday use.

My downstairs neighbour is a good example of this phenomena. Upon deciding on a new career as a caterer, she spent a king's ransom on re-designing her kitchen. An architect was hired, plans drawn up. A building manager rubbed his chin in a thoughtful way while his builders went through teabags like dry rot through an old house. Finally, the building work began and in a short time a single bedroom and bathroom had been sacrificed for the sake of a large, gleaming kitchen.

It was time to start cooking. But wait. That double oven is going to need more room. And what about the sliding cupboards? Oh, and one fridge/freezer isn't enough. Pots, pans, baking dishes, cooking implements, cutlery, crockery, all need storage space. And so the list grew. And grew.

Words, images, film, infographics, icons, are the sofas, beds and cushions of our websites. Yet, considering how important they are in determining the look, feel and functionality of a site, it's surprising how little time we spend pre-planning their arrival. Quite often, if not always, they're the last to arrive creating headaches for designers and developers who face the challenge of accommodating items for rooms they simply weren't designed for.

One common reason for such content oversight is that website owners are, like home movers, shifting content from one website to another and assume that one size fits all. It doesn't. Despite seeing the new design, there's an assumption that that old corner sofa will fit snuggly under the arched bay windows. It won't.

Some clients make the bold - and emotional - decision to leave the old decor behind and start again with something brighter. Refresh the brand, enliven the copy, re-shoot the management team, animate the icons, install a funky homepage banner. All well and good. But imagine telling your builder half-way through the build that you'd like sliding-doors inserted into your garden-facing back wall? And how about a short decking for those balmy summer evenings?

Chaos. Bust budget. Disgruntled builders.

We've all heard builders swearing. Trust me, it's often the same with developers.

To work effectively, both need clear and well-planned schemes that accommodate content. Nailing down your copy, hammering out what images you'd like, fully engaging the copywriters at an early stage, all help the workflow enabling elements to come together before that dreaded launch deadline.

After a successful spell of catering, my neighbour is now selling up. For sale: One ground-floor apartment with a huge oven and a small bath.

Having designed, built and launched our fair share of websites, we know a thing or two about making content fit design, so get in touch to find out how to be more content with your content.

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