The Content Speed Bump

How written and visual assets effect project progress

March 28th Articles 5 min read
The Content Speed Bump

By Eric Ressler

Content in Context

It’s easy to think that content just fills in boxes on a site. The truth is, content is also part of the design. Seeing content integrated into the design tells us if the design works with that piece of content. For us, seeing content in context is part of the design process. It may point out changes required to make the design and content work together most effectively. So, when we’re waiting for content, we’re prevented from completing a design element. And waiting means a project delay. Lack of content is one of the primary reasons that sites launch after their original deadline.

Content In Context

Written content creation has a cycle.

Written content creation has a cycle. The process goes something like this:

  • Initial Content Creation: Generated either by us or client. We find that a the initial copy is primarily factual. We’re getting the information down and agreeing that this is what we want to get across.
  • Review and Feedback: Once feedback is consolidated, an edit pass is done for brevity and tone. We try to get as close as possible to the final length of the copy as quickly as possible. That way, we can hand it to the design team so that they can integrate it into their designs.
  • 2-3 Edit Rounds: The written copy goes back and forth, narrows down to individual words, then is finally locked.
  • Initial Content Lock: It’s vital to stop editing and lock down the copy. This allows design to be finalized as well. If copy isn’t locked, the site won’t launch. Keep in mind that we primarily build sites with Craft CMS. It’s super-easy to update the copy in the back end of Craft. That means that locked copy can be changed after the site launches.
Editing Content

It’s vital to stop editing and lock down the copy.

At each point in this process, the possibility of delay exists—from either party. It’s critical to set expectations for content turn-around time at the beginning of a project. When we set the project schedule, it’s a primary consideration.

The same need for review and revision exists for both design and content. Written copy is the most common component of the site that needs nearly constant work throughout a project. We can’t be certain how well written and visual assets, such as photos, integrate into the designs until we plug them in. We use weekly sprints to get design and content feedback. Timely feedback lets us iterate, make improvements, and move forward.

The content is as important to your business strategy as any aspect of your website. Due to its influence on design, it can’t simply be generated en masse at the end of a project. That’s why we include the order of content creation in the design schedule. For example; if the Home page is designed first, then the Home page content should be created first.

We find that when content creation is fully integrated into the website creation strategy, it influences, pushes, and improves design, rather than being a speed bump in the road to a timely site launch.

Need help content with your content strategy? Get in touch.

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