Which Comes First? The Content or Design?

by GruffyGoat Team written on
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Today’s topic revolves around your sitemap and your website content. Your sitemap is the pages on your website and how they are organized. A great sitemap also details the user flow and how pages are linked. Content is all the text and media that will be on the site. There are two main schools of thought for web design about when content comes into play for a project. 

  1. Design first, content second.
  2. Content first, design around the content.

Guess which school of thought we fall into? If you chose #2, then you are correct. I like how Slickplan explains this:

“Great websites start with great content! Create and organize your content first so that it drives design, not the other way around… More efficiently planned content leads to less time and money spent, fewer revisions, and a reduction of coding do-overs.”

They pretty much hit the nail on the head. In our experience, beginning to build or design a website without at least rough text content leads to many more revisions down the road. In essence, we cannot design around content that we cannot see. We cannot determine the best layout for a section without knowing if we are working with a paragraph, a title plus a list, one image, or three images. We will guess based on assumptions and more than likely guess wrong. This guessing game becomes frustrating for all involved.

Some agencies work design first and it’s not wrong! It’s just not our style.

So, if you are looking to work with us, start thinking about your content before signing the dotted line, because we are going to ask you for it. If you need help with this, let us know! Our content strategy team loves to dig in with working brainstorming and planning sessions. We also have copywriters to help you put pen to paper. Let’s figure it out together!