What comes first – web design or copy? Well…how about both?
When I think back on my agency days as a copywriter, I remember how everything we wrote had to match a certain character count of a finished design. And I’m never doing that again – because I believe great design deserves great copy and the other way around! So in my web design process, I now value both equally: effective writing AND strategic web design.
With design and copy, it doesn’t have to be one after the other – in fact, I think they SHOULD be developed together to create the best and most effective websites. Here’s how that looks like in my design process:
Step 1: We identify the goal of your site.
This is the essential starting point for every successful web design project. You might think that increasing sales or promoting your business are the only goals of a website – but that’s not true! Sometimes (for example if you rely a lot on referrals) it could only be a portfolio site, which looks entirely different than a sales site. So we need to make sure we know the purpose of the site before we get started on anything.
Step 2: We find the best website structure, elements and layout to reach that goal.
Once we defined the purpose of the site, it’s important to figure out the best way to achieve the goal, be it selling, promoting, informing or showing off your work (or all of that!). So I start working on a first web design structure where we identify which pages are needed, where we need calls to action and buttons and so on.
Step 3: We write with that goal in mind.
Once the rough structure is set (and note that I wrote “rough”), I will get started on writing the copy. And yes, I do have the structure in mind – but in case there is more content for a certain paragraph or less for another, we still have all the flexibility we need to make design adjustments. That’s the beauty of it! When working on both, copy AND design, you can easily fit them together seamlessly. Compared to a straight-line process where copy comes first or the other way around (not recommended…).
Step 4: We figure out how the design, layout and writing can be combined in the most effective way.
I firmly believe that an effective website is a great website – so with that in mind, let’s make it the best it can be by combining copy and design in the best possible way. Powerful calls to action and engaging image material, the best placement of functional elements and an easy, intentional navigation are just some examples of great interaction of copy and design.
Step 5: We reach your goal!
By combining well-written content and copy with intentional and effective web design, you got a website that will get you right on track to reaching your dream clients. And I’d love to help you on that journey!
Talk to you soon!