Frequently, different sides of a business can feel removed from each other, like different teams have nothing to do with each other. However, when it comes to internet content, it is vital to understand that for it to be most effective, it cannot exist in a vacuum, and all parts of the company need to be on the same page, especially web designers. Regardless if the content is text, video, audio, images, or a combination of these, the experience users have when interacting with content on your site is vital.
This is why it is so important that web design is brought into the fold with a brand’s overall content strategy. Without the two working together, then they may actually be working against each other.
Marrying UX and content creation is important for numerous reasons. Firstly, it’s important to make sure content on your site looks as good as possible because it makes the content more effective and powerful. Simple things like a background color that makes text difficult to read, or improper sizing are enough to get many users to give up on your content and leave the site.
The UX of your site can even affect the kind of content created for your site. If you want to attract high quality contributors, either on a regular basis, or as guests, then displaying content in an aesthetically pleasing way that that does not present any barriers will make your site more attractive.
Not only is content more effective with better UX, but thanks to recent Google updates, it could actually affect the performance and SEO of the site itself. According to findings by Glenn Gabe, these updates specifically targeted UX issues on sites, including “clunky and clumsy user interface for accessing content,” and “horrible infinite scroll implementations, overlays that were hard to maneuver, and other extremely frustrating ways to access more information.”
Content marketing is one of the largest trends that have changed how brands market themselves to consumers. Because of this, it’s incredibly important that you consider content when you design your site, and work with others at the company to have a cohesive vision of the brand’s content marketing efforts. Whether you are employed by the company full-time, or are under contract for freelance work, you should find out what kind of content the company is planning on producing, and make sure your design does not get in the way of interacting with it.
For instance, think about the spacing of your site and how that affects things like pop-out menus. I had an article published on a site where menus would open up and cover some of my writing if you hovered over them, but then wouldn’t close unless I reloaded the page. This was incredibly aggravating as the author of the content, but if I ran into this issue as a visitor to the site, I might have given up on reading the article altogether.
Another huge issue that can get in the way of content being effective comes down scaling. It is not enough to make sure your site looks good on a standard web browser, especially considering the rapid increase of mobile use today. You need to be sure that a wide variety of content correctly scales to be functional on a slew of devices and applications, regardless of screen size.
Whether it is the smallest smartphone or the largest tablet, make sure that things display properly and are actually usable and readable. Making sure your site is optimized for mobile is one of the best reasons to redesign your site for a variety of reasons, so doing this isn’t only good for your content, but also for things such as the SEO value of your site as well.
Being on the same page as your content creation and marketing teams when it comes to the different mobile platforms content is being utilized on is incredibly important as well. How do these other teams plan on spreading your content? Do you know how your content looks when it’s shared across various social media platforms? Do your images scale correctly for these as well? If you don’t know the answer to these, then you need to work to establish a better line of communication within your company so that you can be prepared ahead of time instead of reacting to a problem when it arises and scrambling to fix it.
Zachary Evans is a freelance writer from Boise, Idaho that covers a wide variety of topics he is interested in. He graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing in 2013, and now spends his time writing, reading, playing music, and watching hopefully for UFOs. You can hear his band here, and follow him on Twitter: @ZacharyMEvans.