15th September 2017

Why designing around content gives you a greater chance of success

Becki Sneap

As a designer, I often get asked to design a website that has no content written yet. It may be that the client doesn’t know what they want just yet – which isn’t a problem as the web team should be able to help the client and ask the right questions to help develop the content strategy. But sometimes that’s not the case and you need to design with limited information.

Whilst a web design can be produced without content, it’s not ideal. You will end up finding yourself developing a content strategy around the design, which will limit how you engage with your audience.

When providing a design, layouts should be driven by the content.

I believe a site designed with lorem text and no content strategy, has less success than a site designed around the content. However, some may disagree when using website themes.

If you’re serious about maximising your conversions, you will want to create a unique and exciting experience for your customer – content will be the first thing you need to plan. I read that ‘Copywriting is interface design’. This can be very true;
Every word, or icon that’s displayed on a website needs to be read correctly and flow accordingly. Every typeface matters & needs to present itself to the customer.

Typically the homepage has the most attention with regards to design. Which is important to a certain extent, but not everyone entering the website will land on the homepage. By having a standard ‘page template’ with long text could damage the users journey in picking up the phone or making that goal conversion.

How can you help your designer?

Include these few ideas in your brief to help develop a successful first draft of your new website.

  • Describe your business and audience.
  • List your key USPs.
  • List your key services you want your visitors to know about.
  • Let the designer know of any promotions or selling points to shout about.
  • Think of punchy short headlines to grab your customers attention. (cut the waffle)
  • Be personal, provide photography or videos.
  • Do you offer any step by step guides? or downloadable items.
  • Think of your call to actions – What do you want the users to action? call you, fill out a form? sign up?
  • Do you have any statistics? or results to show? This could be animated or shown as a infographic for example.
  • Look at your competitors or websites you like. Screen grab elements you think your customers will like and engage with. You understand your customers better at this stage.
  • Provide video testimonials & Awards.
  • Company timeline stats? or team bios and photos – This allows the designer to show off your company in more ways than just text.


Your content brief will give the designer more scope when designing various elements to assist with the layout and presentation of the website, which helps convert those visitors to new customers or active website members.

If you need any design consultancy get in touch & i will be happy to help.

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I am the Director of White Fire Web Design LTD, I am also the dedicated digital designer.