The Importance of Preparing Your Content

By May 12, 2016Blog, Learn
Importance of Preparing Content - Leafcutter Digital Agency

Content is the copy, icons, image assets, data and other user features added to a website, web app or mobile app. It is estimated that an average of 2-3 hours are required to produce the content for each page of a new website or mobile app.

Setting out on a digital project or looking for website design? One of the items which should always be at the top of your list should be content. Too often the task of creating and gathering content is given a low priority, in even more cases the production of content is assumed to be an easy task which requires little effort or consideration and can be left until the very end. This is simply the wrong approach.

When you think about content creation keep this expression in mind: ‘you only get out what you put in’. In simple terms, if the task of content production is secondary or not on your radar when setting out on a digital project, the outcome of the project could fail to reach its objectives.

Why is this?

Imaging the blueprints and building plans of a house is the wireframes and UX design of a website or app. Now consider the interior and exterior design plans, finishings and furniture of a house is the images, copy and assets of the website and app. When the two are considered and planned for, from the start, the house is built with a harmonious, easy to navigate design which is visually pleasing.

Now consider the problems that arise when the interior design is not considered until after the layout and building plans have been finished!

To further compound the issue of content production, it is common that the deadline of a new digital project is set by those who see content as project detail, meaning most of the project lead’s initial time is spent in the tender process. As a result little or no consideration is given to content during the pre-planning stages of the project and to achieve the go-live date the project must proceed without delay.

So how do you solve this content problem?

There are three possible solutions.

Option 1 – The content writer approach

Most people are too time poor to focus on content creation. It’s also understandable that a digital project falls into a long list of other projects and duties that must be completed as part of an individual’s job. If this sounds like a challenge that you and others in your organisation are faced with we recommend hiring a professional content writer.

While this adds another line item to the budget where funds may not be readily available, what you should be asking yourself and the controllers of the budget are:

  • Does the organisation have someone who can write quality digital content?
  • Is it worth an employee dedicating days – yes that is days – of time towards content creation?

If no additional budget is available and the answer to both of the above is yes then one of the next two options should be applied.

Option 2 – The template approach

Accepting and choosing a website theme which has pre-built layouts will enable both you and the agency project team to work from a base. Like a pre-built architectural plan. Collectively you can workout the sitemap, select the best layouts which meet the required business goals and the UX and design teams can focus on incorporating your brand into the chosen layouts.

Option 3 – The custom approach

Larger and innovative digital projects usually require a partial or fully customised approach to UX, Design and Development. If your project falls into this category it is imperative that the necessary resources are put towards the project including content creation. Customised approaches require both the planning and execution of the content, meaning there are additional hours spent with ideation and thinking – very intensive practices which often generate the best long term outcomes.

In summary

No matter if your digital project is a website, web app or mobile app, content creation is important – very important – in the delivery of a successful digital project. The principles of content creation and the options to make that happen, as outlined above, must be considered and followed. This will help towards ensuring smooth delivery of your digital project and achievement of your goals.