We take a content-first approach to building websites. That means that one of the first things we'll do in a project is ask you for all of the content you plan on publishing to the web. That's right, all of it.
What if you don't have all of it?
Well, then we'll want to have some really in depth discussions about what it's going to be. Content is an incredibly important part of every project for us, here's a few reasons why.
Where's the beef?
Users want stuff. Whether it's products, news, images, articles, local weather, social networking or a plethora of other things, your content is the reason people come to your website. Your content is what we'll design for during the creative phase. It's what we'll build for during development. In fact, putting your users in touch with your content in a no-nonsense way will be our motivation in every step of the project. When it comes to building a website, understanding your content isn't only a good way to start, it's the only way.
Your content, your brand
The copy, images, video and rich media applications that you serve your users are the heart of your brand on the web. They're how you communicate with your audience; how you build and maintain relationships that perform. The better we know your content, the better we know your organization - which helps us create a website that communicates your vision, embodies your brand, and invigorates your audience.
Everything in its place
People expect to find things in specific, sometimes arbitrary or surprising, places. Shoe polish? Look next to light bulbs. Camping gear? Try sporting goods, next to automotive.
Web content is no different. Your users expect to find content in specific places, and we need to make sure it's there, waiting for them. A solid information architecture can mean the difference between frantic, frustrated clicking, and smooth, intuitive browsing. So how do we know your user's browsing habits? Among other things, we ask them how they'd find your content.. This process is a critical step in building your website, and we'll need a comprehensive list of your content to complete it.
Unique approach for unique content
Your content helps to define our development approach. Do you plan on promoting company events? We'll need to build a calendar. How about feature staff biographies? We'll probably want to integrate profiles with user accounts. Each type of content that you feature on your website could mean a custom tailored solution, so we'll need to be as prepared as possible. Having access to all of your content up front assures that we build out the functionality of your website realistically, with no surprises, and in a way that fits your needs like a glove.
Details, details, details
When it comes to the front end, it's the small things that take a website from good to great. Getting the style right on an author's name, a publication date, an address for an event, a blockquote, etc., profoundly improves the overall readability and aesthetic of the final product. Getting familiar with these details from the get-go, that is, the specific challenges your content presents, gives us much more time to get it right, and minimizes any "crunch" leading up to the launch date.
So what does all of this mean for you? Basically, expect to deliver a whole lot of content, and to do it really early on in the project. The way we see it, we'll both reap the rewards. You'll get an effective, smooth process and a high performance website that you can really be proud of, and we'll get - well - pretty much the same thing, actually.