I had a client that was focusing too much on the look of the website. We have all had clients like this. They were more bothered about how the website looked & were not at all bothered about the content. It was an afterthought to them and it led to quite a few arguments between us.
I don’t need to preach about designing based on content. It is common sense really. How can you design a website without knowing at least some of the content?
I had all the usual discussions with the client. Content strategies were developed & even attempts to write the content with them/for them. They would not budge. They wanted the website to be built and then they would make the content fit into it – not how it should be done & not how I was going to do it. I was stuck & seriously contemplating firing the client.
How did I make the client see sense? I asked them what website they go to the most. The one they visit every week, or every day. They visited one specific website every day. I won’t say which one but I can say it was a forum. It was the perfect answer that I was hoping for as this forum which they visited & participated with every day, design wise, was awful & they new it. The first thing they said after telling me the website was that it ‘looked awful’. Based on this information I asked them why they visited the website every day? Almost instantly the penny dropped. There was one thing which they went back for every day. The content.
From that moment on the whole relationship between myself & the client changed. They got to work on the content. It was not perfect but it was their first attempt. It was a kick start the project needed and after some tweaking and adjustments, the content led to a design for the site which really helped the content & made it work.
People often focus on the look of a website more than they do on the content. The looks are important – are you going to even bother reading a website if it looks shocking? It’s the looks that attract initially, but its the content that makes the site stand out & the visiters coming back.