A standard “chicken or the egg” situation we come across here at GreenMellen is whether we create content before designing wireframes or vice versa. There are plenty of arguments that support both, but we are content-first supporters. This is because we believe that website design should support the messaging that’s tailored for a specific audience and not the other way around.
No matter if our clients are handling copywriting or we’re doing it on their behalf, we need a content outline as a starting point for our designer and developer. Learn more about content outlines for websites and the benefits they bring.
Content Outlines Make Sense
Your first introduction to content outlines probably happened when you were in middle school writing classes. You would create an outline to show your teacher what to expect on an upcoming report or paper, as well as guide you with what points to cover in your final draft.
This same principle can be applied to outlines for websites. These high-level ideas that need to be conveyed on a website should be outlined to make sure they’re in line with your site’s goals. A strong content outline will not only make sure your site is goal-driven and created with your target audience in mind, but it will make sure all parties involved with the website build have a clear vision of the final product. Take a look at an example of these outlines.
Example of an Outline
As stated, content outlines for web pages help both the writer and web team know what elements and copy are needed. This includes images/videos, calls-to-action, links, feeds, and more. To give you a better idea of what we look for in content outlines, here is an example of a homepage content outline we used for one of our clients:
- Custom search field at the top of page
- Section for both product categories
- CTA to learn more about each of them and link to respective pages
- Our Guarantee section
- About Us section
- Company overview video
- CTA to About Us page
- Support section with CTA to view FAQs
- See distributors
- CTA to View Distributors
- Contact Us section
- CTA to contact us
With this content outline, we were able to create a wireframe that supported all of these sections. Here’s what this wireframe looked like based on this content outline:
Why Content Outlines Help Both the Writer and Web Team
As you can see from the example above, both parties benefit from working with a content outline. The writer can continue to write content for the rest of the website based on their outlines, and the web team can use the other content outlines to create more wireframes and designs. When everyone can continue to work on their share of the project, collaboration is much more streamlined and the website can be launched sooner.
We firmly believe that websites that are created from a content-first, user-research driven perspective have more engaged users, higher conversion rates, and overall better user experience. Content outlines help designers and developers create pages that are tailored around clearly delivering your message to a specific audience. It’s a win-win for everyone!
If you need assistance creating a content outline for your new website or want more information about them, let’s grab a cup of coffee!