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Content First

The challenges of Responsive Web Design (making sites look good on a wide range of devices) are helping us in the web industry tighten our focus on what really matters: the content. We're designing chunks of pages that will look great everywhere, then building up layers of presentation and layout on top of that.

The growing range of services like Readability that let you save content for reading later in a clean, clear, ad-free view are helping us focus on the content itself and not just how pretty it looks.

Two books that I've read recently that I enjoyed and would recommend are: The Elements Of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane and Content Strategy For The Web (2nd edition) by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach.

I wanted to pick out a few key points from these books to help clients (and myself) give the content of the site the attention it deserves.

Good content is the most important part of your web site. It must be right for the user and for your business. Here are some important questions to ask about your content.

  • Does it help the user accomplish their goals and / or support your business objectives?
  • Does each piece achieve its specific purpose?
  • Is it clear and concise, and is there a consistent voice and tone throughout?
  • Have you planned for creation and maintenance: who will provide it, when, and how?

Some related, excellent, blogs to check out: the Brain Traffic blog; Contents Magazine.