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Going Beyond Pixels – Why Content Matters

The Triware Solutions team recently attended the first, what we hope is annual, Go Beyond Pixels Conference. It featured some world class speakers including Ethan Marcotte, Jeremy Keith, Aarron Walter, Josh Clark and the godfather of web standards, Jeffery Zeldman. It left us hyped up to get down to business crafting awesome web experiences you.

While each speaker tackled a different area, the importance of content felt like an overarching theme.

First up, Jeffrey Zeldman showed us that design without content is merely decoration. As a website owner, when you sit down with us to talk about web solutions, we’re going to ask you for content up front. This is the reason. Only when we know your content can we design a solution that takes all aspects into account. Designs start to get cluttered and user experience suffers when new types of content and features are introduced after a design has been established and things have to be shoehorned in. Give us as much as you can up front and we’ll be able to deliver a better end product for you.

Easy to find

If the design of your content doesn’t serve the people viewing it, it doesn’t serve your business. Your site should be getting people the information they want as quickly and painlessly as possible. You don’t have to go it alone though. We can help you organize your stuff into a logical structure.

Protip: lay off the PDFs whenever possible. Can the content be included on the site in text instead? The average site search won’t read the contents of PDFs so they may stay hidden from your users.

People don’t read on the Internet, they skim. Is your site skim friendly? Chunk up your content and use headings when appropriate. A lot of businesses these days are also steeped in acronyms. Web design is certainly no exception. You’re fluent in the acronyms of your industry – is your audience? Try to avoid them and be sure to always spell them out at least once.

It’s all about personality

While you’re gathering the content for your new site, consider its tone. Aarron Walter spoke to us about infusing personality and emotion into your website. Does the voice of your content match the personality of your brand? Does it sound as if a real human is speaking? If your brand was a person, what would they sound like when you talked to them?

People won’t always remember what you told them but they’ll remember how they felt visiting your site. Did you give them something good to remember? No one wants to deal with a faceless entity with no personality if they have another option.

Dealing with mobile

We’re sure we don’t need to tell you that mobile web use has exploded in the last few years. Be sure to take this into consideration when developing your content. Maybe you thought you needed a dedicated site or an app in order to optimize for smaller screens like phones and tablets. Expensive and complicated right? Not always the case. Responsive web design is a technique that we’ve begun implementing to make sites more usable across a spectrum of screen sizes. Just one site to update but the experience is optimized for all screen sizes. Ethan Marcotte helped us further develop our approach towards responsive design. It’s pretty swanky. Ask us about it.

Content should not be an afterthought

The main lesson from all of this is that content needs to be one of the main building blocks of your site rather than an afterthought. Plan for it upfront and it will better serve you in the end.