Anna Hosie Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : User Experience

UI design and content strategy go hand in hand

Anna Hosie Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : User Experience

It is next to impossible to design a great user experience for bad content, but on the other hand it doesn’t work to design an interface and tell the content writers to fill in the gaps.

The two should go hand in hand.

Which is why content strategy has become such an important part of user experience.

A simple definition for content strategy is ‘a plan for the creation, implementation and maintenance of useful content’.

Before UI design starts there should be a plan and actual examples of the content that is to be on the site.

The content can then be discussed with the UI designer so the best way to present it can be found.

So how do you design great content?


It should be real

Many designers create wireframes with ‘lorem ipsum’ text. However using dummy text often results in an aesthetic but unrealistic design.

As mentioned above you need atleast some content before you can begin UI design.

Then you can iteratively change this content as you progress through the UI design.


Be organised

Summarise large blocks of content and use well written headings as people will often only read these.

Also show people what is ahead and use visual cues to encourage them to scroll.

If your content is a mess in terms of layout its likely it will be hard to understand as well.


Make it interesting

Use visual elements to represent and/or replace written words.

Good use of typography, colour and layout will make content more interesting.

Can you use a video or an infographic to tell a story rather than just words on a page?

Interesting content engages users, which invites them to explore more.


Relevance in key

Avoid using content that is repetitive and/or irrelevant to other content on the page.

Nobody wants to read the same thing over and over but just worded differently.


Keep it chunky

People generally skim pages as they are usually in a hurry to find the piece of information they’re looking for.

By grouping related information together using short descriptions, bulleted lists, images, and white space a UI designer can break the content into manageable chunks.


Easy to read

Write simply so everyone can understand the content quickly.

No one should have to read a sentence twice.

Generally readability increases by using smaller words, shorter sentences, and more paragraphs.

Using familiar words and phrases helps people scan paragraphs quickly.

And don’t forget to match the voice and tone with the audience.

If in doubt Simplify simplify simplify!