Chickens and Eggs – website copy

Which comes first? The copy or the website design? It can work both ways but we recommend that copywriters and web designers work together from the start.

Undoubtedly the end goal of the website is the priority, to be nutted out first, and this affects the functionality and the wireframes.

Copywriters are often seen as an add-on at the end of the project, and sure, if given a good brief that includes the page templates, style and quantity of text required, their work should fit like a glove.

However, in real practice, this is rarely the case. A new website is often a very large task for an internal team and if you don’t have a team to look after these projects, it really is a big ask on top of everything else you are doing to keep on top of your job.

When a new website is planned it often comes with a hidden agenda (or rather, aspiration) to re-brand. Even if that isn’t the case it usually comes with the weighted ambition of ‘doing things differently’ (hopefully connecting with customers better). As the development workshops progress, ideas evolve and the commissioning client becomes accustomed to a new way of doing business via their website. Brainstorming occurs.

The brains of designers and writers have to come together during the planning process. The designer thinks deeply about the intuitive ways that people access information and the visual language. The writers are thinking about how language plants the seed for action and inspiration; they are thinking about the logic and order of information. These elements need to work together to create a useful website that meets your business goals.

Working in concert from the early stages also reduces wasted time and money later. For example, confusion often occurs when a writer is inadequately briefed and poor work is delivered. If the copywriter is involved from the start a deeper understanding is obtained along the way, and you don’t need to sweat over generating a copywriting brief. (The quality of any creative work is often dependent on a good brief.)

The two minds of designer and writer working together from the outset will, more often than not, create a better, more creative and more productive website.

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