At first sight it may seem that it’s not a writer’s business how a designer will deal with the text when working on a website. A writer’s business is the timely provision of textual content that meets client’s and SEO requirements. That’s it.
In my humble opinion, the reasonability of such approach to work can be compared with the situation when I come to my younger sister and ask her to write essay for me without making the necessary references, without formatting the paper properly, and without even bothering if there are no misspellings in it.
Honestly, I never did that. Probably, that’s why as a copywriter and content writer who’s gone through the mill I believe that we should have at least some idea of what web designers actually do and how they do it.
Although it does hurt when a designer just throws away chunks of the content you were writing so lovingly because “I don’t know how to stuff it into this page”, such experience teaches much.
I started following web design trends a few years ago just to keep abreast of what my dear colleagues have to do in order to make websites both original and user-friendly. Yes, I admit that my understanding of all these bells and whistles in web design is still rather blurred. However, it appears enough to make the content convenient for a designer, attractive for a client and a user, and even well-optimized for a search engine.
So, what does successful web design feature this year? And why are these trends worth content writers’ attention?
Rapid Development of Ecommerce
Although I’m not an eager online shopper, Amazon and many other online stores stand me in good stead when I need some particular things, and especially when I need them right now. Or when I just happen to forget about my friend’s birthday, and the party is tomorrow.
Whatever, hundreds of thousands of product and service providers all over the cyberworld are doing their best to win users’ hearts. And what’s really interesting, consumers pay attention not only to the quality of what is sold but also to the way it is sold. That’s why convenient design and well-thought functionality of online stores play important roles in users’ choices.
But apparently, beautiful pictures aren’t enough to attract buyers. They want to know what they see and how that works. Providing them with this info is a content writer’s job.
Besides, product and service promotion today can be considerably enhanced with the help of well-planned email marketing. Despite the truth behind the fact that not all of us like getting messages from online stores, the right cooperation between a content writer and a designer can turn these emails into real digital masterpieces, hence attracting new and returned clients.
Prioritization of Mobile Design
Speaking frankly, when I just started writing web content, I mostly tried to imagine how it would look like on a wide screen. But I hardly took into account that it would naturally get “contracted” on a tablet or smartphone screen. That was one of my major mistakes. Don’t repeat it.
Nowadays each self-respecting company wants a website that will look attractively and function properly on any device.
Plus, more and more users tend to surf the Internet, buy things online, and make online payments via their smartphones, not computers or even laptops. Google has noticed that, and now it insistently recommends using the benefits of responsive web design if a website’s destiny does matter to its developers and owners.
Surely, it’s a web developer who will rack his or her brains trying to make all pages look perfectly and work smartly on screen of different width. But if you and your company’s web designer appear to be perfectionists like me, you definitely want the text to fit each block on a web page like a glove.
What’s more, well-sized, flawless textual content also must carry an attractive meaning. What I mean is that the first (probably, the second) sentence of a post must catch user’s attention, make them want to continue reading and hence staying on the page longer. I know that’s one of the most difficult tasks for a content writer. But once again it proves how essential text remains even today.
Customization of Illustrations and Videos
Even today, when people don’t feel like they’d spend extra time on reading a lengthy piece of writing in order to find information they need, good, witty content still weighs much. I believe there’s no need to highlight the importance of meaningful slogans or product and service descriptions.
Even without that content tends to serve more as a crucial instructive, explanatory, or entertaining supplement to all those graphic elements users like.
Original illustrations, animations, and videos should be accompanied with concise text. Even one simple sentence in 10 words can be enough to convey the right idea, which will draw the attention, meet the expectations, and influence the decision of a potential client.
So, while a web designer is creating the right illustration of a company’s product or even philosophy, a content writer should come up with its right textual presentation.
A company’s philosophy and products’ descriptions are definitely very important elements of content. However, users will believe more firmly in all the perks we write about after they check out the stories or feedback of people like them.
Simply put, that’s exactly what storytelling is in terms of business and marketing, or rather digital marketing.
A few years ago, it was quite fine to describe a company’s experience in cooperation with a particular client in 500 words. It’s a very rough calculation, but I think you get what I mean.
Yet we’ve already established that nowadays a user simply has no time (and wish) to read a lot, even if it’s a story of a person who faced the same issue as he or she is facing at the moment. So, I’m taking my hat off to a developer or designer who first came up with an idea to animate clients’ stories.
The good news is that such innovation doesn’t deprive content writers of their lawful chunk of work.
Firstly, an animation always needs some textual preface or interpretation. Secondly, if it’s not a “mute” animation but a video, who will write the lines for it?
Web Page Layout Asymmetry
The unconventional or asymmetrical layout is an interesting and very fresh way to make a brand stand out in the cyberworld.
From the point of view of web design, such solution is unique and absolutely feasible. However, it may seem somewhat risky to brands that are currently establishing and developing their images and can’t afford to experiment with the ways they introduce themselves.
However, asymmetry can turn out a successful and refreshing novelty for a larger and more self-confident brand.
By the way, you can check this website to have a clearer understanding of this creative idea.
Variable and Imposing Typography
Yes, it’s all about fonts. And it appears they can do miracles. Not only do they attract user’s attention but also create website’s and brand’s personality, therefore improving user experience and recognizability of company’s products.
Why does a content writer need to know about typefaces? Because a content writer fills a typeface with a meaning and purpose by providing the right words.
Again, there shouldn’t be many of them. Furthermore, a large font, which a fashionable trend in web design now, just won’t allow to stuff a wordy chunk into a page layout. But experience shows that two-three words can express an implied idea and emotion much better than a whole paragraph.
Just a few examples for inspiration:
- “A Diamond Is Forever” by De Beers,
- “Impossible Is Nothing” by Adidas,
- “Think Different” by Apple.
More Multimedia for Long Form Content
If we put ecommerce aside and talk about more informational, educational online sources, for which longer texts are more natural, we’ll still be able to find impressive solutions for harmonious interaction between design and content.
Although it’s truly not very correct to consider such interaction as a “brand-new” trend, still in 2018 digital technology gives writers and web designers more fresh opportunities for creativity.
CNN’s presentation of the threats of global warming amazes. It’s a wonderful example of how long form content, including videos, interactive maps, charts and graphs, can be shaped in modern digital so that users just won’t be able to leave the page until they scroll to its footer.
Today we can and must experiment with text written for the web. People want something non-standard, something they’ve never seen on the vast expanses of the Internet, where practically everything can be found. But advanced cooperation between designers and writers can provide users with absolutely new experiences.
Content Should Feature Print-Readiness
Useful content must be convenient to print. That’s what digital specialists and reputable bloggers recommend. While correct visualization of content is a part of web designer’s creative responsibility, informativeness of this content is a responsibility of a content writer.
And We’re Saying Goodbye to Homepages
Brad states that modern brands are moving further from traditional homepages to “more dynamic entry points”. User experience is predicted to be more personalized, depending on search history, location, and even data profile. At the same time, websites can be expected to turn into storages of various, though well-organized and personalized, content.
Cheryl adds that websites will remain only a part of a large-scale representation of a brand’s message along with other devices, applications, or services.
So, content writers should get ready to shape company’s main philosophy, ideas, and goals differently for many channels, though preserving their common core. But if you ask me, I think it’s good: at least you won’t need to think how to stuff all essential info into one home page.