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View Poll Results: Do you design Web layouts around copy?

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  • Yep - I usually try to get some idea of the copy before I start desigining.

    3 50.00%
  • No - I usually design the layout first, and after that I work out how the copy will fit in.

    3 50.00%
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  1. #1
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    Design for Copy? Or Write to a Design?

    Hey,

    When you design a site, do you take the copy, and design a layout into which it will fit? Or do you design your pages and then fit the copy in after that?

    Do you even look at the copy before you start to design? Or do you just go with the brief you've been given and leave the copy to the client?

    Let us know your approach to the integration of design and copy!

    georgina

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Ya mean "copy" or "content"?

    Difficult one to answer.

    All sites I do exist in concept form before I crack open any editors, based on information to be conveyed and interactivity involved.

    If by copy you mean "content", I like to know in advance how diverse it is, so that it can be broken down into logically accessible sections (and sensibly cross linked if appropriate). The "design" or look of the site is definately the last thing that is considered, it is an integral part of the interactivity/usability thing, but "information structure" is more important to get right first.

    Just my 1.524 Euro's


    [edit - very important point:]

    Or do you just go with the brief you've been given and leave the copy to the client?
    While of course the client is always right, sometimes when they have designed their own "structure", the model is flawed and will not sensibly accomodate the copy they have in mind. Not alway's the case, but often. I like to "work together" to find the most agreeable structure (based of course, on their suberb ideas...)
    Last edited by TheOriginalH; Oct 7, 2002 at 02:18.
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot 19nine78's Avatar
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    I really *really* wish I could find a client who would supply me with material before asking what the site is going to look like

    Like those who decided thay want a site that fits neatly in 800*600 without scrolling then hand me 200k of text 'for the front page'....

    Or clients who have a hard time dealing with dummy copy.

    designer:What do you think of the design.

    client:that text is wrong.

    designer:Yes I know, we'll replace it as soon as you supply the real thing. Now what do you think of the design.

    client:that looks like latin or something

    designer

    Seriously though, most of the time its about 50:50, the bigger/more complex the sites content, the more it swings in favour of getting content first to help determine how best to distribute it. It also helps get a feel for what your working with and can help with coming up with better ways of presenting the information.

    Its also pretty much essential for databased sites to get samples of all content in advance.

    cheers

    alastair

  4. #4
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    Hey Guys,
    Thanks very much for your great comments This is *very* interesting. Yep, H, by "copy" I was (platitudinously) referring to any text that appears on a site - written content in a database, titles/headings, incidental text, static content... the lot.

    I guess what you're both saying is that you play it by ear:

    - if it's a databased site, you need samples of the content before you can build the database

    - if the client has ideas for information design, you try to work with these to come up with a workable final product

    It also seems like you're both in agreement that the design works best when it's built around the content, even though clients may be more focused on the look and feel.

    Anyone else?
    georgina

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by 19nine78
    I really *really* wish I could find a client who would supply me with material before asking what the site is going to look like

    Like those who decided thay want a site that fits neatly in 800*600 without scrolling then hand me 200k of text 'for the front page'....

    Or clients who have a hard time dealing with dummy copy.

    designer:What do you think of the design.

    client:that text is wrong.

    designer:Yes I know, we'll replace it as soon as you supply the real thing. Now what do you think of the design.

    client:that looks like latin or something

    designer
    No, No stop you're cracking me up here

    hehe, just about perfectly describes a client I had recently who wanted about 7 pages of text on the front page and didn't understand that by page it means a whole different file not a traditional "page".


    I keep everything in mind, it's a LOT better to have all of the copy beforehand incase of "surprises" after you have finished, otherwise, just make sure your template is able to be changed


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