There is nothing more appealing than a page that is well-structured, easy-to-use and presented with eye-catching text and attractive visuals, just as there is nothing more disappointing than seeing the same content placed in a disorderly and incoherent manner. The difference lies in the architecture – the science of planning, designing and executing of the entire project – the gold that goes behind all the glitter you eventually see.
That is the power of content architecture: the ‘how’s and ‘where’s and ‘why’s that determine the final exhibition of the content. So how do you ensure that your website, e-brochure or even your app has contents that have been appropriately architectured to perfectly represent your company? There are no strict rules to follow, of course, but a few basic tips that always see satisfactory results can never cause any harm, can it?
It’s Always About the UX
If you have been in this field for quite some time now, you already know how important it is for your customers to get the ultimate user experience while accessing your site.
Your user is your target customer and the reason why your product or service exists in the first place. Well not entirely, but they are the king anyway. And pleasing the king is important. Making sure that they are being able to easily find all the information they need is crucial. This can be done by highlighting the most anticipated sections on the homepage of a website, for example a running campaign or a registration form for the users to instantly know where to go.
Little things such as navigation buttons directing the user or telling them where to click for an action or linking them to other useful pages such as social networking sites or the sites of the affiliated companies help as well.
The placement of content on every page matters in terms of their significance, and a good UX designer will know which text, image or video to bring to focus to meet the demands on the user. It is as important to know which parts to fill up and which parts to leave spaces for, just as the colours that get used all need to define the purpose of the company, their theme and its context.
And let’s not forget about ensuring that the typography is putting forward the message of the company through. It really is all about what you see and where that takes you.
No, Actually, It’s Always About The Customer
Getting back to our previous point – yes, your customer is the king, and your really need to keep your king happy. The problem is, however, the number of kings you need to please, or rather, deciding which of them is your target customer. The bigger problem is that sometimes you need to please more than one group at a time, and they happen to be both your existing buyers and prospective leads.
Your leads are the ones who need to be persuaded and the first group of customer you should target. You need the compelling images, the intriguing words, and vibrant colours, and of course, putting them together with the sole intention of inviting your leads. They need to feel that they are the only people who you are inviting, and that your service or product was made just for them and even sized and positioned into places where only they would look – the most focused sections actually.
Your buyers on the other hand, are the people whose hearts you have already won, but that should not lead you to think that they do not need further pleasing. While they do not exactly want to know more about the product or service that have already used, they will be interested about the new things. They would want to know if there’s an offer, for instance a sale, or be updated about any changes made, and would definitely be interested in all your gossips, news and event details. It is therefore important to have pop-ups or any other flashy messages that instantly grab their attention, and the “News and Events” section will only suffice their curiosity in due time.
Service or Product or Both?
You got some idea on who to do it for and how to do it for them, but who will decide on which one of these powerful contents works best with which business, and what would be right for yours? It depends on the industry you are in.
For business that focus on servicing, their main aim is to provide their customers with the right information and assuring them that the services are exactly what they need to grow their business. Which is why, the service industry often use a lot of text to prove their stance. This does not necessarily mean that they never emphasize on images, as in the case of tourism companies, but it is not the usual scene. Similarly, the e-commerce sites serve as an example of businesses that make use of both text and image as their clients consist of people who need a whole lot of convincing and only the content to rely on.
Service industries in general take their colours, designs and typography very seriously, as they believe that their website is the medium of conversation between them and their clients, and it is upto to content architect to ascertain that they are delivering their messages home.
The product industry on the other hand, likes to draw their clients with their visuals. The architecture of such sites often involve the sliding of a wide array of beautiful images to make a quick impression on you, and videos that are only waiting for you to play it. Besides the general descriptions, product-oriented companies do not give too much attention to the text, and once again it is not the rule, but rather what works best for them. Well, that comes as no surprise when you have your well-defined photos and high-quality videos all set to go ahead and do all the talking for you.