HomeUser ExperienceWhich Came First: The Wireframe or the Content?

Which Came First: The Wireframe or the Content?

As most Project Managers can attest, guiding clients through the process of drafting and compiling fascinating content is a challenge. Most clients believe content is the last part of the project – after all, doesn’t there need to be a website or wireframes built to insert the content? The short answer is yes. The input or migration of the actual content into wireframes is one of the last steps, but having that content created early on in the project is essential to a smooth experience.

Who creates the content? Who writes the wire frames?

In most cases the client is responsible for content creation.  However, there are times when an agency may contract with a client to copy edit their content.  There are also numerous companies that focus solely on writing content for companies.  

The designers and developers are responsible for creating the wireframes. They then use the pre-determined content to create meaningful wires.  The wires will identify where content will be laid out on each page and once the design elements are inserted, you are one step closer to having a front-end prototype of the website.  

Bringing the Two Together

In order to have meaningful wireframes (and ultimately good design), knowing the content for each page is beneficial. Wireframes are meant to be a “blueprint” of the website that shows graphically what to expect in terms of layout and functionality.   Content that is received during the wireframe process can be immediately implemented into each wire, which enhances the client’s understanding of each page layout and the functionality associated with it.  

Furthermore, once the content is received and the navigation is determined, a sitemap can be prepared.  The sitemap provides the client with the ability to see how and where each piece of content will be located on their site (it is also essential for search engines to properly crawl your website after launch).  It’s like adding additional comments or details to the blueprint.  The more details the wireframes and sitemap provide, the more likely that the development process will go smoothly as the developers are aware of, not only what needs to happen from a functionality standpoint, but also from a content layout perspective.

In summary, both the client and the agency reap the benefits of having content compiled prior to, or during, the wireframe phase. So, in our opinion, the content should come first (or at the same time)! The client benefits by knowing they have all their content completed early in the process, and they can view a sitemap to see exactly how the content will be laid out in each wireframe.  The agency benefits by not only knowing what is necessary for developing  the functionality of the site, but also the layout and organization of the content.  It makes for a much smoother experience for all involved parties.

Still have questions about the wireframe or content design process? Visit the NEWMEDIA Web Design page or contact us directly. Our team of experts are ready to help!