Which came first; the chicken or the egg? This riddle has stumped many over the years. For those in the content and layout design business, there is a question all their own: Which should come first, design or content?

When it comes to layout, whether print or online, the general consensus seems to be that the content should be available and styled first, in order to then make the design and layout fit around it. Using containers becomes all the more difficult when trying to fit in content afterwards, as opposed to building the layout around the content. Scaling issues are real; causing visible gaps on the front end of the website when content is not enough or too much for the space allocated to it.

Placeholders for content can also become problematic as it could cause constraints on the content in the form of being limited to a set number of lines, or fixed column widths or empty pages. Placeholders should really be a last resort and be used only during the first ‘draft’ of the layout or design. Advertising sizes should also be front of mind and design should be mindful of it.

Overall, the design of any website or layout of content should be flexible but wherever possible the content should be written and ready to use before the layout process starts. In the case of a redesigned website, cut the content wherever necessary to fit in with your layout (with the approval of the client of course). Keep in mind that future developments might influence the web design; including display sizes etc.

The best tip of all may be to leave it to the professionals. Mary And Me will happily assist you in designing and creating the perfect website or print layout for yourself or your business. Please contact us here