Content and design go hand in hand

Apologies for the long delay since I last posted an audio tip. I have been working on redesigning the Headscape website and this has taken a considerable amount of time.

Because the site is relatively small and because all those involved in editing it are more than capable of writing HTML, I decided not to build it on a content management system.

This decision led to a rather interesting side effect. Instead of designing a series of templates, I ended up custom designing each page. As I wrote the content I was also crafting the design. These two elements went hand in hand and I found myself extremely pleased with the result.

There is no doubt that content management systems are incredibly useful tools. However, they do sometimes come with a price. It makes us lazy about the presentation of our content. Although this doesn’t have to be the case, content management systems tend to make our sites text heavy and often divorce content from design. This inevitably reduces the overall impact of the website, making it considerably less engaging.

Therefore, my tip of the day would be to recognise that design and content go hand-in-hand. If you want your website to be truly exceptional, you need to ensure that the content on your site is designed to be as visually pleasing as possible, and not just dropped into a template.

An example from the new Headscape site of design and content working together

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  • Great post (and tip) Paul. I agree that CMS systems can make a design feel rigid and impose unnecessary constraints, but it depends on how you view them. At Filament (www.filamentlab.com), we focus heavily on content strategy and usability first and foremost. We also use a number of CMS systems for our clients. We see them as a way to make our designs dynamic rather than a template to drop something into. Our design imposed the constraints, not the other way around.

  • Great post (and tip) Paul. I agree that CMS systems can make a design feel rigid and impose unnecessary constraints, but it depends on how you view them. At Filament (www.filamentlab.com), we focus heavily on content strategy and usability first and foremost. We also use a number of CMS systems for our clients. We see them as a way to make our designs dynamic rather than a template to drop something into. Our design imposed the constraints, not the other way around.

  • Great post (and tip) Paul. I agree that CMS systems can make a design feel rigid and impose unnecessary constraints, but it depends on how you view them. At Filament (www.filamentlab.com), we focus heavily on content strategy and usability first and foremost. We also use a number of CMS systems for our clients. We see them as a way to make our designs dynamic rather than a template to drop something into. Our design imposed the constraints, not the other way around.

  • Great post (and tip) Paul. I agree that CMS systems can make a design feel rigid and impose unnecessary constraints, but it depends on how you view them. At Filament (www.filamentlab.com), we focus heavily on content strategy and usability first and foremost. We also use a number of CMS systems for our clients. We see them as a way to make our designs dynamic rather than a template to drop something into. Our design imposed the constraints, not the other way around.

  • Great post (and tip) Paul. I agree that CMS systems can make a design feel rigid and impose unnecessary constraints, but it depends on how you view them. At Filament (www.filamentlab.com), we focus heavily on content strategy and usability first and foremost. We also use a number of CMS systems for our clients. We see them as a way to make our designs dynamic rather than a template to drop something into. Our design imposed the constraints, not the other way around.

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

  • tranhelen

    I agree that some content management systems can be restrictive. However, I have just recently tried Expression Engine and found that it has been a great CMS that completely avoids a restrictive template system.

    Instead of forcing me to a template, EE works with what I’ve developed in HTML/CSS and I can control exactly what is editable. Perhaps give it a try?

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