Author: Vanessa Correa, Multimedia Developer
As web designers and developers, we sometimes come across a common problem with our clients when we begin work on a new website for them: “The Content.” You might be wondering what I mean by “The Content.” This is the text, photos, videos and other possible social content that might be included if the client has any social media accounts. This is information you’re going to need from the client to build the website, and it’s important to receive it as early in the process as possible. But…why? Knowing how the client’s content is organized up front makes for better layout and navigation. It helps when structuring wireframes, designing layouts for desktop and mobile, and it’s imperative for a better user experience.
Also, when clients review wireframes and design layouts, a majority of the time they like to see their content included. It helps them visualize how a potential customer/visitor would navigate their new site.
There is also the “How we receive it” process. This is the how and when of trying to get content from the client just to start a wireframe and design a layout, which also helps provide options on how we program a website. And, I must say, I’ve encountered some pretty creative ways of receiving content from a client. Just to name a few: their existing website, PDFs, Excel spreadsheets (yes, it has happened), Word documents (with constant changes), PowerPoint and Keynote presentations, emails (sometimes it gets lost in the inbox), and even Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator files (yep, I’ve had that happen, too). This might surprise you, but this has become the norm for some of us developers.
So, it’s understandable that there might be a few hiccups of lost content or functionality not programmed as the client thought it would work. And because we may have a tight deadline to launch a new website, how we receive “The Content” could result in delays or missing a launch date.
What if there were a better way to gather content from the client, one where we could organize it and lay out a site map of the pages at the beginning of the project? The client could upload their documents, photos, videos and social media accounts, all in one place. And because we can communicate with them and receive information in a timely manner, no communication is lost. Deadlines can be set for you and your client to keep progress moving forward. You can even set workflow stages that allow you and the client to review and approve all the content.
I introduce to you a website that has all these marvelous things and more: GatherContent. This site is a wonderful tool to have as a web designer or developer. There is no more loss of information between you and your client on the content.
Set up character restrictions on an email template that a client can fill out, and it alerts them when they reach their maximum.
Set up certain sections of your email layout so the client or staff can upload the information before it is placed in the email and approved by the client.
These are some of the highlights this easy but efficient tool can bring to your small or large business/agency. This should help with getting information from the client and getting it approved and proofed, all before even placing it in a website or email. Being able to set deadlines for deliverables is also a plus.
GatherContent helps take away the frustrating loss of information and poor communication between you and the client. Website or email development becomes a little less stressful, which the client will appreciate. And you can try it out for 30 days, so you have a chance to use it on a small project and see how it works for you and your client. You can also request a demo from the company. So, finally, getting “The Content” from the client may no longer seem like a frustrating task.