What You See Is Not Always What You Get

This was actually live on chicagotribune.com for a spell.

This was actually live on chicagotribune.com for a spell.

Why do you visit news sites? Is it to marvel at the visual design? To stand in awe of the IA? Is it because some keyword-loaded SEO magic made you do it? My guess is you’re there to read it, to get information. You’re there for the content.

So why would anyone comp up pages before they know what’s going to be on those pages? Say that last line out loud. It sounds silly, doesn’t it? But those of us who work in the digital world have seen it happen again and again. Sometimes it’s coming from clients who “respond better to visuals” and sometimes it’s coming from internal forces who just want to engage in some “design treatments.” But the fact of the matter is that it’s a waste of time because inevitably the content doesn’t fit the page.

Save yourself a lot of time in reviews and rework and map out what needs to go on the page, the priority of that information, and any interactions the visitor should be able to have with that information BEFORE you go to wireframing or—heaven forbid—comps.

Image via this awesome Gizmodo post. 

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