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24 ways to impress your friends

Extracting the Content


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Great article, well written, funny, informative. Thank you :) I’m going to give that page data thingy a go.

PS – Your profile photo with the space helmet is brilliant :)


Mikey McCorry

Great article, Relly. I often get frustrated when working with small businesses without the budget for a full-blown content strategy. Many of them think that “gathering” the content will be the easy part, without putting the thought into the message and the methods behind each page.

I can see the page tables concept will be of great help, even if I need to go the “Voldermort” route of printing off blank tables for each page to demonstrate the amount of work that’s ahead of the client, and that it’s in their best interests to work with me on this.

Also, Green Power Ranger feels neglegted. :)

Barnaby Walters

Excellent article — I particularly like the sound of the voldemort approach ;)

It’s funny how, even though everyone knows ‘content first’, etc now, many of us still aren’t really sure how best to approach it.

On the site I’ve been working on for the past few months, I’ve gone through all the old content, and put each piece through the test: is it useful to the user, and will the user read it? We then adjusted/rewrote as required.
Got rid of a lot of massive blocks of text that were doing nothing apart from filling bandwidth and looking intimidating.

Nicolas Chevallier

Often clients do not provide content, or content very poor. It’s very complicated to explain that it is the client’s work to provide the content, because it is the only one who knows his trade, its specific features, and advantages …

Jennifer Davis

I really enjoyed your article Relly, particularly the Power Rangers analogy which rung so true.

I think the awkward content-conversation is the hardest part. Twitter appears to have embraced the idea that content should be considered at the design/development stage, but in the office environment, there’s still an overwhelming lack of consideration for content in the initial planning stages.

In my mind, the challenge comes when you’re trying to convince the person/people in charge that content should inform how the site is built. It’s particularly difficult when 3,000,000* other stakeholders are trying to convince those same people that their idea or asset is the most important thing in the world, ever.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try! Wish me luck.

*not actually 3,000,000.

Thomas W.

Thanks for the article.

I have designed websites which performed quite good at the beginning (in terms of Google) with little content only. But the customers did not understand to provide more quality content and the hits degraded.

The table approach is new for me. I’ll definitely give it a try.

Dani S

Great article.

I’m currently working on a project where I was brought in to create web content 3/4 of the way through. This project moved way to fast and obviously didn’t have “the talk.”

It’s safe to say we’re now “knocked up.”

This is my first content job and I’m trying to use best practice when I can, but it would have saved me a world of headaches and under-my-breath swearing had we done things correctly in the beginning.

Which one is the blue Power Ranger, Donatello? ;)


“Bringing up Content for the first time with a client is like discussing contraception when you’re in a new relationship.” love this quote.The page table idea is brilliant, thank you for the great article!


Excellent, a useful tool that I can start using immediately. Really grateful to be handed a sensible structured way to help present the content iceberg thing to clients.


ana bee

this is what i’ve been trying to get people to do on every single project i participated in.

common reaction would indicate it’s like asking people to talk about molesting little penguins.

I shall print this article, put it on the wall and point to it every time i get the penguin-molestation look. Thanks.


I know this post is a bit old, but the concepts still seem very useful and relevant. I really appreciate the insights here.

However, as a professional copywriter who specializes in website copy for businesses, I am perplexed, over and over again, as to why designers don’t encourage or insist upon bringing copywriters into web projects.

I’m in the midst of reading many “content-first design” articles, and so far, there are a few things they have in common: 1. An assumption that the client will be the party responsible for providing copy. 2. Frustration that the client is almost never good at creating copy, or providing it in a timely manner. 3. A baffling omission of even the inkling that one might consider hiring a copywriter to solve point #2.

So I’m genuinely curious… What am I missing here? If we all agree that content is so important, why isn’t the web design/development community placing a higher value on its creation?

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