Those of us who follow the likes of Jeffrey Zeldman, Andy Clarke, Dan Cederholm, Ethan Marcotte, and a host of other notable web professionals have heard the battle cry that design should support the content, not the other way around. I’m not going to reiterate all the reasons why this is a good practice. You can get their thoughts on the matter via their blogs, books and presentations at conferences. I encourage you to do so because I agree with them. Content should be honed first, so that an appropriate design can deliver it in a pleasing manner to the intended audience.
The question I am posing today is how to best put this philosophy into practice when a CMS and other restrictions come into play. Lets face it, not every site can have each article “art directed” a la Jason Santa Maria‘s site. Not every company has the resources available to do such a thing. So, in the harsh, cruel world where low budgets, unenlightened project managers, unrelenting time lines, and understaffed companies govern the website’s resulting look and feel, what do we do to ensure that content is delivered in the best possible light?
I have a specific scenario I’d like to examine, in hopes of hearing some ideas on supporting content while using a CMS in the conditions mentioned above. (more…)
A lot of posts in the first few days of January reflect on the year that passed and/or look toward the year ahead. That’s not my plan here. There’s nothing wrong with posts like that. I just don’t want to do one of those. I do, however, want to get back into writing. More specifically, engaging in conversations that may be more meaty than those we have on Twitter or Facebook. (more…)