Content strategy and UX: Why are they inseparable?

In a given project, UX design and content strategy may seem like completely separate tasks which should be carried out by different professionals who don’t feel the need to collaborate with each other. In fact, traditionally, the engineer writes the code for an interface, the designer transforms it to make it user-friendly, and the copywriter fills it with content. However, as cross-functional teams have gained more attention and importance, the power of putting forth a collaborative team work is now preferred more than ever as it leads to better results.

In cross-functional teams, professionals with diverse backgrounds such as designers, developers, copy writers, researchers, and marketers take up a project together, report on each others’ work, and give feedback about every aspect of the project regardless of their expertise. For example, it has now become usual for designers and developers to join the researcher in designing a study or carrying out certain research activities. Such collective efforts tend to result in much more creativity, innovation, and coherence compared to the traditional way of solely working on what one is good at and then putting it on top of what others have accumulated. This is applicable to nearly all projects where tasks welcome the input from professionals in different disciplines.

In digital marketing, the widely known expression “Content is king” may seem like an outdated cliché, but it actually is true about the nature of digital companies. People do not navigate through websites or use digital products because of their beauty; they are always after information that brings them value, that teaches them something new, or that makes their lives easier by solving their problems. When searching for information, the fact that the website that delivers it is visually attractive, easy to use, well-organized, and trustworthy makes it a cherry on top. However, no matter how great the user experience is, a website with low quality and useless content will fail in attracting users or selling products. But paying attention to today’s market conditions, is content still the single driver of digital success? In other words, doesn’t content need a queen?

There are solid reasons why content strategy should be prioritized in a project. However, considering the massive amount of online competition, relying only on content and neglecting how that content is delivered to potential customers would be a mistake. In today’s world, a company that does not base its online presence on usability principles will most probably fail, because there will always be others delivering the same level of quality with a better user experience.

Yesterday, the internet was the market of “sellers”, meaning that users had to settle with what was out there. Today, the scene is completely different, because users have more than enough alternatives to turn to if they’re not happy with a digital product or service.

High-quality content that is worth consuming, paired with a state-of-the-art user experience will be the winner in the eyes of the users.

In order to achieve such a result, it is crucial for content strategists and UX designers to resolve any conflicts they have and work closely starting from the beginning of a project, constantly informing each other about their ideas, and making sure that the UX design is relevant to the content being produced. So, instead of thinking which one — user experience or content — is more more important than the other, a friendly mix is a wiser strategy.

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