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How do you plan and organize copy/content for new projects?

over 1 year ago from , Co-Founder @ Deux Cinq Trois

Curious to hear about how design teams of different sizes plan, organize and manage copy/content for new projects.

  • Do you wireframe based on copy, write copy based on wireframes with lorem ipsum, or a bit of both?
  • Which tools to you use to collaborate on/organize/share copy (e.g. Google Docs, Airtable)?
  • How do you navigate the prototyping process when copy/content isn't finalized?

5 comments

  • Anthony Short, over 1 year ago
    • Never use lorem ipsum, always use real content. You can't design without content, otherwise you're just creating templates. Figure out the narrative and what you want to say first. The design is just an implementation of that narrative.
    • Figma and Paper
    • Go with the best you've got, even if the tone and grammar isn't perfect.
    4 points
  • Marcel van Werkhoven, over 1 year ago

    These challenges are most common when an experienced copywriter isn't doing all the content: - Clients never have enough copy but they know everything they do inside and out. - They don't have a clue how to structure their site.

    Over the years I've implemented the following process: 1. We figure out the main goal of every page in the sitemap (what should the user do here, why does it exist?)

    1. We build a rough 'framework' of elements that we think are needed for this page. (like an overview page can look like this, while a case study page should have these elements)

    2. We put in the content that the client has delivered for every page (which is never enough) to see what's missing (for example testimonials)

    3. We curate the delivered content(based on SEO and tone of voice) and add missing content where we can (microcopy / CTA's)

    4. We sit together with the client to make the final tweaks to the content so it's both SEO friendly but also factually correct

    You have to find some way to work on the content together with your client because you can't possibly know your way around every topic and business. Most of them also can't imagine what the content on the web will look like without having seen a page design first.

    2 points
  • Mircea IurcuMircea Iurcu, over 1 year ago

    Initially me (the designer), the Product Manager and the UX Copywriter discuss on the project big details, design aspects, limitations, technical issues. This could involve developers, it usually depends on what feature/product we are working on.

    Afterwards, when everything is clear, I would work along with PM, I usually have an Invision prototype with WIP, where all people involved are invited, and can see the progress. For the actual copy usually I will have something like real texts and never use "Lorem ipsum". This would help everyone to understand what are the actions, descriptions, "lorem ipsum" would never work when you have some Call-to-actions or some complex information.

    When the design is "final", the UX Copywriter would review once more all the copy, comment on the Invision prototype with all the improvements, I would then update the Sketch file, sync again and mark the comment as resolved. Also the UX Copywriter is responsible with the localization.


    I am also looking to integrate in this process some other tools that could simplify the whole workflow - ContentSync ( https://www.contentsync.io/ ) could help us, but I am still not sure at the moment.


    TL;DR

    Designer should have real copy, even if it's not final. I use Invision for collaboration. The prototypes shouln't be always final, real-life app replica.

    1 point
  • Chris Gallello, over 1 year ago

    I use Purple.pm (disclaimer, founder here) to consolidate strings right next to the designs/prototype. So what I'll do is have the actual designs exported out to a Sketch Card. Then next to that, I'll have a Google Sheet embedded in a Google Docs card, where I'll list out all of the strings. That way my team can see the strings in context of the design, as well as consolidated into a table (easier for development).

    I always write the full copy in Sketch, then occasionally make little changes later on while developing. There's a decent number of cases where the length of the copy makes a big difference for the layout so it's important to at least try to get a representative sample of text in there.

    1 point
  • Rachel SinonRachel Sinon, over 1 year ago

    Our process looks something like this:

    PM, PD, & PMK have a monthly meeting together to discuss new projects

    PD creates flows & mocks with copy that they write. Before uploading the mocks to Invision, we add underscores before and after copy that hasn't been "finalized" (mainly so devs know that they will need to update if looking at mocks) [Example: ___This is copy that needs some love___]

    PD adds copy from designs to a google doc that is structured page by page and formatted (h1, body copy, links, buttons.) This is annotated with some notes on user behavior or pieces of the flow & includes a link to the invision

    PMK is added to google doc and adds comments suggesting revisions

    PM, PD, & PMK discuss revisions and approve (or, if not approved, the cycle continues until we reach a consensus or user test options)

    Once everything has been approved, devs are added to the copy doc and add the "finalized" copy to the code

    1 point