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Better Writing Through Design

When building websites, information architecture is not the only structure there is. There is also the visual structure and then the most important of them all: the structure of the copy or the written text. A good IA may support a bad visual structure but it surely can't support a bad copy.

Good copywriting takes time. It is a design process. And like all design processes it requires one to do the research and build a strategy. This is why a copywriter should be involved right from the start, and not as an last-minute add-on when everything is complete. I still believe the it is much better to teach subject matter experts good copywriting skills than hire an external copywriter for short durations to fix broken content.

This article got me thinking on the role of the IA in supporting the visual language:

Ideally, you should work with a writer from day one to design the voice of the copy in conjunction with the visual language of the site. And getting a writer involved early can help you solve lots of other problems—from content strategy issues to information architecture snags. Remember that writers are creatives too, and they are, in many cases, the keepers of the content your design ultimately serves.

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