Design or content – What should you focus on?

The ultimate purpose of both content and design is : COMMUNICATION. One must not waver from this truth.


There are so many different kinds of content but they all still share a common purpose – communication! Quick look:

“Creative Content should come first” is a cliche, often repeated in the creative world. However, In this article, we choose to disagree.
The question ‘Should one focus on design or content’ has many varying answers to it depending on the instance.


But here’s how you can approach it: Start by including these questions in your thought process.


  1. What do you want to communicate?
  2. Who are your audience?
  3. What’s the medium?
  4. What skills or expertise does your team have?
  5. If you are planning to outsource to an agency, what’s your budget? What are their strengths?
  6. Who conceived the idea – a writer/marketer or a designer?


Here’s why they are important:

1.What’s the information you would like to communicate?


First things first, you must have a lucid knowledge of the information you want to communicate. The clearer you are about what you want to communicate and how you want to communicate it, the easier it is to proceed with the other steps.

2.Who are you audience and what do they like?


Understand what your audience like. For example : Children like stories and animated movies, marketers might be interested in comics, blogs or ebooks, GenZ spends a lot of time of social media platforms – you get where we are heading right? A little though into the persona of your audience might help you figure if you should go with a 100 page tech document or graphical ebook.


3.What’s the medium you are creating the content for?


People’s intent, attention span, and even their level of trust in the content differs depending on the medium you choose. So your content has to be customized based on the nature of the medium.


For example: Someone on your website has a higher intent of buying your product when compared to someone who is reading your facebook post. Which means, your website has to have enough information to convince them to make a purchase. Whereas a facebook post can be quirky to hook them in and draw them to your site.


Here are some examples of medium and what they mean for marketing communication:

design vs content

4.What skills, resources and expertise does your team have?


Evaluate the strengths of your team and leverage it.

  • How many writers or designers do you have?
  • How many of them are equipped enough to handle content/design decisions?
  • What does their weekly/monthly workload look like? For instance, if you have only one or two designers you might have to compromise on design based on their workload/ availability? Is this a one time project or something you are planning to do every week or month? Making a video for your annual user conference might require a different set of resources when compared to a series of videos that you plan on weekly basis.


Based on your team’s strengths and available resources, choose a format that is feasible and scalable.


5. Are you planning to outsource communication to an agency?


If you do not have enough resources, you can always rope in agency to handle the marketing communications for you. While you do so,

  • Ask them for advice on what ratio of content and design to use.
  • Find out their strengths and leverage it.
  • Give them clear inputs on anything you have in your mind.
  • Give them closest references possible.


6. Who conceived the idea – a writer/marketer or a designer?



Let the one that conceived the idea lead the project, and decide what format to go with. Others can give them inputs but let them decide. This might also mean that your entire team – writers and designers, should understand your product/service, audience and their personas intimately.


“Writers, support designers when they want to lead on an idea. Lend them words if they need it. Designers, writers need you. Somethings that the writers have to say would be said best with your choice of colors (color palettes), graphics, or layouts. You bring engagement, emphasis, and joy to a reading audience.

Writers and designers make some of the most fantastic combinations of the marketing teams! Go for it. Be one”


Who’s side are we on?

Creative content and mind-blowing aesthetics are both great communication tools that exceptionally complement each other. Especially when they are found in the hands of thoughtful people.


Whether it’s content or design, let your communication be simple, memorable, and genuinely useful. Create things that people are proud of owning/sharing – it’ll be good for your business.


That’s all for now! We’ll see you soon with more thoughts and insights.