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Should copywriters make design suggestions?

Should copywriters make design suggestions?

As a copywriter, it’s your job to write the words (obviously) on a website. Usually people come to you as the last bit of the jigsaw when they’ve already got the design and structure of the site worked out, so you know what pages need copy. Simple.

But there are times when you’re asked to get involved a little earlier on, even right at the start of a project. If this does happen, should you include design suggestions on your copy document? Websites are perfect for this as when you write for print, you’re far more limited in what you can do.

For example, if you think particular sections would look great in an accordion or a carrousel do you add this in a comment box for the designer to add in? Do you indicate where boxes should be or think an image or video in a particular spot would look great? And if you’ve got an idea of the type of image or video, do they get suggested too?

There’s no clear answer to this. It depends on you, the project and the designer you’re working with. If the circumstances allow, then do it. The designer might appreciate your input and if not, they can always ignore it!

The best projects are where collaboration happens and you work together. Bouncing ideas off each other helps you arrive at the best look and feel for the site. You’re both experienced, creative people so use each other.

One of the best ways to do this as a writer is to study screenplays. Writers of these more often than not include notes for the director. Scenes include individual characters’ point of view, suggestions of what to focus on, and so on. Directors will then decide how to interpret these. They might feel particular shots will benefit from certain angles or lighting or might simply follow the screenwriter’s directions. A great writer and great director can be a great team making great movies.

And it’s the same when a website’s built. The copywriter is the screenwriter and the designer is the director, and together you can build great websites.

 

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Nick Pagan