When web designers and copywriters work together, we can launch websites faster. Even more importantly: they look and function better from launch.

But this isn’t always what happens – in fact, it’s quite rare.

The usual scenario goes something like this:

You’ve spent weeks – months – designing and building a website. You’re amped to go live. Now all you need is that pesky copy.

As you worked through the design process, all that Lorem Ipsum didn’t even register. But now it screams at you from the pages of your nice new website:

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit!!!”

The deadline passes and still you wait for that darn copy. Everyone’s hit a roadblock:

“What are we going to write.”

“No idea, let’s just throw something together.”

“Yep, that’ll do.”

Why is a collaborative approach to web design and copywriting so rare? We don’t think it should be – we think it’s time for change and are already doing our darndest to help.

I’m going to outline the pitfalls of working in isolation as web designers and copywriters. And I’ll highlight how a collaborative approach can end the copy waiting game and produce a better website.

Communication between web designers and copywriters

When we’re working on the same project we have the same goal: to create the best result within a budget and timescale.

But if we’re going to offer a truly cohesive experience for a client, open communication is vital.

Copywriters and web designers need to understand each other to ensure we’re sending the same message to the client.

If this isn’t the case, our clients could end up disappointed by a product they didn’t want or expect.

So the best collaboration is between a web designer who understands the limitations of copy, and a copywriter who understands the limitations of web design and development.

Without this mutual understanding, it could lead to miscommunication. And a client with overinflated expectations.

The catch to working in isolation

If web designers and copywriters don’t collaborate early on in a website project, problems may arise as the project progresses.

In many cases, a copywriter is brought in to write after a website design is set – or even completely built.

But this isolated way of working can lead to all sorts of issues, including:

If we work together – rather than working in isolation – we can avoid all this copy drama.

With regular, open communication we can help manage expectations and ensure everyone produces their best possible work.

A new, familiar perspective

Instead, of copywriters and web designers working in isolation, how can we develop and nurture closer working relationships?

Both parties need:

Basically, we think the web designer and copywriter relationship should look something like that of an art director and copywriter.

In the late fifties, advertising creative director, Bill Bernbach (of Doyle Dayne Bernbach) put copywriters and art directors together in teams for the first time.

Before Bernbach came along, a copywriter would write some copy. They’d hand the copy over to an art director to work into an ad. There was no discussion and no sharing of ideas.

But Berbach’s new way of working started to spread – copywriters and art directors everywhere began working together. That’s when the really good stuff happened.

Check out this snippet from Art & Copy to hear how Bernbach changed the way art directors and copywriters create:

That was over fifty years ago. Now it’s standard for art directors and copywriters to collaborate on ads.

And we think it’s about time this became the standard for digital marketing too. We’re luckier now, because there are so many tools and apps that allow us to collaborate from afar. So we don’t even need to be in the same room to work cohesively.

Working together, web designers and copywriters can make websites better.

We can make our clients happier.

And we can make really good stuff happen so much faster.

Keen to work together? Get in touch.

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15th February 2016

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