Challenge Journal 3

//Balancing content and design//


As a very visual person, I’ve been struggling to find a balance between design and content.  Naturally, I’m more inclined to focus on design and aesthetic, and as a result I’ve over invested in my design compared to my content.  Though this has put me in a good position with my site design/illustrations, I worry my content has suffered from neglect.  I think that part of the reason why I tend to gravitate towards design is because it comes relatively easily to me and is more of a “fun” challenge.  It is the type of work that doesn’t actually feel like work at all, so I turn to it whenever other elements of my project (such as the writing itself!) become challenging.  Though I also love writing, it’s much more thought intensive endeavor and I tend to encounter more frustrations during the process.  I find it particularly difficult to get past writer’s block moments when I know there are other elements of my project that I can work on instead.

In order to better balance my investments in content and design, I am going to try to implement content mile markers that I have to reach before working on my next design element.  This way, I won’t be able to use design as a procrastination tool when I get stuck on my writing.  I’m hoping that imposing this structure will make me more contentious of how I’m delegating my time and will hopefully have positive impacts on my content generation.

I’ve encountered this issue in the past through my internship.  In my internship, I occasionally write blog posts and create corresponding graphics.  I always have fun making graphics, so I tended to focus on them before the post itself.  I found this counter productive because once I started writing, I’d end up changing the graphics to better represent the post.  As a result, my graphics were either poorly aligned with the post or I had to completely revamp them to be a better fit.  An example of a post is linked below (ignore the blurry image, we just got a new site and the graphics haven’t all been reformatted yet):

One thought to “Challenge Journal 3”

  1. Caroline- I’m having the same problem. I’m developing my content as I’m designing, and I’m slightly worried that my content is becoming tailored to my design. Ideally, it’d be the other way around. I’m thinking of imposing a similar restriction as you are, where I need to write a certain amount before I put it on the site. At the same time, however, I do feel like design is a massive part of my project, since my content is broken up into bit size chunks (for the most part). So structure and flow have to be thought of before I write the next set of instructions or explanations. I think that if you have a project that demands large chunks of prose, this consideration may be different. I’ve been poking around online looking at some of the magazine designs Ray suggested we search for, and it’s been really useful. It’s clear how the designs and layouts have been tailored to the content.
    Hopefully that will provide some inspiration and encouragement!

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