Think about the message – then the bottle
When someone throws a message in a bottle into the ocean they want that message to be read by someone who will respond.
Imagine you’re the person seeking to have your message read. What comes first the message or the bottle?
The message, right? Without a message there is no need for the bottle. Throwing empty bottles in to the sea is a pointless exercise.
So when planning your website it is important to think about the message first then the bottle. Sadly so many people start the process the wrong way around. This causes delays in the project and more often than not leads to a less than optimum solution.
Concentrate on the message
For now forget about how your site will look and how many pages it will need or what colour it will be and concentrate on what your message needs to be.
If you want people to respond to your message you need to think clearly about who they are and what they will respond to so that you can design your content to meet that objective. Only then will you really know how best to lay that content on the page and how best to package it.
The bottle is a means to an end
The bottle’s primary function is to contain the message whilst it’s secondary purpose to a certain extent is to attract the attention of the guy on the beach.
There are two types of bottle that will stop someone in their tracks but only one of them comes with an increased probability of being picked up:
- A really beautiful or colourful bottle
- A crystal clear bottle with an obvious message inside
It is important that your message is well packaged so that it attracts but if your message is strong, clear and of substance then its container can be simple understated elegance. What is important is that the design and layout is congruent with the message it contains so that the overall desired impact is achieved.
This is why we work to define and develop the message first and then the bottle.