IXD301- Week 1


Today I had my first lecture of my second year with Kyle and he went through the introduction to the IXD301 Module- Designing with Content. Within this lecture he discussed that this module consists of two projects- a portfolio website and an elements website, however we only discussed what is expected for the the first project which is the creation of my portfolio website. I have summarised the lecture below and I have included my notes and thoughts of what was discussed.



What is content?


This lecture was based around all things content, what it is and why it is so important in design. Content is one of the most important aspects to design work as there wouldn’t be design without content, I have learned that it is the backbone and starting point for all successful designs. Content design is to figure out what your users actually need¬†however content isn’t all words it can be videos and images too. A book I have added to my reading list is Content Design book by Sarah Richards, one of the aspects I find challenging is writing and content as I am not as confident in this area compared to others, Kyle recommenced this book and I am keen to learn more about this topic due to its high level of importance.


Push and pull technique

I have learned that I need to have both push and pull content within my work- this is content that pushes people to your website, e.g. posters or social media adverts or posts and also I need to ensure that my content is good in order to pull them to my website and encourage them to stay and keep reading!


What makes a successful portfolio?

  • easy to understand
  • easy to interact with
  • knowing what my users need as well as want
  • trust worthy site
  • make sure people can do what they want in their own way
  • easy to use



Typical UX Workflow

Kyle showed us an image of the process of a typical UX Workflow and I recreated this to have my own copy in Miro (see below) I will follow this process when I go to create my portfolio in the near future, this will be a very helpful tool!




Content audience


What is a content audit ?

Р A content audit is the activity of checking all of the content on a website and putting it in a large list, usually in a table or a spread sheet layout.


Examples of content audits

I searched the Internet for content audit examples that I understood and made sense to me. These images which I have included below have helped me to deeper understand audits and how they should be presented.






I found this to be quite a lot of information to take in at this point so I decided to do some more research and I came across this very helpful sketch on the UX Knowledge Base website. The designer summarised this information well, with a ‘sketch noting style’ ( I have talked and researched a lot about sketch noting last year – see here) and I have learned a lot from the summarised text and sketches that are short and easy to read and follow.






Content wireframes


The lecture then progressed into the discussion of content wireframes and how that part of the design stage is an important part of the process and I will need to sketch out many wireframes before I begin physically designing my own portfolio.


Examples of good content wireframes


I decided to research some good wireframes and I came across this blog on medium and decided to give it a read.

What makes a good wireframes?

  • dont make them too beautiful
  • make them realistic
  • clear but not perfect
  • use Helvetica in black for text, a few greys for backgrounds, and a bright blue to highlight buttons and links



Effective wireframes are about content placement and user flows, not visual design


I then found a great blog post about wirframing and how to sketch them properly on the nng website link- here.I found these images of the sketches very helpful and I will use their tips in the creation of my own wireframe sketches for my portfolio site to ensure that they are done in the most efficient way possible.






Site maps

We then took a look at sitemaps, what they are and how they help to design websites.


What is a site map ?

A site map is a list of pages of a web site within a domain.



I surfed the Internet in search of clear examples of good sitemaps and what they should look like. They are simple and straightforward and that is how a sitemap should look.








First I will sketch on paper the sitemap for my own portfolio website and I will then take this sketch to Figma and create a digital version similar to the ones I have included above.



Writing content for my portfolio website

Kyle moved the lecture on to discuss writing content for our portfolios and he showed his website as an example, before he built his website he wrote out all of the information and content as a html file. One of our tasks this week is to begin writing all of the content for our portfolio websites. This means that I need to think about what I want to say and what content I want to include in my portfolio.



How do I do this?

Using my inventory and content wireframes I should write out all of the content that I want in my portfolio in plain text or html. This should not include any colour or styling.

Why should I do this?

Writing out content as a word document or a text file is beneficial for many reasons. This ensures that I will only think about and include the necessary information to my website and this will better prepare me for when it comes to actually building my site.



This weeks tasks-

  • Create a Content Audit
  • Look at what heroes are doing (Look at other portfolios for inspiration)
  • Research and Discovery – look at Google Trends.
  • Draw up my own Site Map
  • Begin content wireframing on paper
  • Start to write my content for my website



It was refreshing to get back into the studio and get an introduction to this module and what I will be learning this year; I am very excited to get started and begin my second year journey. I learned a lot during this lecture and I wasn’t aware of how important content really was- content really is the user experience. I am eager to get this aspect right for my portfolio as this is going to be seen by employers and the world! I will complete my weekly tasks that I have talked about above for this module and upload my end results to this blog, let the portfolio games begin!



IXD301- Introduction to Designing with Content
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