The Copywriter and the Web Designer: a Poem

One day in the town of Ghent
A businessman to his team sent
An email, not so long, that stated
His company’s website – man, did he hate it
Build me another, one that surpasses the rest
I know with this team, ours will be the best!

On one computer, the designer clicked “close”
And on another, the copywriter started crafting some prose.
Said the designer, “I’ll build the most beautiful 3.0 site!”
And the copywriter purred, “God, I LOVE to WRITE!”
So the designer built, adding navs and buttons
While the copywriter wondered what rhymed with “mutton.”

For days on end, they each boiled and toiled
Their respective ambition for their crafts unspoiled.
The designer crafted wireframes rivaling Frank Lloyd Wright designs
And the writer penned copy inarguably divine.
Alas, the day soon came where their assignments were due
Their client would be delighted, this truth they both knew!

Two emails were opened and to each were attached
And their respective masterpieces to the boss were dispatched.
With the click of a mouse, they each let out a sigh
Their mastery of their craft, neither could deny.
“I love what I do!” they independently exclaimed
And then reached for the phone, braced for their moment of fame.

“Are you there, Mister Copywriter? It’s me, the client.
I’m getting Mr. Designer on the line – will you hold just a moment?”
The copywriter held till the designer chimed in
Then with a cough and a swallow, they heard the reaming begin.
“Did either of you speak? Did you plan? Did you get in cahoots?
Because nothing that you gave me is of any damn use!”

“You, Mister Writer – your words – hey, they’re great.
But with the design from Mr. Designer, not a lick of sense they make.
And you, Mister Designer – what are my site visitors to do?
None of the copy I have fits – do I have to review?
I told you both once that this site must be supreme
And by your lack of collaboration, you’ve ruined my dream.”

“How do you write, Mr. Copywriter, if you don’t know where your words go?
And Mr. Designer, how do you design if you don’t know the word flow?
They both work together, the visual and the text
So my site visitors don’t get confused and know what to do next.
What I have from you two are two separate things
When they should truly be one – a marketing choir that sings!”

Speechless they were as the client bid them farewell.
Is there a moral to this story? Ah, yes – here’s the sell:

A website is a choir, not a series of one-acts
If it’s anything but, it looks put together by hacks.
No matter your role: SEO, writer or designer
No one’s more important, no single role finer.
If you think you’re the schiz and you don’t need another soul,
I’ll tell ya – you’re wrong and have a long way to go!

Words must fit boxes and boxes the words
Your SEO must guide you, else none of its heard.
If code is crap, the words won’t ever matter
‘Cause the search engines won’t find you among the cruddy code clatter.
And no SEO strategy? Well, just give up the ghost.
Words with no purpose? Yeah, your website is toast.

So Designer, Copywriter, Tech Professional – hear this!
Do you want a client like the one above? (pissed)
All it takes is the willingness to work as a team
To conjure-up a plan and build a collaborative scheme.
If this, you can do, you’re miles above all the rest
As they simply don’t get it…So why not work like the best?

Step one: start with wireframes. Where do words go?
How will visitors click though? How will they spend dough?
Step two: SEO research. What traffic do you want?
What words help them get here? Don’t be nonchalant!
Step three: craft the copy, SEO and design in mind.
It all comes together, your separate ideas now refined.

That’s a site to be proud of, no ifs ands or buts
A well-executed strategy with minimal fuss.
Your team? Essential. They make you look better.
So pick up the phone, drop an email – WHATEVER!
But hey – collaboration…it’s not for everyone, I know.
You can lead a horse to a team, but to collaborate? Perhaps no.

16 comments
Lisa Nelson
Lisa Nelson

I know this is an old post, but I just got around to reading it...LOVE IT! Thanks for summing it all up!

ShellyKramer
ShellyKramer

Angela!!!!! You are right! I got so excited thinking about the battles I wage between writers and designers on a daily basis that I forgot the ding dong thing that I do!!! You are right - the strategy is da schiz!!!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Your pom poms for being my biggest fan are in the mail. Thankya, m'dear!

AngelaMichka
AngelaMichka

While I like your poetic-nessIt’s the shitz, that’s fo shoreI think you’ve forgottenJust who opens that doorIt’s strategy that drives it,The whole ding-dong thingGet yourself an AEYou’ll have websites THAT SING!

ShellyKramer
ShellyKramer

I love this post more than marshmellows. More than chocolate. Even more than beer. And when I say that, you know it's big. I want to send this to EVERY FREAKIN' CLIENT that I have!! Thank you, lovely, for yet another fantastic post!!Shelly Kramer@shellykramerhttp://v3im.com

The Redhead
The Redhead

When you find that rhythm, it's hard to beat!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Awww...thanks, Mike! An ode in verse. Loves!

Mike Stenger
Mike Stenger

This is just brilliant...I've been one to write poems before (hey ladies *wink wink) but man is this some extensive stuff!Here's my own little poem for ya...Erika, how lovely, the blog posts that she writes"Holy crap is this poem awesome!" her community recites

julietaustin
julietaustin

What a great post! This is why as a copywriter I have worked primarily with one designer for over 6 years.

The Redhead
The Redhead

I take that as a high compliment coming from a web design project manager!