Mark Boulton just penned the canonical approach to content and design.
Let’s be really clear about this. It is unrealistic to write your content – or ask your client to write the content – before you design it. Most of the time. Content needs to be structured and structuring alters your content, designing alters content. It’s not ‘content then design’, or ‘content or design’. It’s ‘content and design’.
I couldn’t agree more with what Mark says in the article. Creating content from a “blank slate” is akin to a client asking you to design a website with no constraints or input. I’m guilty of telling clients that in a perfect world they would have all of their content and then I would start designing. This is plain wrong. We don’t need to worry about a perfect world anyways, because the best approach is equally beneficial to the designer and the client — content and design.