The industry's latest buzzword is content design; forcing copywriters to think wider than the words on a page.
Copy and design go together like horses and carriages, fish and chips, salt and pepper. They have to collaborate to ensure the design works with the copy - after all, people decisions are based on the information presented more than the colours on the page.
These days, with everything going digital, copywriting has become content and merged with UX to create content design. It's a natural evolution, copywriters need to know what the problem the piece is aiming to solve, levels of awareness, where people have come from, what they need to do and think about possible fail scenarios. Copywriting is no longer constrained by the size of an ad or web page; it transcends media and channels.
Then there's the whole governance aspect to all the work - as it being digital, it can sit on the website for decades without anyone taking responsibility for it, but Google still serves it up to unsuspecting searchers. And you could expose inconsistencies with a click of a mouse.
Before any of that, you need to think about design. People have certain expectations, whether it's a learned or natural behaviour, they expect things to work a certain way. Good or perfect design doesn't mean you're winning.
Specified users who need to achieve specified goals must be able to do it quickly and efficiently. More importantly, it needs to give them the feels. This means everything needs to be designed with the user in mind, in terms of is it intuitive and does it make them feel satisfied.
Let's look at service design. Take a look at the salt and pepper shakers in your kitchen/dining room. How do you know the difference between the two? Is it that the salt shaker has more holes, are the bottles see-through, do they have the S and P differentiator? Most salt and pepper shakers are identical to each other - the only way to discover its content is by using it. This is bad service design, it means you'll either over-season your food or you'll make a mess on the dining room table. However, practical doesn't mean desirable. If you know about the dark arts of copywriting, you know why...
In order to start the design process you need to:
This isn't a list, it's a cycle. Once you've tested your hypothesis, you optimise.