Design VS Content – Who’s King?
Design vs Content – who’s boss? There’s been a Hunger Games type battle going on in the Internet Marketing Industry for years about Who’s the King of the Castle with Content and Design being the number one contenders.
Although the two definitely go hand in hand, I think it simply comes down to where you’re at right now.
If you’re re-branding or creating a totally new website…
Ideally, your content strategy should come before you engage with a Website Designer, but most of us get the order mixed up. You’re content strategy informs the substance, tone and style of your brand giving your Web Designer a good feel about how to bring it all together to provide you with a beautiful online space that fits you like a glove.
On the other hand, if you already have a website, design is definitely Boss. It’s the difference between having your website read or not. Here’s why…
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First impressions last.
There’s a lot to be said about first impressions. Malcolm Gladwell, Author of Blink: The power of thinking without thinking; uses the term ‘thin slicing’ to explain what happens when we meet someone new.
In a matter of seconds, both parties have subconsciously formed an opinion about each others trustworthiness based solely on their facial features. As much as you’d like to believe you’re not that shallow, we all do this! We unconsciously override our rational brain in these situations to make a snap judgement and these judgements last.
On the web however, it’s a one way street as visitors notice different visual elements then interpret them to decide your credibility leaving you with just a few, ‘make or break’-seconds to knock their socks off.
The old adage comes to mind, don’t judge a book by its cover. True… for the offline world. But the internet is a different beast, where we initially experience it visually before we take the next step in consuming your content.
Dr. Brent Coker who studied the impact of attractive websites on human behaviour http://newsroom.melbourne.edu/news/n-575 says, “With websites becoming increasingly attractive and including more trimmings, this creates a greater feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism in online consumers.
People are developing relationships with the internet the same way we develop relationships with other people. We are more trusting of attractive websites, less tolerant of websites that have irrelevant information, and more likely to introduce ourselves to websites that are new.”
A good example that Design is Boss is the creation of Pinterest.
“We over invested in design and spent months obsessing over the product.” It sure paid off! – Pinterest CEO, Ben Silbermann
Design dictates credibility and trust
Even though you may be the Danielle Laporte of your industry with the most eloquent writing style that has the potential to send benevolent tsunamis of love to the masses while sweeping up a tribe of evangelists on the shallow waves, none of that will happen if your website looks as if it was thrown together by a 5th grader with:
- An unforgivable midnight black background with smokey grey, teeny-tiny text.
- A corporate design that reads like the Oxford dictionary
- Uninspired, lifeless design layered with content written in the third person.
- Cluttered design which asks users to absorb extraordinary amounts of information.
- Intrusive pop up ads that annoy the hell out of your users as they try to decipher what your site is about.
So it’s safe to say that we’re a cautious bunch when out surfing the web but we do so subconsciously and methodically.
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- First we use our visual perception which triggers a perceived judgement that lends us the information we need to decide whether or not to trust your site.
- If it passes that test, then and only then, are we more likely to pay attention to the essence of the website –
So, what do you think? Design vs Content?
Or have we finally cleared up this long standing debate?
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