Posted on | March 16, 2011 | 2 Comments
“You Look Marvelous, Darling, because in Ricardo’s world, it’s not how you look, it’s how you feel…” – Billy Crystal as Ricardo on SNL
I won’t hold you in suspense. No, websites do not have to look marvelous to be marvelous. Long gone are the days when it was common to land on a site that obviously put 90% of their effort into the design. And, at some point, they’d add some good content little by little. For the visual thinkers out there, sometimes it’s easier to see the design to conceptualize their content and how it might flow from page to page.
Or, are those days really long gone?
I have encountered many small to mid-size businesses that report they need a new “website design.” While they may not intend only for a new design, that term seems to be pretty on-target with what they really do intend. A new design at least gives their company a facelift, they think, and when they have that done it will be easy to post text to the pages as time allows. The problem is that the time never does allow, the content never seems to get its due attention, and what lingers out there for the world to see is a site that is merely a sign on the front of their door. When their potential customers walk inside, there’s not much there at all.
So, what I am saying is that an effective website needs a balance of both good design and good content. And if either of the two has to be sacrificed for any reason, I say that design should take a bit of a hit in that battle for your attention. Ultimately, what your site visitors have come to your site for is to learn about something, consider your products and services, and come away with a perspective on your site’s topic that has been enhanced in some way. A good-looking structure and design around that content is key, of course. Design should serve to draw in the visitor, to give off a sense of what the brand is all about.
However, especially in this era of the more discerning, web-savvy consumer, content is king. A company or individual responsible for “designing” a website should take content into greater consideration earlier on in the design than in the last stretch of the marathon.