A good Design needs a Good Content
No matter how brilliant your designs, if the content is bad, the honeycomb crumbles – Peter Morville.
A design aims to create a user experience that makes a website appear useful, valuable and desirable by visitors. There are hordes of design elements that can add to the credibility of a website such as simplicity, policy, information, testimonials, case studies, articles, trust marks, and so on. Take a closer look and you will realize that most of these elements are somewhat related to content of a website such as articles, testimonials, information and more.
Let’s assume, we have a credibility meter for your website, where your design elements and content add or reduce value of your page. For instance, use of good grammar adds to credibility points and a bad grammar reduces them. Organized placement of website elements can add points but if you are putting too much of content on the homepage, the meter drops down.
To have a good credibility rating for your website, you need a Good Design + Good Content!
Content can affect the design in many ways. Let’s take a few examples:
- Your testimonials are placed in a very strategic location on your home page – readable, highlighted, and easy to access. A DESIGN PLUS! What if the testimonial is written with a major structural mistake – may be you missed out to mention company name of your client? A CONTENT MINUS
- You have a job page where all your requirements are listed well – A DESIGN PLUS! What if your requirements miss out on detailing job skills or you have a grammatical mistake in your listing? A CONTENT MINUS
- You have written a beautiful bog post – clear, concise, simple but not relevant to audience. Think of a blog targeted to animal lovers talking about how dog fur can spoil human health. Animal lovers want to read articles talking about health of dogs, not humans. At times, it becomes difficult to differentiate a relevant topic from irrelevant one, especially when you take decisions considering keywords. Throw a few keywords related to animals and the talk of dog+ fur+ health+ would not sound irrelevant but when considering the context and the audience, the subject would clearly appear extraneous.
- You design colour-rich illustrations or infographics talking of a research but the figures presented are 10 years old – obsolete! A CONTENT MINUS
- You have added outbound links to your blog pages, but those links are broken, or the page it is directed to, does not exist. A CONTENT MINUS
What can ensure that you don’t score a negative on the credibility meter for content related mistakes?
These 4 simple steps will take you long way –
- Identify Audience – What tone, vocabulary and language do they prefer? What context they will respond to?
- Ensure relevancy before finalizing title and generate interesting titles
- Ensure it has appropriate number of search keywords
- Proofread and Edit your article for grammatical, formatting, factual and structural errors
A good content would help you enhance the impact of your design on your audience.
A beautifully crafted testimonial written in perfect English, with proper punctuation, desired information and a readable format will give your testimonial a great credibility.
Read these testimonials –
Which testimonial would you trust? Obviously the first one – You know the person is for real! So, you can trust.
In the second example, some random name is placed – Rohit – But, who is Rohit? You cannot trust the testimonial when you don’t know the person it is coming from. Efforts have been put on designing but not on content. Your Content Credibility Meter goes down.
Some content mistakes that you would definitely want to avoid –
- Grammar errors
- Wrong Data
- Missed information
- Irrelevancy to audience
- Broken links
- Inappropriate language
- Too long titles
- Wrong categorization
- Improper punctuation
- Ineffective titles
- Lack of keywords
- No proofreading