Why design is more important than content?

Why design is more important than content?

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Content and design are the building blocks of a website. What is more prominent is a longstanding debate. Some decisively give the credit to design while others fiercely defend content by saying “Content is king.” But what is more important then? Who is the king – content or design? Here, we discuss how design is more important than content sometimes.

The first step towards revenue generation, for any website, is to generate heavy traffic and sustain it – both being different things. Visitor behavior is generally characterized by impatience and they can opt to leave a website within 2-3 seconds. Attracting a visitor in fraction of a second can only be done by making the website aesthetically appealing, responsive and easy to navigate through. Design shoulders this difficult task of getting the visitor hooked.

The role of content comes next. A visitor will stay on the website only when he or she finds good content on it. It simply means that you can sustain visitors using quality content. Although the context will matter also. It may be Christmas time and you might be talking about 4th of July, the effectiveness of content in this case might not be much. Originality matters, relevance doubly so.

Traffic generation

The first step towards revenue generation, for any website, is to generate heavy traffic and sustain it – both being different things. Visitor behavior is generally characterized by impatience and they can opt to leave a website within 2-3 seconds. Attracting a visitor in fraction of a second can only be done by making the website aesthetically appealing. Design shoulders this difficult task of getting the visitor hooked.

The role of content comes next. A visitor will stay on the website only when he or she finds good content on it. It simply means that you can sustain visitors using quality content.

Research says design is king

Elizabeth Sillence, a UK based psychology researcher, and her team did a research on why people turned down any website within seconds? They got interesting answers – 94% people distrusted the website only because of its ugly design. They don’t even bother to look into the content of the website. The implication is that design is the king and can safely be called the only reason to attract visitors, at least initially.

Andrew Odlyzko, former head of the University of Minnesota’s Digital Technology Center and a mathematician has also argued in his 2001 study “Content is not King”.

Design gives pleasure to eyes

A website with a compelling design can easily be a treat for the eyes. The deeper advantage is that it makes the website interactive. It helps visitors to explore and thus stay on for more time on the website. Your content will be read only if the design is intriguing. It is again up to content to make visitors come back.

Design increases sharing of website

A quality design with good content makes for higher sharing rate on social networking sites. Such websites also have higher rate of getting bookmarked.

The Flip-side of Content

Vintage inscription made by old typewriter

If content of the website is unreliable, visitors may turn it down. Content needs verification before posting; grammatical mistake also affects visiting rates negatively. Such lapses are minimized in the case of design. Authentication is also not an issue while designing, but that same may not stand true in case of content. Originality speaks for itself, as well as to the readers.

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