Jan 29 2013

It is a common mistake to overlook the importance of the ‘secondary’ design features on your website. But these are perhaps the most crucial if you want a successful end design.

Content is a single term for ‘media’ or text, images, slideshows, videos, and podcasts. It doesn’t only mean copy! Using content appropriately in design takes a keen eye, and experience in matching different content with different designs.

Your design may be brilliant for example, but the slider images that your designer has chosen lack impact. This happens all too often. You need to sit down and search for the content that will suit your design.

That means creating a video for your homepage that introduces your services and MATCHES your design. It means sourcing the right images and then changing them to make them something unique.

Text: You wouldn’t think that tone has anything to do with design, but it does. First impressions of a website include the copy and also part of your design elements. If you have a law website, make sure your copy is appropriately professional, with fonts that help communicate your message.

Images: As we’ve stated before, images can make or break a site, so you need to think about which images to use on your homepage and on your core pages. Go into serious detail about the visual and emotional impact of images. What do they say about your business? Do they enhance your brand message?

Videos: A video can be a fair sized investment. Think about waiting until your website design is finalized before you have one made.

At the very least, make your still image (the first frame) match with your design. You can spot template videos a long way off and while you can have any video on your site, going the extra mile in design is what will make the difference overall.

Your slideshare content follows the same principles as your video content. It is better if they match or at least they both look like they belong to your brand. Podcasts are fine wherever you choose to put them. Remember:  never leave them on auto play.

Our advice would be to compile a list of sites that you find online, with content that has really jumped out at you. For this exercise ignore the design, and focus on the content elements. You can learn a lot from viewing other people’s choices.

The advantage here is that you can show your designer the examples you find, and they can get a better idea of the content you want on your site. A good web design that you’re happy with, relies heavily on your ability to communicate or guide your designer.

So don’t make the mistake of side lining your content, because your design is nice. You can ruin a great design by being ignorant about content which makes up a large part of that first impression!

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