Keeping Web Design in the Conversation

Web Design Strategy

This is a guest post from Ashworth Creative. With design at the heart of all it does, Ashworth Creative strategically plans communication through website development, branding and marketing graphics that stand out and set apart. Ashworth develops success for clients through creative problem solving, custom processes, calculated alliances and professional knowledge. The Ashworth blog is a creative and technical resource for an intrigued audience.

Design is what causes us to want a BMW over a Honda or an iPhone over a Blackberry or to shop at Target over Walmart. Whether good or bad, design is all around us. We may not recognize it consciously, but every one of us is influenced by design, no matter what form it takes. Having said all that, does design matter in the effectiveness of a blog or website?

It is common to say that all blogs and websites are created for an audience. Most people that visit your blog do not know who you are or understand the essence for your site. Think of the design of your blog or website as the first impression you make on your audience. Sure, it is not right to judge a book by its cover, but your blog appearance needs to make a lasting impression. Once something is being presented to an audience, then design and aesthetics become important. Design and presentation is the first thing someone sees before ever laying eyes on your brilliant content.

We believe that your blog design should reflect your ambitions, passions, and personality.

Design is something that gives your blog character and visual interest that your blog content can’t necessarily achieve at first glance. Think of the design of your blog as your brand. By branding your blog to fit your content and passions, you are sending your audience a distinct message.

Let’s say your blog focuses on Search Engine Optimization and news related to SEO. What message do you send to your readers if your blog theme is plants and flowers? It just doesn’t make sense to your audience. This also does not mean that if your blog is about computers and technology, that your theme should target only electronics. You get the drift. In some instances, the design is so poorly developed that the viewer may lose patience in search of important information. The results of bad design can often drive viewers away in frustration.

Organization is crucial in any type of design. The content and elements need simple organization with a system of hierarchy to keep the site navigable for users. We all know how frustrating it is to land on a blog and to be bombarded with so much information, images and headlines that we can’t even focus on anything in particular. A familiar design phrase “less is more” is especially true for use on the web. Keep in mind that the audience needs space to breathe.

Good blog design needs graphics and images that support the content presented. The colors used throughout should also remain consistent with simple color combination that share a relationship. Your blog should exude an overall consistency in design to avoid confusion, distractions and most importantly bounce rates.

We experience joy when we visit a site that has great content coupled with great design. To say that the content of a blog or site takes precedence over the design or that design has more importance than content is to deal in absolutes. Having great content AND design is vital to a successful web presence. Design is what will steal the interest of your viewer and content is what will keep your viewer engaged. The two should be joined together harmoniously.

(Image courtesy of gentlepurespace)

Any suggestions about blog design? What works or doesn’t work for you? How important is design to a blog or website’s overall success?