Professional Layout is Not Optional
I recently had a client call me out on what they felt was a contradiction. I harp on content being king. For a successful site they need engaging content that people will want to consume and they need to present it in a way that is friendly for Search engines.
I must have over-harped because I suggest a redesign for a section of their site that was content rich and growing rapidly. My client said, “But the content is great. You always tell me to focus on the content.” While I agree that content is most important, it can’t come at the expense of a professional layout.
Here’s why. A poorly designed site degrades credibility. Users have to have faith that the content is coming from a credible source. If great content is displayed in an amateurish way, users will move on.
A professional layout is the ring to your content’s diamond. It supports your content while displaying the information in a pleasing way that let’s users appreciate what you are offering. A poor layout is like burying a diamond in mud. It’s still a diamond but no one wants to undertake the work and the mess of uncovering it.