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.

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