Let?s face it ? looks matter.
It?s not that we?re all horribly shallow or vain, but when it comes to pretty much everything in life (from a spouse, to a new couch, or a car) if it?s easy on the eye, you won?t hear too many complaints.
Consider this…?have you ever rocked up to a job interview or client presentation in your tracky-daks and very best ugg-boots? Of course not. We primp and preen and do our damnedest to look the best we can.
So does looking fabulous actually make us any more competent? Or is that ?ber-stylish couch any more comfortable than the daggy one at home with the well-established butt imprints?
But the truth is this:
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT!
Which is why a rather lively discussion of sorts was sparked after a web designer on Twitter posted a link?which led to a site loudly proclaiming:?Your Web Design Does NOT Have To Look Good.
In a somewhat ironic turn of events, the web designer was arguing that quality content was far more important than the design of the site, while I (purveyor of quality content) was arguing that good design is?every bit as important?as the content.
When I was asked for an example to substantiate my claims?of good content losing out to poor design, I had fortunately (?) stumbled across such a site only hours before.?Despite great content?- which I really did want to read – the design of the site was so poor that I left with no intention to return (at least not until the design was improved*).
The site in question??Comedian?Wil Anderson’s.
Unfortunately for Wil, his web designer chose to use white text on a black background, which is almost an instant migraine waiting to happen for anyone brave enough to attempt reading the content. I actually abandoned the site mid-post, as my poor eyes were screaming for respite.
The reality is, even if you have awesome content (as I?m quite sure Wil does), if your site design is liable to cause a brain haemorrhage with harshly contrasted text, flashy ads -?or it’s just plain ugly -?people won?t stick around to read it.
According to this article from?websiteoptimization.com, first impressions of a website are made in a mere?one twentieth of a second! Certainly not enough time for your audience to read your content and decide if it overrides poor design.
If your website looks like the equivalent of a seedy 1970?s motel room, people aren?t gonna want to stick around!
The one thing we could all agree on, however, was beautiful web design lacking good content was much like a beautiful girl offering dialogue amounting to nothing more than ?OMG..!!! Like, I can?t believe, like, how totally hot I look in these jeans!!! Like, don?t you just totally agree?!!! (oooh? shiny!?)?.
At the end of the day, it?s equally important to have a visually pleasing site which?invites your audience to explore further and read your valuable content. A site lacking in either is not doing anyone any favours.
And Wil? if you?re reading this? love your work, but for the love of small, fluffy kittens ? PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR WEB DESIGN!!! (Seriously! Even light grey text over the black would be a massive improvement).
*NOTE: I’m delighted to report that although most of Wil’s web pages remain black text on a white background, the blogs are now white text on a black background. Huzzah!!