Redesigning Your Website? Don’t Ignore the Most Important Part

posted this in
Web Design
on June 4th, 2013

When I was in school pursuing my major in photography (stop laughing!), I had assignments that required me to mat and frame my works of art ameteur photos.

I still remember the first of these assignments. And looking back on it now, it helped me realized the most important part about redesigning a website. You’ll see why in a bit.

You see, for a final project, I had to present a collection of images professionally (yes, easy finals like this one are one of the main reasons I chose my photography major).

Rather than purchase frames (that costs money), I removed photos of my friends and family from the frames around my house and used those instead.

Then, I took and developed the photos. Pretty happy with what I had made, I got out my mat cutter, mat board, collection of assorted frames and the photos that were to become my final project.

It was then that I realized my problem - my photos weren’t the right sizes for the frames!

With no time to re-print the photos (I’m a professional procrastinator), I decided to just cut the images to fit. Perfect, right? The only problem was that some of the photos lost important elements. Ears, arms and even a whole person were cut out so I could fit them within my frames (remember: poor college student).

Done and with essential parts of my art in the garbage, I laid them all on the floor and took a step back. I was bummed. My final product looked nothing like my original vision.

So the moral of the story (and the most important part of redesigning your website) is…

Don’t Forget About the Content

You see, I was so caught up in acquiring (free) frames that I didn’t think about how it would affect the pictures I was going to put in them.

Many companies do the same thing when building their website!

You have probably thought a lot about:

  • What colors you want your website to have
  • What layout you think is important
  • Where your logo should go
  • What pictures you’ll include

But how much time have you given to thinking about your content? What will your design (your web content’s “picture frame”) be displaying?

Too many times, content is an afterthought.

Think About Your Customers

I’m not here to declare that content is king. Or that it isn’t. There’s truth in both arguments. But before you make any decision with your website, ask yourself this:

Why do customers come to my site?

When was the last time you bookmarked a site just because you thought the design was gorgeous? (Designers, put your hands down.)

Do you visit the same websites every day just because they’re pretty?

Not usually. It’s the content you’re after. You want to learn something interesting or find out how to do something ormaybe just laugh.

So if the goal is to get people to use your site, shouldn’t you focus on the things that do that?

Design and Content in Harmony is Beautiful

Don’t misunderstand me - great website design is extremely important. But without great content, it’s worthless.

Let’s go back to my story. How many frames do you have hung on your walls without anything in them? Likewise, how many unframed photos are on display? The two work together to create something that is truly better than the sum of its parts.

The same can be said of good website design and content.

Am I right? The last time you re-designed your website, how much time did you devote to the content vs. the design?