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Content is Still King

Trends in web design have shifted in recent years toward flashy home pages with 100%-wide images that "glide" upward as you scroll, maybe revealing previously hidden content or huge blocks of white space with little content and no helpful information or navigation.

I love images and white space. Graphics are great to grab your attention and enhance the message. White space is great for keeping layouts clean and helping you focus on content. But image-heavy, scroll-laden designs that lack substance or have so much white space that the page feels void of meaning is overkill. When images and white space are used effectively when they convey a clear message, complement elements or backgrounds, and guide you to more information or action. Images are not effective when they take up huge amounts of bandwidth and time to download. Your users want content quickly. There are exceptions, of course. For businesses in the visual arts, the visuals ARE the content.

For the rest of us, your home page should focus on content that drives action. It should include, right up front:

  1. A call to action, whether it's to call, or buy, or learn more;

  2. Your business name;

  3. A description of what you do with some marketing appeal, written in succinct blocks of content that include links to take them further into your site;

  4. Easy-to-identify site navigation in both desktop and mobile versions;

  5. Easy-to-find contact information;

  6. Minimal images that add appeal and complement your content; and

  7. Appropriate white space (it can be color) to keep the layout uncluttered.

As a web designer, I follow trends when I think they are useful and helpful to users. Most people are still looking for information, so in my world, content is still king of the hill.


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