How important is design?
Depending on who you ask this question to you will get different answers. The reason you will get different answers is because there is no right answer.
A recent article on Inc.com, Design vs. Cost: Who Wins, told the story of two co-founders and how they disagreed on an issue with one of the products. The argument for design won out in their example, but is that always the case?
When it comes to blog design, my feelings skew toward design being very important. But I have seen very successful blogs with basic templates. The official Google blogs are a good example. They look like they are the most basic of basic templates, but they are still some of the most popular blogs on the Web. How is this possible? Because the content is interesting.
On the other hand, Google themselves admit the importance of design in the future. They are pushing for better design. They focus on user experience when it comes to the content they crawl. They want to reward the best sites (site that load fast and are easy to understand) with good rankings in both natural and paid results.
The biggest point about Google’s view on design is that they focus on people. And people are becoming more demanding of design.
But a good design doesn’t always mean something pretty. It means something that is easy to understand and something that makes sense for a particular person.
When designing your blog it’s not really about how important the design is. Design is important. You just have to make sure you get the design right as it pertains to your targeted reader. You want to appeal to their senses. If you have a reader that is a 30-year old single woman that has an artsy streak in her then you’ll need something that is visually appealing and interesting. You will lose her interest if you go with something like a basic Google design.
On the other hand, if your target reader is a 40-year old computer programmer you probably don’t want to make your site pretty. In fact, you want to make it as simple as possible. No frills. No accents on the edges. Stick to the basics and stick to the facts. The design is not important for this person. Make it functional because this person wants to learn and read.
There are a variety of different people out there. Your goal with blog design is to focus on what will be appealing, useful, and easy to understand for your target reader.
The answer to the question in the title is yes, blog design is important.
Design is important, but that doesn’t mean it has to be pretty. Depending on who your customer is you might be able to get away with a free blog template. If your target reader is more demanding of design than that you will probably have to spend money to get a custom design that impresses.
Evalutate your customer and you’ll have your answer about investing in blog design.