01 May 2024 |

Content design matters more than content quality. Full stop. 

By Tracey Wallace

Content design seems to matter more than ever, and it’s always really mattered. But UX is a big piece now of what differentiates great content from mediocre content. 

I wrote about this a lot when I first started this newsletter, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve lost my way a bit on this one over the last year. 

That’s easy to do, especially when you are scaling content operations and volume. 

In many ways, it’s easier to create high quality content than it is to also create high quality content that looks amazing, with supporting images and graphics, fantastic UX, and functionality that draws people into the page. 

But as I’ve said before:

How we present is just as important as what we present. 

Our content has two seconds to convince someone to continue reading, watching, or listening. The way we present our findings communicates to our audience our level of investment and seriousness about our goal. Our content must inspire and educate without overwhelming—in both the design and the copy. 

In addition, here is what we know about readers:

This means that content design matters even more than content quality. Full stop. 

I’m heads down rethinking my visual presentation of content, and I found this deck I made last year still really helpful. 

One thing that has changed for me though is I think a lot about interactive content these days. How to make it, where to host it, measuring how folks engage with it. I use Ceros right now, but interactivity can mean a lot of things––like drop downs, or charts you can click on––and I’d prefer to bring those elements onto the main site so they can support organic search needs, too. 

With so much content out there, branded blogs seem far too commonplace. How can you (and by you, I mean the collective you) create content that is elevated, that piques curiosity, that makes a reader feel like you put a lot more work into it than “normal,” so much so they feel they have to read at least some of it. 

Because at the end of the day, we all put so much work into this content, and we’re doing ourselves a massive injustice if we don’t layer on the creative component that signals visually just how important what we’ve written is.