Design Myth: At the end of the day, design isn’t that important.
We’ve all heard it said: "Don’t judge a book by its cover.” While that’s true, doesn’t it take you awhile to come to that realization? When you walk into a bookstore, what grabs your eye first? The unsightly, over-designed or overly plain covers? No! Your eye gravitates the one that is well designed and intriguing with a title and byline that are easily distinguished. We walk past the homely-looking book dozens of times, searching for something more exciting to entertain us. Only once we’ve exhausted, or grown bored with, the more thrilling books do we approach the plain book. It could take a matter of days, weeks, or even months until you discover that the worst-designed book actually has the best story.
With potential clients, you don’t have weeks or even days to grab their attention online. You have seconds. About 4-8 seconds to be exact. And that timeframe is getting smaller and smaller. According to this study the average attention span in 2013 is only 8 seconds (that's a decrease of 4 seconds from 2000). And only 4% of page views last more than 10 minutes. Yikes!
This is where design comes in. Great, intriguing content is important, yes. But if that content is styled more like the poorly designed book on the shelf, no one will ever know how great it is. Designers have the daunting task of convincing your viewers, in less than 8 seconds, that they should stay on your site and read the content.
At the end of the day, design will be a deciding factor for viewers. A good design will organize the content logically, ensures that everything is easy to read and doesn’t strain readers’ eyes, and quickly and clearly leads viewers to the call to action item – exactly what you want!