28 Jul 2015

Why Design Is Important for Content Marketing

Design has become ingrained in our culture in recent years. Visual storytelling is now more prominent because of social media and mobile browsing, and it’s forcing brands to up their content marketing game. But design is also everywhere and user experience influences us all in our everyday lives – from navigating through museums or malls through signage or watching that Toyota commercial that gives you all the feels, to simply navigating a website. Design is a broad term and has many definitions, but there is a science to it, too. There are psychologies and strategic principles that good content designers follow to ensure a comfortable yet engaging experience for the intended audience.

One such principle is “Gestalt.” It is a psychology term that means “unified whole.” The gestalt principles are established laws of visual perception developed by German psychologists in the 1920’s. These principles help define how we see and group different objects. Many designers follow these principles to better design and execute their message.

Gestalt Design Principles

gestalt-theory-why-design-is-important-for-content-marketing

So, what does good design and psychology have to do with content marketing? Everything. It plays an extremely important role. So important that it could affect your results and conversions. Here’s why…

Human Emotion

The better your designer understands core design principles and psychology, the better they can connect with your audience and your potential consumers. They can build off of these core principles and create content designs that evolve and connect with the intended audience. This is possible because every font, color, and shape each communicate a subconscious message evoking different human emotions and possible connections.

Psychology of Shape, Color, & Space

According to a Quick Sprout survey, color influences 90% of subconscious judgements.

Based on the associations above, next time you see a logo, think about what that logo is conveying about what that company does. For example, The AT&T logo is a blue sphere representing trust, dependability as well as community and unity. This fits well with their services that bring people together via telephone.

color-and-shapes-why-design-is-important-for-content-marketing

Once a consumer connects with a brand on an emotional level, their trust is earned and you can engage with them on an intellectual level.

Functionality

Content drives people to your website and design enhances that content. UX design, when done well, helps the user find that content easily and quickly. Design can organize content giving visitors a pleasant experience, keeping them on your site longer.

The connection on an emotional level is important for your audience, but design has to also be functional. Though subjective, design can be bad and completely fail. It’s all about effectively communicating the right message. A successful designer will establish a strong emotional connection and simultaneously communicate the intended message that can be easily digested by its intended audience.

A great designer will  go above and beyond those basic principles learned in school. He or she will not only establish an emotional connection, communicate the message effectively, but they will understand human behavior and cues by engaging and entertaining the viewer.

Put It Into Action

We have reviewed the basic psychology behind color, shape, gestalt design principles, emotional connections and communicating a message. Now you can understand the true importance design has over your audience, consumer actions, and overall brand experience. These principles can be applied to various mediums, so work with your designer to establish the goals and the intent of your project, whether it be a logo, website design, infographic, video, or just content customized for social media. If you know the message you want your brand to convey to your audience, this will only help you find the right design direction that will be the most successful.

Sources:
http://blog.logodesignguru.com/psychology-behind-graphic-design/
http://www.creativebloq.com/logo-design/psychology-logo-shapes-8133918
http://thenextweb.com/dd/2014/10/22/psychology-web-design/
http://www.sitepoint.com/gestalt-principles-psychology-design/
https://medium.com/@monteiro/why-you-need-design-77dce41e0e0c
http://graphicdesign.spokanefalls.edu/tutorials/process/gestaltprinciples/gestaltprinc.htm
http://www.elcomcms.com/en-au/Resources/Elcom-Blog/Posts/how-to-apply-psychology-to-content-marketing