5 ways design can enhance your digital content

To keep up with the ever-evolving standards of digital content, good design is absolutely essential when bringing content to life and connecting with your audience.

Monika Olanrewaju from the Sookio design team explores how effective design can complement and enhance your digital content.

A well-written digital marketing strategy coupled with a strong design element is an effective way for businesses to attract attention. Immediately, I imagine an infographic for an annual report with colourful charts and pretty illustrations, or a sales banner on a website with an eye-catching background and dancing arrows.

But that’s not all design can achieve - so what else can it do to enhance your digital content? 

Spark critical interest in your work

Whether you are telling your audience about an existing, improved or entirely new product, first you want to encourage the user to continue reading or looking for further information. Images and illustrations are great for doing that. They can be powerful, if chosen carefully.

Graphics, including images, icons and illustrations can easily appear to be like ‘decoration’, but it's even better if you can integrate them with your content. Illustrations and images can enhance your business communication by helping users to figure out your message without knowing your industry jargon.

Make an emotional connection

Not all designs improve visual communication. I find that some graphics just take up space, distract or even confuse. Establishing an emotional connection and helping the consumer to move from ‘liking’ to ‘wanting to know more’ and ‘interacting’ with your company, product or service does not always have to be via images or illustrations.

Text layout design can be an option with a strong understanding of typography. Creating bespoke illustrations and selecting images which relate to your message can do half the job for you.

We all react to visuals faster than reading a block of text. But that doesn’t necessarily fit all scenarios. So before falling for the trends, bear in mind that images and text should support one another, not ‘decorate' one another.

Encourage retention, not just attention

There are a lot of image-focused designs to grab our attention. They’re everywhere: online, offline, TV, radio. They’re often well laid out and aesthetically pleasing, which is an added value. But it doesn’t always pay off.

Interestingly, images can ‘kill’ the meaning of your content and the potential engagement you are trying to establish.

For example, we explore using other design elements or a combination of them to more effectively support the message. Illustration can work wonders when cutting down the amount of text without losing the whole story. Graphics really help with product navigation, especially if you have various models of product or services.

When I design, I do my best to direct the user along the story, regardless of whether it is a website, an app or a poster. It’s like helping someone to get from point A to B with a pleasant experience.

Keep it real

Let’s say your business is providing services where trust is the number-one value, and you decide to convey that by using photography and icons on your homepage. The first instinct is to download a few stock images and illustrations. You can easily access high quality and pretty pictures for low prices, but chances are they won’t be able to achieve any real connection to your brand or your audience.

We always gravitate towards images that represent real stories, and with photography or video we're looking to create something which will inspire your audience and help them make a connection.

Establish a conversation

Everyone likes a good conversation. They can be insightful, helpful, or simply fun. Well-designed digital content, whether an infographic or purely great typography, gets customers talking, interacting, enjoying and sharing. That leads to the audience growing and returning for more.

Ultimately, the value of design lies in the way the right content and graphic elements are put together for your customer. Content itself is a vital part of design for today’s successful businesses, and content and design need each other for digital content to work to its full potential.

At Sookio, we can help with all kinds of design including infographics, graphics for social media, and even packaging design, logos and marketing collateral.

Get in touch to discover how we can help!