When thinking about designing your blog to give your users the optimal reading experience, most companies dream of working with a designer to build gorgeous, fully-customized posts that check all the UX boxes for helping readers understand your work, keeping them engaged, and seriously showcasing the brand.
But, for most teams out there, that’s simply not possible. Whether because of money, time, or both, building things from scratch isn’t in the cards and templates are the way you’re going to have to go.
The good news is, that doesn’t mean the experience for you reader has to be less than ideal. There are plenty of templates out there that uphold the tenets of good content experience design, and look great while doing it.
We’ve recently launched a framework for scoring content pages across 35+ elements to determine how optimized the content is for comprehension, legibility, brand differentiation and—the ultimate goal—engagement and conversion. We decided to put some popular HubSpot blog templates to the test to see which can help you create the best content experience right out of the box. And while they all scored well across every category, here’s where we found they especially shine.
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Great for Comprehension
These templates have the ultimate structure and navigation options to help readers quickly scan your content to understand what it’s about and get around to find what they’re looking for. Qualities include the perfect column width for effortless reading, the ability to create clear hierarchies using headers and subheaders that break content up into an easy-to-follow structure, and options to stylize and accentuate important information in the text or margins.
Great for Legibility
These templates stand out for their smart typography choices and build in mobile optimization that makes your content easy and enjoyable to read—no matter what screen they’re on. This includes features like good contrast between text and background colors, the right amount of spacing between text and paragraphs, hyperlinks that stand out in the text. We also check to make sure everything reformats and looks great when scaled down to mobile, from the text size and spacing to how things like images and tables reformat.
Great for Engagement and Conversion
These templates really hit on the money, with a wealth of visual, animation, and CTA features that help you create the most engaging page possible—that ultimately drives conversions. You’ll be able to easily add splashy header images that catch the reader’s eye, plus tons of multimedia elements to keep them interested down the page: data visualizations and highlights, embeds, pull quotes, and even just sleek bulleted lists. Plus, these templates will help you make sure your CTAs pop.
Great for Brand Differentiation
ALL of the templates featured knocked it out of the park for making your brand and content stand out from the pack, each getting a perfect score across elements that allow you to showcase your branding and keep a consistent style. This includes the ability to add elements that seriously elevate your story (think photos, illustrations, GIFs, videos, infographics, and more) and the ability to create a unified style across every element of your content through template customization and micro-branding that matches your brand standards.
Filling in the Gaps
As we mentioned, all of these templates include valuable features to help you succeed across all of the elements of good content experience design. But if you find a template you love but then run into some gaps that are preventing you from creating the perfect reading experience, you can always use Setka Editor to help hit on all the principles.
Marketers who publish Hubspot-powered blogs can use Setka Editor’s Content Design Cloud to add another layer of great content design on top of their existing templates—tapping into a robust array of tools to arrange text and visuals into magazine-quality, image-rich layouts—then export to their Hubspot blog with just a few clicks.