Can a cluttered website hurt your business? You betcha it can!
I don’t want to believe that other people wouldn’t think the way I do. When I go to a website looking for something, I want to be able to find it. I don’t want to have to sift through all the “stuff” to find the one thing I’m looking for. Do you agree?
Let’s look at some real simple things that can help to keep your site from looking cluttered.
K.I.S.S. — Keep it Simple Stupid (I love this saying). Don’t try fancy stuff on your website’s navigation as this will draw one’s awareness away from the fact that it is the website’s navigation. Watch the font type and font size you use.
Have you ever seen a website where every paragraph is different font type, size and/or color? This causes the focus on your message to be lost. You should keep a very consistent style throughout your website – with a very easily read font. If you get too flowerly with your text, it could make it for difficult reading. One of the biggest pet peeves I have regarding text on the website, is if someone uses ALL CAPS. I will usually move onto the next website, if I go to one that’s in all caps. It makes for very difficult reading. The fonts and font styles that you use, should be easy to read and pleasing to the eye. You should not put everything in BOLD typeface – only the word or words you want to accentuate. Same goes with color. Use your colored text to bring out what word or two that you want to stand out (or for title headers).
- White Space
…and lots of it! You don’t have to fill up every bit of empty space on your website. The proper use of white space is crucial to the readability of your website. How do you do this? A simple way is to make sure is that between your paragraphs, you have a space (blank line) between them. Check your margins, and make sure that your text does not butt up right against it. Break up your text with an occasional photo.
- Graphics / Photos
Here is another place where I have to say… K.I.S.S. Only use photos if they are relevant to what you are saying. Don’t just use a photo, to use one or to fill in some of that “white space”. Also, steer clear of all those animated .gifs. Using one is fine, if it’s for a specific purpose and tells your story – however; don’t put more than 1 animated anything on your website. Remember, anything moving, is going to take your visitor’s eyes off of your content – your message.
More Means Less… or is it Less Means More?
Which ever that needs to be, just make sure that your site is organized and clutter free. Remember, your website is sometimes your 1st and only impression you get to give someone. Design and develop your website with your potential visitors in mind.
Not everything is always about what you want (I say that in the most loving way).