Less is more….

Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2009 at 11:35 am

Ever heard of the phrase ‘Less is more’?  I am sure you have and you only need to look at the internet and some of the most popular websites to know this is so true.

For myself and many others I talk to getting to a website with a busy header, content on the left and right, some in the middle, some in the top of the middle a few more in the centre at the bottom and then there is the footer, oh and somewhere in all that mess is a menu – you know what I mean, the cluttered website.

So why is it that Less is more?

Well branding for one, how easy is it to see your name and logo if your name and logo is clearly visible and not being distracted by other header images or other highlighted content?  Google of course is the first that always comes to mind.  Google has shown that over the many years it has existed it has run a site that is… well simple comes to mind.  It has its logo, brightly coloured and very large when you consider the size of the text on the rest of the page.  Compare this to Yahoo.  While Yahoo is still a well known brand what comes to mind first for most people – do you Google it or Yahoo it?

Having a page less cluttered also helps the reader read your page.  An uncluttered page will have a more natural reading flow from top to bottom which is very user friendly.  Having extra columns with flashy signs might draw a persons attention which is fine if that is what you want (and many do), but if you want your content to matter then that is what you want your readers to see.

If you must have additional columns for content navigation and general awareness a great example is A List Apart (http://www.alistapart.com/) with its main content to the left for better reading and its columns while there are kept simple but easy to follow.  This also shows how a page can be well styled visually while still maintaining that simplicity.

There are lots of example sites out there on the internet that show how less is more… so consider it when designing your next website and maybe make your site less cluttered and strive for less to get more.

Other example sites;

That Net Site (http://thatnetsite.com) < shameless plug 🙂

Twitter (http://twitter.com/)

The Web Squeeze (http://www.thewebsqueeze.com/)

Creaticca (http://daily.creattica.com/)

Apple Computers (http://www.apple.com/) < Their ads often show good examples of less is more….

If you have other good examples of how less is more please share them

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