3 Designing a good website that accommodates a lot of concept is a balancing act to pull off. Does one attempt to present the user with all the information in a clean, organized manner, or present it bit-by-bit, in an effort to create an engaging breadcrumb trail that tugs the user along the road to enlightenment? Get it wrong, and you risk overwhelming your visitors, who’ll then leave without getting any part of what they just read. Get it right, though, and you’ll have gained a new audience member who not only understands your message, but also might bring too many friends with them when they returning home. Information overload is a stone wall of website engagement that sets in very quickly – and once it does, it can be very difficult to regain your visitors’ attention.
In our online travels, we’ve identified many tools and ideas that should live in every designers’ utility belt. They can be used to attack the challenge of creating a content-rich site:
White space and elements – allowing the content (and your visitors’ eyes) room to breathe.
Boxes, borders & graphical planes – Segmenting the information into visual categories.
An intuitive search method – Letting your users comes straight to the info they need.
Grids – even though not always necessary for comprehension, keeping content within a rigid, consistent structure helps less the effort required to process it.
Strong information hierarchy – Establishing a consistent website design language using content types (blurbs, excerpts, call to actions).
Visual hierarchy – The relative importance of different areas and user elements can be visually implied in many ways, ranging from typographic treatments (headlines, sub-headlines, good-quotes, etc.), to image sizes and saturation, placement, etc. .