What changes can you make to generate more sales? Or get people to read your content?
We’re talking design here, folks.
And design isn’t just about the latest font or the trendiest theme. It’s also about making an impression and pointing your readers in the right direction, whether it’s to make a sale or simply get them to read your content.
And there’s one mistake that just might put a dagger in your efforts.
You guessed it. A complete lack of respect for our friend, white space.
You know? The space between elements on your nifty little page?
Effective use of white space is one of the fundamental elements of graphic design, but it’s so often forgotten.
It’s about positioning that call to action or new post so it stands out from its neighbors, letting the space surrounding it work for you.
That space allows your viewers’ eyes to focus on that one element, directing total and complete attention to your killer content.
And you want to direct total and complete attention to your star content, right?
The good news is. if you’re willing to make a few small changes, it’s an easy peasy fix.
All good, but what’s the problem here, Craig?
First you need to know a bit about Hick’s Law. Hick’s what? … Let me explain. William Edmund Hick was a British psychologist who dabbled in the fine art of experimental psychology, and his gift was this little piece of wisdom, actually called the Hick-Hyman Law.
Here’s a concise definition: “The time it takes to make a decision increases as the number of alternatives increases.”
So basically, the more options you present to the end-user the more difficult you make it for them to pick one. And the less likely they are to do what you what them to do.
Common sense, but the goal here is to get you to put it into practice on your site.
And you now see this isn’t only about all that space between your stuff. It’s also about cleaning house and reducing the clutter, so Mr. Hicks won’t turn over in his grave.
Fact: Our wee noggins often have trouble choosing between options, unless one is clearly front and center.
Fact: Reducing choices makes it easier for the reader. It also creates a better experience, so they might come back. And most importantly, there’s a better chance visitors will do what you want.
But why are there so many cluttered sites out there, when a few simple changes will make all the difference in the world?
I don’t know, but I can provide a bit of actionable advice in my own feeble way.
1. You have to create more “negative space” in your design.
And by “negative space” I mean white space. The. Space. Between. Your. Stuff.
2. But you also have to limit the number of choices. A great place to start is with your sidebar. I know, you’ve heard this before, but have you eliminated anything? If not, it might be time to start whittling away.
With the plethora of WordPress plug-ins, it’s easy to junk up your sidebar, so evaluate what you currently have, then decide what you need and what you can toss in the bin.
Again: The goal is to eliminate choices. Do you need social media icons? If so, maybe it’s a good idea to tuck them away (I do), get rid of them altogether, or use a monotone color scheme for them. Many child themes have this built in.
If an opt-in is your focus, it might be fighting for attention with everything around it.
3. And while we’re at it, I would be remiss if I didn’t address color.
Blogs that use fewer colors stick in the viewer’s mind. People often buy or click based on emotion. And color triggers emotional responses, but is much more effective in small doses. Check out the 60-30-10 rule here.
To sum it up:
1. Embrace the white space
2. Declutter (the sidebar is a good start)
3. And limit those colors for a most crackin’ site.
More white space, less clutter and a limited color palette help individual elements stand out.
These practices have worked for me and my clients. They’re not that difficult to implement, but it really is a 1-2-3 punch that will help.
Design is really about crafting effective navigation that makes your audience happy and does what it needs to do for you.
If you’re interested in building something special or are simply looking for a community of business owners who are unanimous in their desire to create their own little dent in this space, join us.
There’s plenty more coming and it’s all about You, your business and how you will rock it online in your own special way.
I’ve only just begun and so have you. Let’s get started together.
I’d love to know if you plan on making any design changes. Or if you have, how they are working out?
Also: Are you in love with Genesis? Thesis? Or some other framework?
- Can Social Media Engagement Kill Your Business? - July 23, 2014
- 4 Big Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs Content Marketing Now - July 15, 2014
- Your 3 Step Process to Surviving and Thriving the Fickle Realm of Social Media - July 10, 2014
- How Do You Become a Successful Blogger? (4 Answers that Might Surprise You). - June 26, 2014
- The Beautiful, Empty Cup of Blogging - June 11, 2014
- Why Small Businesses Hate Content Marketing (and What to Do About It) - June 4, 2014
- My Breaking Out Mission (and Why I Need Your Help) - May 28, 2014
- The Entrepreneurial Mindset and What it Means to You - May 21, 2014
- Four Content Marketing Lessons from Anthony Bourdain - May 15, 2014
- How I Grew My Business With “Foolish” Old School Tactics (and Why You Should Do the Same) - May 1, 2014