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Creamy or chunky?

Posted by Paula Doubleday

05 Feb 2012 — No Comments

creamy-or-chunky

I like chunky peanut butter and chunky soups. But this is about information design, not my lunch. Guess what? Your brain likes chunky too.

When we look at the web or any written information, we naturally look for order and a place to focus. If there are too many things trying to grab our attention, it becomes impossible to focus and can even generate a stress response. This doesn’t mean everything has to be in a box with a black line around it. But grouping does make a difference.

For example, as you look at the MySpace.com home page below, think about the path your eyes take as you view the page.

Was it hard to focus? Did you give up? While images have been put in boxes or chunks on the page, they are so similar in their complexity, size, and dark colors, that it’s hard to know where to look. For me, it’s mostly a blur except for bright blue buttons and one yellow button. But my overwhelm makes me want to leave.

Now take at look at Vidyard.com home page.

How easy was that? I get it. You can watch a video on the top or just click Get Started. The great illustrations below tell me right away what the content is so I can access specific benefits/features without much work on my brain’s part. I can easily scan the page left to right (oh my brain loves that!).

Remember…you have maybe 2-3 seconds to engage someone before they move on to another site. You know that…because you do it.

We start with the chunky part.

Before we start designing a site, we create a wireframe diagram that illustrates what we want people to DO when they get to your site, where we want them to look, and in what order. Through the use of font choice and size, color palette, photography, and chunking of content, we can visually guide the viewer to your message.

As you browse the web today, think about how the chunks are working for you.

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