Lynne d Johnson



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06.30.06 10:13 AM

when less is more

i've been checking out the recent iterations of both george's and cecily's sites and wondering whether less is actually more.

what i mean by less being more ... is that both sites are stark on graphical design elements, but instead very focused on the presentation of the text and information overall. since they've both been doing this "blog" thing far longer than anyone i know and cecily is all about usability and information architecture...i'm thinking they're onto something. because their sites are information rich, it's easier when the bots come crawling for both of their site's content to end up with very popular rankings in search engines.

i've often found that "blogs" i've visited that were heavily designed (where the design is in the way of the information) or that featured large photos instead of thumbnails, made me want to turn away. if you can't find the information right away, how useful is any website in that regard?

back in march, Paul "Scrivs" Scrivens, of 9rules wrote a post his site wisdump titled "ugly design getting too much credit" where he says:

In either case if you are offering what the user wants they will use the site. It never was about the ugliness of a site, it was about its usability, community and a couple of other things.

he then goes on to quote scoble who discussed the role of anti-marketing design back in March. bascially scoble's discussion focuses on sites that didn't focus on pretty design (and weren't put together by marketing and branding experts) and end up being truly successful.

scoble also brings up the importance of making sites user friendly for mobile browsers. now that more-and-more people are using wireless devices to read content, this is an interesting point.

it makes me wonder when is a site overdesigned and whether design really plays a role in the success of a site.

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