Layout: Less is More

Years ago, my father was in charge of a department at the company where he worked called ‘Office Layout’. Very official-sounding. In truth, it was just moving furniture from one office or floor to another. My mother would rib him by calling his office, asking to speak to the manager in charge of the office LAYABOUTS. As kids, it always made us giggle.

Reminded me a bit of Andy Capp (you might remember this cartoon from many years ago):

But sadly, as entrepreneurs, no-one else is going to do the work for us! So, lets not lay about any further and talk about how your website’s LAYOUT is going to improve your sales.

A challenge when it comes to selling more on your website is that online shoppers have seen and experienced well-designed websites. They are therefore less willing to settle for poorly designed ones. I’m not referring to the most aesthetically pleasing site with amazing graphics (although aesthetics and layout have an interdependent relationship). When it comes to creating a good impression through website layout, I’d look at three things: white space, background and columns.

Tweaks:

  • White space: A cluttered webpage looks ugly and creates online claustrophobia. Too many elements can confuse people and turn them away. It’s overwhelming. Good design can embrace simplicity, so don’t feel afraid to use lots of space between elements. Someone once remarked that paper is cheap on the internet, so be generous with the white space.
  • Background: Get rid of any background images or textures if your site is meant to sell anything. It makes reading very difficult and adds absolutely no value in getting you more leads or selling more of your product.
  • Single columns: If you’re presenting a lot of information in text form, consider a single column layout. The benefit is that they are completely distraction-free. They flow, much like reading a book and also do far, far better for small screens, like phones.

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