More is Not More!

Perhaps one of the most challenging thing designers need to communicate to their clients is that when it comes to communicating a message to your target audiences, more is not more.

Sources indicate that the average American views anywhere from hundreds to thousands of advertising messages per day. Logo Design Love blog author David Airey clocked 33 logos in 33 minutes.

The result? Viewers are inundated, exhausted, and desensitized to advertising messages.

The cure? Keep it simple, stupid. Here are some suggestions:

  • Tier your message. Include a simple statement in your design and a link to your website for more information.
  • Be selective with where you place your message. If you’re a chocolatier and you advertise in Chocolatier Monthly, chances are you won’t have to explain what a chocolatier does.
  • Be consistent. If you place your message in front of the same people on a regular basis, you can introduce a single aspect of your business (product, service, mission) on each instance.
  • Check the mirror, then remove one accessory. This fashion rule holds true to layout; take one last look at that design and remove one item that doesn’t need to be there.
  • Compartmentalize. Absolutely HAVE to include all the wonderful facts about your product? Create a “Just the facts” call-out and list them there. People who are looking for the information will find it.
  • Resist multiple icons. A single icon can be quite effective in communicating a concept quickly. Multiple icons scattered throughout a layout look cluttered and confuse the message!
  • Trust your audiences. Today’s consumers are smart. If they want more information, they’re fantastic at finding it.

So, unless you want to end up in a designer’s version of Hoarders, remember to declutter your layout and defend your decision. Your audiences will thank you!

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3 Responses to “More is Not More!”

  1. Wonderful guidelines to follow.

    Would love your opinion on animations and sound on websites.

    Personally – when I’m looking for something I hate getting the landing page that tells me I need to have a Flash player, etc. to get “enter”. It feels too much like a dog and pony show and delays me from getting the information I need/want.

    • Mix Creative says:

      That’s a great question, Emily! Designers and companies definitely went through a phase where Flash animations and sound conveyed the cutting edge of website design.

      However, after hearing from frustrated users who didn’t want to wait through a splash screen to load, get “busted” at work when a website blared music, moderation has become the new buzz word.

      My favorite approach? Use sound and animation where it makes sense and aids in the user’s understanding of a topic. And make it user-controlled: they select whether to play it.

  2. Love: Check the mirror, then remove one accessory!

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