Less is way more

This week in class, we’ve been looking at and thinking about minimalism and reductionism. How much can you pare a site down without losing its personality, intent, and purpose? I was surprised n how much I could whittle away and have an even stronger site.

In this pursuit, I’ve looked at a number of site outside of our assigned reading for the class. Here are two sites I sort of stumble onto that are really the epitome of what we were discussing. Without alienated their audiences and hinting the mark on design, This American Life and Kraft Foods prove that less really is more in both of their sites.

 

This American Life uses text and color on white to create a feel that mirrors its topics and listeners – which incidentally are for the most part just listening to audio recordinsg of stories.

Kraft Foods, on the other hand, uses two simple photos with tags to properly direct users. The effect is to give the user options that make them feel like they’re making progress while directing them to one of two very different sites with divergent purposes.

Here is an anti example. Nature Girl here loves outdoors images and sites, but though the designers were on the right track, they missed the mark. The colors are good for nature – tan and green — but the clutter on the page is “blech”.

Lots of good information access here, I’m sure, but redundant and cluttered. I would emphasize the appeal of beautiful seasonal trees (maybe with a slideshow) and give my navigation more power for visitors. Something roughly along these lines is a more welcoming landing page.

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