This can be one of the biggest challenges to any web designer. Creating an info-heavy website, such as an online magazine, might leave you a bit concerned about how you are going to organize all those texts and images in a way that won’t compromise usability and won’t turn into a Frankenstein.
And yet, you have seen many of these sites working perfectly well and attracting thousands of visitors to them. So what is their secret? You will find some of the answers to this question below.
Use white space in your favor
White space will be your best friend here. Instead of panicking and trying to fill every single bit of space of content, you will want to leave some white space around it.
It might sound counterproductive, but the truth is that, if you don’t do it, visitors will only feel overwhelmed and leave the website as soon as possible – and this is not what you want to happen for sure.
So leave some white space around your content, so your visitor’s attention will be drawn to it. It will also make easier for them to click on buttons and images if this is the case.
Improve your search engine
More content you have, more likely is that your visitor will face difficulties while trying to find what they are looking for. And it is your job to make this task easier for them. So take some time to think which kinds of search engine’s tools you could add to your website. Here you can think about search bars, tags based on keywords, or filters, among many other options.
And this is just to name a few possibilities to improve the way that your visitors search for your content on your website. As you might know, you will find several free tools available to make it come true, or you can just use Google Custom Search Engine. But you should always aim to create you own search engine, as they are ads-free, have no limitations, and you can customize it as you wish.
Create a visual hierarchy
It is quite obvious that your client won’t be able to read all your website’s content in one go. So you can just assume that you will have to guide them through it, so they will click on those that are more interesting to you or to your client – probably those that might end in some conversions.
Therefore, you should have clear in your mind which articles, posts, or images are more important from a marketing point of view, and then create a visual hierarchy from there – your visual ideas will come to you easily if you know how far you can go beforehand.
You can play with colors, placement, sizes, headlines, anything that will make your visitor look at the right direction, instead of being aimlessly wondering around. It will also allow you to “hide” the not-so-important content so that you can minimize the “info-heavy content effect”.
Get everything nicely organized
One of your goals is to make sure that your visitor will stay for as long as possible navigating through your website. But you don’t want just to be throwing tons of content to their faces. And the best way to achieve it is putting everything together and displaying it in a very nicely organized way.
In order to get it done, you will want to use a rotating carousel or an image slider, for example. They will multiply the real estate available and also give a bit of a taste to your visitor of what you have to offer in terms of content – without asking them to guess or search for it. They will also be able just to click on more than one page and open them in several tabs without having to do it one by one.
Another way to achieve it is by building your website in a grid format, a very popular web design style. This will increase the length of time that they spend on your website and might even come back for more, just because you made their online lives so much easier.
Add click-to-expand functionalities
Click-to-expand functionalities will also multiply your real estate and improve the user experience. Here you can use rollovers, giving a preview of the text when they roll over an image; call-to-action that uncovers texts when you click on them; and the old and basic, but still effective, drop-down menus.
An info-heavy content website can be daunting for some web designers, but there are many ways to work around it. You can explore any bit of white space that you can find, create visual hierarchy, improve our search tools, add click-to-expand functionalities, and keep everything nicely organized, using grid formats, rotating carousels or image sliders.
In any case, you should always discuss with your client if there is one, and with the responsible for the content so you can both align what are the goals that you are trying to achieve here. This is the only way to find out how you can manage usability, marketing goals, and user experience together, and still keep your website beautifully done.