‘Less is more‘ is a common term used in the digital world. Mainly because users will read significantly less on a screen than they would in a form of print media.
But let me explain when less is more and when, I feel, more may be more…
Less is more when…
- You are writing a web page. Users will usually decide to read a web page in less than five seconds and, as stated above, are likely to read less on a screen than they would in print media such as a magazine. Therefore, digital information should remain concise and to the point. Think, will people read this?
- You are providing web navigation. If a user lands on the homepage and the page they are interested in is quite a few clicks away, there are more opportunites for the user to take the wrong path and end up on a page they didn’t want to, giving a poor user experience and often generating high exit rates. If you are able to navigate to content on a website in fewer clicks, there is less margin for error and will take the user less time to reach their destination, providing a much more positive user experience.
So when is more, more?
I am going to contradict myself slightly and say navigation but in a different context to above. More is more when the web designer offers more paths to find information. If the user may look under several sections of a website for information, it is good practise to provide links to this section in several different ways. An example of this may be Hackney Carriage Licenses (Taxi license) on a local government website. Users may look under licensing and transport for this information, so why not provide links to this content under both sections of the website?