How to decrease website clutter

working on a website
Did you know it takes less than a second for people to form an opinion of your website?

Users today, whether they’re on a desktop computer or a mobile device, are inundated with websites. Their choices are virtually limitless—if they land on a website that doesn’t immediately appeal to them, they’ll look for one that does.

Keep reading to learn how you can address the clutter to improve your navigation, content, and overall design of your website.

Tip #1: Less is more

The quickest way to overwhelm or confuse your customers is to overdesign your website or cram in too much content.

Why you should add white space to your web design

Though it’s technically “invisible,” white space—also known as negative space—helps create structure and gives your website layout breathing room. It is the term used for areas that are free of text blocks and other design elements.
Be sure to think about how you might use white space created from margins and padding to create hierarchy and balance into your website design.

Improve readability with more scannable copy

Thinking about white space isn’t just for web designers. It’s important to think about ways to “space out” your words, too. Some ways you can add white space to your copy include:
  • Writing snappy sentences
  • Keeping paragraphs short
  • Formatting lists with bullets
  • Using descriptive subheadings to break up long copy blocks

Tip #2: Give your users what they want

Website persona research is an essential part of figuring out how your target audience currently uses your website (and for learning more about what they would like to be able to do on your website).

Skip assumptions and talk to your customers

Conducting interviews and review website usage analytics is a great way to get customer insights that you can use to build a more user-friendly website.

For example, if your research reveals that your target audience really enjoys video content, consider creating more. Similarly, if users have a difficult time finding your blog, you might decide to redesign your navigation menu or adding a blog CTA element to relevant pages.

Use analytics to improve user experience

Besides interviews and customer surveys, you can also analyze metrics (such as click-through rates, bounce rates, views, and comments) to find patterns and identify areas where you can make improvements.

Our website redesign client Bill Citro at OrthoNebraska recently noticed their new healthcare website has been receiving a lot of organic traffic from users going to their location pages. This analysis helped his marketing team make a strategic decision to build out those pages with even more content to help create a more robust user experience for their patients.

When you make website design and content decisions based on the needs of your target audience, it’s easier to keep them satisfied and see better results from your website marketing.

Tip #3: Clean up your website clutter

Use click-mapping data to identify the exact routes that visitors take to navigate your site and go through your site, page-by-page, to find gaps and where you can make improvements to your website’s usability.

As you look for website clutter, think about questions, such as:
  • Do your website users go where you want them to? 
  • Is the most prominent info on each page what’s most important to your target audiences? 
  • What content, if any, is redundant or inaccurate?
You can use the results of your analysis to remove website clutter and think about what content and design changes you need to make to better serve your users.
After you’ve removed your site’s clutter, don’t forget to make a plan for how you’ll keep everything—from technology to design and content—fresh.

You can prevent having to deal with website clutter in the future by developing a complete website strategy.

Take the time to create a plan for keeping content up-to-date (and relevant), making incremental design enhancements that support growth and changing business needs, and investing in on-going technology upgrades to avoid downtime and other problems associated with tech debt.

Need help clearing your website clutter? Let's talk
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Tatum

About the author | Tatum Hindman

Tatum is the president of TBH Creative and is responsible for building long-term client relationships. She enjoys the strategy behind web design and collaborating with clients to define and execute online marketing goals. She likes to blog about hot topics in web design and digital marketing, as well as share tips for strengthening your online presence.

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