Get rid of that clutter!
Because of the costs associated with hiring a graphic designer, people with no formal design training are more likely to create a website or ad on their own. With modern design tools becoming more accessible, anyone can roughly hack through the software and create something viewable by the world. While it is true you will save money initially, you could pay the ultimate price in the way your audience interacts with your content.
Great amounts of research have been done to determine what you can process at fast rates, and what triggers your brain will react too. One result of this research is why publishing companies choose serif fonts for books and publications, why Pepsi chooses a specific blue, and why McDonalds uses yellow and red. It should be obvious that shapes and structure play a role as well.
If you have created content on your own without help from a good designer, is your content as effective as you want it to be? Is your audience having trouble cutting through the clutter? Until you come across the funds, here are some tips to get you by:
- Leave Negative Space (Or white space): Just like your lungs, your eyes need room to breath. If a website is cluttered with tons of text and images all over the page, your brain is quickly overwhelmed. In order for your site to be more effective, use lots of white space. This allows your content to stand out and it drastically increases its effectiveness.
- Chunk Your Text: We are all lazy by nature. When we see a daunting task ahead of us, we aren't as enthusiastic to undertake it. We need to take "baby steps" to complete larger jobs. Your readers will respond the same way; when they see an enormous paragraph, they will be less likely to engage. Make it easier for them by shortening phrases and separating ideas with lots of negative space. The shorter the paragraph, the more likely people will read it.
- Use Columns: Remember you always have limited space. When creating a website, for example, you have about 1024 pixels across to work with. It would be a mistake on your part to create a sentence that is 1024 pixels across. Long sentences are hard to read because your readers will quickly lose their spot, and your post or paragraph will seem more daunting.
- Images Can Help: When starting a new idea, use an icon or image to illustrate this. This is not always necessary, but it certainly does help.
- Bullets are necessary: Use bullets or lists frequently, people love progressing through lists because they are easy to keep track of. Bullets also separate ideas, making your content easy to understand. (If you use Images as Bullets than you are really engaging your audience!)
- Build on a firm foundation: Treat your blog or website as a building. Make sure to keep it arranged and aligned. Humans are used to structure and your content is not an exception. If gravity suddenly became a factor that altered your content, would your piece crumble or would it stand on its own?
Of course these are only a few tips that play a factor in your original content creation. Recognizing these basic helpful tips will assist your audience substantially. I am sure their brains will thank you.
Got a tip of your own that you want others to know about? I highly suggest you leave a comment for others to take advantage of.