In an Internet dominated era where information is floating over the net in millions of websites, it is essential how we structure the content and present it to the user. This very article “Browse Less, Learn More” is a reflection of my thought on structuring a website to ensure a website delivers what it is intended for and at the same time keeps the visitors of the website intrigued.
As implied, “Browse Less“ means that there should be minimalistic navigation from one page to the other. However, it doesn’t mean that we clutter a web page or cut down the navigation options. In more simple words, it calls for a better utilization of screen space. Navigation options should be unambiguous and should present a sitemap to the user. A Meta link to the extended content is a useful help for those users who are interested to read more on the webpage.
“Learn more”, suggests that the user should spend more time reading through the content than looking for it. The content of a webpage should not only be concise and related but also readable on one screen space. It not only avoids the tedious scrolling but also presents the information what the webpage has to offer. A webpage should present a glimpse of what else is there on the website in addition to the conventional navigational tabs, which might be of interest to the user. It not only keeps the user interested but also helps decide if the link should be followed.
Online advertising is a huge business running through different websites. A lot of big companies rely on the money earned through advertising so there is no denial to the fact that most of the popular or frequently visited websites host advertising content. It is important how we place advertising content on the webpage. Most importantly it should not obstruct with the main content for which the webpage was initially designed. Besides, striking blinking text, mouse over pop ups, delayed modal dialog boxes equally turn off the users.Over time computers have evolved to include better resolution screens. This should be taken to advantage for designing and structuring a webpage. AJAX can be of great help as it delivers the feel of staying on the same page and also reduces the response time. Most of the detailed content can be put under
AJAX driven links for those interested to learn more. Simple techniques like sliding gallery with a hint of total number of pages, expandable and collapsible content can effectively reduce the need for screen space while techniques like back to top, Meta links will reduce manual scrolling. Human Computer Interaction as a subject has more to it but I believe that “Browse Less, Learn More” serves as an important guideline for those who want to avoid the pain of reading the users’ manual before driving a new car.