There's a delicate balance between having too many words on a professional web page design and going to the other end of the spectrum of being practically 'wordless'. It is not uncommon for a new web design client to say, "I don't like a lot of words. Nobody every reads the words anyway. It will make the web page design and overall site a lot cleaner looking without all those words."
That statement is true --- and untrue.
The perception is that less words equals a cleaner design. That is not completely accurate in our opinion. The words on the page exist for a true purpose and reason and more often it is their presentation that is destroying the web design. So before you take the red pen to your website content, look at it through a different lens.
Improve the Presentation of Your Content on the Web Design
1. Use Headlines and Sub-Headlines
People rarely read web pages word-by-word; instead, they scan the page picking out individual sections, words, and sentences. Developing meaningful headlines and sub headlines (not cutesy, clever ones) allows visitors to find the information that matters to them without reading word by word.
2. Incorporate Bullets
.Look at your content and see if there are places you can take sentences and turn them into clear, concise bullets. Bullets can be easily scanned by your website visitor and packages your key points in a short, sweet layout.
3. Adjust Your Line Spacing Leading
This is a simple fix that can have a big pay off in creating a professional web design and clean content presentation. Leading is the difference between the content height and the light height. By increasing the line spacing leading (- or as we like to call it "breathing space' - between the lines, you create a more pleasing, easier-on-the-eyes web page design presentation. Hard to believe that this small change can have such a big impact, but look at the image below. Same words, just different line spacing. Do you feel the difference in the feel of the web page design?
4. Deliver Bite-Size Chunks
Break your web page content into small blocks of information. Avoid creating several paragraphs not sure this makes sense—isn’t the point that you should create several paragraphs? and not including a useful headline or sub-headline. Shorter paragraphs paired with the helpful headlines create visual interest in the web page design and makes it easier to scan and locate the information that matters to your visitor.
5. Align Left
According to Jakob Nielsen, a leading web usability expert, "almost all text should be left-justified. By having a steady starting point for the eye to start scanning, the user can read much faster than when faced with center or right-justified text. Of course, it is acceptable to center or right-justify a few lines for effects, but one should not do so for blocks of text."
Frequently the real issue with a busy looking website design is not the number of words on the web page, but the layout presentation, the ability to easily scan, and the opportunity to read the information that matters to us without reading every word. More often than not, when we look at the content information our clients place on their web pages - it is useful and should be there. It's just in need of an extreme design makeover to make the web page design professional looking and clean.