Is Your Site Suffering From Information Overload?
“Clutter and overload are not attributes of information, they are failures of design. If the information is in chaos, don’t start throwing out information, instead fix the design.”
—Edward Tufte, Envisioning Information
Information overload is the concept suggesting that as excess information is provided, the quality of the decision being made will deteriorate. While you want to be a resource for your customers, you don’t want to overwhelm them with the amount of content presented on your site. Resonon is one such client suffering from a dense presentation of information on their website.
The hyperspectral imaging systems industry is a highly-technical market, and Resonon provides this market with not only the hardware for their products, but also the software, user guides and other resources. Their current site is a whirlwind of information and is not adequately representing their superior products and customer service. Here are a few solutions our team is working on implementing when we deploy their new site —
It is important that the navigation on your site is clean and clear, focused on the top-level products, services, or problems being solved that your target market will be searching for most. We are clarifying Resonon’s navigation so that customers can go straight to Hyperspectral Cameras, Research Systems or Machine Vision instead of sorting through a longer products list. We’ve also separated out Applications, Software and the Support page.
Information overload sounds at first glance as though it would be solved by removing details and providing less to read. Rather than removing information however, we are adding hierarchy to make the information on Resonon’s site easier to access — placing it in context and differentiating high-level areas of interest.
The copy on your site should be pared down to the pertinent details, keyword-rich for search engines, but also readable by humans. Most of us on the internet skim content, looking only for the information we need. Because of this, for Resonon, we are revising all copy with the lens of making their content more focused and organized; deep details are not presented up front, but rather made available to those who have chosen to read about a particular subject or product and are ready to absorb technical details and specifications. This will eliminate information overload and allow visitors to find what they are looking for without becoming frustrated or confused.
Imagery is a powerful tool to supplement your branding on your website. Determine what images will best help your customers understand what your products are, their benefits and how they function. For Resonon, we determined that focusing on what their cameras can accomplish will be more beneficial than photos solely of the product itself. Displaying images of crops, food, planes and other interesting representations of their cameras' applications will both add interest and clarify the text, reducing information overload.
Resonon’s resource section was cluttered and overwhelming — an undifferentiated wall of information seeking a better hierarchy. On the new site, we combined their “knowledge base” and “support” sections and applied helpful categories so users can jump straight to the sections that are most useful to them without having to scan a large body of information.
If your industry involves providing a plethora of information to your clients, your website may be at risk of creating information overload. Information overload can cause a user to become frustrated to the point that they may even leave, losing you business. It is important to review your site’s content regularly and take the opportunity to cut anything that isn’t pertinent to their experience — or reorganize and reconsider the design of the copy that is necessary. Resonon’s new website will solve all of the issues mentioned above, creating a more professional environment for their brand as well as an improved overall experience for their customers all over the world.