Keep It Simple, Stupid: Conveying Complex Information on a Webpage


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The little phrase Keep It Simple, Stupid (or KISS) is a valuable part of the designer’s toolbox. Simply put, it means we should avoid unnecessary complexity in whatever it is we’re designing. This has obvious applications, in everything from site construction to copywriting. But what do you do when you’ve got something that, by necessity, can’t be simplified or condensed too much?

We at Electric ran into this problem whilst designing the Kitchens Instock delivery page. We had to convey a complex bit of information, in a way that was easily understood by everyone who read it. Here’s how we pulled it off.

 

Consider your main point, and put it front and centre.

When we looked at Instock’s delivery page, we asked ourselves: what does the customer want to know when they visit this page? One big consideration in this context is time; the waiting game isn’t one people like to play when it comes to delivery. So we made sure to emphasise the rapidity of delivery from Instock; order now, and get delivery at this time. It’s an immediate selling point- just because people are coming for information doesn’t mean you can’t wow them as well.

 

Use techniques like bullet points to make information attractive. 

With delivery speed out of the way, we had to go into a little more detail. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t be creative with it. As such we presented key info like delivery costs as bullet points, with attractive, easy-to-read icons accompanying it. This answers another key question, and as it’s near the top of the page, it means it’s easy to find as well- a vital consideration for pages like this one.

 

Think about all the ways you can convey information. 

Instock has some small restrictions on delivery that can get pretty complex . So we used a map with simple colour coding; this let visitors get a good idea, from the offset, of what was available to them. This was accompanied by a simple table of delivery costs. With no clutter and a minimal colour scheme, visitors aren’t left in doubt over what’s available to them.

 

If you must have in-depth info, the KISS principle still applies. 

Terms and conditions are infamous for being long and impossible to understand. But there’s no reason to make things needlessly complex. On the Instock delivery page, we were luckily able to keep the terms and conditions to a couple of paragraphs. Even if you need more space, there are ways you can make things easier.

Try using collapsible sections in your terms and conditions- this makes it easier to navigate, and ensures visitors aren’t confronted by a wall of text on arrival. Within these, use numbers and bold headings, to ensure each section can be clearly read. Above all, terms and conditions aren’t something you can skimp on- take some time to get this right, as it has a big impact on how visitors use your site.

By using a variety of techniques, you can turn even dry information into something people read without issue. Try applying these techniques to your own web pages, and make your content all the easier to read! You can see our handiwork firsthand on the Instock site here.

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About Electric Design

Honest, approachable and highly personable, we aim to make our customers look good – and that’s why we put everything we’ve got into every project. We’re the friendly experts who just love having satisfied clients. And that’s why we do what we do – as it makes us feel good too.


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