When In Web Design Doubt, Simplify: Aldebaran Web Design Review
Ian Lurie Jan 24 2008
Jill bravely volunteered her site aldebaranwebdesign.com for a review and six recommendations.
In internet marketing, like any other form of marketing, the simplest message that communicates, wins. The poster with one compelling sentence will do better than one with a so-so photograph. The web site that attempts to do the least wins, too.
The Aldebaran site is far too complex:
So, one word: Simplify.
- First, change your background. The blue glow is too 1990s. Use a light colored background throughout the site. Use dark text over the light background, no more light text on a light background.
- Next, fewer columns! You’ve got three columns – testimonials on the right and left, copy in the middle. Switch to two columns, or even better, put all of the testimonials on a series of testimonials pages. Then work one or two right into the copy on each page. Many of the sites you’ve built for others are great examples of two-column layout.
- Break up your copy. Try to have no paragraph longer than 3 lines of text – the pages will scan better, and be easier to read.
- Increase line spacing to 1.25 em. Combined with the shorter paragraphs, that’ll make the pages far easier to read.
- Simplify the navigation. Move the ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ links somewhere else. Then make the navigation items about 2 points bigger. That’ll make the navigation easier to read, and make the essential items – services, portfolio, etc. – stand out.
- Simplify your title tags. You’re top 10 for ‘seattle web design’. You could get to the top 5 if you shorten your title tags, and put “Seattle web design” first, rather than after your company name.
Overall, I’d do a new design. Keep the copy, which has gotten you some great search rankings. Just create a nicer, simpler container for it all.
Hope this helps. Post comments below if you have questions.
CEO & Founder
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch.Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing.Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie. Read More