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Which is worse? Too much? Or too little?

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by thomashodgson, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. thomashodgson

    thomashodgson Senior Member

    Most of the sites I have worked on have been for small clients, who tend to just want some sort of web presence. I find these clients often haven't really considered what the purpose of their site and as a result have very little content, I often find myself dreaming up 'padding' to fill their site out.

    How would you deal with this type of scenario? Would you rather have too much content than too little?
  2. Aarlev

    Aarlev Member

    I would say that it's better to have a small amount of good content than a lot of content which is just acting as a filler.

    I think it's a good idea to ask the client in your brief what the purpose of the site will be as they sometimes haven't really given this much thought, and as you say, just want some sort of web presence.

    There's not much point in having a website if you have nothing to say. But if a client insists on having a website, and they have very little text for the site, I usually use images to pad out the site a bit. I also try to keep the design and layout fairly simple as it looks a bit silly if you have all the bells and whistles and an amazingly detailed design, but no content.
  3. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    I find its best to 'educate' the client, then you get exactly what you need, no more no less :)
  4. ThomasHardy

    ThomasHardy Junior Member

    It is too much for me, yes it can be cut down but when you have mountains upon mountains of text and client wants it ALL used no matter how much you try and convince them to cut it down.
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Senior Member

    'Too' is always negative. But I think it's better to have your client send you an e-mail asking for more details than having your client get lost in a massive labyrinth of content.
  6. berry

    berry Active Member

    The starting point is where things generally go off wrong....A lot of clients don't know why they want a website or what the objective of the web presence is. That is generally when they have no info and it's up to you to do their work for them. It amazes me how many businesses don't know what their business is or expect someone else to solve a business proposition problem for them. I prefer having too much content and distilling it down into appropriate sections. Get the client involved early and its a lot less painful. One area I work hard at is asking them to break down the important areas that they want to promote amd supply that info in bullet point note format. Then I may write and expand on that. Let them provide a skeleton outline if at all poss.
  7. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    I've been asked to do a website for a studio, so they can have a web presence, and when I asked them about content they said they were unsure!?! Unsure! Audio player? Photos of the studio? They didn't even have a logo, any "decent" photos of the place, and the budget they were offering was totally unrealistic. ARGH!
  8. thesmu

    thesmu Junior Member

    i don't think that a site with a small amount of content is necessaraly a bad thing. just keep the layout simple and clean and don't use too many sub pages. if they have a seriously small amount of content you could even design it as a one pager.
  9. andyshaw

    andyshaw Member

    too much 'd say. especially for copy. I remember reading somewhere that when writing copy for the web half what you come up with then half again.
  10. DereckJohnson

    DereckJohnson Junior Member

    Firstly create a site map, OmniGraffle is my weapon of choice (Visio is the PC equivalent). I always find this helps to focus the client on what content will be required.

    If there is not going to be enough content to fill the pages in your site map, why not consider creating a single, well designed "landing page". That way your client achieves their goal of having a web presence and you don't get frustrated creating a site with space pages.

    In my experience this type of client will come back in a few months having realised what they really want/need.
  11. scabro

    scabro Junior Member

    Too much is one of the main reasons why visitors are leaving your site very quickly.
    Personally if I can't find the information I'm looking for withing the first few seconds I'm simply closing the browser window.

    Each page should clearly illustrate it's own purpose.
    The good way of avoiding overcrowding pages if you have a lot of information on the site is to group the sections and to use the right navigation structure - self explanatory link naming, which lead to the right sections of the site.
  12. rrrrryan

    rrrrryan Junior Member

    it's definitely better to have a few words that say a lot than a lot of words that say nothing. a web presence should build trust and focused & well written text really helps in that arena.

    as many have already said: communicating with the client from the start is the best strategy. in your case, I would sit down with the client and interview them... find out what they are all about. what do they do? what does their business feel like? what does it look like? what ideas or words do they associate with themselves? what do they want to tell their clients about themselves? how long have they been in business? have they been written about/featured in any industry publications? gotten any awards? how did they start? etc.

    creating a short list of questions to ask new clients could really help them gain focus and give you a greater insight into what their trying to achieve with their web presence.

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