The Balancing Act – Conversion Wednesday

By Dan G


“THE BALANCING ACT” Every site does it. Its the balance between being informative and being concise. First up is “White Space”. White Space can Improve you visitor’s comprehension on any page of your site. Look at Apple’s Home Page here for instance. How could anyone view this page and not comprehend that the “iPad is here.” Its simple yet genius! and it gets their point across immediately.

White Space de-clutters a page by giving the remaining elements on the page room to breathe. Items can be grouped together or separated simply by increasing or decreasing the white-space between them and other items on the page. Which can be important for showing relationships between elements and building a hierarchy on the page without using a lot of non-essential borders and images.

Readability is also increased by white-space. According to one study in 2004, simply by utilizing white space between paragraphs and margins readers said they found it easier to read and focus on generously spaced content better by almost 20% and on top of that a number of them said that the spacing positively influenced user satisfaction and experience.

Its just like Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

Of course, the other half of the story is all of that clutter on your webpages. And what is that clutter? Information, Data, and Details about your products.

Some sites cram too many details on their pages and others simply lack sufficient information, even for visitors doing a quick scan. People rely heavily on this information to make their purchasing decisions and if your not conveying your messaging and information clearly your bound to meet with dire consequences. Research shows that poor product information accounts for around 8% of usability problems and even 10% of site bounces and exits (by that we mean, the user gives up and leaves the website entirely).

Apple seems to provide a perfect example yet again. They balance providing detailed information about their products WITH spacing the elements on their page to increase comprehension fors their shoppers. Apple provides more-detailed information for their products on their “Tech Spec” pages, keeping the complicated details away from the simpler marketing pages, providing easy access to them when they’re needed.

So the moral of this story is, “Provide detailed information about your products, but don’t fall into the trap of bombarding users by cluttering your pages with too much text.” Make the page scannable by breaking up the text into smaller, scannable segments and use plenty of sub-headings. On top of that, use plenty of eye-catching images and use everyday language to minimize the jargon or techy speak.

So what have we learned today?
  1. You can use white-space to improve your shopper’s comprehension of your web-pages. Simplify your verbiage and use white-space to show the relationships between the elements of your site to communicate your points clearly and effectively.
  2. Remove the Clutter – if you have a long paragraph of text describing your product, figure out ways to simplify that down into bullet points, and if you can’t, provide a “more details” link and another page that will provide that information so your not overwhemling your first time visitors.
  3. Use More Images – a picture is worth a thousand words.
  4. Find Your Equilibrium between white-space and info, every site is different and will require a unique approach.

Of course, there is only one way to be certain that you’ve found that perfectly balanced and unique approach, and that is through testing. Testing a few variations of differing amouts of white-space, verbiage and imagery on your site in an AB or Multivariate test is the only sure-fire way of finding the most balanced changes for your website. That’s where we can help.

Exclusive Concepts offers a full service testing option for our clients called Conversion Booster. Through the program, we will do the work for you in analyzing your site’s data, coming up with solutions that reflect that data, and testing those solutions with an AB or multivariate test to maximize your increase in conversion rates. One or several of which could be by simply adding more white-space and minimizing the use of some of that techy lingo. Every idea will be conceived by thorough analysis and every hypothesis will be tested to statistical significance. Give us a call at 1-800-504-4324 if you’re interested in learning more.

We would be honored to perform a free conversion audit on your qualified website today.