Filling Space with Nothing

Gerry McGovern over at CMSwire has written an interesting story about H.I.T.S. (Either hover over text or read article to discover what that stands for.) and how how inherent obsession with volume-filling is killing our success.

I can relate to this story. In my early years of web-design, I felt it important to fill my available space with anything I felt to be of value – including animated imagery! As I learnt more about how the internet works, I now work on every available piece of code and image to reduce the byte-size to as small as possible. (Yeah, there are few more sections of my CSS that seriously need reduction.)

What intrigues me most about Gerry’s story is the view of CMS programs by many big businesses. I’ve never thought of purchasing a CMS to make my work easier: I always figured it would take away the fun! I enjoy writing code, tinkering and rewriting till I have it as simple (and complex) as possible without detracting from the goal. Having a CMS generate the pages would probably reduce the stress of knowing that all pages successfully linked together – but again, I kinda like going through all that hassle of checking all the links.

Consequently, I’ve learnt about pre-planning with pencil and paper to outline the purpose, structure and direction of any site I am commissioned to design. Sometimes clients have no idea what they want – and that’s understandable. When you’ve never considered what or why you’d have a website, the whole idea of re-writing a business plan to include the information to be put online can be very daunting.

But like all space on the internet, it’s not about filling it up – it’s about filling it appropriately. Not every corner needs to have text or images in it. Color, presence, layout, and concise data is the key.

This is why I like Gerry’s article. He reinforces my views regarding publishing anything (from the next client’s CMS website to the photographic masterpiece) – Quality over quantity.. Time teaches us a lot of things – but this needs to be reinforced at every opportunity. Instead of filling your web-account with everything, just go for those that say the most whilst showing the least.