This week’s education article was authored by Stephen Slappey, the CO and Marketing Director for Creative Consulting in Summerville, SC.
One of the most frustrating parts of designing a website properly is how to use space effectively. Over the last few years, we have seen the growing trend of ‘less is more’. Because of this, everything that we need to say has to be said in a much smaller space. So how are we supposed to completely convey everything we need to our clients without losing the clean design style that is such a necessity currently? The idea is simple but widely underused. 
You have to use proper linking (both inbound and outbound) and list building to say what you want to say, without using too much space. 
Let me dive into more detail into what I mean. Let’s say I own a massage company and let’s say that my companies name was Under The Stars Massage Therapy. I want to talk about all of my services on my home page so that everyone will know exactly what they can expect when working with me. Hypothetically, I may have many services that I can provide, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Cupping, Couples Massages, Heavenly Foot Massages, Pain Relief Therapy, 2 Hours of Heaven… I hope you can see where I’m going with this. If I went into full detail about every single one of these services could you imagine how long my home page would be? I can, because I have seen website after website with this style of design. Instead, I could list out the services with a small summary of each and then connect each of the services in that list to a page of its own, that goes into greater detail from there. 
A good rule of thumb when designing a site is to limit your full-page scrolls to four. If you have to scroll down the page more than four times, chances are you have too much information on the page. You could use linking and list building to create a way for people looking for more information to still get what they are looking for without crowding up the page. This is not always the case especially with companies that rely very heavily on heavy design aspects like marketing firms and photographers. 
The benefits of linking and lists don’t stop there. If you have everything placed in an easy to read list, it will be much more likely that people will feel comfortable going to those multiple links instead of just one. A great example of this lies in social media links. Having your website show a list or a set that links to all of your active social media pages builds authority in your brand and creates the want in your clients to follow you on more than one platform. They see all of the social media they have and get excited that you have the same. This also builds your SEO. All of the search engines love seeing both inbound and outbound linking when done appropriately and respectfully. 
So how do you create these lists? It is different for every builder and you may need to contact your preferred Graphic Designer. Some may have a link function to connect text and photos. Others you may have to have hyperlinked in the code. If you are in your website builder, look for an icon of two chain links connected. Using that tool will allow you to connect your photo or text to another page or even another part of the same page but we will save that for another lesson. 
One final tip. When creating a list, do your best to list them horizontally before resorting to vertically. If you can stick to around 4 – 5 on one row of the list before moving down to the next row, it will make your page look much cleaner. 
Call to Action 
Take a look at your website. Is it busy? How much information could you place onto other pages that are crowding up your site and how difficult is it for people to find your links to your social media and even to your contact form?