4 Ways to Organize Information-Heavy Websites
Organizing your website and developing a great user experience can be a challenge if you have a lot of information and content you want people to have access to. So how can you create a design that's engaging and easy to navigate, while helping customers get to the content they need?
Follow these four best practices and you'll turn your content-rich site into an engaging experience.
1. Prioritize Actions That Real Users Take
First consider how real people want to use your site. What's the information that will be most useful to them? What tasks — like finding contact info or placing an order — are they hoping to complete?
Back up your guesses by looking at real-world sites to see how they organize the content. Evaluate your experience on those sites and see what is missing or hard to do.
2. Embrace a Visual Hierarchy
Indicate the relative importance of content elements through design. Consider what should be most prominent and use design element to draw people's attention to what they need most. That also allows you to pack a significant amount of information into a small area.
The Rubin Museum of Art, for example, uses this approach to effectively promote upcoming exhibits and events.
3. Work With Grids
A grid design may seem to be too rigid and structured, but it's a great way to compress a significant amount of information into a small area — and keep it orderly and easy to navigate.
The Professional Golfers' Association uses this approach to share information on a variety of details, from membership requirements to upcoming events. Their homepage, which features a series of images and text in an asymmetrical grid format, is designed to help users quickly find what they need.
4. Optimize Your Navigation Menus
Navigation menus are critical for information-dense sites. They're the starting point to orient visitors quickly, and providing clues to how to find the most relevant information.
Consider both your top-level categories as well as the pages that will be nested under them. Info.info uses three main navigational menu labels so visitors can easily find the most relevant path, whether they're looking for educational materials, are ready to register a domain, or want to stay up to date.
The bottom line
If you're trying to create a website that's highly functional and has a sense of style, but also makes the most of a lot of content, lean into these best practices and strategies to deliver a great user experience that will do your brand proud.