So here’s the scenario: your website is newly launched, you’re thrilled with it, and it looks fantastic. It’s clean yet dynamic, and features your studio’s color palette of teal, grey, and black. You’re able to make your own basic text and photo changes through a content management system (we offer Simple2Edit to our customers, but there are many others out there, such as WordPress).

A few days pass and you want to put a notice about your upcoming studio expansion. It’s frustrating that dance parents don’t seem to look at, much less read, anything you put in front of them, be it hard copy or on a website, and therefore… when you add the announcement, you make it Big. And so they’ll be sure to notice it, you make it Red. Big and Red. It feels as if more people really notice this announcement, and so when early next week you want to add information about your new Zumba class, you also make it Big. And to differentiate it from the previous posting, you make it Hot Pink. Big and Hot Pink. When a few days later you need to post news about early registration for summer, it definitely needs to stand out, so you make it Big, Bright Purple, and ALL CAPS.

This continues, and within a month or so, you have a ‘Latest News’ page (or homepage, or…) that is incredibly long and filled with huge brightly colored announcements. And now you’re right back where you started. Why? Because when you try and make everything stand out, nothing stands out! And now also, unfortunately, it looks like a circus exploded on your webpage.

So how do you solve this very common problem? Here are a few tips:

  1. Continually remove any notice where the event has past. This automatically will declutter your page, offer less to distract your dance parents’ eyes, and demonstrate your commitment to keeping your site fresh and up to date.
  2. Make all of your text a smaller, more readable size. You do want visitors to read your important announcements, but if everything is Big, Wildly Coloured, and (shudder) All Caps, they will more likely feel that they are being yelled at. That is not a good feeling, and certainly does not encourage them to stay on the page and read.
  3. Once your text is back to a normal size, make most of it black. Yes, black. I’d recommend choosing no more than three accent colors, and alternate between the three for your headings. The details about each should be in black, because it is easy to read. So you catch their attention with the punch of color, and then make reading the details a pleasant experience for them.
  4. “Chunk up” your pages. By this I mean, make your page materials easier to scan. This keeps people on the page and (hopefully) digesting information. To do this, keep your paragraphs short and punchy, and use bullets whenever appropriate.

For example:

3 Things to Remember!
• Costume deposits are due by Nov 14th
• Nutcracker rehearsals are held at Heald Center this year
• Our Open House is on Saturday the 10th. All are welcome!

By incorporating these tips, you will dramatically improve the readability of your website. Just remember: Declutter, Keep it a normal size, Use fewer colors, and Chunk it up! You will reduce eye strain, make reading your notices a more pleasant experience, and keep your website looking clean and sharp in the process!

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