Is it possible to cram too much content onto a web page? Absolutely. Just hop over to si.com or espn.com for a couple of great examples. Sports sites aren’t the only ones guilty of this, of course, but they’re a great example of content gone wild.
I was reading a recent post by Steve Klein on the E-Media Tidbits blog before I realized I’m not the only sports fan totally turned off by this content cramming approach. Honestly, take a look at either of those pages and tell me where your eyes go first. You could probably flash the same page in front of me 10 different times and I’m likely to initially look at a different item every time.
So what? They’re getting loads of traffic because of their brand names and the temptation is probably to continue one-upping each other, jamming the next item into the main page until almost nothing is readable.
Then again, at least SI has come to their senses. I dropped my ESPN Magazine subscription long ago but I continue to subscribe to SI. As Steve pointed out, and I saw on the cover wrap for a recent issue, SI is about to launch MySI. Just like another favorite of mine, MyYahoo, I plan to customize MySI to help make sense of the clutter.
Sure, I’ll spend 10-15 minutes checking boxes and moving items around to help make my si.com experience a better one. I just wish they’d come to their senses and clean it up on their own. Apparently si.com and espn.com have never read anything on usability and they certainly haven’t paid any attention to Google’s “keep it simple and clean” approach.