Web Development

It’s Time We Get Rid Of The Standard Ugly Text Page

You know it all too well. You visit a website and go to read a page on it. It has a page title, maybe a subtitle and then body copy. In one long an often slightly too wide column. It’s uninteresting and not very engaging.

It’s time we get rid of these standard, ugly text pages for beautifully designed and laid out pages that bring life to the content and make it easier to read.

A Good Presentation Creates Readability and Understanding

About a year ago, we were involved in the creation and design of a new website for a co-working space in Gothenburg, Sweden. Sadly, we had no option to create more content, or re-write it. We had to make do with what we had.

When we launched the website, I received an email from a friend of mine. She let me know that she really liked the new website, and how much more information it had about the place, and its services.

The thing is, it was the very same information. We just packaged it in a nicer way, albeit with new, gorgeous photography.

The moral of this story, as you have probably understood, is how effective good design can be, and how much more understandable the content can become.

An example of a modular grid-based page layout.

What’s a Good Page Design Then?

A good page design is (currently) divided into sections, and is modular. The design uses backgrounds, images, headlines and last but not least, whitespace to tell a story. As the user skims (which is what users do), it is easier to grasp the most important points.

The more you grasp when you skim, the more you will feel that the page served you well. And that of course means the page is effective.

Let the Purpose of the Page Guide You

Instead of creating that standard text block column, go for a more varied layout. Divide it up into blocks and sections. Let the changes in the page copy guide you. And foremost, let the key takeaways for the user guide you.

Each page that you add to a website has a purpose. Use this when creating the pages and think about how to divide the common text mass into clear, smaller blocks. Your users will thank you as your pages are more readable.

All of this requires a solid editing workflow on the backend of the website of course. Many content management systems aren’t set up to handle this from the get-go. Yet. But there is a movement.

Next time you are sitting down to design a content page, think about how making it modular can really bring it to life. And let us know your favorite pages in the comments! Inspiration is always fun.