Every now and then I have to advise a client in regards to what is considered too much for their homepage or the website layout in general. So, how much is too much? Obviously, the answer is subjective but here are some basic tips:
Animation - It is okay to have some fading/animation/movement on a page/site however, limit it to one or two items. Too many can be quite distracting and take away from the professionalism of your company/website. If you don’t believe me, check out this site: http://www.theworldsworstwebsiteever.com
Links – There are instances when a site requires a lot of pages and of course it needs to be structured in such a way that it is not overwhelming. There is not necessarily an absolute number of what the maximum navigation links should be but I suggest using either drop-down menus or some sort of expandable/accordion style navigation if your site requires a lot of pages/links. This way, the general layout is still easy for people to view and navigate but you can still access most pages of the site from any other page. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm a visitor to your site.
Text/Content – We usually recommend using approximately the amount of text that would fit on a regular 8.5”x11” Word document into a webpage. Again, there is no steadfast rule for the amount of text to use on a page so use your judgement and don’t overdo it. Not only will it make your site’s visitors happy, but it’s good to leave some information out- it gives people a reason to contact you.
Products – For any site that has a large list of products or services offered it is not always a good idea to pollute the homepage with photos and descriptions of everything that is offered. Instead, have a “Featured Products” section which highlights 1-6 products that you want to advertise. Not only is this an opportunity for you to (for lack of a better term) control what visitors buy for profit reasons, it can also help you to get rid of older/overstock items or highlight new products that might be otherwise ignored.