Is the simplest design.
It’s one of those concepts that we all learn the hard way—even a giant corporation like Microsoft, who has recently announced the new design of its MSN homepage. Here’s what the website looks like right now:
And here’s what it’s supposed to look like in early 2010, according to CNET.
You would think that a giant business like Microsoft would have figured out a long time ago that, in the world where netizens spend 2 seconds moving their eyes across the entire news article, clear is the new clever. But as the evolution of MSN slideshow suggests, Microsoft didn’t get it. Besides its first-launch page—which was badly designed, by the way—MSN has always had too many links, too much text, and all these other jumbles in its page. It tried modernizing the design. Still cluttered. It made the page sleeker and more interactive. Still cluttered. Finally, after many complaints from the customers that the “site was both dated and overstuffed with links,” Microsoft decides to revolutionize MSN and take out 50% of the links on the existing site.
Still, the key to increase a Web site’s popularity is to stay relevant, which brings us back to the same old topic: social media. Well, folks, if a stubborn giant like Microsoft finally gives into the power of Facebook and Twitter and devotes a the right column of its site to the applications, we would be unwise to not do the same—embrace the social media. Microsoft even takes a step further by pulling the contents from Fox Sports, Hulu, and Hearst to satisfy its customers. And although the company still lags far behind Google in the search market (Google has a share of 64.6% while Microsoft holds 9.4%), it hopes the new design will draw more users to its site and its baby Bing.
So, remember. If you want to be successful on the internet, don’t put all your contents on one page because no one wants to scan through clutter. (Oh, don’t forget to include FB and Twitter Apps, either.) Yes, minimalist design is good, but as long as you don’t go overboard and make your site look like this: