Design porridge, or why white space is important.

What is design porridge? In Russian, when someone mixes up too much food on a plate, we say you made “kasha” out of it. Translated, “kasha” means “porridge”. Yes, it’s just a type of a meal which was (and possibly still is) very popular back home.

However, this word can be associated not with just food, but with anything that seems too mixed or cluttered together. And of course in design, when too many elements are close to each other and there is no or very little white space, Russian speakers would usually look at it and say something like — what is this “kasha”?

So here we are, talking about design porridge. You may want to put all of your main messages, images, services and Call to Action buttons in the front of your website page and make sure it’s all “above the fold”. In other words, user sees it all before scrolling down. Our suggestion may be to only have the very important bits at the top, create some room for everything else and have the rest a little lower. Your argument, of course, is that you don’t want your clients to miss any of the important information.

The question is, however, who is the website for? You of course have a say in what needs to be there and what doesn’t, but ultimately, it’s your clients who are the target market. They are the ones who will be looking at the website and trying to get the main message, or see what services you provide. When your client visits your website and sees this “porridge”, what do you think they will do? Do you think they will read each banner, icon, button and message as you would, or do you think they will get stuck in all the mess and simply move on?

Our suggestion — avoid “porridge” in your design. It is a lot more important to prioritise information, than to show it all at once.


Website loading slow

A client of ours asked to look into their website, that was loading extremely slow. After trying to open the page – I’ve almost given up. Each page loaded for what seemed like a minute. And that’s on a laptop with fast wi-fi, phone and desktop computer with cable. Something was definitely wrong, so I sent an email to our senior developer to take a look.

It only took minutes to get the reply. Apparently, there was a script in the theme that blocked page rendering for about 20 sec. It took another few minutes for the site to load up almost instantly.

Pretty good for a 5 minute job! This was using some tools that we have to perform diagnostics on a website. Without them, and this is from experience — you may get sucked into changing your host, running multiple costly updates or even get told that your WordPress theme is out of date and you need a new site.