This very interesting article, via Si, is all about how reducing the visual complexity of your website isn’t necessarily a good thing, particularly if you don’t reduce the actual complexity at all.

I think this is great. Far too often people approach heuristics with the view to adapt their current design to obey the rules, rather than designing with best-use in mind. If you’re not going to change the fact that you have to go through a chain of 5 different submenus, whether they’re on the same page or not, then why bother?

I can’t remember where the quote’s from, but I was once told that it’s all about giving people the information they want, when they want it, where they want it.

Another interesting insight was this:
Hiding critical information isn’t just annoying for users. It may also have an impact on the bottom-line of e-commerce sites. Another study by UIE has shown that when product lists provide insufficient product details, people will buy less.

That is just so true. It annoys me so much when you go onto a technology website and all you get is “Hitachi Hard Disk” in the product description. Well, that’s why I went to the “Hard Disks” section, you know? I kinda guessed that much! 😉 Glad someone’s pulling ideas like this together … maybe the web will become an easier place to shop as this type of thing is absorbed.