One of the more popular trends in recent years is decluttering craze. Books and websites are devoted to it. It’s hard to channel surf past the home improvement stations without seeing at a least one show that features decluttering and repurposing your old stuff.
And it’s popular for a reason. We like our stuff. But sometimes that stuff can create more problems than it solves. It prevents us from getting the most benefit from our homes. And sometimes, we even pay for bigger homes than we need just because of all our stuff!
And do you know where this trend is also common? It’s common on medical websites. Many medical practices have a compulsive need to put every detail about the practice right up front so it won’t be missed. But the problem is it makes using the website difficult for visitors. It’s confusing to navigate and they often can’t figure out where to even look on the cluttered home page. It’s a turn off that makes site visitors want to exit. Quickly. If that’s the case, it’s time to declutter your medical website.
Fortunately, we can take a page from the home organization book and apply it to our websites to get rid of the clutter and make it work for us. Professsional home organizers all use some version of the same system. It goes like this:
- Choose a room to organize, and determine the purpose of that room.
- Start in one corner of the room, and go through the room in order – no skipping around.
- For each item you come across, decide if it contributes to the purpose of that room. If it does it stays, otherwise, it goes to another room, or gets discarded.
- Once the room is emptied of everything that doesn’t belong there, organize what remains.
- Start over in the next room.
It’s easy to see how you can apply this same process to your website:
- Choose a page to organize, and determine its primary purpose
- Start at the top of the page, and go through each item on the page in order.
- As you come to each item, ask if it contributes to the main purpose of the page. If yes, leave it in place. If no, either delete it if you don’t need it at all, or save it to a clipboard for use on another page. Then delete it from the current page.
- Once the only things that remain on the page are items that contribute to the page’s purpose, then reorganize the remaining items on the page.
- Move on to the next page. Don’t forget to put the items on the clipboard on their proper pages.
When you are decluttering and organizing your home, you have to figure out a place for everything you need within the existing structure of your home. When you declutter your medical website, though, you can easily add on. If you find that you have a lot of material on that clipboard that didn’t really belong to any of your existing pages, you can simply create one or more new pages to accommodate them.
This process will make the purpose of each page clear to your users and reduce that sense of overwhelm they feel when they get hit with all the information in one loud and busy page.
So, is your website cluttered? Give it a once over and see if it’s time to declutter and reorganize. It’s a great way to get your site working harder and more efficiently for you.