It's not about how much content is on the web page or how crowded the web page is. Anything about how much whitespace the web page has or how much elements it has is or how crowded it is - is irrelevant.

It's about asking the question "If I had never seen that website before in my life, within a space of 3 seconds, how long would it take me to figure out what the purpose of this web page is? And also to figure out how I can go about achieving my desired daily objective? All without accidentally confusing one thing for something else or mis-reading it.

 

If you compare the 2007 and 2012 web design of microsoft.com, which design do you think would allow the user to make the most sense of the web page, in regards to firstly knowing which area is for what purpose, secondly how to reach their desired daily purpose whilst also finally avoiding confusing one thing for something else?

If I wanted to buy a Microsoft keyboard or download Visual Studio, where would I go?

My answer is that even though the 2007 design is less crowded and more whitespace, it also counter-intuitively has more visual noise.

See pictures overleaf, on the flip side, whatever

Look at the legacy and modern designs for Jumpchart and also 2 competing yet popular FTP software, Filezilla and WinSCP, both free and open source.

Which design do you think will cause the least amount of accidental clicks and the least amount of accidentally confusing one thing for something else (in instances where two different dialog boxes or icons appear similar to each other), by mis-reading it?

I would say that the modern Jumpchart design has more visual noise, even though it has less elements on the page and is less crowded.

I would also say that WinSCP has less visual noise than Filezilla, despite WinSCP making their user interface be more flooded with icons and toolbars.

See pictures overleaf, below, whatever, bleh

Well a train station would have more fidelity than a shopping centre, with the shopping centre having less fidelity, even though the shopping centre is more crowded and has more visual noise. All because a train station well at the boarding part, there's multiple levels to focus on

  1. The numbered signs that let you know where to stand for what train, both in the same line and a nearby line
  2. The railway tracks that the train goes by
  3. The seating area
  4. The people who can often be obstructing the way

But in a shopping centre, the fidelity is easy

  • Shop entrance / shop entrance / shop entrance

 

Not much fidelity to focus on, unless you want the toilets, which is easily accessible anyway from the obvious indoor map that's also easy to find.

At the end of the day....

Even though the shopping centre is more crowded with more visual noise, the train station (although less crowded) has more fidelity.

I like standing in the scenery where you can be standing amongst a huge crowd, whilst being as part of the crowd as you want to be, as well as becoming more inconspicous in an instant. Sure if you was on a beach, it could be easier to hide under a tree than it is to hide under a tree on the pavement, even though the beach is less crowded than the city streets. But if you was to put up a tent there to be camping, you'd be more noticible with a tent on the beach, than in the city. I just like things where you can be as part of the visible crowd as you want to be, as well as being as inconspicous amongst the crowd, without needing to hide underground

You know how some people think quicker than they speak? Someone says something then the other person has lots of things they want to say for 5 different points, when it'd be expected for them to only have 1 or 2 points. And they all thought of it within 5 seconds?

What about the opposite of speak quicker than you think? No I got that wrong, I meant speak SLOWER than you think Imagine a person who's having a conversation on the voice call, so they can't use the excuse of "I was busy" or "discord said I was online when I wasn't", within the context of talking online. But when someone says something on voice and the other person is thinking of what to say, to respond firstly and make think of the next topic secondly, well if they speak slower than they think, then by the time they've FULLY thought of everything they wanted to say for the first question, the other person would of already moved onto the 3rd or 4th question. It could be 30 minutes later where the person would like to add something that they could have said 30 minutes earlier.

 

If in web design and an architectural landscape, we have "visual noise" and "fidelity".