Here’s the before and after.
(Note: I don’t have a “before” photo. Just imagine a page full of text and hyperlinks.)
Thanks to the generous folks on Twitter who reached out to help me. To summarize their advice, say what you need to say in respect to the constraint of the viewer’s attention.
Not the constraint of their time. No, that’s a reversal of roles. Attention is the constraint. Attention signals to us what is and isn’t worth our time. Attention comes from the stories we tell ourselves. It’s easier to get someone’s attention when your messages already match their story.
Often, that story is, “I want (or, I want “this”) to be more (or less) _____” It’s easier to convince someone to eat a banana when they already believe that bananas are worth eating (being hungry helps, too).
By working on this (I still am), I’ve learned that design has two parts.
The first part is addition. What can I add? How can I use this tools to make something new?
The second part is subtraction. I made all these things, but now it’s overwhelming. What can I subtract, piece by piece, until only the essential is all that remains?
Whenever I work on something that matters to me, I’m always reminded of these words from T. S. Eliot.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.