Too Much Web Clutter: Hara hachi bu

HarahachibuHow much “stuff” should you place on your radio station’s home page?

And by “stuff,” I’m being kind.

Well, let’s see….

If you’re Pandora.com, there are about 14 links on the home page.

If you’re KROQ, there are about 25.

If you’re Virgin Radio, there are about 60.

And if you’re Z100, there are about 150, including drop-down links.


That’s right: There are 150 things to click on on Z100’s front page.

I don’t know at what point value becomes clutter, but something tells me it’s well before your link count gets to 150.

In a world where Google’s main page has 17 links, what does it suggest when we have 150?

According to Presentation Zen, the Japanese have a great expression concerning healthy eating habits: Hara hachi bu, or “Eat until 80% full.”

Before you craft a web page designed to overwhelm and turn off your audience, before you suggest to listeners that when they visit your site it’s unlikely that they’ll actually find whatever they’re looking for, post this note over your webmaster’s PC:

“Hara hachi bu.”

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  • put that on a liner card…
    Be sure and visit Z-100-dot-com, with more links than any other radio station website in the city
    That KROQ site rocks, with a huge benefit for me front and center…fly to SF for the Smashing Pumpkins. Move all that other stuff out of there…at least below the fold.
    And what with a huge banner at the top of the page. Real estate is too valuable to be bonusing that banner.
    My favorite layout these days is 94.7, The Globe (linked to my name). I would say all the links below the fold, and there are a bunch, don’t count cuz I can’t see them.

  • The Z100 website is probably a Clear Channel corporate template…most, if not all, of their radio station websites are required to use it…it looks like on-air isn’t the only place they put a lot of ads.

  • What’s wrong with this picture? I do far too much surfing, yet haven’t bookmarked ANY radio sites. Not only are they cluttered, they are badly laid-out, slow to load (too many graphics, too much javascript), and frequently REQUIRE Flash. And once you’ve got the page up, turns out it’s all promotion and no content.

  • John Bradley

    Everytime I hear “go to NPR.org…” it should be followed by …”to hunt for more on this story.” NPR’s web site is very fat by Japanese standards, yet somehow seems to function. It helps to have a robust and accurate search function.

  • I specifically excluded sites for information stations for that reason, John.
    But when you’re a music station….

  • Hi Mark
    Great blog. A recent Radio & Records highlighted z100 in a recent article on stations who are becoming ‘an entertainment’ portal. This might be the case in z100’s case but how on earth could anyone find anything on its site. It makes you dizzy just looking at it.
    The cliche, ‘content is king’ is spot on but make it simple for the user/listener to find.
    We need to become usability aware. Steve Krug’s ‘Don’t make me think’ & Jakob Neilsen are two web usability experts we should be reading so our radio websites are logical, straighforward and help our listeners achieve their specific web tasks.
    I’ll stop raving. Our station is about to move into further development with Usability and Content working hand in hand.

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