What do you think about this statement: “The more the better”? Do you think it’s always true? I doubt if it is ever true? Even with statements like “the more money you have the better” or “the more friends you have the better”. Money change people, and often not in a good way, and most of us so busy that it would be impossible not to neglect some of our friends. The bloggers might argue “the more RSS subscribers I have the better”. Is it really? That means more responsibility on your shoulders and unless you regularly update your blog with high quality posts that big number can go down very quickly. Well… perhaps this one phrase is an exception to the rule:“the more sites link to my blog the better”. Any other exceptions you can think of?

Of course, it’s better to have “more” than “less”, but I think that moderation is the key here. This one I know for sure is not good for our brain: Too Much Information. Nonetheless for some reason Smashing Magazine contributors keep pumping their readers with the overbearing amount of data. When I first saw their post 35 Designers x 5 Questions I thought what a great idea those guys had to ask certain prominent designers 5 questions about web design. But then why did they have to go overboard with that, and ask Thirty Five designers? And then bragging that they’ve got “175 professional suggestions”. Why not quiz just 5 designers?

It could’ve been the best article Smashing Magazine ever came up with so far, but instead it is just another bookmark for many of their readers and only a handful of them will ever go through the entire list of 175 tips. SM writers also need to learn how to present their posts in a better organized fashion: all of the included images/screenshots are in mismatched sizes, some of the tips were copied under different sections, all this was requiring even more scrolling efforts.

Since I’m always curious about the professional approach to Web Design, I did read the entire article. I’ve printed it out and read for two days while commuting to work and back.
So I’ve decided to save your brains and present it to you in a more digestible format.

However, even though SM asked 5 questions, I’ll concentrate only on three of them. Since I don’t want to overload my readers with too much information, I’ll talk about them in 2 separate posts. First post will cover the following two questions:

  • 1 aspect of design you give the highest priority to.
  • 1 font you use in your projects very often.

I would also like to elaborate more on the 2nd question: “1 most useful CSS-technique you use very often”. SM just listed those tips without much details from designers as to why these techniques are helpful and how they work. Since it’ll require a bit of research on my part for some of those tips, I’ll post my findings some time next week. So stay tuned.

How many of you read that “35×5″ SM article, and what did you think of it?

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7 Insightful Bits in response to “Information Overload”

  1. Smashing Magazine has a lot of good articles, just some of them are indeed information overload such as this one. You could probably split that post into a series of posts on this site adding in your own thoughts.

  2. I started to read it but as you say it was too long and too superficial. I was struck by the poor choice of some questions to be honest.

    It could have been so good, and so revealing, but just wasn’t.

    I am glad you have decided to fill in the gaps they left.

  3. I never read the entire article. Just see the title, and scroll fast….. When something’s catchy, just read that and move off.

    But I surely bookmark them for later reference. My Firefox Bookmarks bar and del.icio.us accounts are loaded with sites and posts which I’ve still not read and want to read :)

  4. ibit

    Thanks, guys. I’ve just posted my thoughts about important Web Design aspects. Let me know what you think?

  5. Bes

    I agree with the information overload concept on this one. Sure, writing a 300 page book on a single line of philosophy is one thing, since that may require a lot of explanation or logic, but complicating things simply to have more, without adding much usefulness or clarity to a work only confuses the readers.

    When you showed me that link, I simply thought to myself “Wow, this is long.” They could have divided it into separate posts to address each individual question, though I am guessing they wanted a post that was the “ultimate reference” guide for people who were searching for answers to those questions. It is good work, though it is hard to digest usefully in one sitting. Maybe that’s a good thing?

  6. Vivien

    What is a good thing – that it’s hard to digest? I’m not sure about the “ultimate” reference, but it is a good reference if you have enough patience to go through that loooong post.

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on