We can only handle so much — Humans can only process small amounts of information at a time (consciously that is… the estimate is that we handle 40,000,000 pieces of information every second, but only 40 of those make it to our conscious brains). One mistake that web sites make is to give too much information all at once, like this web site from the Canadian government:
There is no chunking here, there is not progressive disclosure. It’s just all the information thrown on the page all at once. The result? You don’t r
I have for a long time thought that the Canadian Government CLF (Common Look and Feel) initiative basically put the perceived needs of a few in front of the needs of actual readers. Bureaucratic approaches to determining design standards mean that departmental interpretations focus on rules moreso than actual good design skills, and basically web teams are free to publish completely useless pages of information that can actually never be consumed by anyone. But it follows the clear and strict guidelines laid out to make sure that no one has to think for themselves, and that's what matters here in Ottawa.