Too many organisations lose sight of the fact that their website should be a self service enabler (or maybe they never got it in the first place). Adding more services and more content just provides more opportunities for the visitor to take a wrong turn.
In a recent article, Gerry McGovern gives a nice example from the fast food industry, where choice is undermining the key purpose of their service - that it's fast.
These goes for websites, he argues.
Decision making is further complicated when the website manager doesn't find a meaningful way to integrate new content and instead relies on the lazy, meaningless labels such as quick links, FAQ, resources etc.
How to cope? Establish your visitors' top tasks, the things that are business critical, and monitor them regularly. And ruthlessly optimise your site to ensure these top tasks are easy to do.
This ties in very nicely with David Travis' red routes concept - ensuring these critical paths throughout the site are always clear - and Lou Rosenfeld's report card approach to ongoing monitoring.
The need to simplify menus and links - article by Gerry McGovern
Red Routes - David Travis explains what's really important on your website (October 2013)
Prioritising usability problems - David Travis (July 2011)
Avoiding your next site redesign - Lou Rosenfeld (October 2011)