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Build a Better Message: The Benefits of Simple Layouts

by Erin Higgins, on September 22, 2020

simple-layoutsWhen glancing at an online interface, what’s the first thing that catches your eye? Likely, the layout of the material on the page. In fact, the way a page looks at first glance often determines whether a reader will sift through the material or navigate away from the page after a brief skim. So how do you draft a page to get the maximum volume of readership? It’s all in a simple but beautiful layout.

Why whitespace works

Have you ever wondered why some websites or interfaces are easier to navigate than others? Or why some just seem so chaotic that you can’t stand to read them, no matter how valuable their information is? What about the other way around? Lots of people have that one website or email template they love. It’s beautiful and easy to use. So, what’s the secret? Whitespace.

Websites and interfaces that calm the brain supply plenty of blank spaces, which allow the eyes to rest. Research has shown that the simpler an interface is, the more likely it’s thought to be beautiful. The newsletters you create through Fireside’s revamped Message Editor are based on this principle. They now have a space component so that your constituents can focus on the ideas you communicate without any distractions.

How single columns help

Sidebars and multiple columns used to be mainstays of the newsletter world, but no longer. The rise of mobile readership and accessibility features have simplified the standard newsletter layout, and no one at Fireside is complaining! Our updated standard Message Editor template reflects the shift beautifully. Single column newsletters are simpler, easy to read, and have plenty of that whitespace we just mentioned.

Cross-platform readability

According to Litmus, 46% of email opens occur on mobile devices. Single column layouts ensure that a reader won’t have to zoom in and out to read your messages. If your interface is complex or improperly configured on a mobile device, then users are likely to navigate away from your page before fully digesting the content. With a single column interface, your newsletter will be ready to read at first glance.


Single columns help software like the text readers used by the visually-impaired to render your newsletter in a clear manner. With the inclusion of sidebars, these readers can jumble the sidebar text with the message body.

How Fireside helps you do it

Fireside strives to connect its clients with their constituents in meaningful ways, so making an attractive platform for your communication has always been a top goal. Our product improvements benefit both the reader and the creator. To check out more newsletter improvements, see our product update.

Already use the Fireside newsletter? Read more about the platform’s improvements. Interested in learning more about Fireside Outreach? Check out a demo!