The One Thing to Take Away ( TOTTTA )

What the heck is Tottta? I coined the term, it's an acronym for The One Thing to Take Away.

Today's world is more chaotic than ever in human history. We are all juggling many things at once.

People are bombarded by thousands of messages per day. Multiple things are trying to grab our limited attention spans.

Our design has to get through all that noise.

It's easy to add multiple messages. However, multiples messages from our design, mostly get lost in all the other noise.

When we try to add everything, we add nothing, as it just doesn't get through.

You want one strong message, not five weak messages.

It's a numbers game, for everything we add we take away emphasis from every other element.

Good examples of Tottta:

We Love Daily - Pushing the "Share Your Work" message throughout the whole home page Full site here
We Love Daily - Message through to footer Full site here
Theme of ruggedness throughout the design Full site here
Strong footer as well Full site here

Most sites don't do this so well. By trying to do and get across EVERYTHING, you get across NOTHING.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Tottta can also be used for other purposes. In a multi send automated email, you want to speak to one person with one message, with one call to action. Adding more than 1 message is likely to be a much more ineffective way of communicating and getting results from that email.

“a confused mind never buys”

The last thing you want to do is confuse people on your website. If you do, your conversion rate will suffer.

On your website, you want to convey a sense of confidence and clarity. By confusing, you lose, as they say.

Home pages

On a homepage, it's hard in some situations to summarise all your marketing down to one message. What I would say there is that you may not be able to get it done to one message, but reduce and simplify to as few as you can. 2 strong messages are better than 3 and 3 better than 4.

The Tottta for Tottta is people are distracted and by giving them one strong message you are likely to cut through all the noise.

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