Simplicity in Web Design
Posted 13 November 2013
We often talk about things that you should include in your web design. Whether it’s responsive website design functionality, techniques to speed up your site or quality content, there are lots of components that you really can’t do without.
However, equally important are the many things that you should remove from your web design.
In an effort to improve their website design, many businesses inadvertently clutter and ultimately weaken their website. Whilst it’s important to continually develop your website, a crucial goal is to pursue simplicity in your web design.
There are various ways in which a website can become cluttered. This will cause varying degrees of negative impact on the user experience delivered to site visitors, which will ultimately harm your business.
An obvious example would be adding more and more pages to your website. Whilst this is usually done with the best of intentions, it normally ends up causing confusion, often because it changes the way that users navigate through your website… Your web designer would have carefully planned this process, and simply adding more content can often detract from the quality of experience that your website design delivers.
A slightly less clear example would be trying to integrate more features into your website. These can include social media, your latest articles, video, links, forms and e-commerce functionality. If you’re not careful, pages can become so full that users are bombarded with information and you fail to present would-be customers with a clear vision of what you’re offering. Simplicity in web design helps to safeguard against this.
This philosophy should have a lasting impact on your web design, particularly when it comes to maintenance. Whilst there will be occasions when you need to add functionality to your website design, it’s also important to increase simplicity, not make it more complicated.
Here are three helpful questions to think about when you’re looking to simplify your web design:
1. Is it Essential?
It has to be said that one of the most important aspects of simplifying your website is also one of the hardest. You need to ask “is this essential?” Whilst it can feel like you’re cutting out important, valuable content, the end result justifies the means. If a part of your website isn’t helping users take a step closer to your strategic objectives then you need to remove it.
If in doubt, cut it out.
2. Is it in the right location?
This question helps you to overcome various potential obstacles. It might be that content is good, but in the wrong place. It might be that your navigation is unclear and users aren’t finding what they should be. It should also help you strip down your homepage and allocate larger bodies of text and content to other parts of the website.
3. Where Next?
Finally, it’s always important to consider which page you would like the user to visit next. If this isn’t clear, then it’s more than likely that they’ll simply leave, which is the last thing that you want. Get this process right and you’ll significantly improve the time that visitors spend on your website, not to mention the percentage coming back for more.
Is your website cluttered? Why not spend a few minutes thinking about ways in which you can bring simplicity to your web design…