In an effort to impress their visitors and stand out from the crowd, many website owners go too far. They put on too many images, add too many graphic elements, various ‘click here’ buttons,… making their websites extremely confusing. And in many cases, they are driving their visitors away. Their websites aren’t necessarily looking unappealing, on the contrary, they often look very attractive. But if you look at designs of the biggest players such as Google, Amazon, Ebay and others, you will notice that there isn’t really much to see in terms of visual effects. However, what you do see is more effective than the most elaborate web designs out there, standing as proof that less really is more.
While almost all minimalist website designs are simple, not all simple designs are minimalist. Simplicity means that the website is clean and easy to use yet visually appealing, effective and engaging. There is no unnecessary clutter in the form of elaborate graphic features, large and plentiful images, various extras and options no one is really interested in,… What you see are really the essentials. And straight-to-the-point web users appreciate that. A lot! They don’t want to be led around the entire website but instead, they want to access only to the products/services or content they are interested in. Immediately! And here lies the greatest secret of the success of simple website design.
The key principles of simple website design include:
Easy navigation. As mentioned above, web users want to be able to move around your website with ease and access to products/services or content they are interested in immediately. Easy navigation is therefore the very corner stone of simple website design.
Essential images/graphic elements only. Images or/and graphics can make you website look attractive but they can also make it appear confusing and overwhelming. Also, image- and graphic-rich website tend to load slowly which can be a serious problem considering that web users tend to be highly wait-intolerant.
Relevant, engaging and ‘scannable’ content. That’s right. You need quality but you also need quality organisation. More than two thirds of web users only scan through the content which means that you need to make your articles, blogs, product descriptions and other type of content to be as ‘scannable’ as possible in order to for your website visitors respond and react to your message.