Why Simplicity is the Key to Great Website Design

By Philip BerardoAug 21, 2020


three marketers at desk with laptop and desktop computer reviewing website design

image credit: REDPIXEL.PL/shutterstock.com

Have you ever visited a company’s website for the first time and immediately felt put off by its design and layout? Maybe too many contrasting colors were jarring to look at or the home page had complex scrolling—shifting from horizontal to vertical with seemingly little purpose. If you made it through this experience with a vow never to return to that website, you likely have an idea of what led to such a poor user experience; the website wasn’t embracing simplicity. Let’s discuss why simplicity is the key to great website design.

Simplistic website design is memorable for the right reasons

Let’s jump back to the start of this post and the hypothetical, poor website experience you may have experienced before. If you were to think back to the company behind the site, do you recall what industry they were in? Do you remember their brand messaging, values, or even some of their products? You may not remember this information because your mind is filled with all of the negative aspects of the site. When a website is designed in a complex fashion—such as excessive links, inconsistent colors and fonts, or confusing navigation—it keeps your focus on the negatives of the site more than anything else it has to offer.

When we think of strong website design, we recall how easy it is to navigate—how engaging it can be to click to different sections and follow a linear journey throughout the site. In this case, let’s use a b2b website example. Asana has a clean, simplistic design that makes each individual section stand out. You get a taste of the types of brands that use Asana, quotes from customers, quick descriptions of what Asana does, and even visual demonstrations. Each section is also separated with plenty of white space to avoid cluttered copy—no messaging gets lost here!

Simplifying your website’s design encourages more user interaction

Compare your website to eating dinner out at a restaurant. When you arrive at the restaurant and take your seat, there are a few different steps the waiters and servers take to ensure you have a pleasant dining experience. Part of this comes from spacing out each part of the meal. Typically, you might have some warm bread and butter for the table, an appetizer, a main dish, and perhaps some coffee and dessert after (who could say no to some sweets!?). Now, imagine how this may turn out if all of that food was ordered and served all at once. The table would be filled with an overwhelming amount of food, and you may even end up digging into a piece of chocolate cake before even touching your seafood salad appetizer!

The key takeaway for websites here is presenting information in a linear, easily digestible manner that keeps users from feeling overwhelmed. A user isn’t going to reach your home page and immediately make all their decisions about what they want from your company or even determine who your company is. You want them to explore your website, interact with calls-to-action, and click different links to learn more about your company’s services and solutions. Simplicity in your website design keeps information and relevant content separated into logical locations, allowing users to follow a path of links that feels natural to navigate. 

Your website’s performance can improve with a more simplistic design

As previously mentioned, a poor company website design will no doubt cause a user to end their browsing session early. It becomes critical to provide the most necessary information upfront, without trying to cram too much on a single page. In addition to great user experience, a simplistic design can also work wonders for your website’s performance.

When you enter a new webpage, there is naturally quite a bit that the page needs to load—fonts, colors, style sheets, images, etc. It’s a basic principle: the more you have on a webpage—especially images that aren’t properly optimized—the slower it will load. While you can improve load times with tactics such as shortening CSS, JavaScript, and HTML or removing non-essential plug-ins, it helps to build out your webpages with some restrictions in mind.

At thinkdm2, we are all about simplicity in our website! It’s a critical part of our brand and our philosophy behind what makes great design. To learn about how your company can adopt simplicity in its website design and layout, contact thinkdm2 today at 201-840-8910. Thinkdm2 is a digital marketing and branding agency that specializes in website development and design services for technology companies. Industries we specialize in include professional services, IoT, and SaaS. 

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