We all want an effective website that makes the users lives easy right? Easy to understand and easy and obvious for the user to take the next steps to the conversion you want.

In reality, as business owners we never know what that one thing is we want the user to do so we throw in all the services we offer, add jazzy over complex images, multiple fonts “Because they look nice” and then wonder why nothing’s happening on our site.

Simple design works every time. No matter if you’re working on your website, email newsletter or print media, simple design is proven to be more visually appealing and creates a better first impression. As you should know by now, first impressions are everything.

Why is simple design so good?

Help People Identify Your Solution Quickly

I’ve seen too many sites that throw a million deals, special offers and reasons to sign up in my face before I even know what I’m getting into. I don’t want to be told to buy something before I even know what it is I’m supposed to be buying, and neither does anyone else.

It’s important to let people know what you’re selling, and why they should buy it, but believe it or not there is such a thing as too much information!

Trying to throw too much information at people is off-putting and distracting, and some of them will never be able to figure out what you’re trying to sell them.

Why would anyone choose to use your service when they can go to a different site and find what they need in less time than it takes to decipher yours?

A simple site tells you what it does and how it helps you. If you need more information, you should be able to find it easily, and that brings us to our next point.

Get Someone to the Next Step Quicker

Designing a complex site is the best way to bury your calls to action. You user experience needs to be a smooth, flawless process, which means people who land on your page should be able to figure out where they want to go in seconds, and how to get there.

When your website is over designed, plastered with every image you could find, how’s anyone going to find the information they need or figure out how to get to the next step?

Answer: they won’t bother, they’ll go somewhere else.

Hubspot’s site is a great example of letting the user chose the next step

Help Boost Your Conversions

A simple website has one focus: guiding people down the conversion funnel. You don’t need much design to make it happen, just enough to convince people that they want what you’ve got.

The main trouble is that a lot of people aren’t designing with that goal in mind, they’re designing for themselves. Some designers make the website they want to use, without thinking about what the target customers want. Some don’t even think about usability and instead focus on making something they think looks good, rather than something that works well.

It’s important to avoid falling into this trap. There are 3 things to remember when designing a website, whether you’re a designer yourself, or overseeing someone else’s design:

  • You know what your customer doesn’t: You know what you’re selling, or where to find more information, or where each link takes you, but your customer doesn’t. Remember that everyone using your website is a complete stranger to it, and design with that in mind;

I love the simplicity of the HardGraft site – All you see are the products. If you like one you hover over it to see the price.

Apples site is a great example of combining simple web elements with beautiful imagery to create a very enjoyable browsing experience.

  • There’s always somewhere else: There are so many businesses online now that it doesn’t take more than a second for someone to find a competitor. No-one has to stay on your site, so make sure they’re encouraged to by not wasting their time;
  • First impressions count: Most people will judge a site within 1/200th of a second, and if they don’t like it that’s going to count against you. You might be surprised but 1/200th of a second is enough time to judge your site on its appearance and usability. If they’re not up to snuff, chances are the customer will just close the tab and move on.

Simple design doesn’t have to be boring, and it doesn’t even have to be minimalistic. Simple design just means that your site is easy to look at, easy to understand and easy to use. Focus on what your customer wants and needs, and remember to keep it simple.

What we learnt today

Keeping your website simple can have a number of benefits: an easier more fluid familiar journey for your visitors will improve your time on site, number of pageviews and most importantly more subscribers and more customers.

Bonus:  6 Things To Do When Planning A Simpler Site.

  1. Research your audience and the sites they visit the most. Look for case studies on design changes from said sites & how those resulted in improvement is key areas.
  2. Create a mashup of all those “working” components for your own site.
  3. Be consistent, put things where your visitors have grown accustomed to finding them.
  4. Rely on your own colours and fonts to communicate clearly and subtly. Don’t add copy and/or images unless it communicates something your visitor actually cares about.
  5. Keep it as simple as possible – one large image vs a bunch of little ones, one column, instead of three – utilize as much white space as possible.
  6. Double check to make sure your site fits the public expectation in pricing, aesthetics, speed, etc.

Don’t think of your site as some unique piece of art that needs to be different to everyone elses. Sure you may get peoples attention but will you get their details? Thats always the most import purpose of your website.

If this is something you’d like to look into in more detail this is a great post about how simple design can boost your Conversion rates http://conversionxl.com/why-simple-websites-are-scientifically-better/

Thanks for reading

Matt

The simple webby

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  2. If you have had a similar experience where simple design has helped you to boost your conversions we’d love to know more in the comments below.