What is simplicity? From Oxford’s dictionary, it is the quality or condition of being plain or uncomplicated in form or design.

What is a simple website?

In the context of website development, a simple website is one which communicates as much as possible with as few elements as possible.

The digital marketing expert Neil Patel says:

Far too often I see websites try to jam too much information into a very small space. The navigation is confusing, and it’s overwhelming for anyone viewing the site. If this is starting to sound like the layout of your website, it could be the reason why your conversion rates are unsatisfactory. Even if you don’t think your design is too cluttered, there’s always room for improvement.

It is easy to create a confusing website. It follows a similar pattern without any prior planning such as, “Add some text here”, “add an image below that section”, “I think popups are included in every website that I visit these days, my website definitely needs one” and so on. It takes a lot of thinking and planning to create a simple website that communicates effectively to your end user without the clutter.

Simplifying your website design can make the difference between success or failure when it comes to your business’s website!

Advantages of simple website design

Here are seven reasons simple website design is the best website design:

1. Simple websites generate more sales

Here is an analogy that will help drive the point home. Suppose you are in a supermarket and you want to buy a product. When was it easier to purchase the product? When there were less options to choose from or when there were more options to choose from? Add to that the different costs, flavors and colors. As you already know, it was easier to purchase the product when there were lesser options to choose from. This is known as overchoice or choice overload.

Complicated sites try to promote sales by pulling out all the bells and whistles, but trying too hard can actually have the opposite impact due to the choice overload. Most of the times the end user will just leave the site, leading to less conversions/sales. Many ecommerce store owners report massive increases in sales after simplifying their websites.

If you want more sales, remove any unrequired details or functionalities that may distract users from main conversion points (add to cart buttons, pricing pages etc). Do you really need that popup or that image? Also, learn to effectively utilize white space (which is all the blank space on your website that appears in margins as well as in between words, letters, images, and headlines) to make a visually appealing website that is both professional and easy to navigate. Simple website design puts the focus of your site on the conversion points without leaving much room for users to stray away, thus driving sales.

2. Simple website design is timeless

Web design trends change quite fast. Remember the time when sliders were all over the place? A common phrase we often heard from prospective customers who wanted a website was, “Will my website have a slider?” or “Is a slider part of the web design cost package?”. Today the trending thing is to use animations.

Using a simple design means you won’t have to update your site as often as it won’t soon become outdated. Some business owners are able to go years without making changes to their websites because they chose a simple website design. Other business owners, however, have to update their websites constantly to keep up with evolving trends. Just to let you know, we recently received requests from some of our customers to remove the sliders from their sites and replace them with a single image.

3. Simpler designs appeal to users’ expectations

People have certain expectations for the layout of specific types of websites e.g. online shops. Do you know that most ecommerce sites have similar layouts? Take a minute to checkout Jumia or Kilimall or Masoko or Avechi. That is because they are following an expected layout pattern that their prospective customers are familiar with in order to increase conversions. If your website visitors already know exactly where to click to get to where they want on your site, even if they’ve never visited your site before, they are more likely to convert into customers.

Users typically expect to see a few items on specific areas of a site including a clickable logo in the top left corner that will bring them back to the homepage, a menu or navigation bar along the top of each page, and contact information at the bottom of the page.

Other popular conventions you may want to consider utilizing on your site include shopping cart icons for users to view their cart if you run an ecommerce store and a search bar near the top of the page.

eCommerce Navigation Style

Ever visited a website looking for contact information in sections you expected only not to find it there? I bet you were frustrated. Websites that go too far from expected layouts risk confusing their visitors hence less sales. When your website is both familiar and easy to navigate, it minimizes the learning curve and speeds up the process of a visitor becoming a customer.

4. Simple websites load quicker

Due to the many features in a complicated website, they tend to cause the website to load slowly. A study by Google shows that more than 53% of users tend to abandon websites that take longer than three seconds to load. Fast load times are absolutely imperative, not only for a great user experience, but also for good SEO rankings.

Do you know that Google uses site speed as a part of their search engine optimization ranking algorithm. The faster your website is able to load, the higher it will rank as a result when people search affiliated keywords. Simple and well-organized website structure can do wonders to boost your website’s Google search engine ranking.

5. Simple website design looks professional and trustworthy

Clean, simple website design makes your business look professional, builds trust and makes users more likely to visit your site at a later date. A 2017 poll found that 48% of people determine the credibility of a business based on its website design.

So how do you achieve this on your own website? The solution is implementing white space. Effective use of white space helps users focus on one piece of your website at a time, streamlining the conversion process.

Minimal Whitespace
Excellent Whitespace

Between the above two sites, which one do find more aesthetically appealing and looks more professional? That is the power of whitespace.

6. Simple website design is easy to adapt

The more complex your website is, the more opportunities there are for things to go wrong. Also, making updates to a highly detailed site can be a nightmare. Keeping the code of your website clean and simple can save you or your web developer countless hours in the future when maintenance to your website becomes necessary.

Eventually, there will come a time when you will need to make updates to your website. Whether you need to fix a bug or add new information, the simpler your website design is, the easier it will be to make those updates. Simple website design isn’t just important for user friendly navigation and conversion centered layout, it is also necessary for easy routine maintenance!

Website Bug

7. Simple website design is proven to be effective

There’s a reason most major brands have simplified their logos in the past few years. Simple designs are better designs! Take a look at the images below to see how some of the world’s most popular brands have simplified their logos over the years:

You can adapt these same design simplification ideas to your company’s website! Notice how Google switched from a serif font to a sans serif font? This is because sans serif fonts tend to be easier for most people to read since they are more simple. Dropbox and Spotify both opted to remove text from their logos since the images speak for themselves. When possible, convey information on your website through images or infographics instead of large blocks of text. As long as the images aren’t too complicated, this can be a great way to streamline a web page and encourage more people to actually look at the information you are providing.

Two Examples of Bad Website Design

Before we list some examples, here are the principles of a good and simple website:

  • An easy to understand navigation
  • Proper use of animation
  • Good color scheme
  • Clean layout
  • A visually appealing interface
  • Choosing a design that is appropriate to the topic or theme
  • Keeping design elements and content organized

1. Typesetdesign – The design lacks contrast

A clear and powerful contrast between the elements can help users to know what is the core info of the page. It helps the user to better read and understand the info. On this site, the background color and text color are pretty much similar, leaving a very weak contrast.

No Contrast

A site with good contrast:

Good Contrast

2. Unpleasant Colour Scheme

This web design is like a mixed color palette, which contains plenty conflicting colors and text colors, and also mixed with the background color. All those make it difficult for users to read at all. Also, the navigation is quite complicated.

Poor Colour Scheme

A good web design should use color properly to create a beautiful and concise interface and atmosphere. It should ease user’s eye and make the user operate with no effort, like this one:

Pleasant Colour Scheme

Takeaways

No matter what industry you’re in, simple website design is always going to be the most effective website design strategy for you. You can boost conversions, improve user experience and even improve SEO all by simplifying the design of your website.

Do you need a simple and appealing website for your business? Check out our website templates and pricing.

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