Although it's easy to feel like you need to pack as many elements into your website design as possible, the truth is that the simpler you can keep things, the more effective your website is going to be. And while many people assume that simplifying a design is the easiest thing possible, it can actually present some unique challenges.
Since you want simplicity to improve your site's functionality and not take away from it, here are five ways to make simplicity work for you:
Write Naturally: If you're going out of your way to write with lots of keywords or in an overly formal tone, you can take a big burden off your own shoulders by writing naturally. While you may initially feel guilty when you discover how much easier this makes writing, you'll actually find that visitors respond more to casual, conversational writing.
Don't Reinvent the Wheel: Have you ever visited a band's website, only to discover that you have no idea what you're looking at? The problem with so many website's in that category is they try too hard to be creative. It's important to remember that when it comes to web design, you can be unique without throwing your visitors for a loop.
Use Fewer Colors: Because no one wants to have a boring website, many business owners make the mistake of adding too many different colors to their site. While this may not seem like that big of a deal, it can actually be very confusing to visitors. The best way to remedy this problem is to stick with a consistent color palette. If you have no idea how to put together a color palette, a free tool like Adobe Kuler is a great place to start.
Remember the Pareto Principle: If that name doesn't ring a bell, you've probably heard this principle referred to as the 80/20 rule. What this means for your site is that 20% of the elements will drive 80% of the actions that visitors take. Since converting visitors into leads or customers should be the ultimate goal of any business website, getting rid of elements that distract from your core 20% can boost your site's effectiveness.
Simplify Forms: While we've brought up this point before, not only is it still a widespread problem, but since this action's benefit can be quite significant, it's definitely worth addressing again. If you have a contact form on your site, you need to look at each of its fields and decide if they're absolutely necessary. Although you may initially think that you need between 6 and 10 fields, you may discover that you can actually reduce that number down to less than 4 and still get all the information that you truly need.
About The Author
Brian Waraksa, founder of Raxa Design in Houston, Texas has been in marketing and small business branding since 2002. He writes the Raxa Design blog on issues affecting small business marketing and corporate brands.
Posted on Fri, August 17, 2012
by Brian Waraksa filed under