If you’re in the process of creating a new web design, you’re probably aware of the one thing there’s never a shortage of – ideas of what should go on the website. And right there is one of the biggest problems with web design: keeping things simple. Content is the centerpiece of good design. But too much of it leads to clutter.
Many websites are like that guy Gary who turns up at the high school reunion, and immediately starts explaining that he sells life insurance. And then he makes a sales pitch. Do you:
- Hang around and listen?
- Change the subject and pretend you invented the Post It (like Romy and Michele, of course) or…
- Run as fast as you can away from Gary.
Gary may think he’s being personable, but it comes across pushy. And it can turn people away.
We all have an urge to sell ourselves. And if we’re honest, we do it more often than we should. We don’t want to miss an opportunity and we’re afraid that our users will not quite get it. So we add more and more to our websites with much of it being drivel.
And while we are doing that we’re not concentrating on what is really important – making the website easy to use and making it beautiful.
So here is a tip: If you’re designing a website (or you’re a business who is getting a website designed for you) put a post it on your desk with one simple word: Simplicity! When you see it each day, take a step back and consider – is this going to result in a simple website design? If the answer is no, then go back to the design board.
What Simple Web Design Means
Simple web design means no clutter, clear navigation, crisp fonts and simple logos. To get an understanding of this you only need to think of websites that you probably use every day. Some of the most popular websites in the world are Google, Amazon, Facebook and Wikipedia. Securing a simple design is one thing they all have in common.
Simple design may look simple on the surface, but it’s not easy to execute. The late Steve Jobs once said: “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” He went on to say that the process is worth it because once you achieve simplicity you can “move mountains.”
Steve Jobs executed a vision of simplicity, and the results he achieved are now some of the most successful technological products in the world. His footsteps are good ones to follow so adding simplicity to your website should be your ultimate goal.
Working Hard For Simplicity
While your UX Designer won’t be the next Steve Jobs, here are some ways you can achieve a simple web design:
- Choose a Truetype Font that’s simple. It’ll look crisp and clean on any screen
- Keep the logo simple – it will be more memorable and versatile, and it will not age as quickly.
- Keep everything user friendly – if the navigation is complex, change it.
- Keep page sizes small so they load quicker.
- Remove unnecessary decorative elements – they are so 2008!
You don’t need to be like Facebook or Google and spend hundreds of hours agonizing and debating over the weight and length of a box or line. Just keep your focus on that simplistic post-it. The result will be a website that combines pizzazz with a friendly interface, and beauty with efficiency. The only thing simpler than that, is quite possibly that post it.