Five Benefits of a Simplified Website Design
When it comes to designing your website, less is more. Just as if you were designing the interior of a house, including fewer features on your website does not have to mean it must have an unappealing look. On the contrary, getting rid of the clutter more often than not results in a cleaner, more professional look. Additionally, a site that is less visually complex improves its functionality and usability, two incredibly important factors in a website’s performance. Thoughtfully simplifying your website is easier to do than you may think and can provide significant benefits that help your users and online presence.
1. Simplicity Helps Your Website “Breathe”
Allowing a website to breathe means letting the content be the center of focus. A page loaded with flashy elements and brightly colored icons can distract a user from what they are trying to accomplish, which is learning about you and your business. The best way to get rid of these excess features is through the use of white space. Maximizing your website’s use of white space does not mean only having a white background with black text. Rather, it means simplifying the clutter so that the user can focus on engaging with your content.
2. Simple Designs are Easier to Navigate
On a website with a complex design, it is easy for someone to fall down the rabbit hole and get lost before ever finding what they are looking for. This hurts both the functionality and usability of your website. Instead, your website’s navigation should be intuitive. A simple design promotes this by limiting the number of pathways a user must take to reach their desired page.
To achieve simple navigation, be sure to only use one main navigation menu, and keep it consistent throughout the entire site. The navigation menu should generally appear across the top of the page and have no more than six parent links, including the home page. It is also recommended to minimize the number of dropdown menus as well. This encourages a more seamless integration of navigation elements into the site’s design. The main benefit of having a website with a simple navigation design is that it promotes cognitive fluency, meaning people will instinctively know where things are and what actions to take.
3. Simple Websites are Easier to Manage on the Backend
On the front-end, simple sites look cleaner and are more focused on the content. Additionally, there are many benefits of a simplified website on the backend as well. Simplicity can make building and maintaining a website easier. For a website in its beginning stages, this means a faster build time and easier debugging later. Smaller files combined with simple code can also lead to faster loading and response times. Faster load times greatly improve usability and can even increase your site’s ranking on the search engine results page.
4. Simple Designs are More Mobile-Friendly
According to a report from Hitwise, almost 60% of online searches are carried out through a mobile device. This means having your website compatible for mobile is just as important, if not more important, than how your site looks on a computer. This is where the use of white space also plays an important role; a simple page that is not filled with too many graphics or other flashy features will translate much better onto a phone screen. Mobile-friendliness is also an important factor in Google rankings as well. With fewer elements, simple website designs are naturally more flexible.
5. Simplicity May Increase Conversion Rate
The end goal of any website is to convert a user into a lead. Simple website designs benefit conversion rates compared to more complex sites because of their ability to focus the user’s attention where the site wants it to be. In most instances, that focus is the call to action (CTA). Through combining the use of white space and more intuitive menu options, it limits distractions from the CTA. You can even go one step further and use the design elements of the site to guide the user’s eye directly to the CTA. By limiting the amount of choices a user can make on your website and focusing on the CTA, you can greatly increase your chances of a higher conversion rate.
Simple website designs do not have to mean boring and lackluster. If every element of the site is chosen with intent and each page has a specific goal it is trying to accomplish, then the website can excel in functionality and usability while maintaining its visual appeal. Sometimes, less really can be more.