A properly designed website must have the perfect balance of visuals, content, and effects. We have always designed with a simple (less-is-more) approach for our clients because it is most effective. However, simple is not easy. It takes hard work and a lot of thought and strategy to cut out the clutter and hone in on what counts. Especially if you are trying to do it yourself and you are just too close*.
There are 2 main reasons someone is visiting your site:
- to get an answer to their question
- to solve their problem.
They don’t look at your homepage like you do. If your website design is preventing this information from being absorbed quickly and easily – or distracting from it entirely, your design is not helping your business, it’s hurting it.
Design trends come and go, and it can be fun and exciting to implement the latest thing. But, please, only stick with what is proven and absolutely needed to draw attention to your content and lead your visitor to take action. “Cool” design is not worth losing conversions.
The reason less “visually complex” websites are considered more beautiful is partly because low-complexity websites don’t require our eyes and brain to work as hard to decode, store, and process information.**
We can get our point further across with fancy words like “prototypical” and “cognitive fluency,”** but we’re just going to break it down simply for ya’ll. Because, that’s what we do best. 🙂
Things that may be distracting your website visitors:
- Moving Parts. Movement can be a great tool to draw someone’s eye to a logical next step or showcase one product or service – when done correctly and strategically. However, if you are utilizing too much movement, your visitor’s brain is not sure exactly where to focus. No need for sliders, parallax backgrounds, wonky scrolling, animated gifs, and elements moving all over the place. If you have to have moving elements, focus on one or two areas that make sense and will lead your visitor to take action – Call Now, Schedule an Appointment, Request a Quote.
- Sliders. The only slider I recommend includes a tiny hamburger on a tiny bun. Yum! Sliders were “the thing” several years ago, but that ship has sailed. When you have less than 3 seconds to grab your visitors’ attention, you need to make sure your main message is front and center, and crystal clear. When you visit a website do you sit there and wait for sliding images and messages to appear, or do you instantly jump to the information you are trying to find? A good designer knows how to showcase what’s most important in an aesthetically pleasing format that visitors can absorb.
- Videos. Limit your homepage to one important video if it is absolutely necessary. Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT have it set to start playing automatically. Your visitor gets to decide that, not you.
- Fonts. Limit your main fonts to two styles. One for your headings and one for your text. An accent font can be a nice addition, when used sparingly. Use fonts that are clear and easy to read. Don’t be distracted by all the fancy font choices! Stick with what goes with your brand. Set your line spacing and justification correctly. And, never, use ALL CAPS for your paragraph text. Also, Google wants to see your main text font size at at 16px minimum. Think about your audience and what they can read well.
- Colors. Limit your colors to two, three at the most if you need an accent color. Again, make sure these go along with your brand. Know your color codes and keep everything consistent!
- White Space. Not enough of it. Most people understand the importance of having your most important info “above the fold.” But that doesn’t mean you try to jam pack everything in that space. Proper use of white space is essential to give your eyes and brain a break.
- Flow. Again, all of your visual and elements are there to support your clarified content. A good designer thinks through the flow of all the pieces and designs the page so the visitor’s eye logically progresses through it and lands on what is most important.
What do you think will deliver more business? A cool, trendy website with lots of bells and whistles? Or, a clean, professional, well-thought-out website that answers questions, solves problems, and makes the user want to come back because it has good valuable content?
You may look at our builds and feel like most of them are pretty much the same. Yep, they pretty much are. Because simple design and clarified content is a format that WORKS. If we’re not helping our clients, we’re not doing our job. Our goal is to help our clients succeed with a strong online presence.
Remember, when it comes to an effective and professional website, it’s not about what you like, it’s about what works and creates the BEST experience for your visitors. Don’t miss out on conversions because everything was too damn busy.
A final word of advice – it’s not just about what your visitors need to see, it’s also about what Google needs to see. Check out our article 5 Musts for Your 2020 Website to learn more.
* (Been there, done that. Still a work in progress. Curse of the solopreneur!)