When it comes to building websites, it doesn’t have to be complicated
Avril Lavigne, punk-pop queen of Canada, once asked, “Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?” Little did we know she wasn’t talking about angsty teen love… but rather she was offering a scathing commentary on overly fussy web design.
Well, Avril, things have changed. And we’re here to prove that designing effective, eye-catching websites doesn’t have to be complicated at all.
For one thing, the appeal of simpler websites to users has been quantified! A 2012 study by Google looking at web design discovered that visitors determine a website to be “beautiful” or “ugly” within 1/50th to 1/20th of a second. Now, that’s what you call a snap judgement…
What’s more—“visually complex” websites tended to be consistently rated as less beautiful than simpler, more minimalistic sites.
Aesthetics aside, here are a few more reasons why simpler can be better when it comes to website design:
- You provide a better user experience
Anybody visiting your website should be able to find exactly what they want easily. If your design is too complicated or cluttered, it can leave visitors confused as to where they need to go next. Most folks don’t have the patience for a tedious online scavenger hunt.Oh, and simple websites will tend to load faster, too. Especially when you don’t need to render large, complex graphics or animations.
- Simplicity leads to more conversions
It’s true! In addition to your site looking better, it’ll be far more effective at funneling visitors towards a clear call-to-action and convincing them to convert.
- Your simpler site will perform better on mobile devices
Let’s face it—most people are likely going to visit your site from their mobile device. And simpler website layouts often lend themselves far better to smaller screens. Again, if things are too crowded, it can be difficult for mobile users to click buttons and navigate to where they want.
- Simple can mean easier to build and maintain
When building your own website, you can go one of two ways: tackle it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. But if you do decide to build on your own, going with a simpler, stripped-down layout can save you a lot of time and frustration—especially if you’re a newbie to web design.
Simple website designs to inspire
Cows, a proudly Canadian ice cream institution, serves up nothing but sweet treats and good times on their site. You’re greeted with bright, vibrant images that invite you to browse their flavours, merchandise (Cows beach towels, anyone?), highly addictive Cows chips—and more. There’s no confusing menu system, and no over-stuffed pages of content to be had. Rather, they let their well-chosen imagery—and a rotating selection of social posts—set the mood.