5 Tips to Simplify Your Website Design

  • April 24, 2015

It’s no secret that simplifying your website design can have a really positive impact on your visitor experience, but it can often be difficult to decide exactly what needs to be done in order to achieve simplicity.

We have put together 5 important tips to help you achieve a modern, usable website that gets the right message across about your business.

1. Focus on what’s important

Just as with life in general, cutting out the non essential elements of a website will lead to better results. A lot of websites end up as cluttered messes, with various important and unimportant elements littering the page.

It may be hard to prioritise what’s important because it all seems important, but you must identify what the most important thing to your reader is and make it the focus of the site.

It is said that 20% of what’s on a page gives 80% of the value that people get from a website. Whether that’s the text, contact forms, social proof or call-to-action elements.

On each page, make sure you focus on displaying only the 20% of the site elements that are delivering 80% of that usefulness. Using this rule continuously will help you work out what you should be trimming in order to keep your site more focused.

This rule can also help you to drive visitors to your call to action. For example, if you would like your visitors to subscribe to your mailing list, make sure is nothing to distract them from doing so or ways of navigating away. Visitors are always looking for an excuse not to convert, so ensure you don’t give them extra reasons to navigate away.

2. Get rid of clutter

After identifying the effective 20%, it’s time to get rid of all the unnecessary elements.

Whether you have call to action buttons, content that doesn’t add value or too many links navigating away from the site, remove them.

3. Make sure content is above the fold

The fold (the area shown on the screen when you first navigate to a site without scrolling) is the area of a site that people spend the majority of their time. So what is contained in this area is very important.  Your headline content, sign-up form and call to action should all be within this area.

You can increase the space available above the fold by adjusting the design of your site, such as reducing menu sizes and borders.

4. Decrease the number of pages on your site

If you get in to the mindset of the visitor, you will have a far better idea of what you need to trim down.

You need to think about the key things a visitor wants to achieve and gear your site to that. This includes removing unnecessary pages so the visitor has fewer places to explore when searching for information.

Simplifying your website is essential, so don’t keep unnecessary pages just because you think you should have them. Fewer pages not only makes it easier for the visitor to focus on your content, it also makes the navigation menu appear more simple.

5. Choosing the right colours

It is important to limit your colour scheme to simplify your design.  Designs incorporating a large number of colours can create confusion and a loss of focus.

Try to stick to a few key colours.  If you remember the visual nightmares that were Geocities pages or old myspace designs, you’ll know why. The more colours the more distracting it can be and the more it can put the visitor off.

In summary

Simple tasks like putting the focus only on the essential elements of your website, reducing the number of pages, getting more content above the fold and limiting the number of colours you use can have a really positive impact on visitor experience.

Using the 5 tips above, take a look at your website and ask yourself what you can do to simplify your current design.

Gareth Jones
Technical Guy at SiteZulu