The Importance of Simplicity in Design
When it comes to user-friendliness making everything as simple as possible is typically the best route to go down. This is the case both in the development and the design of your website. However, design is significantly more important if you want your users to be able to navigate and find everything on your website in an easy manner. You don’t want your users eyes to get lost among a throw-up of text and images on a page, so let’s “keep it simple, stupid”.
In one of my past articles, “The Internet Battleground: What Makes A Website Successful?,” I noted that one of the major things that makes a website successful is it’s ability to provide users an environment that makes users feel at home. This is best done by keeping your website’s design simple. Today’s modern websites look nothing like the websites built back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Old websites would typically use tables, large walls of text, terrible colors and other messy methods to provide their users with information. Today’s designers and developers now have a wider scope of tools and abilities that allow them to provide a much more user-friendly experience for the average user. We’ve also come a long way since the very first websites in our understanding of what users respond to positively and negatively. The consensus from multiple studies suggest that the more simplistic a website is without losing quality in the content, the better that website will do across the board. This means that your website will perform better in search engine rankings and provide better conversion rates. To verify this fact look at the evolution of popular websites since the late 90’s. Yahoo for example, use to be a complete mess and it would be terribly hard to sift through all of the links to find the information you’re looking for. A massive amount of links is not visually appealing, nor is it engaging. Now Yahoo has simplified and enhanced it’s design by using organization methods and content to provide a better experience on their home page.
Yahoo’s Design in 2000
Yahoo’s Current Design
Less content does equate to a more simplistic website. However the more content you have on your website, the better chance your website has ranking well in the search engines. So how exactly do you pull off such a design like Yahoo? Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes. You can always start from a good base and begin to analyze traffic statistics and behavior flows to see what is working well and what is not. If one section of your website is too messy and disorganized users will avoid that area of the website, which will amount to a low conversion rate. However, if you are successful in your simplistic design you may notice a bump or increase in your conversion rates.
Stating that your website’s design should be simple in today’s computer application driven age is common sense. If you have surfed the internet or used multiple applications on your computer you know the more simple something is the more apt you are to use it. What separates a good designer from a bad designer though is understanding why you viewed something appealing and easy to use. If you can understand what makes a design more user-friendly then you can implement those abilities and features into your own designs.