Overthinking Design Could Mean Underperforming Online
We were recently caught in a client meeting where the direction of a new website design was the main topic of discussion. We simply mentioned:
“Think of it like writing a children’s book: simple text, lots of effective imagery, clear messaging.”
When it comes to condensing the basic principles of modern web design into a simple but significant sentence, we typically bring this analogy up!
Intrigued? Let’s talk about it…
Web Design 101: Don’t Make Me Think
A cousin to the oft-quoted, “Keep It Simple, Stupid”, “Don’t Make Me Think” comes from the title of a book written by web usability consultant Steve Krug, and is a key rule when it comes to every element of web design and development.
The less your users have to stop and wonder the following, the better:
- Am I on the right site? Does this actually have the products/services/content I’m looking for?
- Is that link going to take me to the page I want/need to take my next desired action?
- Is this phone number/email address/contact form really going to put me in touch with the right person?
Landing on, navigating through, and converting via your website should be as seamless a process as possible. With these rules in mind, let’s look at the parallel approaches to writing a book for kids and designing a website for a decision-making, adult audience.
Uncomplicated Web Design: Simple Text
Well-formatted, simple, straightforward copy is your best bet for keeping users engaged and preventing their eyes from glazing over – and glancing towards the back button.
Lots of Effective Imagery
Can you imagine how boring the web would be if it was 100% text? Images add an exciting, dynamic appeal that helps break up content and makes navigating a website a heck of a lot less dull. Moreover, it also has the potential to drive conversions through visually-satisfying elements that show off your unique selling points.
Clear Messaging, Easy Purchasing
Lastly, simple text and effective imagery are an excellent start. Elements like big, coloured, and clearly-labeled buttons are also ideal for pointing users in the right direction with zero confusion. This also helps clarify your analytics on the back-end when you have simple, clear buttons and actions you want the user to navigate.
Users might not thank you directly, but you’ll reap rewards like higher levels of qualified traffic and a more engaged audience. Furthermore, you’ll also have increased leads, sales and other key conversions.
So dig out that old copy of Goodnight, Moon and thumb through it. You might find it’s the perfect source of inspiration for that website redesign you’ve been kicking around in your head.