iNoobs: Consumers prefer simple web designs

Categories iNoobs

This is the latest episode of iNoobs, a writeup series aimed at web professionals who are just starting up.

Web designs with spinning or flashing graphic used to be considered cool a while ago. Now, consumers find that they don’t add to a site at all. It’s a distraction. A site needs to load fast and the content should be easy to locate. Consumers don’t want to spend time searching for a topic. Keep the content fresh and relevant.

The truth is consumers don’t look at a design much. Professionals that are into graphic and web design pay attention to it more than consumers. Consumers just want to navigate quickly and do what they came to do. Here’s a list of great minimal designs.

Use minimal colors

A web design company will generally offer up a few color suggestions. These are often trending colors or those that are popular in your niche. You don’t want to be a copycat, so use variations of colors. Earth tones are ideal for most niches.

Colors to Avoid:

  • Bright Green

  • Bright Yellow

  • Anything Neon

  • Pastel Colors

  • Grayscale (except for the tech and photo industries)

  • Too much white

Try going a shade darker in the color palette when selecting colors as it is often easier to look at. Consumers need web pages that don’t make them squint to read the text. Bright colors are quite off-putting and should be used sparingly if at all.

Keep the clutter down (and sliders too)

Advertisements for other companies and affiliates add clutter to a website. Consider leaving these out. An affiliate or sponsor page is sufficient.

Additional graphics, sliders, banners and widgets take up needed bandwidth that can be used to boost load speed. Anything that is active on the website takes away from its processing speed. Only use content and graphics or video material that is actually relevant and a must-have, not a nice-to-have.

Use simple navigation

Complicated navigation bars or menus are one of the easiest ways to lose traffic. Combine categories to save space. Too many options confuses consumers.

Make the options apparent and direct. Leading consumers from section to section with varied navigation is a big waste of time. Use proper coding to send consumers directly to the navigation option chosen.

Offer a search option rather than an archive list

An archived list along the side of a website is not only atrocious, it sets in immediate confusion. New users are going to have no idea what was on the site previously. They are also not going to have a clue why there is an archive. A search box on the home page (and on every page for that matter) is ideal. Users can type in keywords and be taken directly to relevant results on your website.

Have a mobile-friendly version

Consumers are on the go more and more every day. This means that more are using mobile devices to access the Internet. A large portion of websites have not converted their pages to mobile-friendly versions.

Some networks work on a slower processing speed. This causes mobile users to require more time to load a website or use an online shopping cart. Making the conversion keeps those users coming back to your brand.

The key to a successful online reputation and increased revenues is a simple and easy to use website. In this case, less is more. Stay on topic and don’t stray from your brand much.

Partnering with another business from time-to-time is acceptable as long as your branding remains in the forefront. Readers prefer simple websites, many studies have proven this. A complicated website full of menus and heavy graphics usually equals a huge bounce rate.

Read more on the pros and cons of minimalistic web design.

header image courtesy of A Baker

Catalin is the founder of Mostash – a social marketing boutique – and he’s always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.