Website trends come and go. But a trend that is constantly in season is the trend of simple web design. Over and over, year by year, we see simple design making the lists of top web design strategies.
Why is that?
Let’s take a look at seven reasons why simple web design deserves your attention.
Streamlines the Design Process
Designing a website isn’t rocket science, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t take time and effort to get it just right. The more features any given site has, the longer it takes to get it up and running, and the more testing and feedback is required.
Simple designs tend to centre on what visitors already expect from a site in terms of navigation, content, and usefulness. With those parameters in place, it’s far easier for a designer to get it right, right out of the gate.
To cut down on the time needed to actually launch a site, simple design offers a handy solution that also provides a lot of other positives, as you’ll find out.
Reduces Maintenance, Updates, And Upkeep
Along with that early ease of design, simple design continues to give website owners and maintainers a clean, easy site. Stripping the site of complicated features removes the need to ensure that those features are always up to date, and reduces the time that you would otherwise need to spend downloading, installing, and testing updates.
This just makes sense — the more complicated something is, the more likely it is that something will go wrong. By sticking to an elegant, deconstructed design technique, it mitigates the chances of the site breaking down.
On top of the technical considerations for a designer, simple websites have actually been shown to be extremely popular with their audiences for aesthetic reasons. That’s another big reason why simplicity keeps showing up on lists of popular design trends.
Simple design allows for elegant, stripped-down sites. Judicious use of negative space creates an open feeling, and allows important visuals, such as galleries, logos, and infographics, to really stand out.
On the other hand, the more complicated a site is, the more likely it is to lose out on appealing to a broad range of visitors.
Boosts Google Search Engine Rankings
This is an important factor for any site, but especially for sites which seek to establish themselves as expert or influential sources, or for business sites centred on marketing. Search engine rankings can be touchy things to deal with, as the rules for how they work alter over time. But one of the more important factors is how quickly the page loads, and a simply designed website loads much faster than a top-heavy site with lots of features, images, or videos.
A quick loading speed means that the visitor is more likely to actually engage with the site, rather than getting frustrated and backing back out. The longer your visitors stay on your site, the better that factor is ranked in Google’s algorithm, and the higher you rank in a search. On the other hand, if your site is too cumbersome to load quickly, you’ll have a higher bounce rate. Google doesn’t like a high bounce rate.
Enhances User Experience
Along with increasing the loading time and appealing visuals, a simple website design actually enhances the overall user experience. As mentioned, they likely expect certain things from your site — your online business logo in the top left corner, visible navigation, contact information at the bottom of the page, and so on. These are hallmarks of simple, straightforward web design, and can reduce the frustration and friction of the user experience.
Even if aspects of your site are different or unusual, sticking to a few simple, expected features actually eases the learning curve for new visitors.
At times, you may need to change aspects of your site. Perhaps you have an eCommerce site and want to focus on an upcoming sale. Perhaps you want to alter the website colour scheme to reflect the season. Maybe there are world events that merit mentioning in a banner at the top of every page.
Whatever the reason for needing this adaptability, simple web design guarantees it. Rather than having to structure your alterations around the ins and outs of a feature-heavy site, simple design is almost like a blank slate for your needs.
Provides More Conversions
This is a big one, because if there’s one thing that every site owner wants, it’s to see a return on their investment. That return is usually in the form of conversion: getting your customer or visitor to do what you want them to do, whether that’s making a purchase, initiating an interaction, or increasing their engagement with the site.
So why is simple design an ally to conversions? Simply because — no pun intended — it cuts down on the distractions that could keep your visitor from converting. In your content, you’ll likely include calls to action, key moments that you want your viewer to pay attention to. With fewer other things going on throughout the site, those CTAs will stand out even more.
No one likes the feeling that a website is “trying too hard.” By choosing to design using simple design principles, you’ll appeal to your visitors, make it easier on yourself, and help your website to do what it’s designed to do: succeed.