When It Comes To Website Development, Simple Is Better

Whether designing its website in-house, or hiring a professional firm for site design and maintenance; understand one simple and important rule regarding website function, usability, and design:

"Unless a website is simple and easy to use, it WILL lose traffic and customers."

When studying enterprise-level websites such as Amazon, Google, or any other Fortune 500 website; the main theme resonating throughout all successful sites is an overall simple and straight-forward design, navigation, and layout.

Despite the largest sites on the internet having literally hundreds, and often thousands, of pages filled with information; finding specific information is usually easy and straightforward.

Successful websites provide visitors with:

  • A design with consistent and easy to understand navigation.
  • Attention is drawn to the appropriate content, product images, or information; not flashy, distracting buttons, or animated images.
  • Relevant imagery and text reinforcing each page's purpose.

When it comes to design and layout of a website, the following are some basic principles to keep in mind when planning a company's site:

Above all else, a website must be functional & mobile-friendly (responsive).

A website can look appealing; a piece of art with great color and feel. However, if it's not responsive to any screen size, or if visitors can't figure out how to navigate the site; then it'll lose visitors, failing to generate leads and sales.

  • Make the site responsive, regardless of platform.
  • Navigation must be obvious in how to proceed to the desired outcome.

Navigation should be clear & concise, adhere to the '3-click' standard, and easily recognizable without intensive search.

  • Visitors need to be able to find information quickly and intuitively.
  • Navigation should remain stationary and consistent from page to page, and section to section.
  • Categories and major sections of the website should be clearly definable.

As a standard, if any information is buried more than 3-clicks deep, it is considered too difficult to find.

Graphics should be easy on the eyes, clean, crisp, and optimized for quick loading on any browser platform or device.

Content and overall site structure should be well-thought out, with easy to understand directions for proceeding.

Nothing should distract a visitor's focus from the page content area.

  • Page focus should be on the center content (where the information, products, or services relevant to the user, should be displayed).
  • Flashy navigation, animated logos, or any other images irrelevant to the information, product, or service should be eliminated.
  • Replace anything that does not compliment the intended content with simple, purposeful, complimentary images.

Whether beginning a new site, or revamping an old one, keeping things simple makes for a better user experience; and ultimately a successful marketing investment.

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