“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs
In the realm of website design, is there anything truer than that statement?
The first job of any designer should be to provide a quality user experience. However, web designers are pressured to sacrifice that experience on a regular basis in order to deliver more content or add that cool new plugin to a site.
Is more always better? Is it necessary to always have the latest, greatest widget on your site?
The answers can be complicated, especially when considering things like SEO and industry competition. In terms of visual appeal and user experience, the answer is often “No”, and since that is the entire point of this article, let’s roll with it.
Without further ado, here are 5 of the best ways to simplify your website design.
- Pick fonts that are easy to read and grab attention in a headline.
Gone are the days of making everything Times New Roman; clean lines and crisp text are much better choices. Remember, TrueType fonts render well in most environments.
- Your logo shouldn’t be overly complex.
Something that looks just as good in black and white as it does in color can be stunning in any medium (even when someone prints it without color).
- Create a clear, concise site map to make navigating your website as easy as possible.
If you already have a website, can you combine or remove pages without it negatively effecting SEO? Most users don’t want to have to click through a large number of pages to find the information they are looking for, so keep everything as easily accessible as possible.
- Remove visual elements that serve no purpose.
Unnecessary clutter on a page can detract from the message and interrupt the natural flow of content. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with adding a little visual flare, but if you feel like you need something, place it purposefully and use it to accentuate what is already on the page.
- Incorporate negative space to give objects definition.
How a person feels about the way something looks is generally made in under a second, and being able to discern the distinct elements on a page (and how they may interact) plays a large role in that decision. Adding some white space around all the objects on a page makes it more scannable and can make your reader feel more at ease.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, incorporating these concepts into your next web design project could be exactly what you need to create a unique, enjoyable experience that will keep users coming back for more.