Leonardo da Vinci said it best, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” It was true when he painted the Mona Lisa, and it’s true in our artwork today—whether we’re talking about a Dale Chihuly sculpture or a well-built website.
That said, for many up-and-coming artists and web developers, this ideology can be hard to follow. In their minds, more is often better. However, when we look at the sites that achieve the most success, it’s generally the simple sites that outrank the rest.
Whether you’re an established firm or a startup, creating a clean website should be one of your main goals. Below, you’ll learn about simple sites and how they convert visitors more powerfully, which, ultimately, leads to business success.
Humans Love Wide Open Spaces
Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about an open field or simple country mountainside? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, many humans believe that simple spaces are the most beautiful.
When it comes to website design, this principle holds true, too. In a recent study by Google, researchers found that “visually complex websites are consistently rated as less beautiful than their simple counterparts.”
What Does This Look Like?
The World Wide Web is an immense place. It’s filled with overcrowded websites and advertising noise—so much so that it’s easy to lose sight of what a simple website even looks like.
Although there’s no golden ratio for creating a simple site, many high-achieving sites have some things in common. For example, let’s look at ZipStart. Upon launching their page, the reader is greeted with a simple hero shot and an easy-to-understand headline.
Within mere seconds, the viewer has a grasp on what the company offers and how they can engage with the company.
Try It for Yourself
Whether you’re a company designing a website or you work for a company that already has a website, consider what a simple site can do for you. Overall, you want your site to be nonabrasive to the eye, simple to grasp and easy to elaborate on.
Here’s an example: A startup bakery needs a website. Luckily, the majority of people are already familiar with bakeries, so the site’s content will be innately familiar to them. Now, the next step is to make it accessible.
Here, we don’t want to complicate things. Sure, the designer could include an image or graphic of a technical part of the baking process—working with yeast, etc.—but why wouldn’t they show something everyone is familiar with? For example, fresh bread coming out of an oven. This way, the bakery’s website is familiar to the viewer and it’s easy to get—almost everyone has seen bread come out of an oven.
Next comes the magical part: if the website sticks with the theme of fresh bread, it’s easy for the viewer to mentally build off of the content. They might see the fresh bread and imagine how it’s warm and soft, or they might think about how their sweet grandmother used to bake the best bread. Whatever their thoughts are, the site has enabled them to create an immediate positive association with your company—and it doesn’t get better than that.
Different Companies, Similar Approaches
In our current business landscape, differentiation is often key. Businesses are told over and over again that they must differentiate their product or service from their competitors’ offerings to find success.
Although there’s no denying the importance of unique positioning, this isn’t the be-all or end-all for all matters of business. When it comes to explaining your unique offering to customers, keep it simple, from social media content to website design.
The thing is, you could devote all of your time to creating a unique website and still come up short. Rather than wasting your time, concentrate your efforts to clearly make a different product or service. Then, explain your business and its benefits on a simple, easy to understand website.
By implementing a simple website design, you’ll be able to create a beautiful digital platform for your brand—one that’ll draw in viewers and convert them into customers.
This way, you’ll free up more time to actually work with your site’s visitors, turning them into repeat customers—improving your bottom line more than ever before.
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Lucas Miller is a freelance blogger, content marketer and advocate for what he likes to call, “Editorial Entrepreneurship.” When not working to strengthen Echelon Copy and Green Splatter, he’s busy reading, writing or running alongside the Wasatch Mountains in Provo, Utah. Also, for what it’s worth, he claims to have an incredible head of hair.