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When it comes to web design, people tend to over-complicate design elements without needing to. Why do we see this so much when it comes to the web? Are their leaders making assumptions about what their customers want? Maybe the customers want something they don’t need. Or the developers get pressured into building elements that completely miss the mark. Perhaps it is a combination of both developers and their clients wanting the newest and greatest tech — but is that practical?
Say we are building a new house. The owners would like a grand entrance with a large staircase leading to the front door. When building a staircase, you always want to take the most direct path to your destination. You will use fewer materials and save time if you have a straight shot. If you start creating twists and turns because the owners “like it” or they feel that it will look “better this way”. You will waste money.
The same can be said about many websites, especially in manufacturing. Why do companies waste so much money on extra features that do not move the meter? These websites become larger and more complicated than they need to be.
We can first look to the decision-makers such as CEOs and managers. They may or may not know the technical side of the web development process, and could make uninformed decisions on key features. These leaders tend to focus on appearances when it comes to the web. Some may not understand the true impact of the website and how vital it can be to their bottom line. Often, these managers rely on several other voices to make informed decisions. All people want their ideas represented, but not all ideas are created equal!
What can you do to create a harder working webpage?
Don’t distract users from the paths that make you money. If prospects need to fill out a form in order for them to work with you, make sure it is front and centre. Don’t let your users get distracted by complexity, glitz, and glamour. The more complexity that is added to the website, the more window dressing you have that can take away from design elements that really matter.
These features not only waste development and marketing time. They can lose you customers! Start with the minimum viable website to accomplish business goals. Stop focusing on the “nice to haves” and focus on the “need to haves”. What is needed to maximize the user experience and complete your goals?
A single well-built landing page can perform better compared to a complete website. This can be true if we are looking at conversions or page speed, and begs the question: do you even need a full website with all the bells and whistles? If you only need a single lead form, don’t overcomplicate it. A simple landing page can often do more for a business than a big clunky website or application. A landing page can produce better ROI compared to hundreds of pages on your website combined. If users need to take 10 actions or clicks to accomplish their goals, you’re distracting them too much. A complex website distracts from completing goals in general. Every new element distracts from every other element.
Keeping things simple.
K.I.S.S is an acronym for “Keep it Simple, Stupid”. You will hear it time and time again across many different industries. Don’t over-complicate a solution. Focus on the essentials, not the “nice to haves”.
- Speed - The less clutter and features on your website, the faster the page will load. If your website takes too long to load, your users could navigate away before they read anything. You want your users to stay on the site to get the info they came for. Also, Google and other search engines prioritize you in the rankings based on load speed. If your website is faster, your marketing campaigns will see better performance.
- Positioning - Make sure your wants align with your customer’s needs. All assets and features need to align with your audience. You don’t want to build a super fancy website for an older, non-technical audience.
- Action - What are your customers intended to do? Did you want them to complete a contact form or just sign up to a newsletter? Make the path clear to complete your customer’s goals for coming to the website in the first place. Intent is everything!
- Brand Alignment - The site or landing page needs to feel like an extension of your brand. If you have colours or elements that do not mesh with your overall experience, it can push customers away. Adding a bunch of extras won’t do anything if they aren’t aligned with your brand experience.
The simple solution can save you time and money. Take your own opinion out of the equation and think, what do my customers want. Will this feature push them closer to complying the goal of the website? If the feature is just fluff maybe it should not be there at all. Stop distract users from the paths that make you money.
Keep It Simple, Stupid.
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