Should you go for minimalist web design? A talk
I am an avid online shopper and also an ardent blog reader long before these became a norm.
I was, in fact, the first one in my family to order stuff online and used to convince friends and family to try it.
This certainly makes me quite an oldie in terms of web browsing. As a self-proclaimed expert in internet surfing, I came to realize how some websites got me hooked. It was a breeze to navigate through them.
I remember how a simple yet smart website of an interior design service enticed me to hit the CTA on my first visit. Their work spoke for itself on their homepage, and they came across as an efficient service provider.
On the other hand, some websites feel like they are bombarding you with extraneous stuff. You have to find the actual call to action or other necessary information.
This discrepancy leads me to do some research. I was curious why concise features, well-planned color palette, and intelligent layout of a website appeals to users more than elaborately designed websites with content overload.
I learned what a “Minimalist web design” is and how implementing it improves the ranking and enhances user experience.
Adobe states that almost 40% of users will stop engaging if they find the content or layout of a website shoddy and tatty.
Bare essentials integrated into the design ensure an excellent website performance.
Because it lets the users focus on the basics, rather than distracting them with extra, unnecessary elements.
Minimalism is not a lack of something. It’s instead the perfect amount of something. ~Nicholas Burroughs
Are you planning to design a website for your business? Let me jot down some reasons why you should opt for a minimalist design.
- Better navigation
Imagine you visit a newly launched superstore that boasts of its less price and an unlimited variety of high-quality products. Upon entering, you see pickles alongside cleaning supplies and cosmetics in the garment section.
You ask a store employee where you could find cooking oil, and he says you could get some if you visit the upper section, which is for kids’ toys! To make matters worse, you have a hard time finding the cash counter.
That’s one awful navigation, isn’t it? Maybe you won’t pay for another visit there.
The same is the case with a website. If you have to look hard for the relevant content, menu button, or even the contact information, it means the web designer did a poor job at planning the website structure.
In a minimalist design, the first advantage that a user gets is convenient navigation. According to a survey by Clutch, it is a crucial feature termed significant by 94% of the users.
- Efficient communication
A minimal approach in web design calls for lesser use of complicated jargon and fluff, which makes the communication a lot clearer and straightforward. The copy mostly comprises of basics and benefits of the product or service.
Users mostly scroll down quickly without reading long paragraphs and your log of vocabulary. Therefore, it is better to say what you want in the form of images. Clever use of imagery alone is an impactful way to send the message out.
- Responsive design
Smart Insights affirm that 80% of internet users own a smartphone. It is, therefore, imperative to design a website that is compatible with mobile phones. A minimalist web design caters well to the responsive website requirements.
A mobile-optimized website improves search engine rankings, which, as a result, brings lots of organic traffic. Also, as per the stats mentioned on the FVM website, 67% of shoppers are more inclined to do business with a mobile-ready site.
- Fast loading time
One of the most common mistakes when designing a web page is to add elements that slow down the loading speed. Believe me, a sluggish pace is a pet peeve of every user!
CDNIFY states that Just a second of delay in page load could downgrade customer satisfaction.
That is why implementing minimalist elements in the design of your website is beneficial. It gives your webpages a lightning speed that directly impacts bounce rates and consequently improves leads and sales.
According to Google DoubleClick, a site that loads in 5 seconds on mobile gets 25% more ad visibility and 70% longer session duration.
- Enhanced user experience
Do you know, according to CDNIFY, 50% of people will tell others if they have a negative experience on your site?
Many aspects of a minimalist design contribute towards giving the user a smooth experience like a prominent logo, dominant headlines, color contrast, large, attractive graphics, and clear CTAs.
- Logo: Researchers from Missouri University of Science and Technology found that Users spent about 6.48 seconds focus on the brand logo before moving on. Hence, investing in a professional logo design will be well worth it. Minimalism can be applied here by hiding the homepage button in the logo.
Clear and concise headlines are one of the pillars of minimalist web design. You need to come up with a caption that will immediately get the attention of the user.
One myth about such a web design is that it is only black and white and lacks color. However, the truth is that designers are increasingly coming up with appealing color contrasts with attractive colors to help pop out features that need attention. It is also easier to add any brand’s color with black and white themes.
Jakob Nielsen’s eye-tracking studies suggest that Larger, high-quality, and relevant images draw more attention. Avoid adding images to fill the space and add relevant ones to add to visual harmony.
In the minimalist website design, the call to action is a vital element. It must be clear, free of friction words, and placed rightly. There is no point in both adding extra CTAs or hiding important ones altogether. A single button with a convincing phrase will serve the purpose.
- Comprehensible Branding that is easier to remember
As all the branding elements like logo, colors, and brand tagline are placed right in front of the users transparently, it is easy for them to remember your brand.
The simple design has a powerful impact on the user. It also helps your brand appear as big and established ones. This is because your customers can see the bigger picture of what you do amidst all the white space.
- Decluttered space
Your website looks pristine and organized if you choose to go with a minimalist design. Fewer colors, fewer words, and fewer images help the user focus on the actual message, which is otherwise impossible to achieve.
Using the right amount of space will make the content stand out.
One element that takes up a lot of space on the homepage are sliders (or carousels). They are frequently used, but it doesn’t mean they are beneficial. In fact, according to a case study by Shane Melaugh, content sliders do no good to your website. He explains how, instead of enticing the readers, carousels are rarely ever read. They also have a negative impact on SEO.
Instead of sliders, you can use a big clear headline or even a video that explains what your business is about.
- Optimized readability by well-chosen typography
Efficient typography lays the foundation of minimalist web design. Typography is the combined use of font, size, color, and layout of the type.
Well-designed typography increases the readability of the web page, as the user doesn’t have to put much effort into reading the content. As a result, one can see a significant optimization in conversions.
- Easy to develop and maintain
It’s a no brainer. Minimalism = less work= lesser need for maintenance.
This makes it evident why website owners are increasingly opting for the minimalist design. It takes the burden of continuous maintenance off their shoulders, and provide an additional benefit of better SEO.
Once you know what design elements are necessary according to your business, you can focus on improving those only, while omitting the noncompulsory ones altogether. Doing so will be a lot easier than working on a site that has an overload of content and needs to be updated every now and then.
Drawbacks of a minimalist website design
In my view, the only drawbacks of simple web design are the following:
- lesser creativity that can make it hard to convince the user, especially if you are in some creative business.
- Blank space, as some designers go the extra mile and design web pages that are too blank, giving an unfinished look.
Wrapping up the discussion
I know it’s hard to resist adding a few fancy elements to your website’s design. But, keep in mind that reducing the complexity in web design allows effortless browsing for the user.
Minimalist web design will not only do more while showing less, but it will also be easy to use and highly readable for the users.