Streamlined and simplified sites have been stripped of all unnecessary and inefficient coding and design elements.
This by no means results in less features or functionality, nor does it mean having web pages that look bare. Great web developers know that you can achieve simplified functionality without having to sacrifice on attractive design.
Rather than thinking of simple, try instead focusing more along the lines of elegant and functional. A website’s purpose is to deliver information to your audience efficiently and easily. However, it’s also just as important to consider what information you are delivering to them, and if it’s easily locatable. Simplifying a site’s structural development will ensure that your audience can enjoy an easy to navigate journey through your pages – you don’t want them getting lost! Simplified structure and navigation is essential to a positive user experience. A recent study also discovered that high quality sites with well formatted information instil more trust with users almost instantly. Which in today’s world of fake news is more important than ever.
But simplifying visuals and navigation is only half of the equation. The other half of effective web design focuses on back-end optimization. Streamlined, well written code will make a positive impact to every aspect of your website’s functionality, loading speeds, analytics and even your SEO. Simplified code is also much easier to debug should any issues arise (and they often do in the early stages). Overly complicated web pages with hundreds of Style Sheets are almost inviting trouble. Decide what things your site needs to do and ensure that those things are done well.
So with all of that in mind, what are some key aspects of bad web design to avoid?
Overlooking essentials – Don’t cut out the important bits. Make sure your details are current and completed, in particular your contact details. The number one thing that people need to find when they are on your page is this information.
Too much information – Your web copy should be ‘scannable’ and easy to read. Your focus should be more about converting your audience to buyers, rather than padding out your site with unnecessary text. If the text is too dense or cumbersome to read, viewers will lose interest and move on. Make it friendly and informative, but to the point.
Auto-play media – If you’re going to feature multimedia on your sites (and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t), make sure that you allow browsers the option to control it to some extent. Nobody wants to be casually scrolling at the office only to be blasted by a loud video they can’t pause. There’s a multitude of reasons why you need to allow some control of content. Your users will thank you.
Confusing navigational cues – Are there too many options? Are there incorrect options? Do your drop down menus erupt into chaos? Accessing your information should be as pain free as possible. If your menus are poorly designed or executed this can make site navigation a frustrating nightmare.
Cluttered Pages – Are your site pages easy on the eyes? Having too much imagery or design elements on a page can be counterintuitive and confusing. When it comes to web design, less is more. It doesn’t have to be minimal, especially if you have a lot to showcase, but it should be clean, well organised and easy to view.
Poor Mobile Display – Around half of internet users are now accessing the web from a mobile device. Mobile web browsers often struggle to convert sites to be viewable on mobile. To be certain your brand is putting the best face forward to all potential leads, you need to ensure that your website has been optimised for mobile viewing.
None of the above features add anything positive to the overall user experience. Web design should focus on delivering a simple and yet functional tool that enables your intended audience to locate what they were seeking easily and efficiently. If your web space isn’t being utilised in the best way possible your business could be missing out on important incoming revenue and selling yourself short.
In summary, great web designers will be able to build beautifully functional and intuitive web sites that incorporate streamlined code, that results in visually engaging and easy to use digital spaces.