What the internet doesn’t lack is content and noise and things to look at and respond to. Sometimes when the rest of the world zigs, you can stand out if you zag.
A minimalist website is one way in which to do that.
A minimalist design eliminates any unnecessary tabs, menus, or any content that doesn’t support the user’s primary goals of their visit. It’s about featuring only the most necessary elements, to eliminate any visual clutter and make the user journey very clear and easy and even calming. Your current analytics will indicate what content is most important to your visitors so feature those and place the other bits out of the way a bit.
By the use of negative space—empty space—the user is drawn to what remains. They instantly know what the website values and what the business thinks is the most important for them to look at.
Some of the elements that such a website uses are large images, sharp contrasts like the use of black and white with one bold color, bold typography, and a balance to the page. All of it is designed to pleasingly guide your eyes quickly to the principal message that the website was built to communicate.
With internet surfers moving about faster than ever and with patience and attention spans at an all-time low, the best way to get them to pause when visiting your website is to make it very easy for them to navigate your sight and to get to the important parts quickly.
It’s far better for your visitors to leave because they understand what you are all about and it’s just not for them than having them never even get to the understanding part because they got lost, confused or became impatient and just left. The former you might never have converted but the latter are essential to your success.
Lots of us are stuck on displaying a long row of tabs, an organization feature that has dominated website design for many years. But is your physical address really as equally important as your new product or who the staff is as important as the call to action? But that’s what we are telling our visitors when their eyes scan the top of our web page and they see eight similar tabs and they are forced to decide where to go first.
By not overwhelming your visitor by choices, you have the opportunity to feature your call-to-action and to get all eyes on it. If someone wants to go deeper, that can be provided at lower levels but to get them engaged and quickly is the top priority. Once engaged, they’ll gladly drill down further into the website at their leisure.
Less content on landing pages means faster loading times and thus lower bounce rates and better search engine optimization. Speed and bounce rates are a high priority of Google’s most recent algorithm. If your page loads a bit quicker and your visitors stay a bit longer than the competition, you’ll rank higher and get more clicks.
With fewer style elements, the website is also less likely to look dated over time. By not using what’s popular at the moment, you don’t have to change your look next season. Great images, white space, and a clean typography never go out of style.
A valuable exercise to undertake if you are considering going in this direction is to imagine having the opportunity to be in front of an extremely influential person whose endorsement or tweet of your business could propel it to new heights. You only have a few seconds, what do you say in that moment that makes an impression and convinces them that your product or service is unique and valuable?
Boil it down to the basics. Got it? Now, boil it down even more so that just the raw bone is left. What are you all about? What makes you different from the others? Then use that statement to guide the redesign of your website so that it’s front and center and nothing else on the website detracts from that message coming through loud and clear.