You’ve likely heard the saying that less is more, and this is particularly true when it comes to creating an optimal user experience (UX) online. Why is minimalist designing good for usability? Cutting out the clutter and getting right to the page’s purpose saves site visitors time and effort.
Research by Forrester shows a $1 expenditure in UX equals a $100 return on investment (ROI). Paying attention to your site’s usability equals a 9,900% improvement in conversions. Although there are numerous ways of improving your site’s UX, cutting the clutter and going with a less-is-more approach is almost always effective.
Here are six clear reasons you should cut the clutter and go with a more minimalist approach to your web design.
1. Focus on Essential Content
When you cut out all the things you don’t need, you’re left with a site focused on only essential information. It’s harder for the user to get lost in the shuffle of content overload because the only elements on the page answer questions and move the user further into the sales funnel.
Libratone cuts all the noise and clutter and puts the focus solely on the portable music devices it sells. There are links to product pages and images of the items, and you won’t find any unnecessary information. The visitor is pushed through to the next phase of the buyer’s journey.
Over time, your site will break into subcategories. It’s easy to let your menu become overwhelming, so look for ways to simplify it for your users. Keep the categories in your navigation bar to a handful. If you need to add more options, do so with a drop-down or mega-menu and subcategories.
Think about your organizational hierarchy. What categories might need to be added later? Will they fall under a main topic? Look for ways to keep the user moving through your site smoothly without interruption. Keep in mind that many users may access your site via a smaller screen, so you don’t want the menu to overwhelm their mobile devices.
3. Improve Processes
Make signing up and using your site as easy as possible. Walk through it as though you are the customer. How hard is it to complete a sale? Can they sign up for a newsletter easily? Click on every actionable link and form and make sure everything works perfectly. Get feedback from a few of your top customers. Ask for suggestions on what they’d like to see improved.
Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center uses an appointment scheduling form to encourage people to come in and consult with a specialist. There are only limited sections to fill out. Users are asked for a name and email and can then click on the call-to-action (CTA) button.
4. Add Whitespace
Creating a balance between positive and negative space is one of the top ways of improving your site’s UX. Users can’t find what they need amidst a bunch of clutter. They may just bounce away from your site to reduce the noise.
You can use whitespace to draw attention to a specific element on the page, set off an image or grab user attention for the CTA. Adding whitespace around your actionable items also makes them stand out more, especially if you use a contrasting color. A pop of red grabs user attention and creates excitement.
5. Simplify Your Color Scheme
Another way to keep your design minimalist is by simplifying your color scheme. It’s easy to find vivid photographs filled with all the colors of the rainbow. While this might make for a visually pleasing design, your user may feel overwhelmed with all the different palettes. It’s much better to choose two or three main colors and ensure everything on your page fits within the concept.
If you have a picture you like, you can tie it into the other colors with a transparent overlay or some fancy color editing. You can also use hover features to change a black-and-white image to one with a color layered on top and text over the photograph.
Costa Coffee chooses a rich brick-red and then overlays the color choice on everything. You’ll only find neutrals such as white and black to offset the red palette. Note the shade of the text on the coffee mug matches the overall color scheme as well. Even the photographs tie into the limited hues.
6. Choose a Focal Point
Know the purpose of your page and what action you want users to take. Once you understand the objective for each place a user might land, it’s much easier to choose a focal point for the page and drive users toward the goal. If you want them to buy your product, your focus might be on an image and the Shop button. On the other hand, if your goal is to get them to schedule a free consultation, you might highlight the signup form.
The goal of excellent UX is a frictionless design moving the user through the website without glitches. While a minimalist approach works well to hone in on where you want site visitors to move, it’s also OK to include all the important elements you need to achieve your goals. If you want a genuinely usable site, focus on making the experience the best it can be through feedback from your users and constant testing and perfecting of the design.