Website design often becomes an exercise in redundancy and unnecessary complication as you try to build something that stands out from the crowd. After all, people have an overwhelming number of choices available to them when they surf the web. As of last year, there are more than 861 million registered host names and over 180 million active websites, according to Tech Made Easy. Despite that, the best way to build a site that brings visitors back for more is to keep it simple and usable. With that in mind, here are some tips for applying the “keep it simple, stupid” or “KISS” principle of design to your site:
Back to Basics
When designing a website, it is important to determine what the goal of each page is, and then design each element within the page to reach that goal. If you have a page element or widget that doesn't support the page's objective, it should be removed. On the same note, if a page is unnecessary to your website's overall objective, it too should be removed or changed.
To see what changes are necessary, approach your site form the perspective of a visitor and ask yourself what you would stand to gain from visiting each page. If you already have a website and are just updating or redesigning it, take a look at your analytics and see which pages have the lowest traffic, and ask yourself why. Finally, if any product or article on your site takes more than three or four clicks to reach from the homepage, your site has too much depth and its hierarchy must be simplified.
More Before the Break
When a visitor lands on your site, you only have a few seconds to make an impression and keep the consumer on your page. In fact, a recent Microsoft study found that the average attention span has dipped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013. To grab people's attention and keep it, you need bold headlines and content that immediately addresses your purposes.
Additionally, put your most important content where it can be seen right away, so a visitor doesn’t need to scroll down to it or visit another page. A website that does this well is T-Mobile because the company's shop, information, shopping cart, customer service number and product are all displayed prominently above the fold on the landing page. If a visitor has to scroll to see your best content, bring it up to the top and eliminate what comes before it.
Fast Loading Times
It can be tempting to add huge streaming videos, complex HTML 5 and other design elements to your site, but if a visitor leaves before they get to your actual content, your site has failed. Website fads comes and go, and your site shouldn't buckle to trends that increase load times and irritate customers.
For example, many sites today integrate a slider that covers the home page, but this actively drives away visitors. Instead, design your landing page to be simple, clear of elements that clutter the screen and rid of features that create long load times.
Do you need help with your website? Contact KrissArt Marketing Design for a free consultation!
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