How to Simplify Your Website Design for a Better User Experience (UX)


To have a good user experience (UX), you have to design for it – users should be able to navigate your website easily and quickly. 

Do your customers want to stay on the site long enough to explore further? If not, you should focus on making your website easy to use, and help customers achieve their goals faster rather than thinking about what you can sell.

A website redesign should be well thought out, specific to your brand, and provide new avenues for generating traffic and converting prospects into customers. 

However, if you’re not careful, your redesign can also do the opposite — turn potential visitors away. When done properly, a great design will encourage visitors to want to learn more about your company and take action by generating more leads or selling more products. 

But communication is key and for those who will be involved in the redesign process from the start, below are a few ideas that can help you effectively guide the redesign process and result in higher conversion rates.

Start by researching your audience

There are a couple of things to take into consideration to plan a good redesign. 

It takes around 50 milliseconds for visitors to form a first impression before they leave your website for good. This means that you need to get to know your audience and appeal to them from the very beginning.

Researching your audience will help you gauge what design changes you should be considering to attract and retain more customers. 

Next, you need to look at case studies from both external and internal sources to better understand the pros and cons of design changes and how they affected key areas.

Researching your already existing audience is of utmost importance too. Don’t rely on vanity metrics such as the number of page views without accounting for bounce rates. 

Research your audience by reading content and internal marketing documents, finding out their pain points, and finding out more about how they use the site.


Analyze your existing design

If you’re thinking of designing a new website, there’s a good chance you have a site similar to the one that is currently in place. 

If you don’t, it could be that what’s on your site isn’t working very well or there is an opportunity for your website to make some big improvements. No matter what these are, you need to know what exactly is working and what doesn’t so you can keep the former and get rid of the latter before moving forward with your design.

38% of visitors will not engage with your website if the layout is unattractive. This means that you need to make sure your website is straight to the point and the information is displayed clearly.

If you are looking for a unique and professionally designed website, give us a call.

Communicate your brand clearly

Your logo, colors, and typeface are the visual representation of your business. 

They need to work well together, be legible from a distance, and communicate what your brand is all about. It seems like an easy task but there are many nuances that go into website design.

When using and choosing colors for your website, it is important to use colors that communicate your brand. Communicating your brand colors helps people to recognize your company and products as soon as they see them.

Here’s what you should also pay attention to if you want to simplify your website design:

  1. When presenting information, your objective is to educate and inform your visitors. Make it easy for them to read, absorb, and implement your message into their lives. Don’t add website elements unless they communicate something;
  2. You don’t always need lots of text to grab a reader’s attention. In fact, images can be much more effective at leading someone to take an action. Make sure you find the right balance between text and images when designing your landing pages.
  3. Headlines should be short and sweet. The first few words in a headline should immediately describe what the product does. Rather than stating your benefit, focus on a single call-to-action verb that sums up the benefit you offer.

Less is more

The audience’s attention is like gold and you should deploy it on your site like a miner.

White space in web design has several functions. It helps to create a visual hierarchy (and is consequently used as an important design element in visual design), provides balance, attracts attention to specific elements, and increases usability and readability.

The problem with most websites – especially e-commerce websites – is that they cram as much information into as little space as possible.

Web design is all about making things look great so it’s rather ironic that there are studies looking into how to design websites so that they appear attractive. 

A study in 2003 by the University of Toronto found that visual complexity detracted from a website’s aesthetic appeal. In another study from Google in 2013, information architect Shaowen Bardzell conducted a study of website aesthetics and reached a similar result.

Meeting expectations

There are some basic qualities about your website that your potential customer will be considering the second they either run across it or click on a link to it. This means if your site fails in any of these areas, you’ll be losing business before you even have a chance to interact with a visitor.

Most of these pieces relate to whether or not your website meets their expectations, including the price, aesthetics, and speed.

For example, in e-commerce, psychology plays a huge role when it comes to a visitor’s purchase decision. The way you present your website can greatly influence how the visitor thinks and feels about your product.

At the same time, expensive products always come with higher expectations. The anticipation of a somewhat steep price tag makes people expect an immaculate appearance, fast speed, and seamless performance. 

This means that all the elements of a web page have to work in harmony to meet these expectations. A low price may set the lowest expectations for appearance and performance, but won’t be able to compete on aesthetics or vice versa.


Retain originality

It’s a good idea to have a website with an original design, that doesn’t simply copy your competitors’ designs.

For example, you wouldn’t be able to offer the same quality of service if you didn’t have your own design. It is just impossible. You can’t compete with the mainstream and the big corporations if you get your viewers forming unconscious biases against your website at first sight.

However, you should take into consideration recognition patterns. 

Every niche has its own pattern-set. For example, if you create a website for freelance writers, the design should be different from an e-commerce store. 

When people visit your website, they will expect to see certain images and text in different areas. These expectations are based on what they have seen on other websites within the same niche. 

If you try to deviate from the common pattern-set, it would make your users feel uncomfortable and your conversion rate will drop.

Website navigation is another good example. Websites must clearly communicate the purpose and content of each page. Therefore, good navigation is vital to keeping visitors on individual pages. 

Also, it should be easy to find the navigation options as there should be no reason for users to feel lost on the site or be forced to dig for them.

Website design for a better user experience – Conclusion

To recap, here are the main aspects to pay attention to if you want to simplify your website design for a better user experience:

  1. Research your audience and learn what they like or what they are accustomed to. Find out their pain points.
  2. Analyze your existing design. Keep the elements that work and remove those that don’t.
  3. Communicate your brand clearly. Each element on your website should reflect what your brand is about.
  4. Use white space and don’t cram information together in one place.
  5. Meet users’ expectations. A higher price point or a higher product quality result in higher expectations.
  6. Be original but don’t deviate from common patterns. 

A simple website is a well-designed website. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. 

In fact, simplicity is one of the most important considerations when designing or redesigning your website because it makes your content easy to read and find which in turn helps search engines rank your site more easily.

If you need help to improve your current website, or start a new website project, get in touch with us, or check out our other responsive web design services.

About the author

Nat Miletic is the founder of Clio Websites, a Calgary-based web design company. Nat writes about WordPress, SEO, and responsive web design.

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