The bare essentials – 4 tips for stripping back and streamlining web design

You may start your web design journey with a very clear-cut concept in mind, but it’s very easy for extra elements, boxes, colours, images and bits of content to sneak their way into the process. Before long, you’ve got a cluttered home page that says nothing about your business and is ineffective at turning clicks and visits into sales. So if your website is confusing, you need to take action.

To streamline your design and improve its effectiveness, you’ll need to be brutal but it can be done. Follow these tips for starters:

  1. Get rid of some pages. In our eagerness to categorise everything on our website into neat little pages, we end up with loads of them. By reducing the number of pages on your site however, you can de-clutter the look of the design and also streamline and solve problems with the user experience – making it easier for visitors to find what they want. Take a look at all of your pages and see what can be consolidated and grouped so that the overall number of pages is reduced, while still providing a comprehensive menu of what’s on offer.
  1. Select a limited colour palette. It’s tempting to use a wide variety of eye-catching colours on your website, in an attempt to make it stand out from the crowd. What you’ll actually find though is that a limited colour palette of just 2 or 3 colours is actually far more distinctive, because it gives you a very unique and strong identity as a brand. It also ensures that the eye is drawn to the right places, as well as having a marvelous de-cluttering effect. It’s refreshing to see. Limited colours Restrain yourself on colours and what will emerge is a website that puts the central message across very strongly, rather than distracting the eye with a rainbow of different colours.
  1. Focus your attention on the top of the page. Getting your best content ‘above the fold’ – the space that shows up when a visitor first lands on a page, without having to scroll down – is the most effective way to catch visitor attention quickly. Have the main call to action and the featured content (i.e. a gorgeous product image or your latest special offer) above the fold, without of course cramming so much in that it becomes cluttered.
  1. Remove all non-essential elements. This sounds like an obvious suggestion, but many websites are guilty of putting absolutely everything on their home or landing pages for fear it may be missed elsewhere. On your home page, focus only on the essential elements – the call to action or the not-to-be-missed special offer. You should also include contact details on every page. If you make these elements compelling enough, visitors will click through to other parts of your website where they will see the other information. If you put absolutely everything on the home page, the call to action will be easily missed and visitors won’t be compelled to do anything but click away.

Did you take the plunge and strip your website right back? What elements did you remove and has it proved worthwhile? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

you may also like to read these

related articles

Five critical web design dos and don’ts for optimising user experience

read article

What makes a killer brand logo?

read article

Want a smooth, optimised UX on your website? Avoid these common mistakes

read article

Getting started with website analysis – the important things you need to know

read article

The beginners guide to web hosting features – what to look for when choosing a plan

read article