If you’ve been keeping up with web design trends for last year or two, you will know that the biggest single trend out they are right now relates to simple, minimalist design. If you’re a lover of statistics and trend analysis, you’ve probably also stumbled across an article or two looking at the numbers or what people have to say about how they feel about simple web design.

To be honest, when it comes to simple and straightforward web design, it’s quite easy to see why they promote conversions without needing to look at percentages. Cynics might say that simple design is the work of do it yourself design merchants who don’t know what they’re doing. In fairness that might have been true ten years ago, but it certainly isn’t the case now.

Why do simple designs work so well?

Faster Loading Times

Although the statistic about websites having three seconds to load before a browser clicks the back button is proven incorrect every day, people aren’t going to sit forever waiting for your site to load. If your website is minimalist and isn’t filled with features or overloaded with applications that it doesn’t actually need, there will be a real difference in performance, and your visitors will remember this the next time they’re thinking of which site to use.

The benefits don’t stop there, either. Faster loading time means Google see you in a friendly light, and will place you higher in their search results, making you more visible and sending more visitors your way.

Using a service to support a simple design will also help in this area, and you can still use images and applications sparingly, so long as you compress and magnify code wherever you can.

Life is Easy

The purpose of any website is to get somebody to do something, whether that is to make a purchase there and then, make an enquiry, or visit a physical business location.

A cluttered website makes it impossible for people to know what they’re supposed to do. Rather than hang around and find out, they’re far more likely just to leave and head elsewhere. A great approach to take is to design a site with a simpleton in mind. It doesn’t sound very nice, but designing a site while thinking of the dumbest person you know isn’t a bad approach at all.

Here are some examples of how to keep it simple:

Have your call to action and contact details at the top. Have as few pages as possible and ensure menus only have a handful of options. Keep content easy to read by using sub-headings, small paragraphs, and bullet points.

It’s Different

The irony of simple trends being a modern trend is that they’re still a refreshing change from the norm. Many sites haven’t bothered to go simple, so when people visit yours they will be immediately thinking, “This is different,” and take the time to remember you and fulfill your site objective.

If you aren’t invested in simple web design, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Whether launching a new site or reviewing an existing one, ensure simple design principles are at the forefront of your thoughts.

Brian is a web designer who spends a lot of time educating his clients around the latest trends, as many approach him wanting a site built using outdated and potentially damaging practices.

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