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Picture a website with huge blocks of text scattered everywhere in bright, blinding colors, smashing graphics, and background images overshadowing the text. We’ve all been to one of those.
To present a website with all the necessary information and no excess detail is not an easy task. When it comes to providing your audience with a website that is user- friendly, easily accessible, and visually appealing, balance and simplicity are key.
The Dalai Lama has said that simplicity is the key to happiness in the modern world. Nowadays, our modern world consists largely of interactions and activities on the web.
Keep It Simple, Stupid
With the millions of websites in existence, it is now more important than ever to effectively and efficiently convey your point to your audience in the best way possible.
Phrases such as, “Less is more”, “Keep It Simple, Stupid” and “Good things come in small packages”, all outline the fact that simplicity should never be underrated.
Simplicity is complex.
Anyone can write up a report rambling about his or her main topic. Simplicity is more complex than most people think. No matter how important or interesting your content is, most people will not bother to read it if it is overshadowed by a poor design.
Simplicity in thought, word, font, color, and all other aspects of design, can be the most powerful tool available. Many companies such as Starbucks, Sony, FedEx, and Kodak started out with complicated logos and have gradually continued simplifying them.
How we perceive simplicity.
Most people have preconceived notions when it comes to simplicity. We perceive things that are easily accessible as things without clutter and without too many options.
When we are talking about website, this means white space and getting rid of any excessive visual stimuli from images, lines, colors, etc. The perception of clutter often immediately turns people off because it is accompanied with the preconceived notion of complexity.
Consistency = Simplicity.
Keep in mind that consistency often leads to simplicity. For your websites, keep the layout and navigation consistent throughout your entire site.
Don’t waste your time or money designing overly elaborate navigation menus that will confuse your visitors. By removing all unnecessary visual stimuli, it allows your users to focus on the important things. The art of simplicity starts off by learning to ask yourself “does this need to be here?”
Choose simple color combinations.
When deciding on a layout, understand that the textures and colors you choose have a significant impact on the overall visual appeal of your website.
The more you have going on, the more distracting it is and the less important your actual information becomes. Remember that it is very hard to go wrong with a simple black text and white background because it is easy to read. Bright colors such as yellow results in more mental work and causes the brain to become tired, decreasing the reader’s focus on the actual information.
People don’t have time for complicated.
Remember that people want to feel smart – they want to be able to understand things. The World Wide Web is an interactive network. If people feel confused when navigating through your website, they will simply go to another website that is more easily accessible.
Nowadays, people don’t have the time to sit down and learn things that they think are too complicated. Whether it’s designing a website, writing a grant proposal, or giving a speech, it is crucial to remember that most people have a limited amount of time and a limited amount of patience.
By getting to the point in the most effective and efficient way possible, it keeps your audience intrigued, happy, and more likely to come back next time.