Blog

Your website needs to be simple, not flashy.

9/7/2019

Too many companies want a flashy looking website because they think it makes them look modern or advanced. But most customers care less about your website appearance and more about being able to get the information that they want.

Follow Google’s lead. I would argue that there is not a more technically advanced company than google. There is also not a more credible website than Google.com. I know that when I want people to search for something on the internet, I don’t tell them to search for it… I tell them to ‘google it’.

Google has gotten to where it is today by focusing on two things better than anyone else has been able to do it:

Keep Your Website Simple

When you go to Google.com, there is only one thing to do on the homepage. Google wants you to search, so it only gives you one option. This doesn’t sound amazing but consider old search engines from the past. Yahoo, Web Crawler, Lycos, Alta Vista, and others all couldn’t resist the temptation to shove other information in front of users. They had your attention, so they were going to throw as much as they could against the wall hoping that something would stick.

There is a reason why Google now has 92.3% of the global market share for search engines. I believe it is because Google has made its website and interface so simple that anyone can find what they are looking for. Google hasn’t just applied this logic to google search, google has applied this logic to every website they own… from Google Search to YouTube.com.

Google wants to make the internet a better place, so they have even decided to share their secret sauce with the world. They have even broken it down to the tiniest detail as a playbook for web designers to use when building a website: Google's Material Design

I am all for being creative and innovative, but why reinvent website design if google has already perfected it, and is providing you a playbook? Also consider that because so many websites are using Google’s Material Design techniques, it makes your website more user-friendly by providing familiarity. We build all of our websites using Google’s Material Design guidelines and recommend that you only consider building websites that incorporate this design.

Understand User’s Intent

Google goes to extraordinary effort to understand what each person(user) visiting their website is looking for. Are you looking to research a product, or are you ready to buy a product? Google has broken it down to a science, and Google can determine based on the search phrase you enter whether you are looking to buy or not. If you search for a “widget”, Google will suggest pages for you to research a widget. If you search for “widget for sale” Google understand that you are probably ready to buy. If you are somewhere in between, Google can make a good guestimate on your intent by determining what other people who searched for the same phrase clicked on.

When a user lands on your website, you don’t have the luxury of knowing your visitors’ intent… but you can probably guess it. Think about your own personal experience visiting a company’s website. You probably want to know their hours (when are they open?), how to contact them (preferably a human rather than a robot). If they are a local business, you probably want to know where they are located. You probably also want to research their products and services.

From my own personal experience, I have found that most company’s websites have no interest in my wants or needs. Most companies want me to see the information that they want me to see rather than letting me see the information that I want to see. They will try to force me to learn about products that I don’t care about. Some companies will even try to be innovative by renaming common sections like “jobs” or “careers” with phrases like “join our team” or “learn about working at _____”. If someone is only interested in jobs or careers, why make it more difficult for them to find what they are looking for? If you want to be more engaging with your customers, consider their wants and needs. Make it about them rather than making it about your company. Your customers will appreciate you for giving them a delightful experience.

Get Notified When New Articles Are Posted

Subscribe By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy.

Share

Contributors

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy
© 2020 DIGITALARCHITECT.COM - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.