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Why Simple Web Design Gets Better Conversion Rates

By Snap Agency December 17, 2015

As a designer I believe simplicity is the difference between success and failure. The word simple is defined: easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty. I strive to design simple experiences for all of my client’s website visitors. I believe when simplicity is wielded well it increases your conversion rates and ultimately will generate more revenue.  We’ve seen very clear examples of this when creating web design in Minneapolis over the last couple years, and now want to share with you insights from our experience. Here it goes!

1. Don’t make them think.

2. Remove any distractions away from their next obvious step.

3. Establish trust with good design because it doesn’t feel spammy.

1. Don’t make them think.

People are busy, they know what they are looking for when they get to your website. You shouldn’t assume they are coming to your site to browse because you are not Pinterest, even there people still know what they like or what they want to see. Know why your website visitors came to your site, and make their next action very clear and easy to use.

Let’s say your business sells products. More times than not your target audience is coming to your site to buy said product/s. Consider giving your users the option to put the product of their choosing right into their cart from the category page or even the homepage and not just the product page. If they want to buy right now, let them.

While all of that is great you also have to keep in mind your goals as well. What do you want your users to do? If it is to buy your products or services to have more revenue at the end of each year that’s great, lead them there directly and make it dead simple. Mailchimp does a great job of showing what I am talking about on their homepage design.



In this example you can see Mailchimp only uses one call to action button on their homepage. This is a strategic move that allows their users know what their next step is as soon as they arrive on their site. This is how Mailchimp makes money, any other action taken on this page is secondary and means the user is not ready to commit yet. That is okay but it is clear Mailchimp wants their users to sign up. When people are ready to commit there is no question how or where they start.


2. Remove any distractions away from their next obvious step.

Distracting people from getting to their end goal is horrible for conversions. Distractions on websites frustrate people, sometimes enough to not buy from you ever. You don’t get the sale, and you now have an unhappy customer that is annoyed with your whole brand. Many times this will lead to poor WOM (word of mouth) communication between other potential customers, and poor brand perception in peoples minds. Removing distractions from your website will keep your visitors more focused on buying and creates a simple and easy experience they love. Unless it’s producing crazy money for you remove any ads. If you find that people are only sharing on a few social media channels remove any sharing icons that are not being utilized because they will be more likely to share with the ones they do interact with.

Pop up alerts are a bad idea for simple web design. These alerts completely disrupts what your user was doing and forces them to deal with something they don’t want to. Think about your personal experience, do you like pop ups? My guess is that most of you don’t. Are pop ups even effective? The answer is yes, yes they are effective but let me tell you why.

Most of the time a user comes to a website looking to do something specific, then out of nowhere they get a pop up saying “sign up for my newsletter” these people are frustrated but they also don’t know how to get back to what they were doing in the first place so they enter their email to make this alert go away. You’ve got them, their email is in your list and now your can start sending them your stuff. Except it doesn’t matter because now they are frustrated and won’t want to buy from you. You have a big list of subscribers but you are ruining your brand because they didn’t want to sign up in the first place and they probably won’t ever open your email. It’s just reminds them of a bad experience and how much they dislike you.




If you want people to subscribe to your newsletter or do something else while they are on your website, that is fine. Don’t force it upon them, you want them to want to do it on their own because then it is something they want. This means they will open up those emails and use it, and they will be more likely to share it with others they know would enjoy it as well. Attract them to it by maybe giving them something in return or what you are sending to them is giving them a lot of value. Don’t allow your website to come off as a sales-pitch to your target audience. Give more so that you can receive more. Let them get where they want to go as easily as possible with nothing standing in their way.


3. Establish trust with good design because it doesn’t feel spammy.

Intentionally make to decision to show what you stand for. Are you a giving them valuable free content that means something, or are you just presenting them with a sales pitch that bombards them with spammy alerts. Clean simple design makes the user feel like they are working with a legitimate business. Placing logos or attention-grabbing ads all over your site just feels spammy and makes people less likely to come back.

You may have noticed many websites have similar look and feel to them. This is because people like what is more familiar to them and they trust it more. People like knowing where to go to find what they are looking for on a website because it makes their experience easier. An article by Tommy Walker – Why “Simple” Websites Are Scientifically Better explains how our brain likes to think about things that are simple to think about. He shows the difference between a companies site that didn’t look like an e-commerce site and the improved conversion rate after they redesigned it.