“How did our website get like this?”
This isn’t an uncommon position. Most company websites evolve into a cluttered, bloated, self-interested marketing Frankenstein.
Over time, departments stake off claims on the domain, filling them with self-absorbed clutter. At first, it all feels familiar and essential from the inside. Meanwhile, your customers are feeling overwhelmed by all the options, confused by the words and the concepts, and at a lost of how to proceed.
Then something deeper and more debilitating begins to happen.
The website becomes unmanageable, overly interdependent, and sometimes the organization loses actual control or the ability to update it. As a result, updates begin to break random things or departments begin to work on the corporate website and start rogue web and digital marketing projects. Some might be good, but most will be awful and just add to the noise your customers have to cut through to do business with you.
Then the ultimate death sentence comes. The company gives up on their website, and all their customers suffer, and then the company suffers.
In this dire state, you probably need to do something radical. One of my favorite starting points for any new website redesign project is minimalism.
This approach forces us to intensely focus on what’s important, by starting with a blank slate and only adding what is essential. It requires extreme discipline to see what is the absolute minimum required to convey your unique value proposition and create the motivation for customers to step into the sales funnel.
Sometimes, you might like the result of this minimal design and adopt it as the final design.
If you chose a minimalist website for your final design, what are the benefits?
It feels elite.
A minimalist design conveys a certain avant-garde. Minimalism still feels unique and conveys that you’re confident with your unique approach and the excellence it delivers to select customers.
It forces clarity.
There is no room for missives. You can only say what you do. Why it’s important to that customer visiting your website. And, exactly the next step they need to take to get it.
It drives a decision.
When you’re designing for a minimalist approach, you’re forced to make decisions. You have to say, Yes or No. These black and white decisions make you think critically about your business and what customers need to make their own decisions.
It is timeless.
Unlike design and feature-heavy websites, which age quickly as technology and devices evolve, minimalism is always fresh and crisp. Timelessly delivering beautifully.
It is simple to manage and maintain.
This truth is self-evident. Less moving parts create a solid, dependable, and flexible canvas for wherever your business might take you.
It gives you focus.
This is probably the biggest benefit to your company and your customers. When you strip away all the excess, you’re left with the meditative core of the transaction between you and your customer.
It saves time.
The ideation phase for a minimalist website can be intense and brutal, often elongating the design process. However, the simplicity that results should save an enormous amount of time in development, maintenance, and go forward management.
It should encourage a direct response.
Do lose sight of this goal — minimalism should elicit an emotional response. Minimal websites and web pages should always drive to a response. The clarity and focus that minimalist designs provide should make it easy to ask for a direct response.
So, what do you think? Is a minimalist web design for you?
I would love to hear your thoughts! Talk to me on Twitter @billrice and include a link to this article.