The Power of Website Simplicity
Last week Gerry McGovern, a recognized website content expert, wrote an article titled, “Business case for deleting content”. Now before you shudder at this idea of deleting chunks of your website, consider his opening paragraph:
“The more you delete, the more you simplify. The more you simplify, the more you increase the chances of your customers succeeding on your website.”
I couldn’t agree with Gerry more! Website simplicity = website conversions = website success. What do you want your website to do for you? What are it’s goals? Once you determine these goals, everything else should be geared around them. All too often websites become a place to put any and all information without regard for why it is being added. Goals force you to look critically at each piece of content and actually help you make tough content decisions.
This notion of less is more is certainly not new; however the trend in website design continues to grow. Unlike traditional print media, research constantly shows that people don’t read websites. They skim until they find something they are looking for. If your website has a lot of content, you’re actually forcing the user to weed through it all. If you do the weeding for them, the quicker they will be to find what they are looking for and the quicker they will be to take action.
Do yourself a favor. Stop for a moment and look at your website and ask yourself two questions.
- What is my primary goal for this website?
- What content can I eliminate to increase the likelihood that my users achieve this goal?
I will concede that this notion of deletion runs contrary to the way most people think about their websites. However what content deletion achieves is simplicity and clarity for your website visitors. It strips away all the superfluous content that “is there because it has to be” and leaves only content that will help you achieve your goals. When you start thinking of content as a distraction to those goals you will quickly see that when it comes to website content less certainly is more.