Making Your Site Both Simple and Functional

True elegance lies in simplicity. While this might seem contradictory at face value, to make something both simple and effective, it has to be sophisticated.

Consider the original iPod, or look at Google’s home page. Both are laughably simple in appearance, yet they harness extraordinary power. You can accomplish the same for your ebooks online stores, electronics e-commerce sites, or any other retail endeavor when you focus on making your site both simple and functional.


Purpose Should Determine Design

If your website needs to sell, it should be designed to do so. If its primary goal is to inform, it should take a different tack altogether. Said simply, a form should be a byproduct of function—not the other way around. In all too many cases, designers emphasize form, leaving function to take care of itself. If your goal is to make your site both simple and functional, this is not going to work.

Beauty Can Be a Hindrance

Have you ever been in a room in which a beautiful person entered? In all probability, the vibe in the space changed palpably—with people either angling to get that person’s attention or trying to pretend they don’t notice them. Either way, the pretty person became a distraction the moment their presence became apparent. In much the same way, beauty can get in the way of a site’s functionality. Now we’re not saying ignore aesthetics altogether; of course, you want your design to be clean, professional and crisp. But flourishes can be left by the wayside if they do nothing to promote the overall purpose of the site, other than to make it look nice.

Loading Times Can Be Affected

If you produce a graphics-heavy site in an effort to make it more beautiful, you could inadvertently shoot yourself in the foot. Sites with a ton of graphics tend to load more slowly. Keep in mind; e-commerce shoppers are a rather impatient lot. They want fast load times and couldn’t care less about how divine your site looks when it finally loads. They want to find their product, make the purchase and get on with their lives. By the way, load time is one of the measures by which search engines determine rankings. Your beautiful website could well wind up languishing in the backwaters if search engines pass on it in favor of one that loads more efficiently.

Confusion Costs Conversions

Another problem with an over-designed site is the fact it can actually leave users confused. That ingenious menu structure that your highly paid designer forced down your throat could leave shoppers flummoxed. Confused customers tend to look for places they can shop with more confidence. If deciphering your ebooks online stores requires a graduate degree from MIT, you’re going to be sitting on a lot of unread ebooks.

The Bottom Line…

The form should always follow function. Therefore superfluous flourishes should always take a back seat to essential processes. Think about it.  The simplest website ever to be posted to the internet garners more traffic than any other site in the world. And, even though its homepage consists only of a logo, a search window, 11 menu items and a whole lot of white space, it’s one of the most beautiful sites on the web.

Making your site simple and functional all but guarantees its success—and its beauty.


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