Part 2: Tips for a perfect simplicity in web design
In the first part, we have discussed the nature and benefits of Simplicity, and we tried to provide a clear definition for it. In this part, we address the tips to get a perfect web design with simplicity, namely: to remove the unnecessary elements, to hide the subsidiary functions and to group relevant features together.
The first step in embracing simplicity when designing a website is to remove the unnecessary elements. Let’s check to see if the elements should really display on the page. For example, you want to incorporate simplicity into the website’s homepage. Why don’t you design an inspired logo which can show the visitors your brand story, and put it in the centre of the page? Another example is to use symbols instead of instructions combined with a bunch of text, which is so clear that people may understand in a moment. But how to define which functions are unnecessary? These questions will help you:
- How many people are asking for it? – If a particular function is requested just by a minor group of people, then it should be considered to be the unnecessary one.
- Who is asking for it? – If the function is not for the sake of your primary audience, let’s think about removing it from the page.
- How will it affect others? – Don’t let anything make the page complexity or confuse users. You are targeting simplicity, not complexity.
Although removing is the best strategy for a simplicity design, it’s not always possible. There are still some elements which are sometimes sought by users. Therefore, a smarter idea is to hide them deeper within your site or within the interface itself. Let’s take a look at the example of Apple’s iPhone below: That is to say, if you can organize the less important elements in a strategic manner, you are one more step closer to a perfect website with simplicity.
Together with removing and hiding, there is another way to get simplicity, which is grouping relevant features. The most effective way of grouping elements is ‘the SLIP scheme’. SLIP stands for Sort (group randomly in your mind), Label (put a label on each group), Integrate (combine similar group) and Prioritize (give attention based on set priority). That helps you to solve the problems everywhen you are confused: “What goes with what?”. Despite the fact that making things simple (but not boring, as mentioned in the definition of simplicity in the previous part) is quite complicated. Removing elements, or even hiding and grouping them, is not easy and doesn’t always work as we expect. However, impressive simplicity in web design will bring your site closer to more viewers and potential customers. That’s why it’s worth trying.