According to a recent Google study, visually complex web designs are actually considered to be less beautiful overall than clean and minimal web designs. The study goes on to explore how complexity can color visitors’ first impressions — impacting how easily visitors can understand a website’s content, or how willing visitors are to continue exploring a website further.

At With Grace and Gold, we believe web design is truly a delicate and strategic balance — that a successful web design can be both engaging and minimal, conversion-driven and clean. While every web design we create is unique, we strive to capture that balance for each client we serve — creating an engaging, connection-driven, one-of-a-kind, web design to complement, and not compete with, your work. Today, we’re going to share why and how less is more in web design, and how you can prepare for your next web design with purpose and strategy.

Why and How Less is More in Web Design

At With Grace and Gold, we often share about how your web design can work on your behalf. For small business owners, not only can your web design serve as your prospective clients’ first impression of your business — but your web design can also be a primary resource for guiding your clients or customers toward confidently choosing your business. 

As the expert behind your business, you know there is a lot to know about your business, your products, or your services. From your product details and the benefits of choosing those products, to your service descriptions and your process for guiding your clients through each service — there are so many valuable details you likely feel ready and excited to share with your website’s visitors. It may even feel like your website should be the one place — the resource or the hub — where all of those meaningful details can be discovered and explored by your visitors. 

Over the years, though, we’ve discovered and developed a unique approach to web design — an approach to equip diverse small business owners to multiply their revenue and their reach using a purpose-driven, engaging web design. It can be challenging to describe in words — and easier to show through design — but essentially, less is more. For example, a curated collection of photos can help your visitors to understand your unique style, expertise, and approach. A curated amount of copywriting can help your visitors to connect with your words in a meaningful and connection-driven way. This pared down, curated approach to your website’s content can help you to establish authority and credibility, while creating a more user-friendly experience for your visitors, and guiding your visitors toward purchasing your products or booking your services. 

Studies tell us that website visitors’ attention spans are brief — and if we think about how we explore websites, as visitors, we completely understand and agree. As users, we love to quickly peruse content, find the content we’re looking for, and continue on. 

That’s why, through web design at With Grace and Gold, we aim to ensure each design we create for our clients is engaging, experience-driven and user-friendly — aligned with the unique goals our clients have shared with us. Using our approach, we can complement and not compete with your photography and copywriting, prompt your visitors to confidently continue exploring your design, and guide your visitors toward confidently choosing your business. 

Why Less is More in Web Design

So, why does minimal design matter, and how can you achieve your business goals using a curated approach to your web design?

  1. Minimal design creates space for conversion. One common error we see in web design is a heavy focus on the non-revenue-generating areas of your business — such as a large section on your Home page dedicated to showcasing a recent blog post, rather than using a large section on your Home page to showcase a specific product or a specific service. With visitors’ brief attention spans in mind, each page of your design should have a single goal — encouraging your visitor to contact you, encouraging your visitor to purchase a product, encouraging your visitor to book a service, or any goal specific to your unique business. The overarching purpose of your website is about more than showcasing your work — but about moving your business forward through purchases or bookings. With a minimal design, you can create a clear focus on conversion, serve your visitors more seamlessly, and lay a foundation for more seamless business growth. 
  2. Minimal design equips you to serve visitors in the way they value being served.  While creativity in web design can be really fun, there are certain design standards every web design can benefit from sticking with. Website visitors are used to certain design standards — which means, when they visit any website, they have certain expectations. When your web design serves visitors in the way they value being served, you can better ensure your visitors are having a seamless, easy, and natural experience exploring your website. On the other hand, when your web design is has many complex design features, your visitors may experience certain challenges exploring further. A successful web design can create a balance between creativity and ease.
  3. Minimal design equips you to focus on what matters most to your visitors. One common misconception about web design is that your web design should be created for you — to showcase your work and your expertise the way you envision. While your preferences and vision do play a role in how the details of your web design come together, a truly successful web design is focused on what is valuable and meaningful to your visitors. When we, as business owners, are prompted to pare down our content and compose our copywriting in a purpose-driven way, we can ensure every detail of our web design speaks to our prospective clients and equips our visitors for success.

We believe there is truly no such thing as “simple” web design — and that minimal web design shouldn’t be mistaken for a lack of detail or intention. Instead, a minimal web design should be considered a way of designing to showcase what really matters — creating an engaging, connection-focused, conversion-driven design your visitors can explore with ease, form a meaningful connection to, and ultimately, confidently choose. 

How to Create a Minimal Design Rooted in Your Goals

So, how can you go about creating a minimal design — a design rooted to support your long-term goals?

  1. Determine what your visitors value — how your website is answering their question or how your products or services are solving their problem. When you approach your web design with your visitors in mind, you can curate content through a lens of service and ensure all of your website’s content is included with your visitors in mind. Often times, this means focusing on your products, services, free resources, and the ways in which your visitors’ lives or businesses can be enhanced from choosing your business. When helpfulness is at the heart of your web design, you can better ensure your website will connect with, guide, and serve your visitors. 
  2. Outline your website, and determine a goal for each page of your website. Like many projects in business, an outline or a plan can serve as a foundation for success. Every page of your website should have a unique goal — such as leading your visitors toward your free resources, opting into your newsletter, scheduling a free consultation, purchasing a product, or booking a service. When each page of your website has a specific goal, you can rest assured your website is working on your behalf and equipping your visitors for successfully moving forward. 
  3. Curate your photography and copywriting. Your photography and copywriting can make all the difference in how effectively and accurately your website communicates on your behalf. While every web design business has a unique approach, we are strong believers in curating your photography and copywriting to ensure every detail is really rooted in serving your audience, communicating your expertise effectively, and equipping your visitors for success. Additionally, we know how quickly visitors tend to explore websites, so having a more curated approach to your photography and copywriting can cater to visitors’ preferences, too.
  4. Maintain brand consistency. Whether you’ve had your brand professionally designed, or you’ve created a brand of your own — having a complete brand is valuable, but using your brand consistently throughout every area of your business is even more valuable. From your color palette to your font styles, your web design should accurately use your brand details. When consistency is created within your web design, your website more effectively communicates your credibility and lays a strong foundation for future growth. 
  5. Embrace white space. White space, or negative space, refers to the space above, below, or between elements within your web design. While white space may feel like “empty” space, there is intention, meaning, and value in allowing space between elements within your website. With white space, the elements used within your web design — images, galleries, copywriting, buttons, or calls-to-action — can have even more impact. We think of it this way: When you land on a website, the area you see before scrolling is called the area “above the fold.” If this area showcased a great deal of copywriting, a few links, social media icons, and a newsletter opt-in… chances are, you wouldn’t know exactly where to begin. On the other hand, if this area showcased a high-impact heading, a supporting sub-heading, and a button or call-to-action, you’d know exactly where to begin. White space can ensure the content you have included on your website has space to breathe — that your visitors can seamlessly digest the content you’re presenting, and more successfully navigate your website.
  6. Create a clear call-to-action on every page. As mentioned, every page of your website should have a specific goal. With that goal in mind, ensure every page of your website has a clear call-to-action … a button, an opt-in, a way for your visitors to move forward in the way you’ve designed. This clear call-to-action can equip your website to truly work on your behalf and ensure your visitors’ success too. 

Achieving a balance between an engaging design and minimal design can be a challenge. Whether you choose to hire a professional web designer, or you apply these actionable tips to your web design — know your website can work on your behalf and serve as a foundation for moving your business forward. 

About Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay

Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, founders and entrepreneurs. Enjoy weekly, actionable episodes to build a successful, sustainable small business from the inside out.

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