Keeping It Simple with UX


When it comes to UX – it’s not about a beautiful site for the sake of beauty alone. While great design does certainly have artistic virtue, beauty is not the goal. It’s a means to an end.

The goal is conversion. It’s about guiding your visitor to complete the action you want them to take, an action which (and this is critical) is aligned with the action that they want to take.

They may want to look for specific information, make a competitive comparison, and – maybe, just maybe, they may want you to reach out to them.

To make this happen – we need to make the journey towards the desired action – easy, pleasing, and effective. This is where great UX comes in.

In a great post, from the insightful folks at marketing automation vendor – Hubspot, there are eight guidelines for ‘exceptional web design, usability, and user experience.’ Namely:

  • Simplicity

  • Visual Hierarchy

  • Navigability

  • Consistency

  • Accessibility

  • Conventionality

  • Credibility

  • User-centricity

Among the items in the above list is one in particular that I firmly believe in – whether for design, content, planning, and – of course, UX. That is, simplicity.

Simplicity is a beautiful thing, it really is. Einstein is quoted as saying:

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

The same can be said about your site. How do you explain yourself simply through your website? The answer lies in the prudent selection and application of colors, typefaces, and graphics.

  • When it comes to colors, the recommendation is not to use more than five. This isn’t surprising – a brand’s primary color palette is generally comprised of five colors.

  • With typefaces the guideline is to limit yourself to three. Makes sense – titles, subtitles, body text.

  • And with graphics remember: form follows function. Use them only to support and complete your message. Never use graphics for decoration alone.

Visual Hierarchy is also about explaining things simply. It helps your visitor understand what’s important. It’s about arranging and organizing page elements so that visitors will naturally gravitate toward the most important elements first.

For example – if we’re talking conversion – visual hierarchy is very important for where you put your call-to-action button.

If we consider that most people (at least in the Western hemisphere) scan from left to right – you may want to put your CTA on the left (and again at the bottom right).

You will likely want to put it above the fold (i.e. before the visitor needs to start scrolling to read more). You will also want to use a color that presents an engaging contrast with the color of the rest of the page.

To read more about the other guidelines, I recommend reading Hubspot’s post.

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