What is simplicity? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, simplicity is the state of being simple, uncomplicated or uncompounded. A simple web design is uncomplicated. Minimalist design style is related to simple. It has only the necessary elements for functionality. A minimalist design can be simple, but a simple design is not minimalist.
Is your website complicated or complex?
What makes it complex?
Too much content
Unnecessary design elements
It’s slow to load and hard to use
Why do you want your design to be simple?
A simple website is easy to navigate and use. It has the right number of design elements. A simple website loads faster and helps guide your customer to do what they want. It has content that is readable and scannable.
What can you do to make it simple?
Look at your content and ask is it necessary?
If not, remove it. If its, consider rewriting it. Use bullet points, shorter paragraphs and headings to break the text up. You don’t want to overwhelm people with a sea of text.
Review your site for extra design elements
Do you have colors, illustrations and photos that serve as decorations? If so, consider removing anything that is unnecessary.
Check for ease of use
Is your navigation bar complicated? Too many options can make it hard to use.
Do they need to go to multiple pages before getting all of the information that they need? Too many pages can make a simple design hard to use.
Are your forms easy to use? Complicated forms can make your visitors leave your website.
Look for items that slow your site down
Your photos, CSS, CMS and additional code can slow your website down. People won’t use your site if it is really slow. Use tools to compress and optimize your photos and CSS. Make sure your CMS is updated to the latest version. If you use any third party or custom code to extend your website, check if they are causing speed issues. See if you can get rid of the slow ones.
Simplicity is not a design style. Keeping your web design simple is hard. Websites change and evolve over time. You have to continually work to keep the design simple.
Do you develop your website with a mobile responsive or mobile first design strategy? How do I know which one that I am using? Mobile responsive uses CSS to adjust the design to look good when viewed on different devices. Your design may have started out for desktop and updated to work on mobile. Mobile first focuses on designing for mobile users and their devices first. With the numbers of people who use the Internet through a smartphone or table, you want to make sure that your site is usable and fast for them.
What mobile strategies can you use?
1. Keep your content short
Use writing tools like Grammarly and Hemingway to help you write better and keep it short.
2. Keep your site simple
Review your website. Look at the number of pages and links in your navigation bar. You may have too many. Consider getting rid of old and unnecessary pages and links. Are your pages cluttered? Do they have too much information crammed onto them? Use white space to add breathing room between different pieces of information. Can you reduce the number of columns you use to two or one? On mobile, you want to limit the number of columns used. Two or less is recommended.
3. Use Mobile First Design practices
Use white space, vivid colors, bold shapes and strong typographic elements in your design. Do you need to use photos? You can use a mix of stock and real photos to create a unique brand. Remember to optimize the photos for the web. Photos with large file sizes can slow your site down.
4. Make your site fast
Your site needs to load fast. People will leave a website with performance issues. On mobile, it is even more important. What can you do to speed it up?
Do you use dark themes or dark mode in your text editor? You can offer website visitors a choice of dark or light modes. Some people prefer using the dark mode because it is easier on their eyes.
What do you need to create a dark mode?
Ananay Negoi uses CSS Variables and a button to toggle between light and dark mode. She demonstrates how to build the Dark-Light mode switch.
Level 5 Media Query
Level 5 Media Query checks your operating system for your preference for a light or dark mode. You can use this query to automatically set the mode for each visitor.
Designing for dark mode
When you create a dark mode for your website, it involves more than switching the colors to darker ones. You need to consider how color, fonts, images affect the readability and usability of your website. Your website reflects your brand. You want to think about how a dark mode can affect your brand. Andy Clarke walks you through the steps he took when he created a dark mode version of his website.
Dark Mode Resources
If you want to implement a dark mode design of your website, refer to these resources on how to do it.
They also help to create hierarchy and relationships between objects. These principles help you to provide feedback to the user, indicate status and give instructions. One of the first uses of animation on computer screens was the flashing cursor. It tells you that you can start typing and that the computer is working and not frozen. This simple animation conveys information faster than words can.
How to Use Animation Responsibly
When you are deciding to add animation to your user interface, consider the following:
Does it add value?
Are your behaviors consistent?
Is the user interface still functional without it?
Is the animation optimized?
Do you need it?
Using Animation to Enhance User Experience
At WordCamp Atlanta 2019, Michelle Schulp gave a talk Squash and Stretch and Good UX- Using Animation To Enhance User Experience. She gave a quick overview of the 12 Principles of Animation. Michelle explains the uses of animation and how to use animation responsibly.
Design is about solving problems not making it look pretty. You want your designs to work. They should be easy to understand and use. How do you get better at design? By doing. It can be hard to come up with ideas to design. You can practice with design challenges.
Why do design challenges?
Challenges help you get better at solving problems. They help you to explore new ideas, understand how other designers approach problems and improve your UX skills. You may create a solution that you want to use as a case study in your portfolio.
Here are four different websites where you can find a challenge to tackle:
1. Can’t Unsee: UX Design Game
Ready to test your UX design skills? You can test your skills with Alex Kotliarskyi’s Can’t Unsee. It is a game that tests your UI design skills and attention to details. With three levels, you can challenge your skills in interface design.
2. UX Challenges
Practice solving problems with UX Challenges. These challenges ask you to solve real world problems. You may want to use your solution to a problem as a case study for your portfolio or practice for a design interview.
3. Daily UI
Want to become a better designer? You can sign up for a series of design challenges, inspirations and more. Use these daily challenges to learn and improve your design skills.
Designercize randomly gives you a design problem. You can pick the problem that you want to focus on, choose a time to complete it in and click on play. When the time is done, you should have a completed design.