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The Psychological Power of Simple Websites

Simplicity is the key to brilliance. We know if something is simple when we see it, but having to craft simplicity ourselves is another subject. When it comes to websites, simplicity is often underrated, but it is an essential factor in appealing to the audience’s senses. Lucas Miller, in an article for Business 2 Community, says that a good website often has these three simple things built into it:

  • Predictable: They’re easy on the brain and familiar.
  • Accessible: We don’t feel dumb when looking at them; they’re easy to get.
  • Serve as building blocks: They allow us to build off them with our creativity.

Simplicity Is Not Boredom

A study by Google and the University of Basel found that users tend to judge a website’s aesthetic design and perceived functionality in 1/20th to 1/50th of a second. Our brain makes first impressions such as these towards people and things based on perception of threat. Therefore, we often fall for simpler and more predictable ideas because we feel safer and more familiar with them. Scientists also suggest that cognitive fluency—the brain’s love for the familiar—controls our feelings when we receive new information. The more intuitive information feels, the higher the chance that we’ll receive it positively.

To build a good simple website, create something that is predictable but not tedious. Think about those soap opera-like romance movies with clichéd motives but somehow still catch your attention; there’s something in its predictability and simplicity combined with unique characters and plot that successfully glue your eyes on the screen. Do the same thing to your website—it needs to have basic characteristics like a navigation bar, a checkout button, or a search feature. But you can avoid boring viewers with overused templates, and you can also transfer some of your creativity and imagination into your design and content to stand out.

Don’t be too obsessed with the overall image of a website and neglect its functions. Creativity helps you stand out, but not when you fly too high in the sky and no one can go there. Miller says this:

If there’s one thing you should take from this article, it’s that simplicity is never simple.

It’s a vital aspect to have in your website’s design and functionality, but one that you’ll have to work for. Finding the right balance between predictability and creativity is key to mastering the art of simplicity in web design.

You can view the original article here: http://www.business2community.com/web-design/psychological-power-simple-websites-01796776

About My Nguyen

My is a staff writer for AITS. She has a varied background in writing and marketing, having previously worked for the World & Vietnam Report among others.

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