What do you do when your website design is over 5 years old, doesn’t play a significant role in business generation, and you see all your competitors starting to look like the apple store?
How do you leave your audience feeling that you are progressive when your last news story was about the Christmas party?
Recently we have been approached by a number of clients to redevelop old legacy B2B corporate sites. Every site, its audience and subsequently every project is different, but we have seen a shift with some of our B2B clients towards a more minimalistic online experience. This is particularly evident where the organisation has little resource for regular updates and just needs a slick, well designed, timeless and simple website design. This trend plays into the hands of audiences being more time poor and just looking for top line content, and leaving sites with a positive perception and a basic recall.
Here are a few tips I would consider when contemplating a minimalist website design revamp.
1| Evaluate your current content
Look at what is really needed and how often content is updated. If your last news post was a year old, or nobody is reading your product pages, ask yourself if you really need them. Be brutal. Get rid of anything you don’t think offers you or your audience any value. It may be more a case of merging pages into one larger page but reducing the amount you say on a particular component.
2| Think about what your audience want from your site
The audience is the heart of any UX project. Ask regular customers what they are looking for and consider how easy it is for them to find that information on a page or in the navigation on desktop and mobile. This should form your focus for a redesign brief. If they tell you they don’t need your “top tips” … get rid.
3| Go on a shopping trip in your head
Think about going into a minimalistic store. They generally draw you into the few objects they sell on very sparse shelves, generally with very little clutter but are always exceptionally presented. The information attached to a particular object usually assumes you know what the object is and may not even have a price on it. Why? It encourages you to engage with the shop staff and creates intrigue around the products listed. If the product is not for you, you can gauge that fairly quickly and run out. Try and articulate what this would be for your business to your agencies or in house teams. What is least amount of information you can get away with without putting people off! Minimalistic sites create enough intrigue and compliment your products and services without giving away the crown jewels.
4| Challenge your agencies
Your agencies will be working with loads of different industries, they are a great source of cross pollination. Challenge them to see what the least amount of pages would look like.
5| Don’t go too far
Although your site may not be the single source of all of your business, your customers will visit. It is effectively your online shop window. Even if they are only coming on to find your head office number, then that experience needs to be simple and also considered, finding a phone number could uncover a solution to your customers may not have known about. So if you have gone too far be prepared to bring back some content, but it doesn’t have to presented in the same way.
Remember, minimalistic sites are all about the word “minimal”. What is the least you can get away with for your audience, so that you can focus on doing a really good job on presenting the content that everybody wants to see and read? Be bold, chuck out your tat and leave the shelves with interesting, bold and engaging experiences.