The most important website trend since mobile responsiveness

Netflix are doing it. Apple have done it for years. Google is the best example.

It’s called, simplicity.

If mobile responsiveness has ensured websites now need to be simpler, user trends have ensured that key information now needs to be more immediate. Gone are the days of discovery.

Take a look at the Netflix site and you’ll see there’s barely any info – just one, rather large, call to action button.

The Apple homepage loads with a simple image of the iPhone X and 2 options, learn more or buy.

And everyone knows that the Google page has just 1 option – search.

Whilst there is more information on these pages available, it’s discrete. It’s as if the UX designers have accepted that anyone wanting to know something more will be prepared to search for it outside of the main viewing pane. These super-brands have a lot to offer, could write thousands of webpages covering ‘their story’, ‘about us’ or ‘my blog’ but instead they choose to focus on the user.

Why is this becoming a trend?

People scroll – pausing only to read a caption or view an image – but rarely does one settle on a page for a good read. We’ve all been trained by Instagram to digest information quickly, scroll to what we want or swipe past anything that doesn’t take our fancy. We’ve become masters of the fast assessment and we’re all too quick to swipe past something that doesn’t immediately connect with our needs.

How can websites adapt to this trend?

As a copywriter, I produce a lot of website content and I’ve developed a useful way to help business owners simplify their homepage.

Step 1.

Write a list of what you hope a website visitor is thinking when they visit your website.

In the case of Netflix it might be “I want to sign up for a free month.”

In the case of Apple it might “I want to buy the new iPhone X.”

In the case of Google it might be “I intend to search for something”.

Step 2.

Organise which of those ‘thoughts’ are most important to you. What is your primary purpose. If you had to cherry pick something, what would it be?

Step 3.

Make it oh so simple on your website that’s what you do. Use as few words as possible. Create a button for the action you want the user to take.

If you’re a burger restaurant in Manly, you may want a ‘get directions’ button.

If you’re a Mechanic, you may want a ‘get a quote’ button

If you provide SaaS; ‘start a free trial’.

The key is to make it as easy as possible to trigger the most meaningful action to your business. And by removing a lot of the clutter, users tend to follow your chosen path more often, rather than getting lost in the site and leaving.

But you also need to be aware of the user intent when a visitor uses your site. If you can match their intent, with your key message and trigger a call to action, then you’re likely to generate more leads or sales.

In terms of content, it’s where your primary purpose intersects with user intent.

In the case of Apple: User searches for “buy iPhone X online”, they navigate to the Apple homepage, and because their intent was to purchase, they click on the purchase option which is displayed clearly and obviously. It’s simple, but you’d be surprised how many websites over complicate things.

In digital marketing circles, much has been made of website conversion percentages. Of course, the website design, the trust you build with the audience and even the photography can significantly enhance your chances of securing a conversion – and all of those items still need to be considered. But, by making your primary call-to-action the one that’s the most important to your business, typically means you’ll get more of that type of conversion.

Penny Rich
Penny Rich
I'm a copywriter and website UX manager from Sydney. My main goal is to help business owners create a better connection with their audience through words, layouts and design. It's a wonderful thing when people actually read what you have to say and this gives you the chance to speak to a captive audience in the way that you want. My blog is the chance for me to write creatively about things, places and services I like.
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