Web design: less is more

It can be tempting to fill your homepage with as much cut-throat copy as humanly possible to win more unique visits and returning customers. Resist the temptation: less is more.

May (the label)

Fashion is always finding new ways of emphasizing what’s important: clothes. With fashion business May the label, the clothes are simple and tasteful. The business’ site reflects this by successfully taking the less is more approach in almost every way.

The design of the site contains hardly any barriers. The visitor is presented with a white page, headed by the business’ logo. Immediately beneath the logo are nine menu options in a horizontal line. Below these, the eye is drawn to a single stationary image of a model wearing May products. Beneath the image is the only copy on the page; three sentences detailing free shipping in Australia, the arrival of a new collection, and a call to action for the newsletter.

This is significant, as it has reduced the function of the page to its basest elements. It immediately gives a feel of the label, through web design and image selection. It improves on the initial aesthetic appeal with a financially rewarding promise: free shipping. The mention of a collection demonstrates that the site is relevant and current. And it compels the reader to sign up for marketing information.

The rest of the site follows much the same theme. Instead of displaying thousands of items, the store section subdivides products into 5 categories, each containing no more than 4 items, thereby avoiding any intimidating saturation. The longest story on the news page is 5 short lines. You get the idea.


Snowballer is a simple idea that has been implemented concisely and effectively. It’s a job advertising service that operates like a message board. Visitors can filter posts according to 7 categories at the top of each page. The message board style of the site is reinforced by a toolbar that allows the visitor to share any one of the jobs on their social networks.

The simple way in which the jobs are presented isn’t just easy for the visitor to process: it matches the brand of the site—the posts make it simple for visitors to find new staff, and help their business gather momentum. There isn’t a lot of information on the site and what’s there gets straight to the point.


Health-related online retail needs to reassure the visitor of its authenticity and reliability as soon as they land on the page. Online contact lens retailer Netlens does this effectively with little more than their color scheme: nothing on the page is difficult to look at, and all the colors are cool and calm. Two different shades of reassuring blue fade into the Centre of the page, leading to an image of a blue eye, mirrored by the business logo.

The first message the visitor is presented with is a financial one guaranteeing the lowest prices on contact lenses. The message is green, thereby drawing attention to itself without disrupting the feel of the page. All writing on the page is very easy to read and emphasizes the value-promise outlined in the green section.

The navigation panel is on the left of the page, and only contains three active categories: lenses by brand and by type, and accessories. If the visitor doesn’t want to go searching, the Centre of the page shows the most popular contact lens offers on the site.

Importantly, an enormous shopping cart appears on every page of the site, so the visitor knows exactly where they are at any point during their transaction.

Also, everything a visitor might need is found on the first page—there’s no confusion about what the site is.

Want to have a go at building the perfect website, but are unsure where to start? Try a free demo of Netregistry’s Sitebuilder

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