What Makes a Great User Experience? Simplicity.

Although I’m not a designer I do feel I have an adequate level of experience with websites to chime in on this conversation.  What makes a great user experience?  Some people will say big call to action buttons, others will say a sleek, flash-filled, stroke-inducing introduction, and others will say white space, tons and tons of white space… I personally don’t believe it’s any of these.  What makes a great user experience is the simplicity of the page.  What do you want your user to do on that page?  Click this button?  Enter their name here?  Read this text?  Whatever it is, that is what the page should be all about.  And I mean, ALL about.  Too many times I stumble across web pages that have five call to action buttons, seven text blurbs with “read more” links, and three places to enter my name for who knows what.  This.  Is.  Confusing.

People are innately indecisive.  When given multiple options we hesitate, we flinch and we eventually flounder in our inability to choose.  Have you ever watched The Price Is Right?  How many times do people wring their hands, crease their foreheads in frustration and eventually close their eyes and pick something or ask the audience to decide for them?  Indecision in it’s most glorious form.

So if we know people are indecisive and if we’re building websites and mobile apps in which we want people to do something, why do we give them choices?  Take a hint from our old pal Leonardo da Vinci: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.  Make your pages simple, give your users one and only one option on the screen, and let me know what your conversion rates are 🙂

To get you in the “simplicity” state of mind, here are some great and at the very least, funny, quotes on simplicity.