People have a tendency toward excess. Toward too much. Toward going over the top. Toward more than we need.

We think that just because we can get all the bells and whistles, that we should get all the bells and whistles. Get the extra features or the extended version. Fulfil the entire vision in one go.

Unfortunately, when it comes to business marketing and web design, what you see in this image is the proverbial result.

A confusing mess

This door buzzer with three buttons, when all that is really needed is one, is a confusing mess.

The instructions are unclear. Use this button. Don’t use that button. Oh and just ignore the other button.

All this excess and poor communication creates friction for you and I as users of the buzzer.

We have to stop and think about it before we take action. It’s not immediately obvious what we should do next. Which button should we press?

Why do we even have the choice of three buttons when our options are actually limited to just one button?

This is how I think about web design

Most business websites don’t need all the bells and whistles. All the extra features. All the options. Not only is all the extra stuff costly, but at the end of the day, like the extra buttons on this door buzzer, they may cause issues, and create friction for your customers.

If it’s not obvious what to do next, why would a customer bother figuring it all out just to buy from you?

Reducing Friction

Your website should be a place where people find it easy to take action. Where it’s obvious what you offer and what the customer should do next. Otherwise, they may as well just go to the next website. The one that’s easier to use. Where it’s easier to take action. The one with less friction and less confusion.

Given the option of using another buzzer, one with just a single button and an obvious course of action, there’s no way I’d bother using this one.

Keep your website simple. Who are you? What do you offer? How can people buy from you? How can they buy from you? Make dealing with you and your business easy for your customers.

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