It’s easy to make a confusing website. It’s hard to make a simple website.
The things that we create — websites, user interfaces, business plans, articles — are the product of our minds. How we think impacts how our product looks, feels, and functions.
When making a website, things can get dicey. So many different groups are providing their input, making requests, asking for changes, insisting on features, and making the whole thing pretty darn complicated.
By the time the website gets to the end user, the website a hopeless, confusing mess.
It’s time to change all of that. The KISS rule helps to stamp out confusion and turn your website into a simple, seamless, powerful, well-oiled machine. (Your users are going to love you.)
The Surprising Truth About Simple Websites
First off, let me whet your appetite for simplicity.
You’ve probably heard that smart people love simplicity.
Einstein, who discovered that E=mc2, was a major fan of simplicity. There is nothing simple about mass-energy equivalence or special relativity, but Einstein was able to express it in five characters.
What does Einstein have to do with your website?
It’s simple. You can distil the complexity of your website into something way more simple. Humans love simplicity. Our brains are wired to love simplicity.
Simplicity Makes People Happy
In one study, scientists asked subjects to pick up two types of objects: easy-to-hold objects (simple), and hard-to-hold objects (complicated). The subjects were hooked up to electromyographic equipment to measure facial response to the objects. Scientists found that the easy-to-hold objects made people smile slightly. In other words, simple objects made people happy.
Simplicity Makes People Think Better
Another test discovered that simple fonts and print helped people reason more clearly. The more complicated or hard-to-read the font, the harder it was for subjects to process information and impaired reasoning skills. Another way of saying it is that simplicity makes people smarter.
Simplicity Makes People Spend Money
A final study should convince you. Yale researchers in partnership with Stanford and University of Michigan scholars wanted to find out if people were more likely to spend money in response to complicated descriptions or simple ones. As you would assume, the simple options won. If consumers felt that an option was simple or easy, it made them more likely to spend their money.