The Number One Reason Clients Hate Our Website Designs

posted this in
Web Design
on February 7th, 2013

It wasn’t that long ago.

We got a call from a business owner who found us through one of our previous websites. They liked how easy the site was to navigate and how uncluttered it was.

Some negotiating took place and they signed an agreement for us to do their business’ website, too. But then they got our design for their website and they hated it.

Okay, it wasn’t that extreme at first. It started out with something like this:

“We really love the design that you’ve created for us, but…”

There it is - the dreaded “but”.

Our designers have nightmares about this word (although it doesn’t always lead to such dire circumstances.)

This one “but” led to a laundry list of things they wanted to change. (Actually, it was a list of things they wanted to add.)

You see, the simplicity and clarity of the design that brought them to us in the first place had been long forgotten. Now, the only thing in their head was what should be on their website. Why?

Because simplicity is hard.

They hated the design we created for them for the same reason they loved the design that brought them to us: it was simple. (Too simple?)

And they weren’t the first ones to have these thoughts.

As a user of a website (or application or appliance or anything) simplicity is usually highly appreciated because it is equated with ease of use. After all, simple means “not complex.”

However, it seems as the purchaser of a website, a simple design means that not enough thought went into it (when the opposite is usually true.) When presented with a web design they purchased, simple seems to mean “I didn’t get enough for my money.”

Simplicity does NOT mean “sparse”.

You see, this business owner felt he was not getting the value he paid for. “This simple design must have been way too easy to create,” he thought.

Well, we have news for him (and maybe you): creating a simple, easy-to-use website is anything but easy and simple.

You know what is easy? Throwing everything you have onto a website and hoping it works.

Paring down your website to the essential is the hard part. In fact, it’s extremely difficult!

A simple interface can be the difference between success and failure.

Remember how complicated PDA’s and so-called “smart” phones were before Apple revolutionized the field with simple, intuitive touch control?

Rather than stuffing a bunch of buttons on a device, Apple spent time, money, energy and research finding a way to make simple what had been complex.

Your website should be that simple to use. Your visitors should be able to effortlessly find what they’re looking for without a lot of clutter. After all, isn’t the website created for them? (Hint: the answer is yes.)

We take great pride in the web designs we churn out and we have many satisfied clients. So it may sound strange for us to be revealing and trumpeting something that makes some people hate our work.

But simplicity is important and effective. So if you’re going to hate our designs for some reason, we’d prefer it be a good one. After all, haters gonna hate.