Simpler is Better

Simple website design always gives a beautiful attraction to the audiences. Simplicity makes the audiences feel more focused on anything that matters. Just two or three sentences, plain background, and one or two illustrations can make the audience understand what should they do next.

But making a simple website design is not simple. If you are a professional, it takes a lot of researches about your costumer. What they like, how they use the website or what should you do with the colors. Because every website has their own audiences. HTML, CSS and Javascript skills will be needed too obviously.

Perspective of A Designer

When I studied the fundamentals of design in Udacity, there are four principles that need to be considered by a designer to make a good design. Affordance, signifiers, conceptual models, and system image. I would like to explain a little bit about this basic knowledge of designing things. Just to make sure that you only not see it from the perspective of an entrepreneur or a computer geek, but also thinking as a true designer.

Affordance, by definition, is a relationship between an object and a person. It's all about human interaction with the products that you present. So if you want to make a good and simple website design, then you should think like the audience. Term user-friendly is not easy to get. A good designer must have considered every single aspect. Whether it's about the structure of the website, the color that you choose, the font, the illustration, the music may be, and many more. It depends on what the audiences want and what you want to present to your audiences.


Signifiers itself is a communication device of a product. Let's pick your earphone, headphone or headset that you have. By observing it closely, maybe you will find two letters which were written on the backside of each earphone. It says ‘R' and ‘L'. Those are signifiers. Its explain that every earphone has 2 sides, ‘R' stands for ‘Right' and ‘L' stands for ‘Left'. So you can put each earphone in the correct ears.

In perspective of affordance, maybe it is related to how human ears work and will give you the perfect feeling when you're watching a video or listening to some music from your earphones. And if the designer didn't put the letters on each earphone, maybe you will confuse and wouldn't get the best experience of listening music from your earphone.

Let's get back to website design. In website design, the signifiers mostly explain about the menu of the website. Whether you are having a commercial website, personal blog or news website, you will see a lot of signifiers to make sure that the audience knows where to go. We can see it on the Facebook homepage.

In facebook homepage, there are three illustrations that always be on the top of the page. Human-like illustration stands for ‘Friend Invitation', the text balloon stands for ‘Messages' and the globe illustration stands for ‘Notifications'. But, how do I know that? It's easy, Facebook thinks that people will confuse about those signs, so if you move the pointer to the signs, it will pop up a written sign and you will not be confused again.

Conceptual Model and System Image

If we see, every website has many features in it. Sometimes when you click a home-button, it will lead you to the homepage of the website. When you click magnifying-glass button, it will give you an option to search something on that website. But what if your audience is a new user your website and doesn't know anything about it. Then maybe you should give some manual to the audience so that your product can be used by them.

Conceptual models is an explanation. It's usually highly simplified and explains how something works. Besides, the system image is information conveyed by a product. Bringing the conceptual model of the designer by a product to the user. In perspective of the designer, the system image is a way to explains how this website works. Sometimes the will make a ‘Readme' note or Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to make sure that the user does not confuse about anything. And sometimes the designer does not leave any note because it's already simple and easy to learn by the user.

Learn from Apple

Steve Jobs' DNA had given the conceptual models of every product in Apple. Steve Jobs also brings some good affordance to the user for all his products. But the simplicity is not only applied to his products, but also in the website of itself.

If you look closely, there are only three main colors on the website, black, white and grey. Simple, yet it's very comfy to look at. Even with the ads of Apple's products and its promotion lines, it still looks so simple and well-arranged.

But of course, a simple website design takes a lot of time to make. A lot of codes, web developers, and designers, sometimes illustrators as well. That's why you need us to be on your side. Making a simple website design possible. But it can wait. Take your time. Let's take a look more closely.

Simple Touch

What can we see from the perspective of a designer in Apple's website is that you don't need to put a lot of contents on the homepage. Placing a lot of pictures or words will make the audiences confuse and don't know what needs to be focused on. That's why I claim that the website itself has good affordances for the user. A simple website design, yet quite intriguing.

The signifiers in Apple are simple as well. Look at the top of the homepage. The Apple logo stands for the home button and will lead you to the page if you click it. It's universal because almost every website uses its logo to be a home button. There are also a search icon and a bag icon placed on the right side if you decided to buy something.

The menu also contains Apple products. Because Apple only has 6 main physical products, so they don't need to put a lot of options. Even if you click one of the products, it's still presenting itself with elegance. Look at this options below in Mac products. The product options on the top of the page giving a simple presentation with only a silhouette and its product name.

So if you are designing or developing a simple website, then Apple's website should be the best example for you. Simple website design should be a reality, not just a dream.