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In a world where time is money, there is no room for fancy procedures or old practices. It’s surprising how many popular brands still use obsolete technology and traditional processes.

The Internet raised the demand for instant transactions. This increased the popularity of a new factor in sales – simplicity.

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We have recorded a YouTube video on the topic of simplicity as a company value. You can watch it below:

The meaning of simplicity in business

A simple experience doesn’t mean that it’s simplistic. Many brands use complex physical and digital processes. Yet, their end products simplify everyone’s lives.

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Albert Einstein

Customers don’t want the best sales pitch. They want solutions that will solve their problem. Whenever there is an easy way to achieve something with the same result, one would be oddly motivated to choose a more complicated path.

We naturally gravitate toward more efficient use of our time. As a result, we choose a product that is doing exactly what we expect it to do while going through a simple journey with the least number of clicks to obtain it.

You know your audience. You have the data. These two will help you create a powerful product.

But you need to give it to them without friction. The ease of use and transparency will connect with the users’ logic and emotions, creating a sustainable customer experience.

Simplicity as a company value

It doesn’t matter what is your industry. You can give your customers a simple experience. People gravitate towards simple solutions. They have enough cognitive load as it is, so you can’t afford to add even more friction.

Customers don’t want the best sales pitch. They want solutions that will solve their problem.

Because of information overload in the modern world, the human brain is looking for opportunities to rest whenever it can. People follow suggestions put forward by others, as it saves them the labour of thinking for themselves. The path to your product should be transparent, simple, and straightforward. Otherwise, it will be the competition that will lead the customer by the hand straight to their service.

A recipe for simplicity

Simplicity sounds… simple. But in reality, it’s not. Traditional ways of working, the outdated structure of a business and a lack of user research make it difficult to create simple experiences. Simplicity is often overlooked in favour of the status quo. Do you see the irony in that? You are picking the simple way out for yourself – why not do the same for the people that buy from your company?

The question is, what are the attributes that create the best customer experience possible?

  • Clarity. Your product must have answers to such questions as “what”, “how” and “why”. Having straightforward customer communication lets you compare what you have to offer with what your potential customers want. Finding that sweet spot and cutting off everything unrelated to the desired transaction will bring you great benefits.
  • Value. No matter how simple your experience is, it means absolutely nothing if it isn’t what your customers need. Before everything else, the most important thing is having a product that customers are willing to buy, repurchase, and recommend to their friends.
  • Transparency. Only companies that have nothing to hide can afford simplicity. It’s easier to show your service in a simple manner if the product or service you are offering is simple to the bone. No hidden costs, crazy promotions or other unnecessary tricks. You give the customer what they want – nothing more, nothing less.

What’s the simplest experience you’ve encountered this week?

Some websites help you get things effortlessly. Let us know in the comments about your recent experiences. Can you recall anything so simple that you didn’t give it a second thought until now? Share the horror stories as well!

And for the first-time commenters, don’t forget to grab your FREE PDF along the way!

Examples of simplicity in business

Let’s have a look at the current top three brands scoring the highest in Simplicity Index across the United Kingdom.

  • Netflix. No one should be surprised who opens the podium. When you subscribe to Netflix, there’s no doubt that you’ll get exactly what you paid for. When you feel like watching a TV series, you can literally play it after two taps or mouse clicks. Netflix takes ease of experience one step further, tracking your viewing patterns and eliminating the decision-making process of what to watch next.
  • Google. A giant. Yet, their core products are clear and simple to use. Each of the tools offered by Google is easily available and thoroughly documented while offering value to industries that need certain tools unavailable anywhere else.
  • IKEA. The world’s largest furniture retailer devotes a lot of attention to internal processes. Everything works like a Swiss watch thanks to its excellent service structure and clarity of purpose. If you think about it, even the process of passing through the store has been refined to provide the best customer service in the world.

What’s the value of simplicity?

The world is crowded with experiences and impulses. Simplicity provides the most important value – time savings. Everyone knows about the greatness of data tracking. Analytics show us the science behind how a consumer behaves.

Showing customers an easy way to use a certain service or product is all about making their own choice. Individuals seek simplicity to feel in control.

We all face a constant stream of choice and information. Delivering simplicity means a lot. If you do it right, the commercial motive gets blurred and a healthy relationship develops. It’s a win-win situation.

It’s no coincidence that the most effective landing pages have little to no external links. The more choice, the less clear the customer journey becomes. Focusing on fewer tasks increases the completion rate.

Simplicity in web design

Experiences benefit from being simple, just like products and marketing. “Less is more” gets thrown around in all areas of design. But do we understand it? Let’s inspect the theory and facts that back up this statement. In the end, we’ll reflect on how this impacts the design of your website.

Users don’t need to think when using good design

“Don’t make me think” is another classic design principle. Less is more, so we’ll keep it short – if you need to explain your design, it’s not good.

One of the best examples is the asterisk in contact forms. It’s engraved in our minds that red asterisks mark an input field as required. By making it simple and using well-known conventions, users can seamlessly glide through your site.

Content dictates the design

How does this impact the simplicity of your website? Go back to the attention span. 12 seconds!

Now here’s another fact – an average visitor reads less than one-third of the content on a page.

You see where this is going, don’t you?

It’s crucial to keep your story concise. You should highlight the important bits, without overdoing the storytelling. People don’t have time to read walls of text.

So how do you optimise your site to appeal to the 12-second attention span without leaving anything out?

A clear, logical visual hierarchy is the key. Elements that help structure your content properly are:

  • headlines
  • white space
  • bullet lists
  • short paragraphs
  • media assets
  • highlighting the key fragments, i.e. in bold

Have you noticed that your site is lagging behind with some of these? Leave a comment to let me know.

Simplicity in Mailchimp’s user journeys

Mailchimp uses simple funnels on their website. It’s even more impressive considering how their tool has grown over the years.

Even though Mailchimp offers a full marketing suite, you can learn everything you need in just two clicks.

We covered this in Webabunga!, where we expose the secrets of B2B websites to inspire your team.

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Originally published Nov 27, 2019 7:43:36 PM, updated May 8 2024.

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