Less is More: Minimalistic Websites for Health

Developing a website has become increasingly easily for us laymen where we do not need to have knowledge of code to put together a public, cool looking website! There are so many different web companies that allow us to point and click to construct a site such as the very site where I’m typing this blog or one of my personal favorities: weebly.

With resources like weebly or wordpress, the frame of the house is easily built and the next challenge is design, buying furniture and placement. Minimalistic approach on a website can enhance the user experience because of our low attention span in comprehending anything so having a focus and clean journey for the user will better achieve the intended takeaway and purpose of your site. The site here embodies the less is more strategy.

Screen shot 2015-08-16 at 7.31.26 PM

  1. Placement/Format: Where you put links, pictures videos, tabs is extremely important because it guides the user’s eyes and journey throughout your website. What is your goal of the website and what do you want the user to get out of it? Once you have your goal in place, the placement of items will be easier and strategic. I really like the placement of this site.
  2. Less is More: One huge takeaway that I received from have an evaluation of my organization’s website is the importance of user experience (UX) and how less is indeed more. Many websites without much thought around UX tend to have a very cluttered website where they try to fit as much content as possible which only ends up confusing and useless. Don’t be like Urban Outfitters. If you have time to waste, try finding their women’s sale section in this website, it’s a journey of its own…
  3. Call to Action: For trending and reporting, call to action links or clicks can help you assess conversions of your user whether your website has the goal of recruiting more volunteers or additions to your email distribution list or donations. Each page should have a particular purpose even if it’s educational awareness, a call to action link such as watching a video or downloading a report or clicking on an infographic page will be useful analytics to assess engagement level of your user on each page. Furthermore, you want it to be interactive to improve user experience and learning!
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3 thoughts on “Less is More: Minimalistic Websites for Health

  1. Thanks for your post! Although I agree with you that adding too much information can be distracting, I do want to point out that sometimes including too little information is also detrimental. I have come across a few websites where I struggled to understand the point of it, because there was not enough information provided. So then the questions is how do we know how much, or how little information to include? One thing that may be useful is creating a focus group and testing the website prior to its launch. The people in the focus group should be representative of the type of people we are trying to reach with our website. I think this pilot run would be a good way of avoiding creating a website that has too much, or too little content.

  2. Hi Jessica,

    Great post, I like PICA’s website that you showcased in your blog, which is a great example of a minimalistic website. It would have been nice to insert a one-liner about PICA so that the readers would have an idea about what PICA is all about. I guess this isn’t a must, but it would help to provide some context and give the reader an example of what kind of websites typically feature minimalist designs. When I think of the concept of minimalism, I think of the furniture shop called “The Minimalist”! Your use of an analogy of furnishing a house instantly brought this Australian furniture store to mind: http://www.theminimalist.com.au/collections/furniture-collection I think using a picture of one of these pieces of furniture as your feature image would have really tied in the theme of minimalism and your analogy of furnishing a house really nicely! Another really cool minimalistic website I came across is the following one: http://www.justsmith.com in which the company “Smith.” only uses a few words in black text on a white background to generally describe who they are and what they do. When you click on the down arrow, on the main page, this company’s goal is revealed, once again in just a few words: “Intentionally generic because your brand is more important than ours.” One thing I’ve come to realize is that each word matters more when you only use a few of them, especially when you’re not using a lot of imagery to distract the reader from what you’ve written. This is why I think that Heather Mansfield’s recommendation to increase your vocabulary is a good one because it helps us to write more with less words.

    I like how you called your last tip “Call to Action” because in Mansfield’s book, she emphasized the “Donate Now” button since it’s targeted towards nonprofits. So I like that you broadened this piece of advice to include other features that make the website more interactive or to highlight the takeaways whether it’s donating money, shopping, subscribing to a newsletter, blogging etc.

  3. Hi Jessica, I liked your post. Its an interesting subject. I would agree with you that since website have moved beyond the ‘latest fad’ to being part of the fabric of developed world communications, it is time for organizations to get serious about the user experience. It is surprising how even large organizations, whom you presume have the budget to cover it, get it wrong. I also have strong suspicions on cultural bias in website design because I think British sites at some level expect you to ‘work for it’! A different concept in UX.
    I thought your building house and furnishing analogy was really effective.

    In terms of post structure, in keeping with the subject matter the post is minimalist, but I would suggest some sort of featured image at the beginning, especially as the screen shot is incomplete.The points you highlighted were well chosen (although the link from point 1 is broken).

    One suggestion I have is to include outside resources for the points. Such as a link to one of the sites that track links, such as bit.ly.com

    Luda does make a good point which it might be worth mentioning when discussing this topic. That sites (especially public health I think) shouldn’t confuse minimalism with ambiguity. Given time and thought into what you want your site to achieve and how you want to communicate it, there is no reason to not be clear in communicating your message while maintaining minimalist design principles.

    Great job.

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