Keep it Simple: Wardrobes and Websites

Simplicity Quote from Courtney Carver

I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe, so I was thrilled to attend Courtney Carver’s Tiny Wardrobe Tour (inspired by her minimalist fashion challenge, Project 333).

Courtney’s passion is helping people find clarity in and through their wardrobes. I couldn’t help but notice the parallel with my own work. My passion is helping purpose-driven brands achieve clarity through visual brand identities and websites (because with clarity and without clutter, they really can make a difference).

Its a waste of time and resources to have a beautiful, well-designed website without strategy. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way.

I’ve learned that when someone is visiting your website, they want to know, “Is this website for me?”

To answer this question, your organization needs to explain what you do, who you do it for, and how they can access it. When it comes to websites especially, time is of the essence! Viewers will not spend all day figuring out what you’re all about, so you must communicate this quickly.

Simplicity is beautiful…

So today, I’m sharing what your home page must have so that you can make a quick and clear connection with your audience.

Four important elements your homepage must have:

  1. User-focused design. No matter what you think is important, your strategic design must speak to what your audience thinks is important. What are they looking for? What matters most to them? It all goes back to how you provide solutions to their needs, not what your new mission statement says or the latest award you’ve received.
  2. Room to breathe! Your home page is not your organization’s journal. Don’t clutter it up. Keep it simple and prioritize clarity and white space over clutter. If you have too much information crammed together on your home page (like the amount of clothes in most peoples’ closet) the entrance point gets lost. Your viewers will feel overwhelmed and they won’t understand where to begin. This results in users leaving your site, quickly. You will lose partnership opportunities when they find a website that’s easier to use.
  3. A compelling image. The first image on your website contributes to the first impression your website makes for your organization. It should grab the viewer’s attention and in an instant, make an emotional connection. This image should be relevant to your organization and contribute to your brand message. Studies show that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Having a quality image and design can make your brands site stick in the viewer’s mind as professional and credible.
  4. A clear call to action. There is a reason this is mentioned last, but not because it is the least important. It’s arguably the most important. By knowing the number one thing you want your viewers to do, you can apply the above ideas to get them there. A user-focused design, with room to breathe, and a compelling image will work together to motivate your viewers into action. Using anything else will get in the way. Just like the pile of clothes on the floor of your closet will keep you from finding your favorite pair of jeans. You could end up wearing your least favorite sweatpants instead (yuck!).

If you need help figuring out if your organization’s home page needs an overhaul, let’s chat.


  1. Judi on at

    Alison, Love this post! And it is so funny that I was just using a clothing style metaphor with a potential web design student. His website examples looked like the equivalent of someone wearing an overly fussy outfit. He was designing those for everyone in different colors.

    I didn’t tell him that, although during our conversation he told me that his clients sometimes argue with him about his designs, saying that what he designed does not fit for them.

    I told him that just like a clothing stylist shouldn’t force a style of clothing on someone just because they like it, neither should we force our own web design style ideas on a website client.

    We have to get to know them and collaborate on determining the best style and design to appeal to their clients. Like you said, with white space that lets a person breathe and a style that would lead their right client to take action to work with them.

    I hope you will come to the webinar on homepage design on Thursday next week and help me in the Q and A!

  2. achand39 on at

    Hi Judi, Thank you for your comment! I plan to be there this Thursday. However, I may be 30 minutes late. Looking forward to it!

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