With trends like minimalism and flat design, both users and designers are showing a lot of appreciation for the idea that “Less is more.” There are more ways than ever to put the information that you want to communicate in less space, sometimes with less text and less graphical presentation that you may be accustomed to. Even info graphics can be minimalist with the right aesthetic touch, but there are many different components that go into making a site lean and mean.
- Staying up to date on trends is a fairly big one, because it will help you to avoid certain choices that could hurt your visibility on search engines, and keep your site secure for browser updates and even operating system changes. One example of a trend that needed to be followed was the move to HTML5 from Flash, which meant that sites would not only load faster, but offer a more secure presentation overall. That, combined with the fact that Flash wasn't effective on mobile iOS devices, goes to show how streamlining your site actually has future proofing qualities as well.
- Survival of the fit is another good result of streamlining. By analyzing your own site's traffic and its various interaction times, you can see how many road blocks are between users and where they want to go, and how you can cut down that time by removing useless features that don't benefit the site. That's great for designers that want to do as much as they can with as little real estate as possible, especially considering the mobile market. The “fit” sections of your site should still adhere to the basics of navigation, safety, and aesthetic appeal, but using tracking tools can help you to cut down on both the waste and loading time.
- Sharper graphics with purpose are also important for a streamlined format. With ideas like minimalism, you want to create as impactful a presentation as possible with as little complexity as you can. With flat design, you often get that same goal to work with, but with a bit more in the way of pseudo-3D elements like “paper” background and tables. The end result is the same; the negative space of the site itself is a tool to help to enhance the filled space, and that plays well with the broadband-speedy ideas of streamlining the site as a whole.
When you streamline your site, you also get plenty of great tools that can help the process along for free, including caching tools courtesy of WordPress's plugin library, benchmarking and optimization tools from the same resource, and more. These plugins and tools can all go a long way toward automating the work of streamlining in areas that you may miss, even as an experienced designer that thinks they know the site inside and out. You may be surprised at just how many speed bumps there are along the way when your users are browsing your page.