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Optimise to Win, Pt 4: Simplify – Focus & get rid of the clutter!

Note: this is the fourth of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

As an organisation, there are always dozens of things pulling in all directions, and they all seem to need your attention at once. Culling and organising these pulls is an important part of doing business – that’s the value of all forms of management.

However, your customers & users should not see that complexity. Every non-vital element on a page is like a mosquito net – some users will be caught up in it, allowing fewer users access what’s really important.

What we need to do is prioritisefocus, and simplify,


Urgency vs Importance

Urgency is entirely different from importance, and that difference is key to understanding what your goals for users should be.

Determine the conversion goals for your site: For each element you want to include on your site, figure out where it lies with regard to both importance and urgency.

Prioritise the elements to focus on in your site by targeting conversions in this order:

  1. Important & urgent
  2. Important but not urgent
  3. Urgent but not important
  4. Neither urgent nor important


The 80/20 rule

The Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule, states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

This proven principle helps us focus on the most productive 20%: our top users, customers, products, and elements of the site. Some may argue that by making less-used elements less immediately visible, we’re alienating some of our users. That may be true. However, by focusing on the 20% of elements and users that produce 80% of the positive results, we’re immediately serving our customers better by honing our focus.

Take for instance, the Weather Channel’s recent simplification & focus of their homepage. They wanted to turn visitors & users into premium subscribers. Prioritising the important elements and removing the clutter from their homepage and included only a single, focused action. These changes increased conversions 225%.

By default, simplify as much as possible. While it isn’t easy to focus on only the urgent, important elements, it make it much easier for visitors and guides their decisions towards what most benefits both them and you.


It has been shown that visually complex sites are consistently rated as less beautiful than simpler sites. Additionally, beauty is determined within 1/50th – 1/20th of a second from when the user first sees the site. Furthermore, sites rated as “highly prototypical” (using common design patterns) and simple design were ranked as most beautiful across all categories.

Take what you’ve garnered from prioritising and focusing on what’s most beneficial for your users and yourself, and make your website/web application as simple as possible towards that goal.

Sources: Google UX Research, Pareto Principle, Cognitive Fluency, Weather Channel Case Study

For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report!

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