Keeping Functionality Simple, Stupid!

It can be fairly difficult to explain web design to some people. Especially someone with little or no design experience, or indeed, someone who is new to “building websites”.

Here at Goldladder, though we are not strictly a web design agency; a large part of our job as digital experts consists of drawing the attention of clients to the best practice when it comes to creating web pages for SEO/Pay-Per-Click/ReTargeting and general UX.

We’ve found for a long time, the best solution is to simply convey the “bare bones” of a page layout. KISS.

*So extreme is our notion of Keep It Simple, Stupid, that we’ve unashamedly used MS Paint to convey basic ideas to clients. In fact, it’s worked.

So, Goldladder, I’m looking for a slightly better solution than MS Paint?

We’re not in the business of regularly shouting about products that we use; just because we’re so busy all of the time.

One product for us has stood out as an excellent example of Keeping It Simple, Stupid.

Balasamiq –

Balsamiq is a “Rapid Wireframing Tool” according to the website (which you really should check out). It helps people generate ideas (for new pages/site layouts and anything else you can think of!).

Why not take a look at the Balsamiq Video?

Goldladder and Balsamiq:

Here at Goldladder we use Balsamiq directly with clients/developers to ensure key areas of the site are laid out in the best possible manner:

  • Organic Search – Ensuring Page Elements are laid out in the best possible manner for Organic Search Traffic Visitors.
  • Pay Per Click – we use Balsamiq to help clients understand that there may be a better way of creating a landing page – we provide them with a simple mockup which they then split test against their own!
  • Web Design – when we do any kind of design work – we mock up in Balsamiq first – without worrying about silly things like colours, at the first stage of the project. This helps us quickly push ideas in front of the client, who tend to enjoy the basic, uncomplicated features of Balsamiq and how with their opinions: edits can easily be made.


Balsamiq Mockups is frankly an excellent communication tool, which allows whole teams to come together around the “right design”. Including Clients.

The key point of Balsamiq is a collaborative piece of design software (first stage) that allows agencies to focus on key functionality, rather than worrying about colours and actual page copy.

Goldladder have found that to simply convey these ideas with clients, developers and key project stakeholders makes for a simpler working relationship, that allows all to come on board and collaborate. Very quickly and very cheaply.

Balsamiq Mockups offers:

… the same speed and rough feel as sketching with a pencil, but with the advantage of the digital medium: enlarging containers is just a drag operation, rearranging elements doesn’t require starting over, and your wireframes will be clear enough that you’ll be able to make sense of them tomorrow.

And a Final Point from Balsamiq

Mockups intentionally makes your wireframes scream both “This is not final!” and “I just threw this together“, eliciting honest feedback, which results in better wireframes, which results in easier to use features, which results in happier users of your software or website, which is what it’s all about.

Do you have a project you would like Goldladder to take a look at? With years of experience working with Top Brands, we’re ideally placed to help you in the constantly evolving landscape of digital advertising.

If you’re interested in improving your landing pages for PPC or Remarketing or even Organic Search – Contact Goldladder Today.

By | 2016-12-19T15:34:34+00:00 January 26th, 2012|Conversion Rate Optimisation | Goldladder Blog|Comments Off on Keeping Functionality Simple, Stupid!

About the Author:

Matt is a Goldladder co-founder and Director, and is not afraid to get his hands dirty on any project! With a technical background and healthy dislike of marketing in general, Matt looks towards data and conversions in a project rather than jumping on the latest bandwagon. He is Exeter based, often in London, and enjoys visiting the sharp end and exploring how the online world translates into real business for his clients. Matt has Google and Microsoft accreditations, enjoys Basecamp’s project management approach, and refuses to believe anything is real until it can be tracked in Google Analytics.