By Brian Henderson on 2012-12-17
Too often when we sit down with a new client to talk about design for their project, they tell us that they want the famous "Apple Look." This minimal design with tons of white space, and big beautiful photography is a popular trend in web design but many folks don't understand that the "Apple Look" has its consequences.
The biggest problem with having next-to-nothing on a website (and a site's home page in particular) is that there is also little-to-no content for Google and other search engines to index when they crawl the site. With little-to-no content to index, search engines are less likely to pick up on the keywords that connect what people are searching for to a given site. As a result, the site will appear irrelevant to the search engine and get ranked lower in search results.
There are numerous reasons why the "Apple Look" works for companies like Apple but a lot of it contributes to things that designers and developers can't control like the age (and amount of history) of the domain, pagerank, and the awareness of the brand. Despite the fact that currently the only real text in their homepage design is in the footer of the page, Apple still shows at the top of the Google search when I search "computers" and this is due to a fate that is much larger than anything designers and developers can control.
If you are one of the many people out there that wants that clean, sophisticated "Apple Look" you need to be willing to sacrifice search engine results (which often contribute to a significant portion of your site's traffic). You also need to think about how this look has been achieved. High quality isolated photography and simple messages make this design what it is, and that simply cannot be applied to every website. So if this is you, our advice is to familiarize yourself with good, clean design practices and think through how to effectively communicate your message beautifully without sacrificing the written content that is so valuable to your SEO.