How to Design Modern Websites That Don't Alienate Customers in the Midwest

Learn how to tailor your site to a Midwestern audience, while retaining all the modern flair that makes websites clean and user-friendly.

November 14, 2023
How to Design Modern Websites That Don't Alienate Customers in the Midwest

As web designers, we often strive to create sleek, minimalist sites that prioritize clean aesthetics and ease of use. However, what appeals to coastal audiences may not always resonate with customers in more conservative regions like the Midwest. If your business aims to reach a Midwestern customer base, it's important to design a site that feels modern without feeling alienating. Here are some tips for achieving that balance:

Focus on Function

While scrolling animations, parallax effects, and flashy graphics may look cool, but if you overdo it, they can also come across as unnecessary or distracting to some users. Prioritize clear information architecture, well-labeled navigation, and user-friendly forms rather than overly flashy design elements. Make sure all functionality works speedily on slower rural connections too. This means that you should:

  • Ensure your videos don’t play automatically when the page loads.
  • Use JPEG and compressed images throughout your site, if possible.
  • Limit the amount of looping animations.

Simply put, you can use scrolling animations, parallax effects, graphics, etc., but don’t overdo it. Prioritize clear, concise information.

Use Relatable Imagery

Stock photos of hipsters sipping coffee may not connect with potential customers in the typical Midwestern towns. Feature lifestyle imagery showing real Midwesterners engaged in familiar activities like family dinners, high school sports, or community events. Consider sourcing photos locally to give the site a regional flair.

Write in a Friendly, Direct Voice

Come across as a helpful small business owner rather than an aloof tech startup. Write copy in an informal, conversational tone using plain language. Be transparent about your company values and how you aim to serve local customers well. Avoid jargon or pretense that could seem inauthentic.

Emphasize Practical Benefits

Highlight what customers will gain in terms of value, quality or convenience rather than trendy attributes. Focus on how your products or services will simplify lives, save time or money, or benefit the community. Practicality and pragmatism will resonate more than abstract concepts.

Tailor for Local Needs

Prominently feature any products, services or locations that specifically serve customers in that Midwestern region or state. Highlight your commitment to supporting the local economy too. Customers will appreciate feeling understood as part of the community rather than just another demographic.


By taking a thoughtful, tailored approach, modern websites can effectively reach Midwestern audiences without feeling foreign or frivolous. Prioritizing practicality, locality and simplicity in design and messaging will help customers resonate with your brand.