Minimalism is a style or technique in design that is characterised by extreme simplicity, stripped of everything except for those components that are absolutely essential. Void of unnecessary clutter, a minimalistic web design should allow the message of a site to clearly stand out and enable high functionality, in turn, creating a positive user experience. It is because of these attributes that minimalism is a style popular with many designers today.
An effective minimalist site is an impressive piece of work and not a technique that designers use just to cut down their design time on a project. Careful attention must be given to the design to ensure the refined creation does not compromise the usability of the website. When you reduce the number of graphic elements you use and focus instead on negative space and typography, a good eye for spacing and proportion is essential.
Minimalism is the guiding aesthetic behind some of today’s best websites and here are the three key reasons why:
Minimalist Sites are Easier to Navigate:
Most Internet users will not take the time to painstakingly look at every single aspect of a website. They instead will quickly scan a webpage to find the information they require. Overwhelming the user with too much information or a cluttered complex design might result in them leaving the site because they couldn’t find what they were looking for. Displaying the content on the site within a simplistic design that is consistent throughout the website will immediately relax your user and help them find what they are looking for more easily.
Minimalism in Web Design Allow Effective Communication:
Too much information and a complicated design will distract and confuse a user of a website, often causing them to leave the site before they have understood the purpose of it. Clean, spacious and concise designs help to focus all the attention on what’s most important and give an air of simplicity to even the most complicated subject matters. Key brand messages and specific calls to action can be highlighted without complex graphics or unnecessary information getting in the way, allowing a website to be the powerful communication tool it should be.
Minimalist Sites run More Efficiently:
With a minimalist website design, it is much easier to keep the code clean and simple. This means faster load times and higher compatibility with the majority of browsers, monitor and operating systems available worldwide. Also whenever an inevitable bug arises, it is much easier to locate and fix.
If you’re looking to incorporate some minimalist elements into your web designs, here are some basic guiding principles:
Limit your Colour Scheme:
Many minimalist web designs use a black and white colour scheme with one colour accent. However, you don’t have to follow this technique. In general, just think about what colours bring to life your design best and stick to them. Using only a few colours stops the design from looking too cluttered and therefore ensures the user isn’t too distracted when using the site.
Question What is ‘Necessary’:
Every single element of your design should have a purpose. Work with the client to assess what these core elements should be. Explain the message that needs communicating in the simplest of forms and only use imagery if they really help to explain what you are trying to communicate.
Incorporate Lots of White Space:
White space means blank space between content. Try and think of this white space as the borders and frames for you content, rather than space that needs to be filled. Plenty of white space will avoid the page looking cluttered and also should help to draw the user’s eye logically through the content.
Get Creative with your Design:
Add character to your minimalist design, not be adding in unnecessary content, but instead by being creative with the bare essential elements that you use. Perhaps create your own images to incorporate into the design, or invent your own unique font for the title and headlines. A minimalist design need not curb your creative streak, but instead should unleash it!
Of course minimalistic designs are not suitable for all websites. You should never leave out important content in order to achieve simplistic designs. However, the principles of minimalist web design can be applied across all design formats. When creating a website, consider how necessary and important each element of the site is and this will help you to create a website that communicates effectively and has high functionality and usability.