The Simple Beauty of Minimal Design
When it comes to web design, simplicity can often yield the best results. Minimalism is not another fleeting design trend – basically, it has the power to create a refined kind of experience that is perfectly targeted to match certain requirements. In minimal design, form is adapted to its function, leaving a lot of space for goal-driven interactions and quality content. You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘Less is more’ – this principle has now become a guiding maxim of every web designer who aims to create a unique experience.
But first, what exactly is minimalism and how does it work? Minimalism is a style, which can be applied to various areas of design – from fashion and architecture to interior design and furniture. But that’s not all. Minimalism has for a long time been a part of the music scene and art – painting, graphic design and sculpture. It’s only natural for our aesthetic preferences for minimalism to be translated into web design – minimal design helps to reduce the noise and foreground the main idea or message.
Minimalism didn’t happen in web design for a long time – mainly due to the fact that not every talented coder is also a skilled designer. Nowadays, project teams have expanded to include all kinds of specialists including UX strategists, Information Architects and creative designers, who team up to create user-friendly and efficient web designs that realize certain goals and inspire specific behaviors.
Minimal Design Today
What has additionally powered the minimal style in web design is today’s information environment – every day, we’re bombarded with thousands of stimuli like images or words, eventually suffering from cognitive overload. Web designers need to catch our attention and make us pause for a moment to think about what we see before us. Simplicity is key to attracting attention. Combined with humor or beauty, #minimal web design has the potential to effectively communicate a powerful message.
This, combined with the new-found interest in user experience (UX) and cognitive sciences, is what prompted the change in web design. Today, a great website will offer high-quality content presented in a clear manner, avoiding chunks of long text with useful information hidden somewhere within it. Our understanding of how human brain functions and how we pay attention has helped to boil the websites down to their most important components, fostering the communication and improving the design itself.
What are the main characteristics of a minimal web design? Clarity and sophistication of form. We see minimalism in designs that favor open space and limit the color range. Minimal design pays special attention to detail and uses interactive features to make the site more interesting. All in all, a minimalist site has only one focal point – it can be a color, a text or an image. Applying those elements helps to design a less cluttered site, direct user’s attention to one single point and use their focus to channel a specific behavior.
The Future of Minimalism
Minimal design is not a trend, but a thought framework – which is nothing short of timeless. Clear organization, high usability and sophistication will always appeal to an average consumer who is looking for quality content in comprehensible form. The era of web design nightmares like patterned backgrounds, flashy colors, 3D buttons, cluttered structure or long chunks of illegible text, is finally over for good. The future will see more and more minimalism applied to create experiences that users find appealing, informative and captivating.
Monique Rivers is an Australian tech blogger who also loves good food and fashion. She works at ninefold.com. Ninefold is a powerful Ruby on Rails platform, that allows you to deploy Rails apps quickly and easily.