Most advice on web design will tell the reader that less is more when it comes to the web, some simply saying that minimalism is the current fashion while others describe it as an essential aesthetic principle. But choosing a minimalist web design can often seem like an unfair trade-off between all the content and features you want to include and adherence to a particular look. So what are the advantages of a minimalist web design and how should you create a look that is clean and simple but still expresses personality?
- One good idea is better than ten: Letting one visual or textual feature dominate your web design can create a much greater impact on your viewer than a site cluttered with different images and messages. Deciding what to put on the all important home page in your website design can be difficult as the space is generally limited even if you don't choose to stick to minimalist aesthetics.
Practising restraint, however, can be the best way to produce a successful website design. The website designs users find most enticing usually have one large attractive feature on the home page, in the form of a highly defined image, a carefully worded banner or an easily identifiable call to action. Minimalist web designs that use this technique have a well defined focus and communicate their message to the viewer quickly and effectively.
- Minimalism doesn't have to be boring:The strict definition of minimalism is design stripped of extraneous aesthetic qualities to focus on the function of an object rather than a decorative form. However, minimalism can be interpreted in a number of different ways, and there is no need to ignore aesthetic concerns altogether. The function of most website designs is in fact to connect with a human being through an online interface, and this is best done through attractive visual features.
Minimalist web design places emphasis on the aspects of the site that appeal to the viewer the most, whether these are emotive images or beautiful typography. Many successful websites combine striking visual features with a generous use of white space to make interesting, engaging and easily understandable minimalist designs.
- Simple web designs send complex messages:Web designs are created to communicate something, or sometimes quite a lot of related things, to the viewer. If you have many different messages to communicate to your audience, it could seem to make sense to use a variety of different elements to do it.
In fact, complex web designs are just about as successful as complex billboards that cannot be read from a distance or while driving at a high speed. Minimalist designs, on the other hand can make a significant impact on the reader and are more capable of conveying complex messages for the viewer to consider later.