Basic Principles of Minimal Web Design

Posted on June 26, 2013 by

A good web design properly enhances focus to specific parts of the website. It should be easy to navigate through and shouldn’t skip any important detail. Visiting a website for the first time tend to be more confusing for some users. It can also be tricky for web designers to deliver main ideas equally to all visitors. Despite their best efforts, some new visitors do get lost and they eventually leave the site to search for better alternatives.Clutter often encroaches upon web design and for sites with diverse types of visitors, it could be necessary to embrace minimalism. Minimal web design is characterized by more simplicity and less density. This approach involves using the least amount of colors, images, text and other elements to get core messages across and enhance visual appeal. Web designers should understand specific needs of visitors to create easy-to-understand website structure. Unfortunately, minimal web design isn’t everybody’s cup of tea and some designers are still struggling to remove the excess. Making a web design simple can be a difficult task. But understanding these minimal design principles may make things far easier for you:

Does Minimal Design suitable for your needs?

Not everyone needs minimal web design and not all websites should adopt minimalism. Website owners should analyze reasons behind minimal web design. It is inadvisable to push too hard if your website doesn’t really suitable with minimal approach. Sometimes, with an information-rich website, trying to fit everything into a minimal design can result in disaster. However, if messages within your website can be delivered accurately through minimal design, then go straight ahead.

Establish a Focus

Executing minimalism isn’t always easy. Before you start working, it’s necessary to establish focus. Messages should be delivered without involving too many elements. Compromises may need to be made and brainstorming is always important.

Chop off the Excess

The step is pretty obvious: Make a list of elements and contents used in your website. Rank them based on the level importance, you’ll be amazed on how many unnecessary elements that can be removed without reducing the usability.

Use Colors Properly

A minimal web design doesn’t restrict designers to basic colors only. Splashes of colors may indicate important areas and lead visitors to the right direction. Minimal design doesn’t have to be boring and dull. You can start by taking all colors off the website and consider a few color combination alternatives. Black and white is often considered as an all-time favorite in minimal web design, but they are not always necessary. Using proper colors are also important and good accents can easily highlight important areas and features. Colors matter a lot, even in minimal web design and you should work really hard to achieve effective colors usage.

Use Typography to enhance Content

Minimal web designs often emphasize more on typography to improve information delivery. After all the extra gimmicks are removed, there could be little left to display in the website, so naturally, typography is more important to gain users attention. Since users would be minimally distracted, typography can provide simple, yet attractive points of interest. Minimal designs are among the best platforms to use typography creatively. Selecting great fonts is important when creating an appealing minimal design. Your website’s personality can easily be enhanced with proper selection of typography.

Intelligent and Creative use of Layout

When it comes to the use of layout, even improper use of a few pixels can degrade the look of minimal design. Also, just because you have opted to choose a minimal web design, it doesn’t mean that you are stuck with overly simplistic layout structure. Layout is even more important on minimal designs as there are far fewer elements on each page. Again, minimal web designs are great places to experiment with intelligent layout. Easy navigation and proper placement of remaining website elements are key points. If you do it wrongly, visitors will have a hard time navigating your minimally-designed website.

Use Blank Space Properly

Minimal web designs are known for using ample blank space, which offers enough room to breathe. Web designers new to this approach often find it unintuitive to leave so many blank spaces unused. Remember, you can get more by using less. The “less factor” is an important concept in minimal web design and a useful tool for achieving your goals. After visiting a series of cluttered websites, minimally-designed websites can give users much needed break. Naturally, so many ideas pop in designers’ heads on how they should fill those empty spaces. In fact, during early years of Internet, web designers were often praised for their ability to fill blank spaces with “useful” things.

Use Images Properly

With all these repeated emphasizes on keeping everything simple and removing extra gimmicks, you may think that using images on minimally-designed websites is a big NO. That’s not true; in fact, images are bound to shine much brighter in minimal websites. Maintaining balance between simplicity, content and images require plenty of consideration. Often, images can deliver messages much more effectively than text, which can help you get rid of those ugly, long paragraphs.

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