We’ve all heard these phrases before and they’re applicable in many areas, including one of the 2016 trends we discussed last month―minimalist website design. One of the dictionary definitions of minimalism is actually very fitting when it comes to website design: “design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.”
With the popularity of this design philosophy on the rise, we wanted to dispel a few misconceptions that people may have about minimalist websites:
- Since there are fewer elements, creating a minimalist website is easy. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just deleting some extra pictures and text throughout your website. Minimalism is more of a strategy involving the overall website content, layout, and navigation, so it’s best to create a minimalist framework in the beginning stages of your website development.
- It won’t have pretty pictures. Pictures speak a thousand words―but they also need to serve a purpose and not just be haphazardly tossed on a page to fill space. One thing we’re seeing in minimalist website design is the appearance of hero images. This is a very large visual used as the dominant focal point―or even the entire backround―of the website. Hero images should be clean and uncluttered, giving the viewer an idea of the product or service you offer.
- I have to cut back on all my content. The text and overall content on your site helps tell your story, describe your products/services, and encourage people to take action. Not only that, but it also helps boost your site’s SEO and ability to be found by search engines. In other words, the content is still critical in a minimalist design! It just needs to be planned and presented in a purposeful way.
- I’m limited to a black and white design. As a basic design principle, it’s true that black text on a white or light background is going to be the most legible. The use of negative space (or “white space”) is also a common characteristic of minimalist design―giving the eye a place to rest and allowing the important information to stand out. With that said, color still has its place! The palette may be more limited or monochromatic, but it can actually be used more effectively and strategically to focus attention where you want it.
- It will be boring. Au, contraire! A minimalist website can be quite the opposite, allowing your brand’s personality to shine. For instance, dramatic typography and hero images help add depth and visual interest. With the right layout and content, a minimalist website can be elegant, sleek, and―dare we say―sexy! WordPress, our preferred content management system, offers a plethora of themes for minimalist design which can be further customized to suit your needs.
What are some great examples of minimalist designs you’ve seen? As popular as this style is, it’s important to realize that a minimalist website isn’t for every business or brand. We’re always happy to discuss different design options that make the most sense for our clients while enhancing the overall user experience.