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Minimal Design and Its Purpose

A lot of people think that design has been over simplified. We’ve cut down intricate designs and refined words and images into icons. While this may be true, it all has a purpose. Minimal design, when it comes to websites, is an essential component for a successful responsive website. There are many reasons why people browsing the web prefer minimal design, to intricate or ornate designs.

minimal design responsive design

Responsive Design Needs It

Could you imagine trying to build a responsive site that is as ornate as one of the illuminated manuscripts of old? Imagine trying to include such a busy and crowded design onto a tablet or a mobile design. You might be able to scale it down, but it would be tough to read anything, or find what you’re looking for.

Design Has Evolved Into Minimalism

Most designers have the conception that your design is finished, when there is nothing left to take away. This is true! We have come to an age where everything is optimized for sales and conversion rates. Web designers and internet marketers strip away anything that could call attention to anything other than you clicking the subscribe, or the buy now buttons on their site.

Think about it. You know bad design when you see it. How many times have you been on a website where you couldn’t figure out where to go or what to do? If things are crammed too close together, or they are too busy, we get frustrated.

It Has Become a Standard – To An Extent

If you ever go to a website evaluation site, like Google Pagespeed or the myriad of other sites like it, one of the factors for mobile success is if tapping elements are far enough apart. You can’t achieve this if your design is too ornate. Unless you have a separate, more streamlines design, or a mobile site or app, your responsive site has to be designed minimally.

In the code of standards and ethics for web designers, it is frowned upon to hide elements or functionality solely for mobile users. Your browsing experience is supposed to be just as good and feature-packed on a tablet or smart phone as it is on a desktop computer.

It’s Easier to Use

Minimal Design is just easier to use. Instead of struggling to find something, or trying to separate different elements in your head, minimal design gives each element plenty of surrounding negative space, so that you can easily discern each element.

Minimal Design - Emphasis

Emphasis is Key

How do you know what to emphasize when your design is jumbled? Minimal design allows you to emphasize key elements, and when you combine that with plenty of negative space, the emphasize is more exaggerated. Take a look at the example above, and you’ll see what I mean.

Minimal Design - Imagery

Imagery Plays a Big Role in Minimal Design

A picture is worth 1000 words, so having them be the main focus, with a few keywords to drive the message home is a way of simplifying a design to its core elements. In a world saturated with ads and information everywhere, a simple message that maximizes impact is what will stand out over the average static we experience on a regular basis.

What Do You Think?

Do you prefer minimal design for the websites you visit? How do you think web design will further evolve? Just because things are designed minimally, it doesn’t mean they have to lack features. Developers are coming up with new ideas every day, such as animated SVG, sliding elements, transitions, transformations, and more, all done with CSS. I’d love to have your input. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.