Why Minimalist Web Design Makes A Better Experience
When a user visits your web page they typically spend about 10–20 seconds before clicking away. That means you have 10–20 seconds to relay your brand, identity, and service. Now when said out loud that might seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be. With a minimalist mindset, you can better communicate these things in a fast efficient manner.
Let’s dive in!
A Limited Attention
Users only have so much attention. That’s pretty easy to understand right? A user doesn’t want to try and be engaged on your website. It should happen naturally. However many people make the mistake of taking a shotgun approach to their web site’s content.
They don’t know what their message should be or they can’t quite figure out what kind of experience they want their user to have. So they just put everything on their page hoping that something sticks and draws the user in. BAD MOVE. If you can’t figure out what message to transfer to a user how do you expect they will receive it?
Emphasis Doesn’t Exist When Everything Is Important
The web is too crowded nowadays to just put content on the web and hope someone is drawn in by it. Hope doesn’t exist anymore and you have to give your user a reason to stay on your site. When you design your site with the intention of having something for everyone you’ve eliminated emphasis.
“You don’t write your entire resume in bold hoping that one of the words catches an employers attention.”
Think about it this way. You don’t write your entire resume in bold hoping that one of the words catches an employers attention. Hell no. You only bold things that you have decided are important enough to grab attention. Your design should do just this. Emphasize the message and experience you want a user to get, but nothing more.
Maximize Your Product By Bringing It To The Forefront
Minimalist designs work because they allow the important parts of your site, identity, and experience to be brought first to the user’s attention. They stand out more due to less competition with other content on a site and are therefore more impacting.
Take for example http://www.constructionlogistics.com
Now there isn’t a lot going on with this page, but sometimes that is for the best. The three things you are most likely to notice are
The background image
By using bigger font size and a plain white text they are able to immediately communicate who they are. Bringing what is important to the forefront and sending supporting imagery and text to the background.
Let’s look at another example from https://claxtonprojects.com/
Minimalism isn’t about having nothing it’s about maximizing the enjoyment you get out of the things you do have. That’s why this site works so well. Because the only text on screen is the title of the site and each artist’s name. It gives more power and agency to each individual. You have less text so the scarcity introduces a kind of artificial appreciation for what is on the page. It goes without saying that the typeface is beautiful as well.
Our last example comes from http://www.adidas.com
Notice how we don’t have a long list of all the features this shoe comes with? We don’t have related products, no distracting headers, or video? We just have a shoe and two sentences communicating brand. That’s all they need.
This approach lets your product stand out more. Websites are for product engagement and knowledge transfer. With a minimalist design, these items are given a bigger emphasis.
Of course, minimalism isn’t for everyone. Some people want loud colors, bright images, and abundant animation/user interaction. That’s totally fine. In the end its all about moderation. The principles laid out in this article can easily be a pick and choose an exercise for your designs going forward. Try not to think of minimalism as having the least amount of stuff, but having the least amount distractions.
What do you think? Can minimalism go too far? Is there no longer any room for minimalism in the incredibly noisy internet? Is minimalism just a buzzword for “I only have 3 outfits in my closet…”? Let me know what you think!