Top 3 Guidelines for Designing Minimalist Websites

In an age where websites are the main information hub for a company, it is more important than ever to craft your site with care. In fact, most marketing courses available today have a track designed for online marketing and social media and websites are a huge part of the whole internet world.

Different styles of web design are now being utilized in the graphic and web design industry—bold and flashy, sassy and sophisticated, and simple and straightforward among others. The third option is more commonly known as minimalist design. All these aim to enhance the world wide web.

Top 3 Guidelines for Designing Minimalist Websites

Minimalist design is also called “modern site design”. It emphasizes function over form, encouraging the use of the least amount of elements to formulate a design. A timeless design scheme that’s been around forever, minimalism is seen in art, interior design, and fashion design.  Now, it is enjoying a vogue in the web and graphic design world as well. Minimalist graphic design is ideal for websites because it is clean and very basic in terms of interface. This makes it easier for end users to explore the site. It does not distract visitors with a lot of pomp and blare—rather it highlights the site’s content. It marries perfectly the interests of both graphic design and web design by allowing the design to conform to the graphic designer’s vision while still being fluid and user-friendly across different platforms.

In order to design a good minimalist website, there are aspects of this style that should be understood. Here are the top 3 guidelines you should note:

  1. “Less is More”.

This quote, spoken by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, defines the minimalist principle of design. Minimalism dictates that the less clutter, the better because then you can emphasize the most important parts of the site. Thus, the key is to have a focused design. Create a “centerpiece” that your site visitors can focus on as soon as they get to your website. It can be an image, or a short piece of text. This centerpiece should be used to clarify the purpose of your site or contribute to its message, so make it pop by going for eye-catching but easy-to-read type.

The rest of the site should function to support the centerpiece, so that means minimal use of color and background design. It doesn’t mean, though, that you are limited to just blacks, whites, and grays in your color scheme. Minimalism advocates the use of any color, as long as it is used well to emphasize a detail and does not overwhelm it. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t have a background design—you can incorporate simple, subtle patterns in the background as long as they do not overpower the centerpiece.

  1. “Omit Needless Things”.

This quote appeared in The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, and highlights minimalist design’s focus on functionality. Essentially, if an element of the design does not contribute to the content or the function of the site, cut it. Having white space is an important element in minimalist design—it is not just blank, but it fulfills the function of emphasizing details such as content. This applies to the type of layout used as well—the layout of choice is simple and straightforward to allow end users to easily navigate to where they need to be.

When designing your site, never be satisfied with just the first draft, but keep looking for design elements you can eliminate so that your site is as clean as possible. The best minimalist site is one that loads and works easily for everyone because there are no interfering elements.

  1. “Every Detail Counts.”

Cameron Chapman of Smashing Magazine used this quote to describe the difference between simplistic design and minimalist design. A distinction often lost on many graphic and web designers, minimalist design does not eliminate design elements for no reason. Rather, it just concentrates its design into a few, meaningful elements. In minimalism, every detail has a function. Therefore, the foundation of the website design is based on what the goal of the website is and what feeling it is supposed to be evoking in the visitors. This is where using the right color scheme, font style, and content placement come in. Choose a color that stirs up the intended emotion, whether it’s peacefulness, excitement, or focused intensity. Highlight a point by choosing a bold font. Make a definitive image the focal point of a page by placing it at the center.Minimalist design can be elegant, edgy, or abstract, depending on how you apply the right design elements.

Minimalist design is, at its core, a deconstruction of design ideas into their most basic forms. Thus, feel free to experiment with it just like any other style. Infuse your personality into it, and find ways to show off your uniqueness. Minimalism, after all, does not mean empty, plain, or bland. It is a Zen-like design principle that calls you to focus on the important aspects of an object while getting rid of the things that distract you. This simple focus on semantics is the reason why minimalist design is a timeless, artful design scheme that is universally utilized, and is the reason why it is ideal for websites everywhere.

Author Bio:

+Celina Conner is a Yoga Instructor, a holder of a Marketing Diploma and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.