As always, there are a few trends in website design and development at the moment that are more notable and have more potential than others, trends like a responsive design or ghost buttons.
For more on the latter, check out this post, Website Design Trend Alert: The Rise of the Ghost Button, however, this post isn’t about a single trend, but one of the inspirations behind many of them: minimalism.
As an SEO company in NJ and NY, we’ve watched the evolution of minimal web design first-hand, so let’s see how this style made it to the web, why the less-is-more approach is so effective, and what you need to know if you decide to adopt it for your website.
The History Lesson
Minimalism, a visual art movement that started in the 1950’s, emerged as a reaction to the chaotic style of abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock and gained popularity in sculpture, painting, and architecture in the 60’s.
It’s been finding its way into other art forms and processes ever since and, as a web design movement, it began in the early 2000’s, though it was really the rise of responsive web design that pushed people to start seeing the value in the method.
RWD forced people to start prioritizing their content, but for more on the emergence of the responsive design and why it’s such a big deal, check out our post: Why It’s Time for a Responsive Design.
From there, once big brands and influencers like Apple began to adopt a minimalistic design, that was that, and now, it correlates perfectly with many of today’s most popular design trends, such as a flat design and large background images.
The Staples of a Minimalistic Design
We’ve been doing website design in NJ and NY long enough to know that the whole point of the minimalist method is to help focus your design and simplify navigation for the user.
It’s defined by flat textures, a limited color palette, beautiful, eye-catching, sharp custom typography, and plenty of negative space.
And when it comes to website design, the more negative space surrounding any given element on a web page, the more the user’s eye will be drawn to that element.
This look also creates a certain sense of luxury or sophistication, however, for some people, a big white or colored page with nothing more than a few bits of content or visual elements on it is simply too void of emotion or personality.
So, that’s where those giant, high-quality images as backgrounds come into play, another trademark of a minimalistic design. They don’t disturb the foreground, but they add some originality to the background.
What to Keep in Mind When Going to the Minimal Side
You need to be careful not to go overboard and cut away or hide too much when taking a minimalist approach to your website design. A bare and simple page is one thing, but completely concealed content is another.
While the goal is to present your content in a simple way with as few distractions as possible, you could conversely make things more confusing by getting carried away.
You need to find the right balance. Many are taking it too far, resulting in pages low on useful content and discoverability/navigational nightmares for users.
Think carefully about what to add, and that goes for visual design elements, content, etc. Only add elements that contribute relevant information, but be careful not to remove or hide anything that the user will need on that page.
So, if you’re going to the minimal side with your website design, just remember that while it can help, you still need to provide high-quality content and a good user experience. If you’re missing those things, the simplest design in the world won’t be able to save you.
About Us: Climb The Search, a full-service SEO agency in NJ / NY, offers the total search marketing package, including search engine optimization, content marketing, and video production. At CTS, we help businesses grow, every day.