minimalist web design

Minimalist Web Design

Meaning

When I was researching this topic I first googled “minimalism”. I quickly realised that it generally applies to life style. The image below exemplifies the aesthetic and is titled House tour: a peaceful Parisian apartment inspired by Japanese minimalism.[1]KARINE MONIÉ 8 JAN 2021; Vogue

Minimalist web design

Joshua Becker puts it this way: Like I mentioned before, minimalism is intentionally living with only the things I really need—those items that support my purpose. I am removing the distraction of excess possessions so I can focus more on those things that matter most.[2]What Is Minimalism? By JOSHUA BECKER 12/1/2021

But there are many aspects relating to the term minimal and Wikipedia lists a number of them:

  • Computing
  • Philosophy
  • Syntax
  • Visual arts
  • Music
  • etc

So what is the meaning of minimalist web design you ask? The Nielsen Norman Group maintains that:

Our analysis of 112 minimalist websites revealed the defining features of minimalism: flat design, limited color schemes, few UI elements, use of negative space, and dramatic typography.[3]Kate Moran 12/7/2015 | The Characteristics of Minimalism in Web Design

History

The modern style that the word minimalism is most associated with was heavily influenced by the Bauhaus School’s ideal of balancing beauty with utility in product design. In the Bauhaus Era, teachers and students of the school offered an alternative to uninspiring manufactured products and reimagined the role art could play in society. The Bauhaus existed from 1919 to 1933 and today the world considers it to be the home of the Avant-guard of classical modern style in all fields of liberal and applied arts.

Modern minimalism emerged in the 1950s, exhibiting such qualities as truth, order, simplicity and harmony.

The Japanese aesthetic principle of Ma refers to empty or open space. It removes all the unnecessary internal walls and opens up the space. The emptiness of spatial arrangement reduces everything down to the most essential quality.[4]Bertoni, Franco (2002). Minimalist Architecture, edited by Franco Cantini, translated from the Italian by Lucinda Byatt and from the Spanish by Paul Hammond. Basel, Boston, and Berlin: Birkhäuser

By the mid 2000s website design was beginning to exhibit the traits of minimalism: larger areas of negative space, less content, and restricted color palettes.

Some designers cut or hide important elements in pursuit of a minimalist design for its own sake—not for the benefits that strategy might have for users. They’re missing the core philosophy and the historical context of minimalism, and they risk increasing complexity rather than reducing it. When employed correctly, the goal of minimalist web design should be to present content and features in a simple, direct way by providing as little distraction from the core content as possible. [5]The Roots of Minimalism in Web Design by Kate Moran on June 28, 2015 in https://www.nngroup.com/articles/roots-minimalism-web-design/

Examples of Minimalist Web Design

These are taken from the site https://www.awwwards.com/awwwards/collections/minimal/ 

minimalist content
https://www.craile.com/en/bags/
minimal
https://snap.studio/
https://velvethammer.net/

References

References
1 KARINE MONIÉ 8 JAN 2021; Vogue
2 What Is Minimalism? By JOSHUA BECKER 12/1/2021
3 Kate Moran 12/7/2015 | The Characteristics of Minimalism in Web Design
4 Bertoni, Franco (2002). Minimalist Architecture, edited by Franco Cantini, translated from the Italian by Lucinda Byatt and from the Spanish by Paul Hammond. Basel, Boston, and Berlin: Birkhäuser
5 The Roots of Minimalism in Web Design by Kate Moran on June 28, 2015 in https://www.nngroup.com/articles/roots-minimalism-web-design/