The term ‘Minimalism’ precisely suggests simplicity which leads to the omission of any kind of exaggeration that distracts a viewer from the main theme. The movement started in visual art around 1960, and later in 2000, the concept started being popular in web designing. Basically it is inspired by the motto of ‘Less is More’, introduced by 20th Century architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
So, what is a minimalist website? Well, it refers to a web design trend, where the website only contains basic features and sports a Spartan look.
Simple Design, No Exaggeration
The primary features of a minimalist template include flat design and limited use of colours. To eliminate any kind of unnecessary element, the design excludes highlights, shadows, gradients or patterns which may produce a bright effect.
The same thing is applied for the colour theme. The Masthead and the Navigation Bar are made in the most simplified way to get the desired precision. The content is brief and free from any kind of exaggeration, unless it omits some crucial points. So, the whole thing needs an unparalleled mastery over the craft, because it is not easy to attain such kind of flawless precision.
All these features of a Minimalist Interface ultimately help a visitor focus on the main content without getting distracted. So, this layout can be considered ideal for business pages. This is the reason why most of the corporate clients tend to go for minimalism. The industries related to art and literature also prefer this design over everything else. Want to know more about how to design a distraction free website?
The idea is to design a template that goes easy on the eye. There is no need to add multiple design elements on the interface just because you love those elements. You need to cool down first and then try to figure out what elements are absolutely necessary for the website. Create a list of important and not so important elements and then start eliminating those elements that appear unnecessary.
The idea is to simplify the interface and allow the template to breathe.
The omission of unnecessary details obviously leads to a lot of empty space within the site and it is named as Negative Space, which is a specialty of Minimalist Interface. It gives relief to the eyes of the viewers and helps them point out what they are exactly looking for. This psychological comfort ultimately results into an overall good impression upon the whole thing, generating good response.
Negative Space does not mean that you will have to use only white space in the design. Not at all, there are some web designers who are harnessing the power of negative space by using a single solid colour background. Texture can be used but sometimes, it leads to more distraction.
Negative space helps users concentrate. If you want some design elements of a template get more eyeballs, you need to wrap that thing with negative space. This practice is quite popular when it comes to positioning Call to Action Buttons. By removing all distractions around a Call To Action button, you will be able to make people notice it and click on it.
Faster Upload, Low Maintenance
Due to limited features, the minimalist design results in quick upload of the website, attracting more viewers. SEO experts often say that if the site is not loaded quickly, most of the visitors will switch to other sites; as a result, it is going to lose traffic, inviting a consequent fall in ranking. So, a minimalist design template indirectly gives SEO benefit.
Another important part of SEO is regular upgrade of content, which becomes easy in case of minimalist design due to its limited content. The cost and effort for maintenance becomes less. Minimalist templates work wonder for mobile versions as one cannot afford a whole junk of content within a small screen; the value of the Negative Space becomes more important here.
Usually the Homepage contains a brief text on what the website is all about. Often a single picture is set in the background of the homepage to cover the empty space, without disturbing the simplicity of the design. It needs a wide selection of pictures, because the image in the homepage creates an initial impression about the company.
Minimalist sites are also free from any kind of distracting pop-ups. The server is never overloaded with too much of videos or flash contents.
I have no idea why so many websites are using hamburger menu because not many website visitors are aware of this trend. Since this icon hides the menu just to make the interface look clean, people are going to have a hard time browsing the website. They will have to click on this icon again and again just to get access to the other pages of the website.
So, rather wasting your time and money on this hamburger menu, you need to use standard horizontal menu. Use some nice fonts and try some hover effect just to spice up the look and feel of the design.
So, at an overall glance, minimalist design increases the focus on the most crucial element of a website, generating the desired outcome of the investment. This is the reason why this design trend has gained such vast popularity over time throughout the world.
But before following the trend one must verify whether this style will at all serve the purpose of the website, because precision is not applicable for all kinds of websites. So, it would be utterly foolish to eliminate vital stuff when the customer is actually looking for more! One would never like a bare template for an e-commerce store or a fashion and beauty blog!