Known as one of the biggest art movements of the past century, minimalism has become a popular trend that spilled over to the realm of web design. Unlike preceding movements, minimalism allowed artists and designers to make an impact without screaming the message in all directions—basically, to say more with less.
Artists can take years to perfect minimalism, and web designers similarly need to train hard to design websites that work with minimalist principles. For this reason, many organizations opt to hire an expert team from a well-respected web design agency in the Philippines. These professional web designers have years of experience mastering the intricacies of minimalist web design. But before you opt to completely overhaul your web page, you need to know if minimalism best fits your vision for your brand. To help you weigh your options, here are the things you need to know about minimalist web design and why you should—or should not—use it for your website.
What Is Minimalism All About?
Characterized by clarity, functionality, and simplicity, minimalism was meant to break away from the cluttered designs of some sites. It’s all about a stripped-down style that’s visually appealing—usually through monochromatic color schemes, clean lines, and wide white spaces. To evoke this sense of sophistication and calm, designers would do away with unnecessary elements and excessive ornamentation.
In web design, this means whittling down website elements to the bare necessities. No unnecessary pop-ups, tabs, or any type of content that doesn’t serve an important purpose. Some of the design elements that constitute minimalism are negative space, symmetry, contrast, typography, and imagery.
Why Should I Go Minimalist?
Quicker to Load
A website that’s too slow to load discourages users from exploring your site further. One of the main culprits for the slow loading time is the slew of add-ons, widgets, and other features that might populate your page. With a minimalist layout, your site will be quicker to load and wouldn’t demand as much bandwidth from your users.
Easier to Navigate
Again, a website that’s a chore to navigate will dissuade users from exploring your online space. Minimalist design is straightforward enough that users can easily identify the clickable items that will lead them to where they want to go. Minimal elements and a clean layout don’t overwhelm users with choices, making the overall user experience a pleasant one.
Less Prone to Site Issues
Usually, sites tend to crash and break down because of excessive plugins, applications, and other “heavy” elements. The fewer you have on your page, the less likely it is to crash.
If you think about it, your minimally-designed website can give you a chance to maximize a small window of time to impress online visitors. Minimalist design focuses on timelessness and bold statements, which are essential to conveying strong messages that will leave an imprint on your visitors. This could potentially spark their curiosity about your brand, which could translate to sales.
More than just ranking high on results pages, search engine optimization (SEO) also depends on good web design. Minimalist pages tend to get all the necessary information that users are looking for within reach, making it easier for search engine algorithms to go through your site. Apart from a cleaner code, quick loading times are also great SEO-wise. Of course, all these can be achieved through minimalist web design.
Why Should I Not Go Minimalist?
With all that said, there are also a few downsides that come with minimal site elements and layouts. These include:
Little Room for Expression
One of the biggest qualms that designers may have with minimalism is the limited opportunity to convey a brand’s message in full. While it’s true that a few words and images can leave a strong impression, some designers are more effective when they are free to play with colors and themes. If you think that your brand may not be the right fit for a minimalist design, then it’s best to check other web design options. These restrictions may also hinder functionality when they keep you from adding important page content, including videos and apps.
Tendency to Look Blank and Incomplete
There’s a huge difference between sparsity and thoughtful use of space. While the latter allows the viewer’s eyes to breathe, the former gives a sense of incompleteness, which is not good for web design. Rather than stylish, your website may look too spartan and dull.
Might Obscure Site Features
Although a clean design makes for better navigation when done effectively, this could also backfire. Putting too much focus on negative space might lead to obscured menus and clickable links, which could hinder the user experience rather than improve it.
Could Become Cold and Generic
There’s a reason why users tend to veer away from “overly corporate” minimalistic designs. With minimalism being such a huge hit, there is a tendency for some websites to look too similar to hundreds of other pages, making it difficult to stand out. If not done properly, minimalism could give your site a generic quality that’s cold and devoid of originality.
Conclusion: Balance Is the Key
Since the boom of minimalism, web designers have quickly taken to the old adage “less is more.” But as previously stated, this trend has disadvantages as well as perks. Ultimately, whether you should go minimalist or not depends on the nature of your business and what you want to convey to your end users. For example, if you need to rely heavily on visuals (i.e., photography services), minimalist pages might work for you.
That said, you can strike the perfect balance and maximize the best of minimalism without completely going all out. In the end, what matters is telling your brand’s story effectively without losing the human touch that truly connects you to your audience.