Minimalist web design has quite a long history as well as minimalism in architecture or any other art. However, most of us have seen websites full of elements, pictures and popups that are pretty far from minimalistic. Taking an interest in this article, you are probably not the biggest fan of those overcrowded pages.
One of the first adapters of minimalist layouts was probably Google. In the 1990s, they chose to be simple for perception, and the trend is being followed up to date. The success of such approach made more companies concentrate on minimizing instead of maximizing number of visual elements of their online pages. Today, many well-known modern brands only use minimalism for their promotion. Designers adapted the idea of “less is more” as a rule of thumb and use it in UI to drive more traffic. And it does make perfect sense.
According to Eye Quant, the lower bounce rate can be associated with the clean design. Even though clarity is subjective, it is obvious that having less features on the screen help people concentrate on important information instead of jumping around in search of essentials. Another benefit is decreased loading time which is also important in a world where nobody seems to have any time. Minimalist style is more likely to be referred as informative and time-saving.
By now, you might have already started wondering about minimalist web design inspiration. And this is exactly what we are going to discuss below. There will be 5 most popular techniques used by minimalist designers for the theoretical part as well as 5 beautiful minimalist website examples. You can look through them and possibly come up with some cool ideas for your own template.
5 techniques used to build a perfect minimalist web page
Note that they might be used separately or together. This is where you can be really creative. While adding things, you can easily overdo it; however, minimizing might be an easier task. Just think carefully about these techniques and try to find the ways that can add value to your product, service or whatever there might be on your homepage.
1. Use negative space smartly
Once you get rid of unnecessary elements, there appears some empty space at their places. This white space of the interface is often called negative. Also, it can be called the backbone of all minimalist designs. Not necessary it is white, but it for sure is empty. And even empty, it plays an important role in sending a message to customers. Firstly, it prevents distractions and annoyance. Secondly, it directs attention and helps users get the information directly without fighting other elements on the way.
There are some factors to consider when you want to create negative space on your website. Among them are:
- content important enough to be left on the page
- hierarchy of the elements
- simplicity of interaction with information (or the opposite?)
- negative space variations for different resolutions
Actually, there are no universal answers. It is important to consider these factors for each particular project.
2. Monochromatic color palette or totally crazy colors
It is often thought that minimalist websites are supposed to only be black and white. That is not really true. The most important thing here is to use whatever colors you choose strategically so that they don’t overload but direct attention instead. The main principles of color usage stand here as well which means there’s no need to put all the variety in your corporate style. However, do not limit yourself with black and white only.
Even though many of beautiful minimalist websites use monochromatic palette with maybe one bold color for accenting, it doesn’t mean to be a law. Of course, 50 different colors and shades will never be called minimalistic, but at the same time, there is a possibility to totally overcrowd the pure black and white typography.
Actually, with plenty of negative space, you can use bright colors to fill the space with balanced and non-disruptive color patterns. Done smartly, your page will be quite outstanding and different from other ones in the crowd. Also, pay special attention to logo. It often seems like a small element, but in minimalistic design, it is as essential as ever. Its colors may play the first violin in your visual ensemble.
3. Flat textures
Such textures do not have any gradients, shadows, highlights or special graphic effects. In this case, all UI elements look simple and minimalistic to their cores. However, making all the elements flat is not a universal recipe for a minimalist personal website. Flat and minimalist designs are two different things. They do actually co-occur pretty often, but be careful to feel the difference.
A minimalist website can have one amazing 3d animation with shadows and stuff like that in its center, and still be minimalist to its core. In the meantime, minimizing with flat structures might be easier for some designers. Choosing approach, you should keep in mind the general company style or other patterns that you have in mind for different pages. Flat is not the only good thing.
4. Large background elements
This technique is still popular in 2018 and it makes sense. Having one large video or image actually helps direct attention to a particular message that is central on this or that page. It also concerns background elements enabled by HTML5. The trend of these past years is to set a background image with large elements and possibly add parallax. That serves for originality and often minimalism as there is almost nothing else on those pages.
In minimalist designs, background generally has significant importance. With decreased number of elements in the whole, it plays the role of a main narrator, so to speak. The drawback of such approach is that sometimes it might be hard to build responsive versions of pages with backgrounds containing large elements.
5. Grid layouts and top area in the center of attention
Grid layouts are particularly popular among minimalist digital designers. In addition to being convenient for content organization, such pattern visually lightens the page. In can be seen well on blogs or modern digital media that represent new articles in grids. There is never any overload even with a whole bunch of new articles constantly appearing.
Also, grids serve great if you want to create a responsive version for mobile devices that usually need image that is significantly different from the desktop one. It’s not about minimalism itself, but something that usually coexists with it successfully. As well as locating the most important information at the top of the page. It is the obvious place to locate it, yet it’s even more true for minimalist designs. Whatever you want to shoot with, should be right there in your minimalist first screen.
Some minimalist web design examples for your inspiration
To give you a better idea of what you can come up with, we’d like to share 5 best minimalist website designs. Most of them are not as widely popular as minimalist Apple website, but for different reasons, they do deserve attention. And they might actually inspire you to create something awesome for our next list.
A music management company called Velvet Hammer shows perfect composition. It reminds of a well-played tune. Symmetry, clarity of lines and elements, frames with simple black borders. Such designs sometimes look like there was just about no work put into them, which is totally not true. Locating each tiny detail exactly where it’s supposed to be is a task for proficient designers only.
2. Nua Bikes
This company only concentrates on bikes without unnecessary introductions and distractions. Whatever you might need to know about bike is right there incorporated into the design. There are quite a lot of elements on the screen, and not much negative space. However, the minimalistic feeling is right there, isn’t it?
This website can be truly proud with its minimalist website header design. There are logo and two pictures representing two pathways. That is what we mean by saying “no distractions”; however, amazing pictures can actually distract and eat up quite a lot of your time once you start browsing (be careful).
Unusual website of the double-Michelin-starred restaurant in Norway called Maaemo. Minimalism here shows how different it is, and high-class, too. The background video at the sets the atmosphere and starts telling the story online that can only be ended properly when you find time and visit the restaurant offline. That’s the way to attract attention!
Just about all the techniques mentioned above are used in this example. Negative space on each page, images with large elements at the background, flat drawings, careful color scheme selection – all of it makes visitors focus on the messages to be delivered.
Whether you liked these particular examples or have something completely different in mind for your minimalist web design, in Fireart.Studio you will be able to find resources to make it a reality. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any ideas you might have.