One of the major rules when it comes to web design is that it’s dynamic. The trends you see today – parallax layouts, dominant headers, ghost buttons, rich background and vibrant photographic content – will fade over time. Or maybe it’s already in the process of being phase out.
However, another rules somewhat contradicts this, and that is the rule of exception. So what is the concept in web design that defies its ever-changing nature? Minimalism.
What is it? What it boils down to is “The simpler, the better”, or “Less is more.”
Minimalism was pioneered by Lucian Bernhard, a German artist, professor, graphic, designer, type designer, and interior designer during the first half of the twentieth century.
The whole concept of minimalism in web design is to maintain focus on what your content is. To achieve this, web designers implement the least amount of elements unto a web page to keep the visitor’s attention on what’s important. This is why this technique endures the passage of time.
Let’s look at it this way.
Have you ever seen a sculptor chiseling? Well, pretend that that sculptor is the web designer and that whole block of stone is the site he’s making.
He starts off by shaping it creating the fundamental design of the image he has in his head. When he’s done with the basic form he then works on the next tier. He hammers off pieces on the head until ears, nose, eyes, mouth, and hair is finally fleshed out.
He continues this on the rest of the body. After that he hammers some more, focusing on the details this time. The lines on the face, the lips parted just so, eyes half-lidded. And then he stops. He stops at the point where he feels there’s nothing left to chisel off.
That’s minimalism. It’s subtracting. It’s building something and taking the unnecessary pieces off until what’s left is the most essential part.
Application in Web Design
This particular technique can be seen on websites where their pages occupy a lot of white space or filled with captivating colors of similar hue. Web designers create minimalism websites using as little elements as possible. And because of this it’s quite difficult to pull off due to the constraints that bound the artist.
Among the cornerstones of this technique is using striking contrast of warring design elements. Because of this stark difference the unlike aspects creates an emphasis on each other’s strengths and details.
Another is that because of the white space’s abundance HD photos or the content of the page can truly be appreciated as the lack of elements acts as a sort of spotlight.
Furthermore, due to the few elements placed on the page the speed in which a website load becomes faster as the browser has little information to process.
It is to be noted, however, that even though white space is generally preferred with this technique, over time artists will slowly breakaway from this and use other colors in its stead. Dynamic, in a way, also has its say when it comes to minimalism.