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It was believed that numerous design features of a site would provide the best experience to users. As a result, website design was very complex, which actually didn’t help to achieve the goal. The visual abundance of features prevented the user from perceiving the site in the right way, making it difficult for them to find what they were looking for.
In short, the purpose of designing would turn out to be defeated. The essence of a website – to quickly provide the information sought – was lost among all the complicated design features.
Nowadays, web designers have been using fewer elements in the design. The point is to create a better user experience. It is achieved by getting rid of additional features and sticking only to the core features that enable functionality of the site.
There are numerous WordPress themes with a very simple design that is highly functional. The intention is to find just the right balance between a beautiful design and functionality – a simplification that will improve user’s interaction.
Let’s see what minimalist web design actually is and how can it be used for improving user’s experience.
1. Flat Interface
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Let us start with the basics – flat interface has been hype for a few years now. It is the main feature of the minimalistic design.
The flat interface means no shadows, gradients, textures, highlights or three-dimensional elements. It is mostly applied to icons and graphics in an interface.
2. Minimal Use of Colors
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Color is important in any web design, but especially in minimalist web design. Regarding the fact that there aren’t many elements in this type of design, the color becomes one of the essential factors.
Its purpose is to grab attention and make the user focus on a certain area of the site.
Generally, the color scheme in the minimalistic design is monochromatic, consisting of white, black or gray shades. It comes down to combining the monochromatic scheme with two bright and intensive colors, used to highlight important elements. Complementary colors are the best to use in this scheme, or colors belonging to the same family.
3. Smart Use of Negative Space
Negative (white) space is fundamental to minimalist web design and also one of the most useful tools. Even though it’s just an empty space on the interface, it can be filled with strong colors or, on the other hand, just made out of monochromatic shades.
Negative space serves as a means of pinpoint a particular element on the site – the more negative space there is around the key element, the better the key element will be accentuated.
High-end companies frequently use negative case in order to create an exclusive look, which is also one of the characteristics of the minimalist design.
4. Impressive Typography
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Since there will be some words, they are usually used to stress out the identity of the design. The words transfer the atmosphere of the site. If it’s used in the right way, it can be used instead of graphics and photos, as it still makes the whole design look attractive and memorable.
The hierarchy of the text is important, as it determines the style of specific fonts. The font size and different styles are crucial here – bold typography should only be used when there is an important message to be conveyed.
The trick is to find the right balance between the attractive typography and the distracting one.
5. Easy Navigation
Navigation in the minimalist design needs to be as simple as possible. According to experts from Bapple web agency who do research on web design simplicity, the most complex level of site navigation should be the drop-down menu, preferably without any submenus.
The most used form of navigation is the top-level horizontal navigation or the hamburger menu, but only in cases when it’s completely appropriate, as it can be more difficult to notice on the site.
6. Background Photos
Background photos are a recent, ever-growing trend. They have to be large and of a high quality. Most frequently, the hero headers and the image are located near the top of the webpage, having the form of a slider.
Even though it doesn’t sound like a minimalist design feature, as the photo occupies the whole page, it is highly popular in this type of design.
The reason behind this is that it manages to create an effective look without adding too many details. Also, the image is only used if it helps the user understand what the site is about.
It’s important to make a great combination of an effective photo and bold typography – again, the right balance needs to be found so that the user’s attention isn’t dispersed.
In general, minimalist web design strives for simple beauty and high functionality. The golden rule is – the less, the better. As any other type of design, it has certain deviations from the general characteristics, but in essence, it is a reduced but still effective type of design.