When it comes to UI design I have always felt that less is more. I’ve always aspired to keep this in mind when I start a new project. Of course (depending on the project) the ‘less is more’ doesn’t always work — it doesn’t solve all our problems but I believe that done right, a minimal, simple design can have maximum impact visually and can improve the user experience.
Minimal, flat UI design is very popular at the moment — as designers, we strive to find more simplistic ways to represent clients / user needs. A clean design makes a website more user friendly and more compelling to look at and interact with. It allows the user to focus on necessary areas. If a simple design can help conversions then why complicate it? As long as the ‘simple’ is effective.
Minimal design became popular in the 60s and 70s. It is simple form and function, leaving out unneeded elements or extra decoration for the sake of it. As well as being a highly influential movement with modern artists, architects etc, minimalism became a way of life and to this day it is as popular as ever. Minimalists aim to live only with essentials, leaving behind anything nonessential.
This phenomenon has definitely influenced modern web design and many minimalist principles are being applied perhaps in rebellion against increasing complex design in web of the past. The ‘less is more’ philosophy is alive and well there is a demand for minimalist-inspired design.
The principles of minimalist web design are very simple and if adhered to I believe it can make for a better visual and user experience.
The first principle is white space. Yes, those two words that can make some clients shudder. But white space is the cornerstone of ANY good design. It frames areas, puts more emphasis on existing elements — give the overall look and feel of a website clean, fresh, modern. It shouldn’t be feared, it should be embraced.
White space helps information from completely overwhelming the user. White space is also called negative space and in fact doesn’t even have to be white. Negative space can be a colour but the same principle applies — it is used in a way that it gives enough space for information to be deciphered by the user.
Whether your website design is minimal or not, typography plays a huge role to a designs success. Minimalist fonts are simple, crisp and usually are devoid of complex decoration. Serif can be used but more often it’s the sans serifs that take priority.
Typographical decisions can be the make or break of a website. It must be legible and it must be readable as it does much more than tell a story — it gives the website personality and individuality. Understanding the role of typography allows us to comprehend a websites message.
Google is by far the most popular website in the world and demonstrates minimalist principles.
The Google homepage is designed entirely around its central search function. Anything unnecessary to the function (apart from the Google branding) was eliminated. Branding is even more prominent. Not only is it one of the few visual elements on the page, but because the page remains uncluttered; it’s not distracting. Google’s minimalist philosophy is a great one to follow to improve user experience.
Google proved that it’s not about stripping away elements, it’s about adding just enough to let them tell your story.
Less is more / simplicity is more complex than it sounds. It’s not just about how the site looks it very much about how the user interacts with the site, i.e., if a user can accomplish tasks with ease. This means cutting out unnecessary decorative elements (e.g., animations, transitions that don’t enhance the experience) but not to strip too much out of the design just for the sake of making it look minimal — every important detail counts and should not be disgarded without serious consideration.
As designers we know what minimal design can achieve and it used to be very difficult to convince clients of this. However, now the attitude is shifting (maybe just a little but its shifting!) and they are now thinking to themselves, if the likes of Apple can do it successfully maybe we can too…
Apple is obviously a great example of less is more. Evocative photography, white space and beautiful layouts makes their website very attractive and user friendly. They have always been at the forefront of cutting edge design and they practice what they preach with their online presence too.
Apple have been very influential in the uprise of minimal design. The keep it simple by using large areas of white space to focus on areas of content. They don’t keep everything above the fold (a phrase that makes ever web designer cringe) but rather encourage the user to scroll and take a journey through their products.
Another very important element to a minimal design is of course colour. Simplifying the colour scheme improves user experience. Too many colour can have the opposite effect — a negative user experience. Use only colours that interact well with each other and endeavour to create an atmosphere using these simplified colour palettes. These colours are used to visually prioritise important tasks and also highlight the most critical ones.
Minimalism encompasses simplification of form therefore we tend to see fewer yet richer colour palettes on modern minimalist websites.
Again Apple have applied this use of colour in a minimalist way successfully.
Read more on – https://blog.prototypr.io/minimum-ui-for-maximum-ux-b3495f669314