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Minimalism is arguably the simplest and cleanest form of design and minimalist website design is becoming trendy these days with more and more designers opting for this style. But unfortunately most of the designers have misunderstood the concept behind the minimalism and for them leaving a website void of content is making it minimalist. They tend to overlook the functionality of different elements involved in the design. The biggest part of a minimalist design is its concept and in a minimalist environment it needs to be strong as it has nowhere to hide itself. Minimalism is nothing else than stripping the design of the excess elements and then strategically placing the remaining ones to make the concept a lot more obvious and at the same time keeping the website functional.

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Different approaches towards designing a minimalist website:

Every designer has its own approach towards the design and this remains true for designing a minimalist website as well. For some a better approach is to design a full site and then take out the elements that don’t serve any functional purpose. This exercise can be tiring for many but it is one that has provided stunning results for many designers.

Another approach is making a project plan before starting the designing of the website. The thing to keep in mind is that minimalist designs are for the websites that are dedicated to one concept. If the website involved dedicates itself to more than one concept then perhaps you should look for some other style of designing. So what most designers do when they make the project plan is that they find that one concept about which the site is going be about and the rest is easy.

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Choosing the Colors Wisely:

When someone talks about minimalist website we all imagine it in black and white but that’s not always true. Minimalism does not mean that you cannot use other colors but you have to use them wisely. Most of the time in a minimal design one continuous color is used in the background to set the tone of the website while one accent color is used to capture the attention of the user. Now the trick is use the accent color in a way that it never draws the user’s eye to more than one piece of information at a single time. Still black and white are the most widely used colors in the minimal world and the reason is the sophistication and sleekness that they provide to the design.

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Minimalist Layout:

Nothing destroys a minimalist design more than a badly structured layout, it will not only take aesthetic appeal out of the site but will also leave it functionally less effective. There are quite a few questions that you have to answer while you structure the site’s layout like whether your navigations is conveniently accessible to the user and whether you have placed the logo in a relevant location. These little things are what will make a design a stunning one or an outright disaster. Keep a simple rule of web design in mind while you design your layout, it needs to be user friendly, if a user has to think about how to use your website then you are not doing your job in a right way.

1 An Introduction to the Minimalist Web Design

Typography:

In the last decade the art of typography has found a foothold in the hearts of the designers and an intelligent use of fonts is not more important in any other style of web design than the minimalist one. The reason is that the style takes out all the unnecessary distractions out of the design and the Typography is the only tool that can be used to catch the attention of the user. The type of fonts that you use and the way you use them is one of the biggest factor that will decide whether your design is a success or a failure.  It’s not as simple as choosing between serif and san serif, typography goes way beyond that. It has the capacity to convey the structural importance and will go a long way in increasing the personality of your website. Go beyond changing the size and color of the font, try kerning, leading, font weight and style and you will get yourself quite a few options to try out.

typography An Introduction to the Minimalist Web Design

Negative Space:

The skill of properly spacing the content is what makes a good designer into an excellent one. In a minimalist environment this is perhaps the most powerful tool that a designer has. Again the rule is the same one, you will have to use negative spacing to highlight some specific items that are conveying the concept of the website. The item that stands alone more will get more attention from the user.

There is another use of Negative spacing, it groups the similar pieces of information together and the space between them provides the user’s eye with the much needed break from the information. The old styled designers will love to fill this space with pretty graphics and stuff but doing this will only leave the space clustered and the site will lose its appeal to the user.

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Intelligent Use of Images:

Although in a minimalist design we tend to take out a lot of images and graphics but that does not mean that the minimalist designs have anything against them. In fact a minimalist environment provides an image a better chance to shine. But while placing an image in your design keep this in mind that it should have some relevance with your content and its purpose should not be just to cover up the space.

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Conclusion:

If you are trying out the minimal web design just to follow the trend then you have all the wrong reasons as this approach is not applicable to all the websites. You have to be clear about your goals and a minimal web design should help you in achieving them.

Have you tried out the minimal web design in your projects? Share with us your thoughts about the approach and what was your experience?