The minimalist web design seems to be all the rage lately. People are doing away with fancy graphics or animation and emphasising simple colours and design choices that prioritise functionality, elegance and a sense of calm.
So what is a minimalist web design?
A minimalist design is simply a user-centric approach favouring only necessary components, and eschewing elements that are deemed too distracting.
In the 90s, websites looked flashy with animations and glaring colours, but that would turn a user away in the modern world in a split second.
Considering a user’s perception on a website is based upon the first 50 milliseconds of exposure, you want to make sure you capture their attention.
Minimalist web design aims for simplicity and objectivity. Source: Pinterest
A minimalist design is best to achieve this effect. Because nowadays, people want a clean design, and a clean design can mean higher-user engagement. And that’s why minimalist designs have become so popular.
Before you start crafting concepts, or start designing elements for your minimalist website, understand some of the best-used principles in a minimalist design. We’ll share these tips below.
The Main Principles of Minimalist Web Design
A minimalist web design Malaysia can be achieved by combining only the essential parts that are visually appealing, with purposeful functionality that supports the user’s intended task. Below are a few factors to keep in mind.
1. Ensure a User-Friendly Interface
Every website design in Malaysia should be user-friendly and be easy to navigate. Although, a minimalist approach should take this further in ensuring that a user can interact and browse the site in a clean, concise and transparent manner. The design should make use of the right layout elements, colours and typography. A website visitor should be able to get to where they need to be as efficiently as possible and without confusion.
2. Balancing Hidden Navigation with Accessibility
Navigational elements can be one of the more challenging aspects for designers to implement in a clean website design. The primary content needs to be accessible and usable but needs to avoid being cluttered to achieve the minimalistic look. This is especially true in the mobile era, where responsive web designs are in demand.
Smaller screens require designers to use the three-line menu or ‘hamburger menu’ as some would call it. These hidden navigation menus expand when a user clicks on it, and the design is catching on even on desktop screens.
3. Don’t Use More Than 3 Colours At Once
The use of the right colour palette evokes emotion and a deeper connection to a brand or company. That being said, limited or monochromatic use of colours is ideal for a minimalist approach to web design. Fewer visuals mean colours are more noticeable, so a loud, clashing colour scheme wouldn’t work. Using no more than three colours gets the users attention, and consequently, minimises distractions.
4. Use Loads of Empty Space
Empty space or negative space draws attention to a piece of content or call to action within a page. Google’s main page is an excellent example of a design that utilises white space to draw users’ attention to its search function. Illustrations and text that brilliantly use negative space send a powerful and striking message, capturing attention within all the other layout elements.
5. Experiment With Different Fonts
The text that you use tells your visitors what’s your site all about. The style, size and spacing convey personality, so choose a font that resonates with your audience. The text should have good legibility, clean lines and a clear purpose.
6. Less is More When It Comes To Details
The appeal of a minimalist design is that it’s less distracting. Fancy colour transitions, 3D effects, shadows, textures and gradients will look unnecessarily bloated and flashy. A flat structure is best, which can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
7. Limit Rarely Used Elements
In a zeal to pursue a minimalist look, some might go overboard and remove navigation buttons to improve the design. While you can forgo certain navigational elements, strike a balance between form and functionality and only keep the essentials.
3 Reasons Why You MUST Consider Making A Minimalist Website Design
Besides the zen aura and beautiful layout of a minimalist design, there are a few reasons why you should consider having a minimalist website design Malaysia.
1. It’s Trendy!
The fact that minimalism has been around for a while, and yet is still being used today, means that minimalist designs are not only trendy but here to stay.
People are less distracted on the site. They stay focused on the content, and if it’s really amazing, they are enthralled by it. And when you can get people to stay on your site, it’s a win-win.
2. Great Mobile Responsiveness
The more elements, the more difficult it is to fit the layout in a small screen. Therefore, turning a minimalist design into a mobile responsive site is easier because the designer has fewer elements to work with.
3. It Loads Faster
Slow website speeds not only annoy the user but will impact SEO. Minimalist websites use only essential, flat elements. So not only it gives a good user experience, but it loads fast as well.
10 Tips To Achieve Minimalist Website Design
Achieving a minimalist design is an art form. It’s not to be confused with simplicity, but instead only having the essentials while retaining its usability. Bearing that in mind, below are ten principles on achieving a minimalist look with each of your designs.
1. Use White Space or Negative Space To Highlight Important Elements
Including more whitespace in your design means going over every detail of your page. Consider your margins, footer, menus, images and captions, header, list items, every word and letter before deciding where to leave space between them.
Think about improving the user experience and visualise your design from their point of view. A minimalist design allows the eyes to feel relaxed when scanning your page. It should be nice and elegant without the text or image overpowering the page like a glorified brochure. Essential elements should be positioned tastefully while leaving adequate space in between. They are therefore highlighting the illustration or text element itself.
Simple minimalist designs make the user want to keep on reading. Having nicely spaced elements will highlight your message and what’s truly important to your website visitors.
2. The Colour Palette Should Be Kept To A Minimum
The right colour palette will highlight some aspects of a website and better attract a viewer’s focus. As mentioned, you shouldn’t use more than three colours in a minimalist website. Using a two-colour scheme, black and white, or black and grey, along with a contrasting colour like green or red, allows for an impactful visual impression.
Mind the colour palette that you’re using as each colour invokes a different emotion in the user. For example, the colour blue can represent loyalty and trust, whereas the colour brown gives a sense of warmth and reliability. Green is a healing colour and offers feelings of tranquillity and being one with nature. If your target audience is mostly female, pink can be the right choice as it shows femininity and tenderness.
3. Make Your Fonts a Focal Point
Animations and imagery aren’t the only elements that are making your site visually attractive. Using the right type of typography allows the visitor to properly navigate your pages and understand your website’s most critical parts. They are free and paid fonts that look fantastic for a minimalist design. Some fonts like Gidole are better for logos or posters while fonts like Relica Trio look good on a website catering to the food industry. Many fonts for minimalist designs feature different weights and can be used in any commercial or personal projects.
No matter what font type you choose, keep in mind, it’s readability and how it’s displayed, especially on mobile or smaller screens. More and more users are on mobile devices nowadays, and most website designs will take a mobile-first approach.
If you’re stumped on what font to use, Sans Serif fonts are an ideal choice for a minimalist website because of the crisp and clean look.
4. Create an Effortless Effect With Text
A minimalist design is not just about looks, but also how a user processes information. Long-form, continuous content will not work on a page aiming for a minimalist design. The information can get convoluted and messy; people will find it hard to read your content.
To create an effortless effect, divide your textual content into several blocks, so it’s easier to digest the information. It adds lightness to the design and reduces the options the user is presented with. According to Hick’s Law, the more choices a person is presented with, the longer it takes for them to make a decision. You should also place the most relevant and succinct content blocks at the top, to keep visitors interested.
5. A Minimalist Approach to Navigation
Simple yet effective navigation is crucial, so users can find what they’re looking for. A functional approach to navigation means that users know where to click to get to a specific page. From the top-level menu, sidebars to even footers, navigation should be presented clearly and consistently.
In a minimalist design, you should eliminate unnecessary menus as long as it doesn’t pose a problem. To keep things simple, enclose your navigational buttons within the menu button. If there are navigational elements within an image, illustration or text, make sure that the users know that it’s clickable.
6. Pick The Right Images
Besides colours, images that you choose on your website can also invoke emotion. It should grab the visitors attention and inform them about what your brand is all about. Images affect your visitors’ mood and persuade them to take action, but the wrong impression can confuse and even drive your visitors away.
Always use bright, high definition photos, especially if it’s the focal point in your design. It should have a specific purpose in mind, rather than just there for decorating. Good images aren’t just about clear, beautiful pictures – it should have a clear concept that connects well with the viewers, visually and psychologically.
Take the time to understand the various aspects of a good image. What kind of mood are you portraying? What context are you trying to emphasise? Know the right angle and spark your viewers’ imagination. The best images tell a story about your organisation, and compels the viewer to complete the journey.
7. Add Small Details & Elements To Attract Attention
Minimalist web design has remained a popular choice because it’s flexible and can be updated to reflect current needs. There are less complicated functionalities that might break a site once altered or removed since it’s strength is in the small details.
Besides being easily updated, adding small details to a webpage can highlight or separate your main content. It doesn’t have to be functional, but using objects, pointers, decorative signs, or other fragments; allows you to attract attention to a piece of message on your site.
These details can also be changed if you have a separate message or product in the future, highlighting a minimalist design.
8. Ensure Usability
The number one focus of every website is the user’s needs. It should be easy and efficient for every user while ensuring good usability throughout the site.
A minimalist design, in practice, will have limited elements as possible. There should be no pop-ups or intrusive features that obscure the page. However, each design should also have a specific function and usability rather than just for aesthetic appeal.
There should not be elements without any connection to the overall website’s usability. All your visuals, navigation, and text need to be connected cohesively. The purpose should be clear and contributes to the user experience (UX) design.
9. Use Big, Bold & Contrasting Visuals
Visuals are the highlight for most minimalist website designs. Visuals include high-definition images, attention-grabbing videos, or fancy, bold typography.
Aim for visuals that give your site a unique look and feel. And use contrasting visuals to highlight that element. For example, you can use dark and light colours to show contrast in an image side by side. You can also show differences using colour temperatures which can be warm, neutral or cool.
10. Grid Your Layout
You won’t have to grid your layout in every design. But it’s handy for designing responsive websites and organising linear content without adding any other visual elements.
Grid-based design styles and minimalist designs are actually two separate categories. However, minimalist designs can use grid-based designs where there is a need to balance the visual elements harmonically within the layout. Grid-based designs can use the right typography and use fewer components to achieve the minimalist look.
When it comes to web design, a minimalist approach can be a difficult concept to grasp at first, and it can also mean different things, depending on the interpretation.
However, as you can see above, you can strive for minimalism when you keep two key takeaways in mind: ‘ less is more’, and ensure every element has key objectivity.
The aesthetic appeal is balanced visually and functionally, reducing the elements on a site to only the most essentials, using less, but achieving more.
By stripping away factors that don’t significantly contribute to a deeper purpose or function, you’re improving user experience. People get your message, and they welcome the idea that you’re trying to get across, and that should be the goal of every website.
Getting the concept of minimalism right can pose a challenge for businesses, let alone its execution.
But don’t worry, if you feel like you need a fantastic minimalist web design, or you need to discuss various concepts before implementation, feel free to contact One Search Pro to discuss your needs.
So don’t hesitate to contact us today!