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Do minimalistic websites convert more and perform better?

29 October 2019
Ben Smith

In the 1950s, minimalism was the significant movement that was brought into our lives and since has influenced all aspects of our culture. The Dictionary defines minimalism as art, music or design which intentionally avoids decoration or adornment. Since the 1950s, minimalism has advanced so much; it has even altered how we perceive technology, including how websites are designed.

While web creators have a vast collection of tools available to make a website burst out of the screen, users have found that these can actually be counterproductive by turning viewers away. The truth is websites designed with less flair and a definitive focal point, convert more and perform better. Here’s why.

What Makes a Good Minimal Website?

In web design, you are currently very trendy if you stick to one of the modern design approaches and thus deliver a minimal web design. However, this rather superficial consideration of the layout, the pure optics, is not sufficient to be able to speak of a proper minimalist web design. This requires additional elements.

In web design, in particular, the mistake is often made, often also customer-induced, of filling websites with any existing content. This is based on the idea that after all, you have an unlimited amount of space in the network.

With minimalism in mind, however, you should do precisely the opposite and pretend space is actually tight. The most helpful consideration in getting on the right track here is to ask what the goal of the planned website is. Should it sell? If yes, what? Should it inform? If so, what about? Depending on the project, further questions arise.

When answering, it is again essential to proceed in a minimalist manner, i.e. to get things straight to the point. If the website is to sell a product, the design must be geared entirely towards it. If several products are considered, the Pareto principle can help.

The Pareto principle describes the statistical phenomenon when a small number of high values ​​in a set ​​contributes more to its total value than the high number of small amounts ​​in this set.

The effect is widely known from the statement that you can achieve 80% of the result with 20% of the stake, while you would have to bring 80% of the stake for the remaining 20% of the result. The knowledge that arises from this is in itself clear. Once you have identified which specific activities it is that bring you 80% of the outcome, you can focus entirely on it and simply give up the 80% effort for a measly 20% result.

In the case of our example with the e-commerce website, we would try to work with our customer to determine which 20% of the product range generates 80% of sales. We would then optimize the website to this 20%.

Elements of Minimal Web Design

Unlike websites that use lots of layers, colours, imagery, and backend code to reel in visitors, developers who choose a minimal approach have to be selective about what to include and what to leave out. Here are the main elements web developers focus on when building minimal web pages.

Negative space (white space)

When everything that is inessential is stripped off, there is empty space surrounding a graphic object. It is precisely this that makes minimalist design what it is. When a website has the ideal amount of white space, it creates a calming, relaxing feeling. It brings calm to the room, so to speak.

Text – typography is art

Minimalism lives from well-chosen typography. Since the text is one of the few elements used that dominates the negative space, it becomes much more valuable as a graphic element. In minimalist web design, less text is generally used. In addition, it tends to work with a few fonts but with different font styles.

Typography is an area in itself that is improved primarily through a lot of experience. However, typography is essential for websites.

Choose the right colours

A common assumption is that minimalist design only works in black and white or in shades of grey. However, this is not the case. While the monochrome format is widely used, it is not a must. At the same time, a page is not automatically minimalist just because the images are black and white. Traditionally, minimalist designs are based on a moderate colour spectrum, usually two or three colours. Another tactic is the use of grayscale and another colour tone that is only explicitly used for accents and as a link or reference colour. This can also be a signal colour.

Text – typography is art

Minimalism lives from well-chosen typography. Since the text is one of the few elements used that dominates the negative space, it becomes much more valuable as a graphic element. In minimalist web design, less text is generally used. In addition, it tends to work with a few fonts but with different font styles.

Typography is an area in itself that is improved primarily through a lot of experience. However, typography is essential for websites and the scale of the content object.

Simplified User Experience

To enhance their minimal web design, creators will also minimize navigation aspects by hiding some menus to make the site look cleaner, so they’ll use “hamburger icons.” This can reduce navigation to three choices, or conceal information under or inside animated icons, thus eliminating a traditional file menu. This choice makes space more open to other content.

Pros and Cons of Minimal Web Design

Advantages of minimalist web design

  • It can be easily integrated into responsive designs
  • The system (information structures) is straightforward to learn and navigate for users and website visitors
  • The structuring of the layout, as well as SVGs, immanently provide the impression of visual sophistication
  • Easy to read through simple or strong typography, structured and concise content
  • Fast loading times due to the waiver of pixel images (jpg, png)

Disadvantages of minimalistic web design

  • Despite the simple appearance, it can be difficult and time-consuming to create a minimalistic design.
  • Because of its simplicity, minimalist web designs can quickly become tedious.
  • Because it is so popular, it becomes difficult to generate individuality.

Conclusion

Minimalist websites simplify interfaces by removing unnecessary elements and paring down content that does not support user tasks. What makes such websites inspiring is the combination of usability and great aesthetics: An easily navigable, beautiful website is a powerful vehicle of communication.

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