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Minimalist web design

by  David Dwyer on  09/11/2014    1511 Reads

A philosophy for building websites that allows content to shine

When it comes to the guiding principle of modern web design, one phrase sums it up perfectly: less is more.

But despite what you might think, taking a minimalist approach to web design doesn’t mean removing important information just for the sake of creating acres of white space. It means quite the opposite: that everything on your site is there for a reason. Every line of text, every image, every link is essential and has justified its existence during a conscious design process. 

Minimalist web design gets everyone involved in the process thinking a lot harder about what really needs to be there. If the website can’t function without it, leave it in; if it isn’t essential, it goes into a less prominent position, gets turned into a link or even gets the boot.

Once the ruthless housecleaning is done, it’s time to focus on what’s left. The selection of colours, fonts and images are of vital importance to minimalist design: they aren’t just afterthoughts or whims. Ask yourself: do my choices help communicate my message clearly? If not, move on to the next options until you find ones that do.

At Inspire, we take a minimalist approach to web design as part of our generally ‘lean’ approach to the creative process. When clients turn to us to improve their existing online presence, we use the industry-leading ERIC technique (eliminating what doesn’t add value; reducing what’s not needed; improving what is needed; and creating space by reducing clutter) to inject new life and focus into tired websites.

Taking this minimalist approach delivers maximum returns to our clients. In our experience, busy, cluttered sites confuse and overwhelm visitors. At best, users eventually abandon such sites; at worst, they abandon the businesses behind them. Unnecessary text and images also create hostages to fortune, with every single ‘extra’ bit of content something that will need to be updated, rewritten or checked in future. Sprawling websites create plenty of space for errors, contradictions, confusion, and frankly, boredom  – all which is why, at least in terms of websites, less really can be more.    


David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David’s academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel & Ergonomics) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot- Computer Society. He is also active within BNI Fair City (Perth), Business for Scotland and the Entrepreneurial Exchange. 


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Inspire Web Development, Inspire Web Services, Mobile Apps, Responsive Web Design, Sticky Websites, The Evolving Web, Web Design
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