Are Minimalist Site Designs Just Another Fad?

Web design, like almost any other media-based industry, is subject to all kinds of fads and emerging trends. The problem is that when clients hear these buzzwords in emails, or through business associates, they instantly assume that unless their website has embraced whatever the latest fad is that it isn't as good as it could be.

The biggest buzzword at the moment in the world of web design is 'minimalism', and it's reaching a point now where somebody has to stand up and ask whether or not every website will benefit from a minimalism-focused redesign. The answer to that particular question is a resounding "No", and I'm going to explain here in a bit more detail exactly why that's the case.

minimalism in web design

Why Minimalism Is So Popular

People with even the tiniest bit of training understand the principle of 'less is more' when it comes to designing anything. The problem is that now people have reduced the visual and text elements of certain websites to the point where the front page contains nothing more than a large background image, and a handful of links centered on the page. This is probably a digital rebellion against our modern lives, which are so cluttered with "stuff" that finding even the tiniest bit of open space in our digital world feels akin to freedom.

  • A site with a minimalist design will have a faster loader time, which also brings some SEO benefits with it Creating a responsive version of a minimalist site is far easier than doing the same thing with a complex site layout
  • Navigating these types of websites is simplicity in itself - there are very few links to work with
  • Major brands use minimalist designs, so you can create the same air of authority for your site by following their example
  • Keeping the site updated with new content requires very little effort
  • Your web hosting costs will be much lower because your server and bandwidth demands will be negligible

minimalism in web design

  • While this approach to web design will make perfect sense for customers/industries who want to create thought-provoking designs, it's definitely not going to work for the auto repair shop you're currently designing a site for.
  • Removing all the design and content elements from your site leaves your visitors with very little reason to stick around once they've been suitably impressed by the fact that your site looks great.
  • Using minimalism in every design could make you look lazy, especially when the fad/trend changes and you didn't notice.
  • Should You Be Using Minimalism in Your Designs?

    I think it's important that you understand this approach to web design is something you should become familiar with, something you should experiment with and something you should be able to deliver for clients if it makes sense to do so.

    minimalism in web design

    What I would hope you wouldn't do is accept minimalism as the only worthwhile concept in play at the moment, and blindly accept client requests for a minimalist site. Why? Well that's because when the client sees the finished site and realizes they hate it - and that it doesn't suit their business - you'll be the one they decide to blame for not stopping them making such an incredibly bad business decision in the first place.

    Just remember that for all the people out there who absolutely love minimalist web design, there are at least three times as many people who loathe them because they're often deployed for all the wrong reasons.

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