September 16, 2014

Minimalism: Keeping It Simple

When approaching a new user interface design, a new designer may consider boldness, brightness, and many calls-to-action to be the leading way to shape a website or app. There are countless features to advertise, to write and inform viewers about – consequently, startups may feel that the more icons on the page, the better, filling up a new site so that it looks complete and experienced, ready to compete with sites that have dominated the industry for years.

But – how about simplicity? Clean, clear lines that display your company’s message in three sentences or less, with engaging graphics and confident, coordinated colors that embody your vision without needless clutter.

Though complexity may work for some companies, most run into the danger of writing and producing so much content that the user or reader simply gives up halfway through. Many sites have lost potential clients to this phenomenon. Keeping a clean look to the page ensures that your company’s message is stark and bold, with no distractions in the way of your audience’s understanding. Consider the following two graphics:


Which one catches and holds the eye more? Which “message” was more obvious to you, more quickly?

This simplicity is actually scientifically appealing – visual memory describes the relationship between perceptual processing and the encoding, storage and retrieval of the resulting neural representations.

In simple terms, the brain associates images with memories; the more stark and obvious the image, the greater the chance of a viewer remembering the image and associating emotions with it. Look at the above images again – the graphic on the right is simple, yet bold. The human brain will remember it and its message for a greater period of time than the graphic on the left, which overloads the brain with information and unnecessary tabs, holding no thought to simplicity and memorable images.

Looking through tabs and struggling to find basic information (“What does this company do?”) will frustrate any viewer, regardless of the industry or reason for their visit. Having a fresh, clean, and simple message on your website’s home page will draw your audience in – afterward, you may add calls-to-action or other pages on your site to increase detail and allow people to easily access further information (such as your contact page or list of services and various relevant features).

Having a minimalist web design has a myriad of benefits, some of which include: easily found content, appealing to a viewer’s visual memory, and engagement. When constructing a site, developers must keep in mind that the site must be visually clean and attractive across multiple platforms. Consistency (in addition to the abovementioned simplicity) draws to the visual center of the human brain, and positively adds to the user experience.

While these tips are great for a variety of companies in different industries, they are not necessarily applicable for every firm – each one must follow the route that fits best with its company strategy and image. Consulting with a web design agency will make the process easier and will assist you in finding which path and design is most effective for connecting with your audience.