5 Elements that are Essential to Mastering Minimalistic Web Design

  • By Jackie Petre
  • 08 May, 2017

The Art of Simplicity

For many of us, the Internet is both a blessing and a curse. It provides endless outlets for information and idea sharing, but it can also be a major distraction, leading you from one page to the next, until you’ve somehow found yourself watching funny cat videos on YouTube. We’ve all fallen prey to Internet distractions, but the last place you want people to be distracted is when they’re visiting your business’s website.

Eliminating those distractions is easier said than done, but the best approach to take is going with a minimalistic website design. A design concept like this works hard to display your content in the simplest form possible, getting right to the point. It might sound simple, but mastering it takes a lot more than just making the delete key your best friend.

What Makes a Design Minimal?

In an article from Smashing Magazine, web and graphic design expert Cameron Chapman says, “minimalism is about breaking things down to the barest elements necessary for a design to function. It’s about taking things away until nothing else can be removed without interfering with the purpose of the design.”

Minimalistic design is becoming increasingly important in the world of web design and development with the growing use of mobile devices. With such a small amount of real estate to display your site at once (i.e., the small size of phone screens), you have to keep your design as straightforward as possible. The minimalistic approach allows for users to focus their attention on the main message of the site instead of being distracted by useless clutter. It’s a concept that’s been around for a while and isn’t going away any time soon.

Just the Bare Necessities

Notice the abundant white space on Sharper Impressions' site, which makes the text and images stand out against the negative space.
The most notable feature in minimal design is the overwhelming amount of blank, or negative, space. Even in minimalistic work that isn’t web-based, such as interior design or art, negative space is usually the tell-tale sign that what you’re looking at is minimalism. A plain white or black background is most popular, as it lets the rest of the text and visuals stand out. Which leads us to the next element…

Contrast

The colorful map and call-to-action module create contrast on The Maids MA's website.

You’ve probably noticed that many minimalistic designs feature a white background, which makes for the ideal blank canvas. Anything placed on it is instantly contrasted by the stark background. This can be created through any medium—color, shape, size, etc. The addition of bold elements stand out even more, especially when there is less surrounding it to compete for the user’s attention.

Oversized Visuals

With visuals that span across the entire screen like The Maids Columbus has on its homepage, a message is sent without too much text cluttering the page.

Using professional-grade visuals, either in the form of photos, videos or graphics, instantly makes a statement about your business without needing text to explain. In a minimalistic design, this usually takes up most of the page or replaces the background itself. The key to knocking this design out of the park is using the highest quality visuals. Otherwise, your design will be left looking sloppy, which is the opposite of what minimalism should be.

Simplified Navigation

Notice the 3 bars in the upper right hand corner of Cascade Fresh Cleaning's mobile site, which signifies a continued menu structure in a simple way.

Minimalistic design is all about eliminating as much as possible without taking away from the message, which sometimes means removing cluttering text. As mobile Internet usage overtakes desktop use, it becomes even more important to have a navigation system that doesn’t take up your entire screen. Most minimalist websites are doing this in the form of layered menus (known as the “ hamburger icon ”), where the user can click a button that intentionally has no text, but signifies the appearance of a menu when selected.

This simplified menu hides all the navigation text from the page, but allows you to easily access it. Plus, the icon itself is a tribute to the power of conveying a message without words.

Typography

The font used in the Kitchens By Woody's logo and headings creates contrast against the content's font.
Although many minimalistic web designs don’t have an abundance of text, any site that hopes to provide information still needs to have text and copy. But by using large, distinct typography for headlines and anything you want to stand out, you’re adding emphasis to a few words, making them stand out above the rest. You want to maintain a normal font for the meat and potatoes of your copy, but adapting dramatic typography will bring focus to your message in the simplest way.

Less is More

Think of minimalistic web design as an equation: add all these parts together and you’ve got a design that is informational, visually appealing and non-disruptive. Keep in mind than minimalistic web design doesn’t have to be quite as bare as many believe. It’s all about simplifying your overall design and creating a bold statement that focuses on what is most important to your website.

It’s up to you to figure out what exactly that is.

The Science Behind Digital Marketing

By Jackie Petre 16 Aug, 2017

Everywhere you look nowadays, people have their eyes glued to their cell phones. Between text messaging, taking photos and browsing social media, it’s hard to keep the attention of anyone under the age of 50 for more than a few minutes if their phone is nearby. That’s exactly why marketers started jumping at the opportunity to be right where they wanted to be: a few inches away from their target’s face on a cell phone screen.

In recent years, many small businesses--especially those that use a scheduling system of some sort—have started utilizing SMS (short message service, aka text messaging) as a form of marketing and communication with clients. SMS marketing is an immediate form of communication that has the capability of reaching a largescale audience within seconds, something that emails and phone calls can’t compare to anymore. And with 75% of millennials in a recent survey choosing texting over talking, it makes sense that SMS marketing is a tool small businesses need to start utilizing.

By Jackie Petre 09 Aug, 2017

When was the last time you pulled out your phone to find a nearby restaurant or coffee shop? Probably pretty recently. And when you did, what phrases did you type into the search engine? Probably something along the lines of ‘Mexican restaurant near me,’ or ‘nearby coffee shop.’ With more and more people using their mobile devices to perform Internet searches on-the-go, there has been an increase in usage of the phrase ‘near me.’

And this doesn’t just apply to food searches.

People are searching for specific services using the terms ‘near me’ in industries of all kinds. This simple change in search terms can give users better search results, and can market your business in a wider area. However, this isn’t something Google can do on its own; first, you need to make sure your company’s website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches.

By Jackie Petre 03 Aug, 2017

Google’s latest technological asset for businesses has recently launched, and it’s a game-changer for small businesses that are just starting out. It’s called Google Sites.

For those who have a business but are just figuring out the best way to establish an online presence, Google Sites might be the tool for you. This feature, provided by the search engine, allows business owners to build and manage a mini website on their own, all without the help of a programming professional. It’s not a high-tech website, but for those looking to make basic information about their company and services available to the public, Sites can get the job done.

Anyone who runs a Google My Business account —which should be all business owners—can access this feature and create a mini site in as little as ten minutes. Plus, everything is done through Google, so when you make a change to your local listing, such as updating business hours, the changes will automatically be updated on your website, too. For a small business owner, saving valuable time like this adds up.

Sounds pretty great, huh?

By Jackie Petre 27 Jul, 2017

When you look at your business’s website, are you proud of the way your company is represented? Do you feel like your level of work is accurately portrayed through your photos, web design and site optimization? If you can’t stand using your own site, chances are that your customers won’t either. But before you give up on your company’s online presence, consider the difference your business could see when your website is gaining you new clients rather than repelling them.

When it comes to your company’s online presence, your website can go one of two ways: either it can help your business, or it can hurt your business.
By Jackie Petre 26 Jul, 2017
While it’s obviously important to have quality images of your products or service jobs on your website, you don’t want to overlook the content portion of your site , particularly in the form of descriptions. Providing the visitor with detailed product and service descriptions gives a better idea of what to expect when working with you.
By Jackie Petre 20 Jul, 2017

The purpose of a call-to-action (CTA) is, first and foremost, to provide an instruction to website visitors to contact you immediately, as well as a reason why. It tells them what they will gain from working with you and motivates them to take action to make that happen. Therefore, a good CTA will invoke the customer to contact you on the spot. 

Here's how you can create the perfect call-to-action that will have consumers off your site and in your office. 

By Jackie Petre 17 Jul, 2017

SEO. There it is, that daunting acronym. If you’ve done any research whatsoever about having a successful website, you know that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the foundation of an effective site. It means that your website does a good job of incorporating a bunch of elements, like specific keywords, location and load time, making it easy for people to find your site when they’re searching for local services like yours.

For the sake of keeping this at a basic level, we won’t delve too deep into SEO and how it works . But there are a few parts of it that you can easily incorporate into your website that can help immensely.
By Jackie Petre 11 Jul, 2017

One of the quickest ways you can drive people off of your site is by having an unresponsive website. You might be wondering what makes a website responsive or unresponsive, and what you can do to change that. This all starts with the most important part of your website: your web design.

There are so many elements that factor into website design, and if you don’t utilize your site’s design, your online presence has the ability to hurt your business.

By Jackie Petre 06 Jul, 2017

When it comes to marketing your business online, making your business’s website reflect your brand is an absolute must in any service-based industry. It’s what sets you apart from your competition, establishes your credibility and shows people why you are the best choice for them.

Metric Marketing’s “ Guide to The Importance of Branding in Your Marketing ” breaks branding down to a simple definition:

By Jackie Petre 28 Jun, 2017

Online reviews have been around a while. But in the past few years, they’ve increasingly become more important than ever, and the statistics to support its relevancy are overwhelming. Think about it: when you are considering buying a product on Amazon or searching for a restaurant to go to, do you ever look at the reviews to help make your decision? The answer, most likely, is yes.

Today, you can find just about anything online, whether that’s a product or a service, and everyone out there is in the business of marketing. Oftentimes, it’s hard to tell if the images and descriptions are really what you’re getting, or if you’re being scammed. But when we see online reviews from real people just like ourselves who are willing to testify for this brand, it gives us peace of mind that we’re making the right decision.

More Posts
Share by: