Minimalist Theory and Techniques

Minimalism design reduces presentation to its bare-bones; goodbye are the flourishes and aesthetic elements. It is hard to find purely minimalistic design, and even harder to find well-executed examples of minimalistic design.

Minimalism is very underrated. Most don’t appreciate the beauty of minimalism in design. To most it looks too simple; however, it may be the most effective way for the designer to get his or her point across.

Most of the time, it is assumed that minimalism is very simple to create, and often referred to as laziness. Others, such as myself, believe that designing for the bare essentials is actually pretty difficult.

One of the pros of minimalism design is that it reduces the amount of clutter in your user interface. Therefore, the focus is on your content: the main part of your site or application. Plus, simplicity is very easy to take in, captivating your readers’ attention quickly. Today, I’m going to go over some techniques to captivate your readers’ interest and make a wonderful minimalistic site.

There are many ways to enhance your minimalist design. Layout is a very important in your design. You want the readers’ eyes to be drawn from the other components of the site to your content. Typography is also great way to enhance important information. Animation-like effects are great – perhaps using jQuery to make some subtle animations.


minimalism_layoutLayout will really make the attention move to your content. A large content area will really make it feel like it is very important. Keep in mind that the human eye is trained to look up (which is tricky for web design). Try and make their eye first go to the logo, then to the content using typography.


Typography is a very important part of minimalist design as well. The use of type is widely regarded as a very good use of design in your site. Used correctly, it can help create a very good-looking site. If you use the correct combination of serif and sans-serif, then you will get an effective, beautiful result.
minimalism_typographyIf you use large type in your logo and just a bit smaller type in your headers, it will automatically draw interest to that type. If you have a sans-serif, large font as the header, and a serif, small, font as the content, the eyes will go straight from the title to the content.

Simple Animation

And finally, a good technique to use in minimalism is animation effects. It will help make up for the “wow” factor that otherwise doesn’t really exist in minimalism. Add some fade-ins and -outs. Maybe some color-ins. Try and experiment and find whatever will fit your site best. Effects like these can be done with javascript libraries (like jQuery and accompanying plugins fairly easily.

These are only a few good minimalist techniques that exist. Here are a few resources to get you on the path to “less is more”!

Typography Resources:

I Love Typography
We Love Typography

Layout Resources

The Golden Ratio
The Golden Rectangle
60 Layout Tutorials

Animation Resources

jQuery Tutorials

General Minimalism

25 Beautiful Minimalistic Website Designs
“Minimalist” on deviantART


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