Tips for achieving minimalist design for your new website
Minimalist web design is a favorite amongst designers and users alike. With a clean, simplified interface and navigation system, users will be able to browse your site with ease. Minimalist designs can also help you cut out unnecessary clutter while making your website load faster and look more modern. There are several things you can do to achieve a minimalist web design, regardless of your website’s platform or niche. Follow these expert tips to take advantage of the minimalist design trend for your own new website.
Wireframing for Minimalist Designs
The first thing to do when building your new website is to map and prototype the design. If you’re using a theme or building from scratch, you’ll need to plan where each content area will appear on your website. This includes photos, graphics, videos, and text blocks, as well as the navigation menu and other interactive content.
A good wireframing utility such as MockingBird or Moqups can help you sort out your site plans and build a prototype of your new minimalist website before it goes online. In order to main the minimalist design style make sure to leave plenty of white space in your initial design. White space refers to any area of your site without content, which is generally but not necessarily white background space visible on your site.
Keep Widgets and Extras at a Minimum
It may be tempting to include additional features such as calendars, countdowns, and games on your website but to keep your design minimalist these items should often be excluded. If a particular feature is going to take up valuable real estate on your website, it must be worth inclusion based on the value it will bring to your customers. Having a ton of optional and marginally relevant features and options will conflict with a minimalist theme and isn’t likely to help your users.
From the backend perspective, keep plugins to a minimum, especially if they have a frontend presence or require slow-loading code in your user’s browsers. If you use WordPress hosting, you can also cleanup your unused widgets and plugins once you’ve published your new site to make sure you’re running at maximum efficiency.
One-Page Templates and Minimalist Themes
The easiest way to ensure you achieve a minimalist design is to start with a minimalist theme or template. WordPress hosting users should check out the minimalist WordPress templates at the WordPress Theme Market. Web admins using Joomla or Drupal can also browse for minimalist themes and templates from companies like TemplateMonster.
If you’re looking for more a landing page, or one-page type minimalist design, you may want to start with a minimalist one-page website. These site templates are about as simple and minimalist as it gets, and give you the control to add or remove content to fit your site’s needs without necessitating a navigation menu or bloated site map. One-page templates are a great minimalist option for single-product shops, specific informative websites and gateways to other websites.
Use Minimalist Fonts, Typography, and Branding
In keeping with an overall minimalist web design, make sure you are using sleek minimalist typography and web fonts on your new website. Web fonts without embellishment are usually found under the Sans script font categories and there are plenty to choose from over at Google Fonts. Typography can be chosen from online generators or created through Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator with a clean font and little or no bordering or shadows. Flat designs work best for minimalist heading and logos. Try limiting the colors in your typography to two or three and consider using pen-style graphics rather than highly detailed, intricate designs for your branding and logos.
Other Tips for Minimalist Website Design
An often overlooked aspect of web design is the pop-ups and interactive elements that don’t always appear on the home page. If you want to include a pop-up to collect emails or remind users of your products make sure to use a pop-up script that conforms to your overall minimalist styling. This is also true of any media you embed within your website. Many websites will require third-party videos or graphics to display on the home page or elsewhere within the site. To achieve a truly uniform and minimalist design this content should also maintain a minimalist theme. Consider having custom media made cheaply from somewhere like Fiverr to fit your site’s theme rather than using media from the web that doesn’t quite match.
By using a minimalist theme for WordPress or another website platform, and leaving plenty of white space between content areas on your website, you’re already off to a great start in achieving a minimalist design for your new site. Round off your minimalist design with sleek typography and sans scrip fonts, and de-clutter your site by removing any unnecessary widgets or features that won’t appeal to the majority of your users. Consider finding, making, or ordering minimalist graphics, videos and content to match your site’s theme and create a uniformly minimalist and modern website.