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Less Is More: The Argument for Simple Design

Updated on August 1, 2017

For those who were on top of the current trends at the turn of the century, Myspace was the social network. The "spaces" were easily customized and many users took advantage of this, showing off their early coding skills by decking out pages with striking colors, extravagant text boxes and cursors that rained glitter, butterflies or even skulls as they moved across the page. Tiled backgrounds repeated images of couples, friends, pets or even album covers to show off musical taste while songs strummed up the moment anyone came upon the page.

Though Myspace may maintain some credibility as a platform where many major artists launched their careers, it is often regarded as a bit of an insult among designers to have their page likened to the old media site. To avoid making this mistake and draw customers to important information that will drive business, it is imperative to focus on a simple and clean format for any digital forum.

A Movement Towards Minimalism

Minimalism first appeared in art around the time the modern computer had effectively reached its current build. While marketing devices like logos had previously been hand-drawn, programs were now being developed to feature bitmap graphics which would digitize the future of marketing. The movement towards combining these into digital minimalism in marketing became apparent in recent years as major companies moved from large, colorful designs that often popped out towards flat, simple logo designs.

This change came in large part from the globalization of the market. With so many companies to compete with, businesses needed to ensure that their brand was quick to take in and easily identifiable. The same goes with the information provided by these businesses. Logos and slogans may catch the attention of audiences, but in a fast paced world built on instant information, potential customers need quick bullet points to further peak their interest.

Simple, Not Plain

It is also important to note that a movement towards simple designs should not be mistaken for plain. Though every bit of white space on a page should not necessarily be utilized in a literal sense, it should be used to balance the other elements of a page. Similarly, in logos, creative plays on the images can convey more than is immediately noticeable while still maintaining a clean, balanced design. An excellent example of this is the updated Baskin Robbins logo, which nods to its thirty one available flavors by using a simple color change on the "BR" to make a "31".

Additionally, Flash and similar tools can still be used for these clean designs. Shown here, instead of overwhelming the user or guest with all the available information, blocks featuring key words hide further explanations until the cursor hovers over the desired topic. This allows for focus and direction and helps to draw customers in.

Minimal Color For Maximum Impact

With minimal design comes minimal color usage. Particularly with logos, this helps to associate a particular color with a brand and strike recollection in customers on seeing the selected color. However, with websites, color and formatting can be used to draw attention to certain points on the page. Used well, this can even associate certain qualities with a company.

For example, as shown here, the yellow text is used to highlight the term "Creative". The bright text against the dark background makes the word pop out on the screen, drawing the attention of future customers to a desirable trait in a potential contractor. Additionally, using a color associated with the logo ensures that the term is further tied to the company brand. Another use of the color can also be seen in the corner, using the bright color to draw attention to a contact feature.

More Content, More Room For Error

Big games with open worlds are often referred to as sandbox games, but many people often leave the game incomplete and dissatisfied by feeling more like they were lost in a desert. A lack of direction can ultimately drive away customers who can't find essential information just to use the service provided. The more that is included and the further the content is branched out, the more potential there is for errors. This can be anything from unsightly typos to broken links and pages.

And some of these complications are completely outside of the creator's control. For example, a high-quality, up to date flash inclusion can potentially stall a customer from proceeding on to the page. If they are unable to update for any reason, like being unable to download updates on a public computer, a sale opportunity might be lost.

It is because of these reasons that a clean, minimalist approach to websites often comes highly recommended among designers. However, if a different approach is desired, ensure that the page is thoroughly reviewed from a variety of sources to provide customers with the best potential experience.

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