Minimalism has become popular in recent years as a lifestyle philosophy, urging its followers to declutter and simplify physical, digital, and mental spaces. With less “stuff” comes less stress and more time to focus on our goals and priorities. We can take minimalism’s core concepts of simplification and focus and apply them to a website, creating a simple and streamlined experience for users.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism has been defined many ways; one definition that fits neatly into website design comes from Joshua Becker at becomingaminimalist.com:
“At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.”
In other words, minimalism is about determining what you value most and then pouring your time and energy into that one thing (or a select few things). Activities that do not serve your top priorities are discouraged and as little time as possible should be spent on them.
How to Create a Minimalist Website
Before we continue, keep in mind that there is no “right” way to design or build a website. The approach that is right for you and your business will depend on your goals, priorities, audience, and aesthetic preferences.
Define Your Priorities
Make a list of the goals of your website. Are you trying to sell a product, have people register for an event, schedule a discovery call, or download an ebook? If your list is getting long, go through each item and prioritize. The top 1-3 items are your main priorities and the focus of your website.
The other items don’t have to be erased and forgotten – after all, priorities can adjust and change. Keep that list of items as ideas for the future, but for now, focus on what you’ve deemed most important.
Minimal Website Content
Once you have your priorities sorted, it’s time to create a sitemap that showcases those priorities. Evaluate your existing website content and ensure it is furthering your goals. Get rid of what isn’t and, if necessary, mindfully craft content to fill any gaps.
The goal is to create an easily navigable website where users can easily and quickly find the information that they are looking for, and discover the next step to take.
Minimalist Web Design Aesthetics
“Minimalist web design” almost certainly brings to mind a stark white background with lots of negative space. While that might be what minimalism looks like on Instagram, you don’t need to follow that model to implement a minimalist website design. There are no rules – you can have color, you can have photos, you can even have a popup.
The key is to be intentional. How does each element fit into the overarching goals you decided on earlier? If you are including an element just because it’s trendy or cool, re-assess and determine if it’s really needed and if it helps further the goals of your website.
There are some technical benefits to a minimal website design: they tend to be easier to make responsive for mobile devices, have lower loading times, and are more user friendly due to the simple nature of the website layout.
This minimal approach to website design is not the end-all be-all solution to web design – some of the principles discussed here may be a great fit for you, and others may not make sense for your business. Take what works for you, leave what doesn’t, and you’ll be a few steps closer to creating an effective and user-friendly experience for your website audience.