We are seeing a lot more cleaner websites and user interfaces on the internet these days. The reason is the wide adoption of minimalism as a design concept by the web design community. In this concept we build websites and interfaces by using only the most important elements and discarding the rest of them.

Today i am focusing on using minimalist design concept in user interfaces. You as a designer should understand that if you provide too much information to a user up front you might confuse them and make them run away. Similarly if your website has a messy design then you are not leaving a positive image on the mind of your user. If you can understand the minimalist concept and know how to balance different design elements then you can create awesome user interfaces that are both beautiful and easier to use.

To the Sketch board


I recommend that before you start designing your mockup, you make a sketch of all the components that your website will have. One approach that many successful designer takes is to ask yourself if each of the component that you are planning to include is important, and what will be its effect on the overall design. Do you require a slider on the homepage? Will having a sidebar on the main page a good idea? These are the different questions that you will have to ask yourself.

There are no clear answers to these questions, they may vary from one project to another. Just use your designer sense to decide what are the components that will create the best balance for your website. Your website should always utilize every pixel of the space in the right manner. This may require you to leave extra open white spaces if you want to create a clean minimalist design, so be ready for that.

Use the Basic Colors

If you look at the most of the minimalist designs, they mostly utilize a specific color scheme. Black, white and grey colors are the choice of  most of the designers who also use one or two primary colors to hold the design together. I am not saying that you should always use the basic colors but this approach can surely help you in making a clean design.

Why? Because by using a simple color scheme you are leaving a lot more room to focus on content. It allows you to focus on the designing of a clean interface which will test your skills and you may just end up creating the best design of your life.

Navigation Should be Simple


Simplicity is the key when it comes to minimalist and clean design. Making a navigation that is simple to navigate is important. You can either decide to go with a minimalist navigation that is placed on the top or bottom of the page, the places where most of the users expect them to. Or alternatively you can use fancy design techniques like tabs, toolbars and dropdown menus to make the navigation of the page its focal point.

But whatever you do, keep the navigation simple. This rule is true for the rest of the elements of your page like the text, which should be large enough so that it is clearly readable to the user. The idea is to make the user at ease on your website and even the users with a little to no technical knowledge can properly user your website.

Use Unique Components, Remove the Rest


Once you have actually designed your mockup, its time to take a even closer look at it. There is a fair bit of chance that there will be some duplicate content on your page. Of course if the footer or the sidebar has the same links as your navigation then that is important as a user will not want to scroll all the way to the top just to click a specific link.

But if there is any other duplication of content then you should remove it to keep the uniqueness of your page. Try to find some unique components and content to replace the parts that you remove, this will enhance the user experience on your website.

  Stay Consistent


There a number of effects that you can add to your interface, and the arrival of CSS3 has made it even easier and more exciting than doing it was previously. You can add shadows to your boxes and give them rounded corners or do whatever you want to do with your interface. But keep in mind that these effects should create the sense of consistency in your website rather than making your pages inconsistent.

Conclusion

I hope that you have found these tips helpful in developing a minimalist mindset. By looking at a minimalist design you may get a feeling that it was an easy task for the designer who made it. But the reality is quite different as it is actually a lot more work than it appears to be. As a designer you will look at your website with a user’s eye, this will help you in creating the right balance for it resulting in a clean and user friendly website.