How to Supercharge Your UI Design Using Minimalism

February 23, 2017 by in category User Experience, User Interface tagged as with 0 and 3
Home > Blog > User Experience > How to Supercharge Your UI Design Using Minimalism

With mobile devices becoming a continually more important part of how we access the internet and interact with digital content, minimalism has become increasingly more important to user interface (UI) design. Mobile devices not only have a smaller form factor and time limitations that should be considered when it comes to downloading content and information, but they also are different in how users choose to interact with them, with users having a different set of intentions.

The average person has gotten used to the clean, streamlined experience that well-designed mobile apps provide and have come to expect similarly focused experiences from any digital touchpoint they interact with. Minimalism can be used to supercharge your UI and drive engagement and conversions regardless of the digital touchpoint.

In addition to providing a cleaner, more streamlined user experience, minimalism will improve loading times and increase compatibility between different sized devices. Minimalism can help create user interfaces that are highly usable, easily navigated and effective at communicating your message.

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It is important to understand that minimalism requires time and effort to get right. You have to focus your efforts to be able to say more with less in an appealing way. Here are some tips that can help you leverage the power of minimalism:

  • 01. Eliminate unnecessary elements
  • 02. Content is king
  • 03. Harmony is essential
  • 04. Limit the number of colors
  • 05. Use great photography
  • 06. Leverage whitespace

01. Eliminate unnecessary elements

When it comes to highly usable minimal UIs, every item that is included in your design should have a reason for being there. Don’t clutter us your design with unnecessary elements.

Make sure that every part of your user interface design has been thoughtfully considered and deliberately chosen. Every element that you include should serve a purpose. Strip away everything that is not essential. Don’t be afraid to be aggressive cutting away unnecessary elements, users generally use far fewer items on a user interface that designers assume they will.

This applies to your copy as well. Eliminate long content blocks and unnecessary words and focus on creating pithy communications that get to the point. Reduce copy to the bare minimum amount of information that is needed to get your point across. This concise copy should contain meaningful information rather than fluff that can turn away modern consumers.

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02. Content is king

Focus on creating a tight, refined message. Remember that as you remove elements, those that remain become much more powerful and consequently, need to be that much stronger to stand up in the spotlight.

With minimalism, your focus on the content and design should underscore and highlight the content. Use visual design to make your message clearer. This involves more than just stripping away clutter; it also involves putting a focus on the content in a way that enriches and emphasizes it. Paying attention to typography is essential in a minimalist design. Minimalist visual design should be used to help create clear, meaningful communication.

03. Harmony is essential

To create an effective minimal UI, your design must have a solid base in the fundamentals. The basics of design need to be done right. Make sure you utilize a grid as the foundation for your visual design.

By utilizing a grid it lets you place and arrange elements in a purposeful way that is harmonious and pleasant visually. This does not mean that you need to center all the elements of your design. The various elements can be aligned anywhere along the grid, items can be left, right or center, but the key is that they are carefully aligned to the grid.

Using a grid will help you design with consistency and harmony across all the pages of your website. By using a grid it will give you a guide for the placement of elements and will even help you create a visual hierarchy. They can also help you understand the relationships between elements and create rational proportions that flow with the design.

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04. Limit the number of colors

Limiting the number of colors you include in your color palette will help improve the user experience while having more colors can actually affect the user experience in an adverse way. This doesn’t mean that your design needs to be bland and boring, but you should only use colors that are important to your design and help to effectively create a visual hierarchy.

Many minimal designs have bright bold color schemes that grab users’ attention. By using color carefully, you can pull a visitor’s attention to a particular area of the screen and help guide the user experience. The key point is to avoid using unnecessary colors and having colors clutter up your design, creating mental strain.

05. Use great photography

Photography can help add life to minimalist designs and can help visitors connect with your design. Images give you a way to create an atmosphere that visitors respond to without interfering with your minimalist design. Just how effective are images in web design? Online content with relevant images was shown to get 94% more views than content without images. (Skyword)

When working with a minimalist design, you want to make sure you choose photographs that flow with your minimalist style. If you choose a busy, cluttered looking photograph that bombards viewers with distracting items, it will work against the surrounding minimalist user interface. Look for photographs that complement the design, for instance, chose photographs with plenty of whitespace that enrich the surrounding design.

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06. Leverage whitespace

Giving your design plenty of breathing space will help it avoid a cluttered look. Whitespace is not necessarily white, it is the space between content and it is a critical element of minimal design.

Whitespace can make your design visually compelling and easy to read. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking of whitespace as empty space that needs to be filled. Instead, think of whitespace as an important element of good design and use it to frame your content. Additionally, you can utilize whitespace to draw visitors’ attention to key elements of your design, such as calls-to-action. You can make elements more noticeable by increasing the amount of whitespace around them.

Final thoughts...

Remember that minimalist design is just a tool to help facilitate user activity. It should not be the goal, but rather, a path to help users reach their intended destination. You want to utilize simplicity to help create a frictionless design. While minimalism may look easy, keep in mind that great minimal designs are the result of a thoughtful approach and careful refinement.

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