Design & UX
Alex Walker, Jul 22

Dots, Dashes and Dudes Behaving Badly

New technologies have a way of shaking up the status quo and there's usually someone not happy about it.
Laura Elizabeth, Jul 21

Should You Develop a Desktop or Web App?

Should you develop a web, desktop or hybrid app for your startup? That is the question Laura dives into and answers in this post.
Design & UX
Richa Jain, Jul 20

CoDesign Tools: Is it Time to Switch?

'Codesign tools' is the name being given to a new generation of visual web design tools. Are they a genuine option? Richa makes her call.
Design & UX
Kerry Butters, Jul 17

UX Design for Passwords and Registration Forms

Forms are often the make-or-break point for conversions on our web applications. Kerry pulls together a checklist of good UX design for passwords & forms.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Jul 15

The Final Nail in the Icon Fonts Coffin?

Vectors are a great option for icons but the decision between icon fonts and SVG is a hard one. Now Seren Davies has raised some new issues with icon fonts.
Pete Griffin, Jul 15

Future Adaptations For Smarter Watch Screens

We track the evolution of the smartwatch and explore what the future holds for the design of wearable screens. Could the smartwatch replace the smartphone?
Design & UX
Gabrielle Gosha, Jul 14

Exploring the Hero Section

Everyone loves a hero. Gabrielle brings a fresh literary point of view to the classic hero section.
Design & UX
Ada Ivanoff, Jul 10

6 Handy, Free Icon & Favicon Editors

While vector icons have grabbed the spotlight, pixel-based icons make up most of the icons we see each day. Ada looks at the options for pixel icon editors.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Jul 08

When Are Green Pastures Not Actually Green?

Cognitive dissonance is that feeling you get when a picture frame is 3 degrees off square. Learn to use it without getting used by it.
Design & UX
James George, Jul 06

Rapid Prototyping Compositions with Adobe Comp CC (iPad app)

Adobe Comp CC is an app focused on creating quick prototyping on your iPad. James tests the concept of fleshing out ideas without leaving your armchair.
Design & UX
Martin May, Jul 03

Darwin and the Art of Web Design

What does web design have to do with natural selection and Darwin? Andrew May has some wide ranging ideas in this interesting 'think piece'.
Design & UX
Joyce Echessa, Jul 02

Android Design Anti-Patterns and Common Pitfalls

Designing for mobile is as much about meeting user expectation as it is about screen sizes. Joyce looks at the most common Android design anti-patterns.
Design & UX
Daniel Schwarz, Jun 30

Code-Free Scrolling Animations and Micro-Interactions with Webydo

Daniel Schwarz uses Webydo's advanced parallax scrolling tools to produce a Monty Python-inspired site in no time.
Joshua Kraus, Jun 30

How Designers and Developers Can Learn to Like Each Other

Designers and developers are not fated to butt heads forever. Follow this advice to create a designer/developer dream team.
Design & UX
Richa Jain, Jun 29

When Less is More - Why Minimalism STILL Rules the Web

Garden views

Design trends come and go. But some trends are eternal. Minimalism is one such trend. HTML5, CSS3 and all the other technology behind websites has grown dramatically over the last decade, making it possible to have more complex webpages today than ever before in history. And yet, I think minimalist designs still rock.

[I may be biased though. I've been ruthlessly editing my life the last few years to reduce the clutter and the stress. I moved way out to the suburbs where I get this gorgeous view. I haven't had a cable connection in years. My 6 year old thinks 'regular' TV with ads is weird and irritating.]

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Just because technology today enables you to add fancy bells and whistles and the kitchen sink to your website, doesn't mean you should. Here's what happens when you go all out embracing the latest technology and add every possible bit of it onto your home page: Possible Yes. That's the real deal - the home page over at Possible which includes sliders, animation, parallax. Go take a look. Perhaps you'll spot your favorite there too.

Bad designs aside, here are some concrete reasons why a minimalist website may actually be good for business.

Business and Marketing Reasons

1. It forces you to polish your message.

What's the purpose of your website? What are you trying to convey to your users? Focus on that. Don't let it get lost in the clutter on your site.


With a minimalist design, you don't have room to play loose. Every element on the page is deliberate. Every element serves a purpose. You can't be wishy washy about your message. You can't write a thousand words and hope that viewers will get the message. You can't use generic stock photos and graphic fillers. You're forced to consciously choose only what's absolutely required and reinforces your message.

2. Convey your USP Better

Since there's less clutter on the page, you have a chance to make your USP (Unique Sales Proposition) stand out and shine. Take a look at HelpScout. Their home page has a very clean, elegant design. There are a total of about 10 words above the fold (other than the menu), and a single clean background image that subtly shows people diligently working - perhaps the support team that's going to man your helpdesk.


Check out some other great examples of good and bad USP over here. Notice a common thread among the 'good' USP examples? They're mostly clean, minimal designs.

3. Less Clutter = Better Conversion

Yes, this should be obvious. But it isn't. Just check this screenshot of the Threadless website just a few weeks ago. Can you find the subscribe button?


Or better, look at the contrast between Yahoo and Google. Can you guess which of these users are more likely to find and use that search button on?




A clean minimalist design helps highlight your CTA in clear, non ambiguous manner.

4. Responsive is just waay easier

Mobile highlights the whole 'less is more' experience much better than any thing else. Those who've been designing mobile first, understand the crunch that the smaller screen enforces, and are already used to somewhat minimalist designs. You just can't afford clutter on a 3 inch screen.

But it also works the other way around. It's so much easier to make minimalist sites responsive, or even port them for mobile. Simply because the layout is simpler, there are fewer elements, and on the whole, lesser, more meaningful content.

User Experience

5. Space. Whitespace. Breathing space.

I don't know if it's just me, but there's this sense of calm whitespaces bring. Like it's ok. I don't have to rush. A site that uses whitespace effectively conveys that sense of calm and authority. They know what they're about. They know what matters. They're not going to bury you with stuff. You have the space to be yourself. The ZenHabits blog captures this beautifully, radiating zen.


6. Navigation is Easier

The minimalist agenda to reduce the clutter also holds for navigation menus. Like everything else, the menu is forced to have only as much as absolutely necessary. Again HelpScout got it right. Their top menu has just four elements. They highlight the most important thing visitors would like to know - Product, Pricing, Blog. Everything else, like the About page, the legal stuff and the help docs are tucked away under "More". No cluttering the top header space. No 3 and 4 level deep menus. This just makes it easier for users to find the right page.

Design & UX
Alex Bigman, Jun 26

Mastering Visual Hierarchy for Menu Design

Menus are complicated design challenge and designers have been thinking about them for a long time. What can we take from great restaurant menu design?
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Jun 24

How LEGO Made a Problem Worse by 'Gamifying' it

Gamification can be a great way to engage a user base. But sometimes it can accidently work against you – as LEGO found out.
Design & UX
Gabrielle Gosha, Jun 23

5 Big Mobile Design Trends of 2015

It's 2015 and mobile browser numbers have officially surpassed their desktop cousins. Gabrielle looks at 5 mobile design trends that are shaping the market.
Design & UX
Anton Ruin, Jun 22

How to Combine 'Gut Feel' & Science in Multivariate Testing

We all know the value of hard science in testing, but sometimes we overlook our hard-won intuition. Anton Ruin shows you how to best the best of both.
Design & UX
Ada Ivanoff, Jun 19

14 Hand-Picked, Free Social Icon Packs

Following her flat design icons article, Ada is back with a carefully selected cadre of attractive social networking icons for your designing enjoyment.
Design & UX
Mateo Prifti, Jun 18

App Prototyping: Getting Started with Facebook Origami

While Facebook ignored mobile for a long time, there's no doubting their commitment to it now. Mateo looks at one of the design tools they use - Origami.
Ophelie Lechat, Jun 17

SitePoint News: We’ve partnered with UX Mastery

UX Mastery books are now available on LEarnable, SitePoint's learning platform.
Design & UX
Richa Jain, Jun 15

Forget UX. How to Focus on Conversion Centered Design

No matter how great your user experience is, a site that dies with happy users but no revenue, still dies. Richa focuses on conversion centered design.
Design & UX
Daniel Schwarz, Jun 11

Atomic: A Faster Way To Design Beautiful Interactions?

The prototyping tool market continues to heat up and Atomic is the latest to vying for the crown. Daniel Schwarz takes you along for the ride.