Design & UX
Massimo Cassandro, Aug 19

The Great Icon Debate: Fonts Vs SVG

Fonts have been a convenient place to store our vector icons – but is it the *right* place? Massimo asks if it's time to move to SVG.
Design & UX
Charles Costa, Aug 14

Eyetracking: How to Watch the Gap Between the Clicks (and Why)

We can track clicks and cursors but that doesn't tell us the whole story of what our users are actually interested in. Charles walks us through eyetracking.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, Aug 05

Is There a Perfect Paragraph Length for the Web?

Like hand-holds on a climbing wall, paragraphs give us an obvious path to traverse a wall of text - except when we they get lost on a small screen.
Design & UX
Laura Elizabeth, Aug 04

Taking the Guesswork out of Typography on the Web

Today Laura Elizabeth delivers a 'typographic tour du force' that will lift you from middling to master in 12 minutes. Read and see.
Design & UX
Simone Sala, Aug 03

6 Free Online Tools to Make Your Life Easier

Make things easier. Make things faster. That's what Simone is offering with these six online tools. And they're all free!
Design & UX
Daniel Schwarz, Jul 31

Design Secret #4: Taking Advantage of Behance Mobile Apps

We all love Dribbble, but lots of designers overlook the power of the Behance network. Dan looks at some of the neat tricks this quiet achiever can deliver.
Design & UX
Simone Sala, Jul 28

Card Tricks: Using Cards in Web Design Layouts

Often we talk about 'fluid' layouts. Cards give us the small units that allow us to 'pour' our page components into differently sized and shaped layouts.
Design & UX
Gabrielle Gosha, Jul 23

Making Minimalism Work in Mobile and Web

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. In mobile design, was a truer word ever spoken?
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.
Design & UX
Ada Ivanoff, Jul 10

7 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
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.
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
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.
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.
Design & UX
Diana MacDonald, Jun 09

Write Better User Interfaces by Asking “Who Else is in the Room?"

It is your or my account? Di poses a difficult question and more importantly, delivers a compelling solution. Read on.
Design & UX
Alex Walker, May 20

Google Fonts is Born - Can I get a Hallelujah!?

Today, Google announced the Google Font API and Google Font Directory at their IO Developer Conference. Using a single line of code you'll now be able to legally link and use a range of fonts without needing them to be present on the user's system.