Chances are if you’ve left your home, gone online, or even glanced at a magazine you’ve seen the buzzword “minimalism” used. But what is minimalism? And more importantly why does it matter?
In the past 10 years the world has changed a great deal, you see Apple stores around the country filled with wooden tables, devices, and nothing else. High rise apartments filled with interestingly shaped chairs and white couches, and smooth scrolling websites with big images, white space, and little else. So what is minimalism? Is it a design trend? An expensive movement?
We’ll be diving in to it in this post.
What is minimalism?
The real definition of minimalism is more of a lifestyle than a design trend. It’s not a fad that is going to pass next year, rather it is a way of life that you take on and strive towards. Today’s world is extremely crowded, minimalism tries to combat that through living with the bare minimum rather than gradually accruing new things as people tend to do.
What most people think of though when they think of minimalism is design. White walls, black coffee table made of walnut, and an ivory leather sofa.
Minimalist. Expensive. Modern.
And quite frankly it looks stylish. It’s not just limited to fashion and interior design though, minimalism has taken to the web.
One of my favorite examples is the Apple website. It’s sleek, refined, and visually appealing. Lots of white space allows the images to pop off the page, making it a site easy to navigate and retain information from. Apple always wanted to create this esthetic about themselves as futuristic, natural, and intuitive. I think their website and stores do an excellent job of that and you better believe it is entirely intentional.
Another one is ETQ a shoe company that makes something as simple and basic as footwear look elite, modern, and even a bit futuristic. I mean come on how beautiful is this site:
Why does this matter though? There are plenty of sites that aren’t minimalist so why should your blog be; it’s a great question and one we will answer.
How does it apply to my blog?
So minimalism is great and all, but what does it have to do with blogging?
A lot, actually.
Check out this site and see how it compares to the ones above:
Atrocious right? While your blog may not scream “90s teenager who discovered the internet”, that doesn’t mean you’re perfect (though I’m sure you are). Is your site crowded? Is there tons of content jammed onto the page? Are images formatted correctly? And most importantly, is it responsive and visually appealing? Flashy loud sites like the one above, or bland and boring sites like many out there will answer “no” to the above questions.
If you want to beat them, then you need to be able to answer “yes.”
Minimalism on the web isn’t always about being upscale, it’s about being simple and driving your point home. It’s about creating a visually appealing site that conveys your message clearly and directly. It’s about not letting crap get in the way of what really matters, and creating something that people will want to come back to.
Sure you may not dress or live like a minimalist, but that doesn’t mean your website or blog can’t either.
So go forth and minimalize! Or something like that. As with everything when it comes to web design, you’ll be tempted to jump right in. Don’t. Instead take some time to really think; give your site a good once-over. What do you like? What can be changed or slimmed down? And then get to wireframing the new layout, and then when you’re ready you can make the switch.
As simple as minimalism sounds, reducing your website to the bare minimum can be a bit daunting. Check out some examples of great minimalist websites here to get you started!