We have all seen simple, or “minimalistic” web layouts whn we visit a variety of different sites. These are sites that use simple 2-3 column layouts that contain simple navigation, text, and leave the rest for white space. These websites are usually trying to stress the information that is contained within the website, rather than the website itself. Some designs are only subtlely minimalistic, and some are utterly simplistic. Deciding not only when, but how to use simplistic designs and white space is something that not everybody is in tune with, and that is often the cause of many websites using these effects inappropriately, making for a poor user experience.
After seeing hundreds instances where people were using white space and simplistic designs poorly, and sites that should be using these things not using them at all, we decided it would be a good idea to put together some good resources and tutorials on the subject. There are some very talented web designers and graphic artists out there that obviously have a good grasp and understanding of the concepts, and they are more than willing to share this valuable information with the rest of the internet.
Below are a collection of tutorials that will introduce you to the world of minimalism and white space, and teach you how to use these concepts in practice! Some of the information in the articles overlap a little bit, but each article gives good different examples to help illustrate different methods, so they’re all worth going through. Use these tutorials to increase your website’s usability and readability, and to avoid making costly mistakes when you do so.
The Importance of Simplicity
- The Complexity of SimplicityLuke Wroblewski talks about why simple solutions are often more complex than “complex” solutions.
- The Laws of SimplicityThe principles and rules of “Simplicity”
- Wikipedia: SimplicityExplanation of simplicity
- Keep it simpleWhy is a minimalistic approach important? A short but very good article that goes through the advantages and disadvantages of exciting vs simple design.
- Keep it simple, stupid!Discusses the importance of simplicity in regards to the human brain and how it works.
- Simplicity: The Cobbles of the Designerâ€™s PathWhen to use simplistic design and when not to use it.
- Simplicity Is Highly OverratedA criticism of simplistic and minimalistic designs
and how they have led to decreased performance in products.
- The Beauty of SimplicityHow did Google utilize simplicity to launch itself into the forefront of the web industry?
The Proper use of White Space (a.k.a. Negative Space)
- Page Layout and Design for Digital ScrapbookingThe Importance of white space in digital scrapbooking.
- Psychology Studies on Human InteractionStudies in psychology that confirm white space improves perception of information by 20%
- The Importance of White space for LegibilityAnalysis and comparison of 4 different white space layouts and shows results regarding the influence of white space in many forms of design.
- The value of white spaceThe theory of white space.
- Typography and White spaceHow to guarantee an optimal legibility with CSS
- Under The Loupe #1: White SpaceAll about white space and its use.
- ALA: WhitespaceAn intro into the use of white space (Mark Boulton)
- Design PsychologyThe psychology behind using white space in web design
- Developing the InvisibleLuke Wroblewski discusses the appropriate times to use white space, and why it is very significant.
- Give me my web spaceReduce complexity and improve readability. That is what Molly Horzschlag will help you accomplish.
- Negative Space TutorialAnother tutorial on efficient use of white space.
- On White Space in Graphic DesignAnalysis of all the different fields, areas, and niches where negative space is a big deal, such as graphic design.