Minimalism in Practice

Minimalism, the aesthetic practice of reducing design elements to the minimum necessary, is a popular design trend for modern web pages. Unless a site has a wide array of information which it needs to convey to site visitors (think, for instance, of most government websites – and reflect on how unattractive most of those sites are), it is typically advisable to reduce design to all but the bare essentials.

One extreme example of this trend, though it is fitting for the source of the site, is This site, for an art gallery in San Francisco, is little more than white space, a few links at the top, and a large picture displaying one of the gallery’s exhibitions. But it works, and it even looks fairly good, though the choice of font is somewhat unfortunate.

Less obviously minimalist, though still very much so, is This site, which promotes the Western Trial Lawyers Association, a trade organization which provides continuing education retreats to trial attorneys, does not at first blush appear especially minimalist, but that’s simply a function of its essentially sound core design. If you spend more than a few moments looking over the homepage, you’ll recognize that there is very little to the site’s design, with the most eye-catching element being a large, fluid image at the very top, showing off the organization’s summer and winter resorts at, respectively, Hawaiian beaches and western ski resorts. Aside from this, there’s little more than a toolbar and a few paragraphs of content on the homepage. This is the very definition of minimalism: reducing design elements to the essentials, which, for a site for this type of client, may be more than an art gallery.

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