An uncluttered, clean design puts the focus on your main objective for a website, room or other design. Minimalistic design is here to stay because it is a classic look that never truly goes out of style. The basic lines and lack or adornment make the style as current in 2021 as it was in 1919.
Minimalism is based on an art movement from the late 1960s, where it originated in New York City. It’s known for its simplicity in form and reductionist methods. Some believe it’s a culmination of techniques started by the Russian painter Kasimir Malevich in 1913. However, many modern artists inspired the trend.
Today, minimalistic design focuses on using limited colors, fonts, graphics and leaving plenty of white space around objects. Flat images and simplicity rules the day. The concept even limits the number of features used on a website, keeping the user experience in mind.
In a time when technology allows artists to add three-dimensional objects, tap into virtual reality and many other methods, minimalism offers a look that stands the test of time. Passing trends or fashionable icons don’t sway it. Here are ten reasons why this aesthetic is here to stay.
#1. Less Distraction
Minimalistic design cuts the clutter out of your home, your web design and life. It gets rid of all the distractions that keep you from what’s important. When it comes to interior design, you lose all the little knick-knacks you spend untold hours dusting. For websites, users know the next action they should take in the buyer’s journey. Cut the clutter and cut the distraction.
Each page on your site should have a goal. Where do you want the buyer to move next? Once you understand the objective of the page, it’s much easier to get rid of anything not matching the purpose. Help site visitors focus on their next action by eliminating all but one. Every element in your design should point the user to the next step they need to take.
#2. Always on Trend
Another benefit of minimalistic design is its traditional appearance. You can’t tell if the designer created the look twenty years ago or today. Clean, simple lines and lack of current elements mean the styles also don’t become dated quickly. The longevity of minimalism means it is always a rising trend in the design world.
Interior designers choosing a minimalist look find their work stands the test of time. To update a design, add a few items and take others away. If you design a logo, you won’t have to revamp a minimalist one in a year or two. The look will hold out for decades.
#3. Speaks to All Ages
Another benefit of a classic style is it works for all different generations. A clean look appeals to young people as well as senior citizens. The focus isn’t so much on the design as the product or purpose of a page. Because you aren’t tapping into trends, you won’t choose things some of your audience might abhor.
For businesses with a diverse audience, a minimalist look keeps them from favoring one segment of their audience over another. You may have users of all ages. An uncluttered design appeals to both millennials and baby boomers.
You won’t find yourself chasing after the latest trend, because there simply isn’t room to add it to a simple design. Instead, each element you add will be of utmost quality. Avoid fads that go out of style each year, and tap into things such as good user experience, beautiful colors and images that pop.
#4. Color Pops
When you go with a neutral color palette, you can add pops of color and grab user attention. For example, if your basic design is off-white and black, you can include a call to action (CTA) button in red, blue or green and grab user attention.
You can make specific products pop by placing them against a bright background or choosing items in a more brilliant hue. If the rest of your design is basic, you can use something unique such as a gradient or neon without overwhelming the user.
#5. Compatible with Mobile Devices
According to Statista, there are about 4.66 billion active internet users globally. Around 92.6% of them use their mobile devices to browse the world wide web. The more clutter you add to your pages, the bigger the chance people will have a hard time viewing your website on a smaller screen.
If you want a genuinely responsive site, you must cut the clutter, go with a simpler design and ensure everything aligns on smartphone screens. Test your page on different devices and see how it looks. For example, some themes won’t allow videos to play on mobile screens, so you may want to have a backup image in those instances or stick to no image at all for a cleaner look.
#6. Higher Quality
Keeping your design simple means there are fewer things to look at. You are much more likely to go with superior elements. For interior design, a few beautiful pieces of furniture last a lifetime. For online designs, one or two beautiful photographs make a statement.
No matter what you’re designing, fewer elements force you to focus on each piece’s minute details. Step back from your design and look at how everything works together. Are there any elements not meshing well with others? Replace or remove those things distracting from the overall aesthetic of the composition.
#7. Showcase Pieces
One of the top 2021 design trends is minimalism, but one could argue it’s a top trend every year. A significant advantage of fewer items is the opportunity to showcase one or two fascinating pieces. If you want a conversation starter in a room, go with a minimalist design and highlight one truly spectacular work of art.
Another idea for designers is to take decor with a special meaning, such as an old vase left to the family by a great-great-grandparent or something they obtained on their journeys. The opportunity to make unique elements the focus of the room also meets the unique needs of each client. Each design, while similar for lack of clutter and extra features, will still be individualized to the person’s tastes.
#8. Implement Other Design Styles
Because of its very basic nature, you can also use minimalism for an eclectic mix of styles. If you have a client who loves the boho look, you don’t have to go all-out boho and date your design. You can easily use a minimalist design with a few boho features mixed in.
Do you have a couple you’re designing a room for and they have opposite tastes? Choose a minimalist design and add in things they both love. The final look will work beautifully and you’ll have two happy clients instead of one happy and one dissatisfied.
Mixing styles works well for web design, logo design, interior design, fashion design and store design. Keeping things simple gives you the freedom to add in some unique elements that speak to the customer’s soul.
#9. Highlight Content
A minimalistic website design gives you an opportunity to highlight specific content on your page. For example, if you use an infographic, you may already have a mix of graphs, images and text. Keeping the rest of the design simple pushes the user’s attention to the facts and helps educate your site visitors.
When there are less elements on the page, it’s more likely attention goes directly to the thing you most want users to see. If you add things such as explainer videos to your website, minimalist design becomes even more important. Where does the user look when they first land on your site? Does their attention go where you want it to? If not, remove more things or space them out a bit more.
#10. Improve Productivity
Less clutter and an organized space helps improve productivity. Research shows paper clutter is one of the most significant issues for businesses. Most employees waste 52% of their time searching for papers and other documents. Other studies show an average loss of 4.3 hours a week due to paper clutter. It all adds up to wasted time and lost opportunities. Not only does the hunt decrease productivity but leads to frustration and stress.
Going for a minimalist design in your office starts by removing all the extra clutter that might distract many of your workers. Encourage employees to organize their desks to avoid distraction. Look for ways to better organize filing systems.
One added benefit you might not have thought of is getting rid of paper clutter and reducing your carbon footprint. Much of the paper printed out never gets referred to again. Can you use digital filing systems instead? Do you really need to print everything?
Will Minimalism Go Out of Style?
Some people argue the nature of design is cyclical. Things come into style, go out of style for a bit and come back. However, simplistic design isn’t likely to go anywhere soon. It is so basic and classic looking it should stand the test of time. Expect to see this trend around for decades to come.
About the Author!
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.