Minimalist UI Design (Part 1) - Minimal and Crazy Color
Minimalism is defined as a style that uses a sparse aesthetic and as few effects as possible to create a design that is harmonious, usable and sophisticated.
The websites for Apple and Dropbox are “poster” websites for minimalism. The designs feature prominent whitespace, simple navigation, a singular visual focus, clean typography and a true emphasis on content.
Minimalism is perfectly described by Kate Meyer for the Nielsen Norman Group:
When employed correctly, the goal of minimalist web design should be to present content and features in a simple, direct way by providing as little distraction from the core content as possible.
While these tenets are the backbone of minimalism, what’s particularly wonderful about this style is that it works with other trends. You find use the principles of minimalism with other trendy techniques to create interesting projects that are anything but plain. In this volume, will take a look at the ways designers are pushing the boundaries of minimalism.
Minimal and Crazy Color
Because minimalism involves stripping away elements that are unnecessary, a strong focal area is important. That’s where big, bold and even crazy color comes in.
Previously, we saw a focus on hero images and video - a trend that’s still going pretty strong - but the shift has been toward color as a dominant element. Big color replaces some of the more typical white space that we’re used to seeing with minimal designs.
The stunning result borrows some of the colors we’ve seen in flat and material design trends. This creates an overall look that’s simple, engaging and demands attention.
Studio Lovelock uses a pinwheel of colors to create a fullscreen header that draws users in. The text is simple and without any extra embellishment or words. Add an atypical bottom screen navigation menu to keep the focus on the main image but provide a cue to scroll. Below the scroll, the site uses the same big colors in card-style ele- ments to move users through the design. This makes navigating the content both easy and visually appealing, yet simple and elegant.
If the Do Eat website had a white background, we probably wouldn’t even guess if it could be considered minimal or not. And that’s precisely why the bright yellow background works. It create the right degree of surprise to entice users. The rest of the website design is simple and quite easy to use, with just the right balance of clickable elements and information.
Tips for Using Crazy Color
- Opt for bold hues with deep saturation
- Mix and match bright color with white or black typography
- Use a single color as the primary palette, including the background
- Plan “too much color” with care and mix up a rainbow style color palette
- Let color be the only “trick” in the design and keep everything else streamlined
Using “crazy” color choices can be one of the easiest and most fun ways to give a project a facelift. This is a great option for a minimal design, because there’s still plenty of visual interest and color can add a freshness that a more stark black and white design might lack.