Minimalism – A lazy way to do UI Design?

Hari Prasanth

December 13, 2019

Minimalism - A Lazy Way to do UI Design?

If you are asking this Question to a UI Designer or Exclaiming yourself, Definitely the Answer to your question is NO. First you have to know what the Minimalism is.

What is Minimalism?

Minimalism as a form of visual design became popular in the 1960s in New York when new and older artists moved toward geometric abstraction in painting and sculpturing. In Visual Arts, key principle of minimalism was to focus only on essential features. It also enhances the focus of the recipient’s attention towards general elegance of the art. Lines, shapes, dots, colors, spare space, composition – everything should serve its function; being thoughtfully organized. Today we can meet minimalism in a variety of life spheres: architecture, arts, photography, all kinds of design, literature, music and even food presentation.

Minimalism is not about space, alignment and content driven design. It is a Technique or Style, used to organize the right thing in a simple way.

Popular example:

Some might came across the mistake made by the great GOT crew by placing Starbucks coffee cup on the table with Khaleesi, while they enjoying the victory on Final Season of game of thrones.

Game of thrones - Starbucks

At first, most of the viewers won’t have noticed the mistake. Few might have. What is the reason behind this? If there is far too much information coming in through the eye at any given moment, brain will take enormous time to process all of it. As a result, the brain has to act like a spotlight focusing our attention on some part of the scene. So, most of viewers were dragged by the story and they cant able to focus on the Starbucks cup. When the brain is flooded with information it can only focus on only certain thing at a time. This is the Basic Science behind how humans perceive information. The same methodology applies when a user is given a task.

Another Popular example:

In Harrypotter’s Chamber of Secrets, a scene where the Hogwarts students are gathered around Draco Malfoy when defeated, who has fallen on top of the table where he and Harry were dueling. The cameraman is clearly spotted on the left side of the screen, in a pretty open space between two of those students.

Characteristics of Minimalistic Design:

  • Simplicity
  • Clarity
  • Visual Hierarchy
  • High Attention to Core Details.

If the information is simple and clear, it will drastically decrease the cognitive load on the user and helps in focusing on the information that is portrayed primary. This is where Minimalism gets into the sphere of human’s way of perceiving Information.

Working in this style, interfaces looks simple and easy to navigate and make users easily understand the message. Minimalism tends to be simple but not empty; stylish but not overloaded with graphical elements and clutters. This is a challenge behind minimalistic approach. Minimalistic, if executed wisely, it helps users to feel the user journey more intuitive and ease of use.