Dialogues should not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed. Every extra unit of information in a dialogue competes with the relevant units of information and diminishes their relative visibility.
A minimalist design draws the users to focus on the main subject at hand without being distracted by irrelevant images or text. Keep the information displayed on the application simple. Include only relevant information, otherwise the message will be lost in the “noise”.
Brevity is the soul of content
Make your information relevant and to the point. There is no need to write a 200 word essay explaining why your application could not display the requested information. When you feel the urge to do so, just hit yourself on the head with a baseball bat. When you regain consciousness ask yourself the question: Is there a purpose in adding that information, or is it just “noise”? Then strip down the information to the bare minimum that would convey the intended meaning. The same holds good for design elements. Having too many design elements can cramp your style.
Here are some examples.
Tennessee State Parks : This website is cluttered with too much information.
Arkansas State Parks :In contrast to the above, this has a minimalist design and you can easily find what you are looking for.
Avoid displaying repetitive information. To increase readability, categorize repetitive information into relevant sections. Users can quickly jump to the section they want to and immediately pick the information they are concerned with the most.
The Personalization screen in Windows 7 has the themes categorized. This makes it easier to select themes based on the category.
Colors are a great way to let the user’s eye focus on a particular area on the screen, so choosing the right color palette and accents are important. When you have minimal design elements, colors play a very important role and they have to be carefully chosen. Understanding color science and knowing the meaning of colors and how well they interact with each other is critical for a good minimalist design.
Jess Marks Photography: This site uses a good color palette with a minimalist design.
White space adds breathing room to the information displayed and makes it look less “busy”. A good use of white space can give the information displayed an elegant or rich look and can improve legibility.
Yahoo: The design is cluttered.
Google: A minimalist design.
When I woke up this morning, I made a decision to practice what I preach. So I am going to resist the urge to repeat anything I’ve said so far.
About MeI'm Tingu Abraham. Everybody calls me Tingz because it sounds so cool (and because I paid them to). I’m obsessed with information architecture, UX design, new technologies and playing music. In my spare time I keep wondering why 24 hours a day are just not enough.
- Usability Heuristics – Part 10 – Help and documentation
- Usability Heuristics – Part 9 – Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors
- Usability Heuristics – Part 8 – Aesthetic and minimalist design
- Usability Heuristics – Part 7 – Flexibility and efficiency of use
- Usability Heuristics – Part 6 – Recognition rather than recall