We are living in a tech-centric culture that demands simplicity. So it’s not surprising that the digital space is cleaning itself up. The average person spends almost three hours a day on mobile devices. Now more than ever, people are in search of a meaningful online experience. With these expectations in mind, minimalism has been brought into the mainstream.
What is minimalism?
As Leonardo de Caprio said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” And he couldn’t have been closer to the truth.
A minimalist design strategy refers to the simplification of interfaces by reducing elements and content to a bare minimum. It’s an umbrella term that deals with the general layout of the app. But it also encompasses composition, color palette, contrast, and various techniques that intensify visual performance.
The focus is on the core elements in order to create a user-friendly atmosphere. As KoMarketing clearly pointed out, 86% of visitors who land on the homepage want to see information about the brand’s products and services.
Apps and minimalism
In 2007, Steve Jobs jumpstarted an essential phase in the mobile revolution. With the promise of a simpler life, the era of apps began. But it more than just that. It created a desire for an effortless existence.
This sent thinkers and app developers into a frantic frenzy with the dream of creating an app for everything possible. From iFart (no kidding) to talking cats, there is an app for anything under the moon. Statista reported that in the first quarter of 2019, there were 2.1 million apps on Google Play and 1.8 million in Apple’s App Store alone.
But on a more serious note, apps have redefined the way people associate with interactive devices. They have opened up a plethora of services, information, and content. These unsuspecting, little icons on our smartphones have redefined our existence.
The rise in minimalism
Over the past few years, new app designs are bringing innovations to the app world. Minimalist digital products are on the rise. As more brands are entering the app race, it’s time to put your best foot forward. Not only do you need to create an app to remain connected with your customers, but you also need a design that will enhance their experience.
Developers are now merging aesthetics with usability to create memorable, minimalistic apps. They are adopting a holistic approach that indeed aims at pleasing a wider audience. So what techniques exactly are developers implementing?
Characteristics of minimalism
Features that hallmark the minimalist approach include:
- Simplistic design through the elimination of extra elements
- Limiting the number of options by removing distractions
- Big, clear headings
- Typography that communicates hierarchy
- Enhanced clarity and functionality of every element
- Great attention to proportions and composition
- A limited or monochromatic color palette
- Use color to indicate action, e.g. CTAs
- Maximizing negative spaces
- Simple icons that portray the app’s personality
The list continues, but you get the idea. The result is a sophisticated, uncluttered, aesthetically satisfying appearance that pervades UX desirability.
Who’s interested in minimalism?
Well, to say the least, who’s not interested in it! I mean, the ideology revolves around boosting UX. So it’s crucial for snagging more customers.
Minimalism aims at clearing away extra noise in order to make apps more efficient. It is one of the most significant aspects of visual communication by bringing forth the brand’s content. And because this approach is a source of enhanced UI, it has been the guiding light that has taken many businesses to higher levels of success.
Examples of apps that have embraced minimalism
Here are just a few examples that you may easily be able to relate to:
- Apple Music
Let’s do justice to the instigator of the app industry by placing it at the top of the list. The release of iOS 10 came alongside the redesign of Apple Music. Undoubtedly, the first thing that users noted was the clear aesthetics highlighted by more negative spaces and a black + white UI. It had the essential markings of a minimalistic approach.
Their redesigned UI came out in 2016. While most people were focusing on the app’s icon, the predominant change was the shift to minimalism. App developers stripped away the ‘noisy’ color and brought the user’s content to center stage. The use of more negative white spaces allowed uploads, comments, and other content to shine. The developers did, however, add color to the outer layer of interface elements such as the app’s icon.
The redesign principles used by Airbnb were identical to the minimalist approach utilized by other companies. The developers removed unnecessary imagery and applied more negative white spaces to promote its content. They further went on to draw their customer’s attention with the aid of clear, bold headlines. The results were impressive- the functionality of the app vastly improved.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Many more brands have followed suit. For instance, Uber and AirG reviews claim that an easy-to-use UX makes interactions more straightforward and streamlined. So companies that wish to stay current with trends may well need to consider adopting this approach.
Minimalism is here to stay
Minimalism has been prevalent in the digital realm since the late 1990s, when Google first brought it to light on its homepage. Minimal layouts continue to be in demand. In fact, we are witnessing an evolution in the world of minimalism. And it’s making its rounds by the name of complexion reduction.
To sum it up, it is something beyond flat design, beyond minimal design, and independent of progressive reduction. So what’s the difference?
- Bigger, bolder headlines
- Simpler more universal icons
- Extraction of color
However, the objectives are still the same. By stripping away ‘decorative’ features, users can ‘see’ content. It becomes the focal point of their interactions. Navigation is more clear. And because different elements are no longer fighting for the same space, consumers are able to make decisions more decisively.
A minimalist approach is intended to reduce complexity. With less content to load, minimalist apps load faster- one of the key factors influencing SERP rankings. With future trends revolving around mobile-first indexing, it’s true that there is a great deal of scope – and hope- for minimalism in the coming years.
About the Author:
Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.