Returning to Minimalism
The 1930s maxim, ‘Less is More’ was popularised by architect & designer Mies van der Rohe.
Now reinvented, for web design as ‘Clean & Lean’, this new style, was first spearheaded by medium.com in 2014.
Minimalist design brings clarity. However, to paraphrase Einstein, any fool can make things complex. Simplicity is a lot harder.
Learning from the Past
To avoid blindly jumping on the clean and lean bandwagon, we need to learn from past masters. At the heart of Modernism was another maxim ‘Form follows function’.
Designers ignore this principle, at their client’s peril. So analysis in the box on how less can be flawed!
The Madness of Hiding Content
In years to come, few will believe the extremes some designers went, to hide content. So, to prove it, here’s an article by Kendra Gaines, from 2014, giving 3 reasons to stop using navigation bars!
- Fewer Distractions
“Every page is listed in a nav bar, even though some minor pages have minimal content. By removing the navigation, you can focus on what is important…”
How about combining smaller, related sections on the same page? Removing navigation helps you focus on… what are you focusing on, Kendra?
- Customer Focus
“Navigation bars… are the norm. We’re just slapping it on a site as one-size-fits-all.”
Show me a site – other than a splash page – that wouldn’t benefit from a navigation bar. I’d love to see it.
- Experience Driven Design
“Let’s build a bridge… of varying length… the smoothest bridge possible”
At this point Kendra really loses it. She talks about creating something ‘magical and mind-blowing’. Maybe, whatever she was taking at the time, triggered her wish to become a civil engineer.