Design thinking—

How minimalism could save your UX strategy

If you’ve stayed up to date with recent design trends, you’ll see that minimalism is everywhere. But with all of the cool graphic design work on Instagram and Behance, it can be hard to see how a simple logo or illustration could grab your viewer more than something complex.

3 min

If you’ve stayed up to date with recent design trends, you’ll see that minimalism is everywhere. But with all of the cool graphic design work on Instagram and Behance, it can be hard to see how a simple logo or illustration could grab your viewer more than something complex. But stick with us here- minimalism in design isn’t about getting rid of useful elements in your design, but rather it’s only sticking with what’s necessary to convey a message to your audience. Minimalism is about getting to the point and not overwhelming your viewer, which could contribute to a great overall experience for your potential clients. Whether it’s through sleek web design or a modernized logo, here’s how minimalism could save your UX strategy.

1. Quality beats quantity

  1. Have you ever bought several of the same item (or at least similar models of the same item) just because they were cheap? And consequently, have you experienced that the small price often meant the quicker wear of these items? What if you invested in a singular item (for the sake of this argument, let’s say a pair of boots) that had a higher down payment but lasted you years longer than a cheaper version? Not only would your initial investment pay off, but you’d have a greater peace of mind knowing that you have one reliable pair of boots in your closet rather than ten worn-out pairs. The concept of investing in quality is true in minimalism as well- if you spend the time (and often money) in a singular high-quality strategy- one that resonates well with your audience, that investment will be worth its weight in gold. Don’t waste your resources on things (or design elements) that won’t age well!

2. Everything Should Have A Purpose

So, you’ve decided to take the leap into limited quality design over endless (and overwhelming) standard design. Good for you! Now that you know the type of design you’re working with, start thinking about the mediums you will use to convey your message (such as typography and illustrations) and why. In Marie Kondo’s words (who herself is a master minimalist) only keep the things that “spark joy”. Otherwise, it’s likely cluttering up your space and taking attention away from your message. For example, if you’re a UX design company and you’re looking to talk about your newest collaboration, try and let your design take over with a simple graphic and using the description space to write your copy. Tip: your reader should understand what you’re selling just by glimpsing at your post for a few minutes. If they don’t get it, it may need to be simplified!

3. Utilize Empty Space

Let’s get real- unless you’re decorating a dorm room, you don’t need to fill every corner with “personal touches”. Instead, use blank spaces to draw the eye to what’s most important. Photographers often use this principle (whether consciously or unconsciously) when shooting and editing with the “rule of thirds”, or placing the subject within one- third of the frame. By keeping the area around the subject blank, a single image can speak volumes without. In photography, a shallow depth of field (blurry background and sharp focus on the subject) can help with this. In minimalism, it’s best not to have anything in your background at all, even a bit of editing can blur any background objects out. Keeping a neutral base color such as white or beige can help keep your design minimal- just make sure that what you’re advertising has enough texture and color to demand the viewer’s undivided attention.

4. Choose Color With Caution

Colors have been used since the beginning of art itself, with intimidating red cave paintings leading the way before Rembrandt picked up a brush. As time went on, artists advanced their perceptions of color and used tens of them to create realistic portraits. But unless you’re a Renaissance artist trying to sell a painting to the King of Italy, keep your color scheme minimal and, most likely, calming. Minimalism is not meant to be read as passionate or bold, and it’s its understatement that’s made it so successful in graphic design. Our recommendation is to investigate what psychological effect you want your digital representation to have on your audience and research colors that can properly carry out that effect. Once you know which colors you want, stick with one base color and two to three accent colors, tops. Think about your typography as well- sometimes you need just a bit of text to go along with your design (just please keep it concise). When using type, stick with a single font in a single color, and make it bold when necessary.

5. Keep It Consistent

As straightforward as minimalism can be, sticking to it and creating a minimalist identity for your brand takes a bit of discipline. But with a consistent strategy and a few regulations for everything you post or produce, you’ll be sporting a no-nonsense UX design in no time! Before you start uploading a thousand posts to your company’s insta or having a go at revamping your website, make sure to keep in mind the color scheme and typography you committed to earlier, and make sure everyone at your company knows how to follow your setup. Still feeling lost? Take a look at some of the most influential architectural or digital design companies’ online presences. You’ll notice that many if not all are embracing a minimalist approach, and their designs are homogenous from their native content to their reposts to their website layouts. Ready to take your brand to the next level? Contact Pixoul today!