Minimalism is used to describe a trend in design where in the subject is reduced to its necessary elements. Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is set out to expose the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts. Last June 30, 2012 we held our seminar at Educational Media Center at Central Philippine University. The seminar entitled Minimalist Uxd with our resource speaker Mr. Antonio M. Montano. I have learned a lot of things about minimalism.
I would describe it as a design that is in its most basic. Minimalism provides us with insight into the design of user-centered interfaces. It de-emphasizes the construction of pleas- ing screen layouts, placing emphasis more properly on user goal-oriented design. Minimalism suggests, in some ways, that interfaces need to be designed to provide more information to users than they do today. That information might come in the form of metaphoric interface structures, assistance in moving users from their goals through the specific tasks that support the goals.
It might come in the form of a richer textual content in screen design and certainly with a focus on selecting the right words and phrases to ensure that users make intelligent choices. Minimalism has also some principles. First is less means more. It can be achieved by using only elements that are necessary to a given design. It is simple, straightforward and a bare use of color. It also puts content above all elements and has simple navigation and graphics. I learned that if a page has too many elements, the viewer will be confused about where to look or misinterpret the priority of each element.
Another principle is omitting the needless things. You omit anything that doesn’t directly contribute on your design. Cut out anything else that is not really essential and throw out as much as possible. You should have simple background, borders around the images and has simple yet interesting typography. When the designers have very little else to excite the user, they should seize on interesting typography. You should look for ways to make typography enhance the design while remaining unique. Subtract until it breaks is another principle. Subtracting elements until the design stops working.
Actually I didn’t really fully understand it at first and it confuses me until I realized that usability considerations are important. It meant that only the necessary things are left. Most of us like designs that are complex maybe because we are already used of those designs or maybe of the striking colors and excessive design that makes it attractive for the viewers. I have realized that minimalism can be also beautiful because it’s a way of keeping things simple, removing unnecessary design from your page and letting you focus on the main priorities.