Have you ever come across a website that exudes simplicity, is perfectly functional and looks aesthetically pleasing?
We’re seeing more and more minimalist websites that emphasize the idea of ‘less is more’. When it comes to showcasing your business or your product listings, you don’t need all the bells and whistles in your website design.
In fact, it’s probably better if you cut them out completely.
We’ve found a few great minimalist website examples for a bit of minimalist website design inspiration. But first, then understand what the minimalist website trend is all about.
What are minimalist websites?
Minimalism isn’t new, yet the concept of reducing a subject to its essential features has prevailed as an attractive design style. In web design, minimalism often exemplifies the usage of flat design, less design features and open screen space. In general, this allows your branding and website design to stand out.
One of the core tenets of minimalist design websites is reducing visual clutter and using visual hierarchy to denote the most critical elements of a website.
What do minimalist websites need?
Minimalism aesthetics generally seek to simplify the overall design by removing unnecessary elements. Often, minimalist designs on websites will feature only the fundamental aspects such as colours, shapes, and textures necessary to create a functional website.
Additionally, playing with white space is key to minimalist websites. Three of the essential elements to consider when it comes to web design include balance, alignment and contrast. Usually, sans-serif typography is chosen because it looks cleaner than its serif counterparts.
While it may seem that minimalist websites have been designed this way for visual appeal, they also provide other benefits. For example, using a lot of white space in a design is easy on the eyes and isn’t distracting. This design could help certain elements stand out, such as a call-to-action or impactful piece of text.
Some of the other advantages to choosing minimalist websites include providing a more user–friendly website experience and preventing users from experiencing visual fatigue. These elements, coupled with sleek visuals, are some of the main reasons why minimalism is here to stay in web design.
A general rule of thumb is to hide something that most web users don’t need. Why force your users to think about elements that they may never need to use or see? This assists with cognitive load, which affects our memory.
Having too much information can cause your web visitors to be overwhelmed by too many elements or choices, which is no good.
Similarly, providing too many options can detract from your website. You’ll need to simplify your options to avoid creating decision paralysis on your website, which is the inability to choose an option due to cognitive overload.
Minimalist Website Examples
Let’s look at some good minimalist website examples and discuss why they’re successful websites.
Apple – the ultimate minimalist brand
You probably already knew that Apple would feature in a write-up of minimalist websites and their popularity. That’s because the Apple aesthetic is easily recognisable, and the company has been a significant trendsetter globally in advocating for minimalist design.
One of the reasons for their success is that they pioneered minimalism in consumer goods. They’ve maintained a minimal visual style that draws attention to the main product being displayed.
Their minimalist design is evident in their current website design. Apple uses bold typography and vibrant images to advertise their latest device.
Buffer is a social media tool that assists with publishing, analytics and engagement for business social media accounts.
Buffer is one of the minimalist websites that emphasises flat design. It typically involves rounded corners and shadows to create interactive elements that don’t feel like visual clutter.
The bold blue buttons stand out against the stark white background to offer a simple yet effective homepage.
Buffer is an excellent example of providing clarity, findability, choosability and scannability, which are all critical questions to ask yourself when assessing your web pages.
Lars Tornøe – Scandinavian minimalist
When thinking of pure minimalism, you may be thinking of this minimalist design website from Norwegian furniture and product designer, Lars Tornøe.
His website exudes Scandinavian simplicity, which relies heavily on the concept of minimalism.
He’s stripped his business to its bare bones, allowing images of his work to take preference.
This website is an excellent example of reducing visual clutter and reducing a website to its basic functionality whilst still looking stylish.
If you are an artist, designer or creative individual, it’s possible that you could benefit from a website designed similarly.
Unpigeon.me is one of the most interesting minimalist website examples as it breaks away from using a solid white background in favour of a purple gradient instead.
This website is a word association game that allows you to discover your new ambition or goal in life by rating 10 random words.
It’s a well-designed visual quiz that adds vibrancy and contrast to a minimalist design website approach.
This website showcases that you don’t have to ditch colour and texture to create minimalism and simplicity on your website.
Cristina Savoldi – our own take on minimalist website design
We want to show off a little. We designed this website here at BigToe Creatives for Namibian Sculptor Cristina Savoldi.
Like many of the other examples, we’ve chosen a white background for optimum visual ease.
This time, we’ve chosen to feature a video of the artist at work to emphasise her creative process and innovation. The website’s functions are apparent and offer the perfect amount of information about the artist and how to get in touch with her.
Don’t be afraid to feature videos, animations, gifs, illustrations or anything else on your website; it can still be minimalistic with these elements included.
ETQ is a shoe and accessory store based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It was created in 2010 to avoid cluttered branding, favouring letting the quality of its products speak for itself.
Similarly, ETQ has a stripped-back approach when it comes to minimalist website design.
This website is an excellent example of using hero images and slideshows whilst retaining a minimalist aesthetic.
It’s not a bad idea to use professional photography to highlight your product if this is something your business may be well suited for. Basic information about the products is easy to find, and support and contact details are available towards the bottom of the page for those who may need this information.
Very Good Films
Very Good Films is one of those minimalist websites that was born as a passion project in 2020.
Essentially, it’s a list of films that others have loved and enjoyed enough to add to an online catalogue. You can recommend a film or sign up for notifications for new recommendations.
We like this example because it uses a simple yet effective format for its desired audience and uses one colour to create a fundamental brand identity. What once started as an excel spreadsheet has transformed into a shining example of minimalist website examples worldwide.
Ready to go minimal with your website design?
There are many positives – and examples of great design – when it comes to minimalist websites.
Minimalist websites can offer a sleek and simplified visual experience, as well as a better user experience for your audience.
Having a cluttered website with too many choices could contribute to cognitive overload and may result in a higher bounce rate on your website, as well as frustrated web visitors.
No matter how you choose to implement a minimalist design in your website, we know that the trend is here to stay – and we’re big fans of this style, too.