14 Jan 2012

Blog: How simple can a design be?

I’m one of those people who like simplistic design, minimalistic even.

It’s not exactly news that I do, I’ve always been annoyed with designs that are too ostentatious, simply because at a certain point, everything blends together to give me and the site visitor, as an end result, a headache.

So, I do like to keep things simple, but how simple can we really go?

Sometimes, when I’m meeting with a new client, they’ll use the words “simple”, “airy”, “sober”, but without explaining just how far they want to go. I’ve been surprised by what simple means in the past, so I usually ask them if they have an example they can show me, so that I can know what it is exactly they they want.

Sometimes, their simple is my cluttered.

Some of the other times, it’s ridiculously simple/minimalistic. And, by that, I mean two colors, or a logo and search box.

Style-wise, the color duo can work, especially if the whole subject matter of the site works with it, if you add a third color for links, and a lot of images that will add some spark to the site (for instance, Black Estate, which is a site whose style I love), but unless you’re google, or a google-clone, a logo and a search box will do nothing for your site, nor for your SEO, since there needs to be some sort of info to be indexed.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that simplistic design needs at least some sort of menu, and some content, even if it’s just a couple of lines of it, to be indexed in search engines. And, in the masses of minimalistic sites, how will yours stand out if it’s just too simple? Will it be considered lazy?

What do you think? What are the limits of simplicity?

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