Making Minimalism Functional in Web Design

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Today, great design isn’t just about conveying the right amount of information in a certain number of pages. 

There’s more to creating the perfect website than experimenting with visuals and sound. Designers need to think carefully about how each element of their site impacts the overall user experience. 

After all, with billions of websites available to explore, it takes something truly immersive to convince your client’s audience that they should stay on their pages. The more convenient and attractive your websites are, the more likely it is that visitors will want to stick around. 

Minimalism, one of the more popular styles of web design from the last few years, can sometimes assist designers in making attractive and effective websites more functional.

The less clutter and confusion there is on a page, the easier it is to navigate. 

So, how do you embrace the benefits of functional minimalism?

Understanding Functional Minimalism

Many webs designers are convinced that minimalism is all about aesthetics. 

They see a website like and assume that the minimalist appearance is all about making the website as attractive as possible.

However, the underlying ideas of minimalism in web design go much deeper than this.  The history of minimalist design begins with Japanese culture. Japan has long focused on balancing simplicity and beauty with its architecture, interior design, and even graphic design. In the Western world, minimalism got its day in the sun in the web design environment, after customers endured years of cluttered and complicated web pages with difficult navigation, overwhelming information and clashing graphics. 

Designers began to experiment with the idea that less really could be more — particularly when it came to the digital landscape. 

The Functional Rules of Minimalist Web Design

For a while, minimalism was the most popular style for a website. During 2018, in particular, minimalist web design soared to the top of the designer demand list, as companies fell in love with a combination of white space, simple navigation and bold text. 

While now, there are other design trends stepping into the industry, designers can still benefit from exploring some of the essential rules of functional minimalism. After all, visual complexity has been proven to damage a person’s perception of a website. 

Additionally, a study conducted by the EyeQuant group found that a clean and simple design can lead to a lower bounce rate. Minimalism gives viewers less to contend with on a page, which can allow for a simpler and more straightforward experience. Additionally, a clean website can also drive additional benefits, including faster loading times, better responsivity between screen sizes and more.

Because you’re only using a few images and well-spaced text, you can even experiment with different strategies, like graphics and dynamic fonts. Look at the Manuel Rueda website, for instance, it’s a great example of how a minimalist design can be brimming with activity.

So, how can any designer use the principles of functional minimalism?

1. Focus on the Essentials

First, just like when designing a landing page, designers need to ensure that they’re concentrating only on the elements in the page that really need to be there.

This means removing anything on the website that doesn’t support the end-goals of the specific page that the viewer is using. Any pictures, background noise, buttons, or even navigation features that aren’t going to support the initial experience that the visitor needs, must go. 

Think about what’s going to distract your visitors from the things that are important and concentrate on giving everything a purpose. For instance, the website instantly introduces the visitors to the purpose of the website, then allows users to scroll down to get more information. The data is spread clearly through the home page, pulling the viewer into a story. 

2. Embrace the Positives of Negative Space

Negative space is one of the fundamental components of good minimalist web design. 

Every part of a good website doesn’t need to be filled with noise to make a difference. White, or negative space can help to give your viewer the room they need to fully understand the experience that they’re getting. 

From a functional perspective, it’s the difference between placing someone in an overflowing storage container and asking them to find what they need or placing them in a room where items are carefully spaced out, labelled, and waiting for discovery. 

The website uses negative space to ensure that information is easy to consume. You can find the different pages of the site easily, the social media buttons, and the newsletter subscription tool. Plus, you get a chance to see some of the work behind the site.

3. Make it Obvious

One of the biggest problems that consumers have encountered in recent years, is the concept of “choice overload”. 

Whether you’re in a store, or on a website, you’re never sure what to do first. Do you check out the blog posts on the site to learn more about the authority of the company? Do you visit the “About” page, to see where the brand come from? Do you head to their product pages?

As a designer, functional minimalism can help you to make it obvious what your audience should do next. As soon as you arrive on the website, you’re not overwhelmed with choice. You can either head to your bag, “shop now”, or check the menu. 

Since the “Shop Now” CTA is the biggest and most compelling, the chances are that most visitors will click that first, increasing the company’s chance of conversions. 

4. Simplify the Navigation (But Don’t Hide It)

The example above brings us to another concept of functional minimalism. 

While minimalism and simplicity aren’t always the same thing, they should go hand-in-hand. When you’re designing for functional minimalism, you should be concentrating on helping visitors to accomplish tasks as quickly and easily as possible, without distraction. 

That means that rather than overwhelming your audience with a huge selection of pages that they can visit at the top or side of the screen, it may be worth looking into simpler navigation options. A single menu icon that expands into a full list of items remains a popular design choice – particularly in the era of mobile web design. 

For instance, look at the simple menu on

With this basic approach, designers can ensure that visitors are more likely to click through to the pages that their clients want their customers to visit. They can still find what they need in the menu, but it’s not taking up space on the page, or distracting them. 

5. Set Great Expectations with the Top of the Screen

Functional minimalism can also help today’s designers to more quickly capture the attention of their visitors from the moment they click into a website. 

The content that’s visible at the top of the page for your visitors is what will encourage them to take the next step in their online experience. Make sure that you’re providing something that keeps your audience interested and gives them the information they need. 

That way, you’ll lower the risk of high bounce rates for your clients, while also taking advantage of minimalism’s ability to deliver quick access to information for your audience. 

At the top of the page, the website instantly introduces the visitor into what the website is all about, and what they should do next. 

You can even deliver more information in one chunk at the top of the page, without cluttering the environment, by using good UI animation. 

Consider implementing a slideshow of pictures that flip from one image to the next, or a font section that dynamically changes as your audience has chance to read each sentence. 

6. Use Functional Minimalism in the Right Spaces

Remember, functional minimalism isn’t just for home pages. 

Depending on what you want to accomplish for your client, you could also embed the components of minimalism into landing pages, portfolios, and squeeze pages too. 

After all, when there’s less clutter and confusion on a page to distract a potential audience, there’s a greater chance that your visitors will scroll to the bottom of the page and complete a conversion. For instance, look at how simple and attractive the landing page is.

The page provides useful information and tells customers exactly what they need to do next. There’s no confusion, no complexity, and nothing to hold visitors back. 

Just be careful. While functional minimalism can be very useful, it won’t be right for every website. A lack of elements can be harmful to websites that rely heavily on content. That’s because low information density will force your user to scroll excessively for the content that they need. Using functional minimalism correctly requires a careful evaluation of where this technique will be the most suitable. 

Minimalism Can be Functional

A minimalist design isn’t just an aesthetic choice. The right aspects of minimalism can simplify interfaces on the web by eliminating unnecessary elements and reducing content that doesn’t support an end goal. 

The key is to ensure that you’re focusing on a combination of aesthetics and usability when creating the right design. An easy-to-navigate and beautiful website can be a powerful tool for any business.  


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VC Swipe Branding and Web Design

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VC Swipe Branding and Web Design
VC Swipe Branding and Web Design


Marvin Schwaibold shared an awesome branding and UI/UX project for VC Swipe, a platform that matches and connects outstanding investors with future startups. On the platform, an AI analyses your situation and gives you the best matches based on your preferences. The focus lies on connecting early-stage startups with Angel Investors and Incubators on the quest of taking these firms to the next stage.

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Creative Direction Marvin Schwaibold 
Art Direction & 3D Lionel Taurus  
User Experience Design & Strategy Lukas Kmoth 
Development Jesper Landberg 
Awards & Recognition


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How to Create a Reddit Clone Using React and Firebase

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An inventor placing a FireBase heart into a robot creation

React is a fantastic front-end library for building user interfaces. When picking a back end to use alongside it, you can’t go far wrong with Firebase, a Backend-as-a-Service (Baas) that makes it easy to add data persistence (and much more besides) to your React app.

In this tutorial, we’ll be using Firebase along with Create React App to build an application that will function similarly to Reddit. It will allow the user to submit a new post that can then be voted on. I’ll also demonstrate how to deploy our Reddit clone to Vercel.

Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll understand how to set up Firebase, how to connect it to your React app and how to deploy the result.

An inventor placing a FireBase heart into a robot creation

Why Firebase?

One of Firebase’s strengths is that it makes it very easy for us to show real-time data to the user. Once a user votes on a link, the feedback will be instantaneous. Firebase’s Realtime Database will help us in developing this feature. Also, it will help us to understand how to bootstrap a React application with Firebase.

Why React?

React is particularly known for creating user interfaces using a component architecture. Each component can contain internal state or be passed data as props. State and props are the two most important concepts in React. These two things help us determine the state of our application at any point in time. If you’re not familiar with these terms, please head over to the React docs first.

Note: you can also use a state container like Redux or MobX, but for the sake of simplicity, we won’t be using one for this tutorial.

Here’s a live demo of what we’ll be building. The code for this application is available on GitHub.

Setting up the Project

To follow along, you’ll need to have Node and npm installed on your machine. If you haven’t, head to the Node.js download page and grab the latest version for your system (npm comes bundled with Node). Alternatively, you can consult our tutorial on installing Node using a version manager.

Let’s walk through the steps to set up our project structure and any necessary dependencies.

Bootstrapping a React App

We can create a new React application with the help of Create React App using the following command:

npx create-react-app reddit-clone

This will scaffold a new create-react-app project inside the reddit-clone directory. Our directory structure should be as follows:

Default structure of directory

Once the bootstrapping is done, we can enter the reddit-clone directory and fire up the development server:

cd reddit-clone && npm start

At this point, we can visit http://localhost:3000/ and see our application up and running.

Default page of Create React App

Structuring the App

It’s always a good practice to remove all the files that we don’t need after bootstrapping any application. There are a few files generated by Create React App that we won’t need, so we’ll remove them.

We can remove the following files:


We can also remove the following dependencies from our package.json file:


We can also remove the test script from our package.json file. This is because we won’t be writing any tests for our application. If testing a React app is something you’d like to look into, please consult our tutorial, “How to Test React Components Using Jest”.

Our src/index.js file should contain the following:

import React from “react”;
import ReactDOM from “react-dom”;
import App from “./app”;

<App />

We’ll rename our src/App.js to src/app.js. Alter it to contain the following:

import React from “react”;

function App() {
return <div>Hello world!</div>;

export default App;

Now, we can restart our development server using the following command from our root directory:

npm start

Our development server should be up and running on http://localhost:3000/ and it should look like the following:

The UI of our application after removing unnecessary files

Creating a New Firebase Project

In this section, we’ll be installing and integrating Firebase with our application.

If you don’t have a Firebase account, you can create one free account now by visiting their website. After you’re done creating a new account, log in to your account and go to the console page and click on Create a project.

Enter the name of your project (I’ll call mine reddit-clone), accept the terms and conditions, and click on the Continue button.

Step 1 of creating a Firebase project

In the next step, you should choose whether to enable Google Analytics for the project, then click on the Continue button.

Step 2 of creating a Firebase project

In step three, we should select a Google Analytics account and then click on the Create project button:

Step 3 of creating a Firebase project

After a short while, you’ll see a notice that your new project is ready. Click Continue to exit the wizard.

Creating a New App in the Firebase Project

In this section, we’ll be creating a new Firebase app from the Firebase console. We can create a Web app by selecting the web option.

Creating a new Firebase web app: Step 1

Next, we’ll need to enter the name of the project and click on the Register app button, leaving the Also set up Firebase Hosting checkbox unchecked.

Creating a new Firebase web app: Step 2

Now you’ll see all the credentials for our new Firebase web app.

Creating a new Firebase web app: Step 3

Make a note of these credentials and click Continue to console.

We can now add our app’s credentials to an environment file:

// .env


Note: it’s always a good idea to store all credentials in an environment file and add that file to .gitignore so that the credentials are never leaked into the source code.

Next, we can create a new file src/lib/firebase.js where we’ll store all our Firebase credentials:

import firebase from “firebase”;

const firebaseConfig = {
apiKey: process.env.REACT_APP_FIREBASE_API_KEY,
authDomain: process.env.REACT_APP_FIREBASE_AUTH_DOMAIN,
projectId: process.env.REACT_APP_FIREBASE_PROJECT_ID,
storageBucket: process.env.REACT_APP_FIREBASE_STORAGE_BUCKET,
messagingSenderId: process.env.REACT_APP_FIREBASE_MESSAGING_SENDER_ID,
appId: process.env.REACT_APP_FIREBASE_APP_ID,
measurementId: process.env.REACT_APP_FIREBASE_MEASUREMENT_ID,

const initFirebase = firebase.initializeApp(firebaseConfig);
const db = initFirebase.firestore();

export default db;

Finally, we’ll need to install the firebase package so that we can interact with our database:

npm install firebase

Continue reading
How to Create a Reddit Clone Using React and Firebase
on SitePoint.

20 Awesome Treehouses For Your Inspiration

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Think treehouses are just backyard structures built for kids to play in? Well, think again. Constructed for different functions and in different forms, treehouses have the potential to be…

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Useful Web Usability Testing Tools

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Usability testing — also known as “user testing” — is a popular methodology for user experience researchers. It’s a critical part of the design process since it helps…

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Collective #628

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Collective 628 item image

The State of CSS Survey

The annual survey about the latest trends in CSS is now open. It’s available in many different languages.

Check it out

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This content is sponsored via Thought Leaders
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Faster Web App Delivery with PRPL

Learn all about PRPL, a pattern for structuring and serving web applications and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) with an emphasis on improved app delivery and launch performance.

Read it

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CSS Background Patterns

Beautiful pure CSS background patterns that you can actually use in your projects. By MagicPattern.

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Filmstrip is an online editor that helps you create CSS powered animations.

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Vertex shader demo and code

A wonderful distortion vertex shader made by the great folks of Poimandres.

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Build an Authenticated JAMstack App with Next.js, Airtable, Tailwind CSS, and Auth0

A compact version of a tutorial by James Q Quick based on a great video playlist where you’ll learn how to implement a JAMstack powered project.

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3,000 Hands 3D Shape Pack

A gigantic addition to the Shapefest 3D shapes with many different hand gestures.

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Converting a jQuery plugin to vanilla JS: Lettering.js

Chris Ferdinandi demonstrates how to go about turning a jQuery plugin like Lettering.js into vanilla JavaScript.

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A glowy plain text editor made by Adam Fuhrer.

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Webpack 5 Headache

Sindre Sorhus on how Webpack no longer automatically polyfilling Node.js APIs is a huge breaking change and will inconvenience both users and package maintainers.

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Announcing Ionic Vue

Read about the release of Ionic Vue, a native Vue version of Ionic Framework that makes it easy to build apps for iOS, Android, and the web as a Progressive Web App.

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Wouter: A Minimalist Alternative to React Router

Read all about Wouter in this article by Nathan Sebhastian. Wouter is a minimalist routing library that implements only the most used functionality from React Router.

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Browse techniques, frameworks and artifacts to help young product teams move forward.

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A super fun demo by Ryan Mulligan.

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Tailwind CSS tutorial

A Tailwind CSS tutorial that covers the installation via a package manager, generating the configuration file, building a website and reducing the final CSS file.

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Bear gets an X-Ray w/ CSS Variables

A super cool Halloween demo powered by CSS and SVG. Made by Jhey.

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From Our Blog
Implementing WebGL Powered Scroll Animations

Learn some fun WebGL by reconstructing the beautiful scroll animations from Robin Noguier’s portfolio in this ALL YOUR HTML episode.

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Inspirational Websites Roundup #19

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Today I’d like to share another hand-picked selection of really great website designs that will definitely give you an inspirational boost for your creativity.

Big intro type is totally in and some experimental layouts are giving a nudge to conventional structures. Lines are à la mode this season, on buttons or just as decoration!

I hope this collection updates you on some current trends and gives you some fresh inspiration for your next projects.

Ville de Varennes

Project Turntable

adidas – CHILE20


Nahel Moussi

Simon Daufresne

Brews & Grooves

MUTEK Montreal




Gianluca Armenio



Celebrating 10 Years with Blind Barber

Mollydooker Wines

Discover The Bartlett Summer Show 2020

Our culture — Locomotive


Language Dept.


When we were kids

Æbele Interiors


Monsieur M

Robin Noguier

Mezcal Rosaluna

Glue Lock

Kirk Whayman


Glenn Catteeuw



Seal + Co Professional Accountants


The post Inspirational Websites Roundup #19 appeared first on Codrops.

Carácter Branding and Visual Identity

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Carácter Branding and Visual Identity
Carácter Branding and Visual Identity


Lutton Gant, a photography studio in Valladolid (Spain), which specializes in weddings and family portraits, reached out to Azote. Studio to work on their new brand and visual identity with the goal of diversifying into a new identity that would answer photography queries for companies and professionals.

With the last boom in demand for this type of service, the objective for this new project was to better target its audience, help in the brand awareness and its new market consolidation.

Our challenge involved knowing the target audience in detail, with their expectations and needs, as well as the analysis of the specialized competition it faced.

Carácter graphic solution follows the principle of simplicity and minimalism, using a modernized timeless typeface, a monochrome palette and a flexible grid that gives prominence to their powerful work.


20+ Essential and Free Blogging Tools

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Blogging can be quite a process. First, you may have to do some research, then put your thoughts together, and of course, add any necessary screenshots and images. Let’s not forget the…

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Everyday Digital Art by Kurt Chang

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Everyday Digital Art by Kurt Chang
Everyday Digital Art by Kurt Chang


Kurt Chang is an artist based in Los Angeles, CA, USA, he has been sharing pretty illustrations via his Behance. With this never-ending pandemic, I have noticed an increase in ‘digital art’ projects being shared. We all have on our way to deal with this ‘longer isolation’, maybe it wasn’t the full intention behind Kurt’s series but I thought it will be great to share so we can inspire each other. Looking at Kurt’s series as he calls it: ‘Daily Art’. They are amazingly illustrated, each illustration tells a daily story that is a reality or beyond his imagination. Give them a look.


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