The end of the year is around the corner, and some experts state that the most important subject of the year for the community of web creators is “flat design”. A few years ago, the design related blogosphere started publishing the end/beginning of the year predictions about the new trends being embraced by designers. Willingly or not, the designers are influenced by trending concepts and there is a hint of it in their works. Two years ago, skeuomorphic elements were a must for any website, and it seemed that the Internet was the realm of shine, glossy and 3D items. However, the users became tired and this situation and web designers have started shifting over from this direction and choosing a completely different idea – the simplicity of flat design. Today everyone who wants a trendy website should adopt flatness! The specific features of flat design are: the lack of any 3D element (the term “flat” is self-explanatory in this situation) and the highlight on content and typography. The colors are pure, there is no gradient, and many flat websites contain circular shapes.
The trends will undoubtedly come and go. What really matters is to have better and better websites. In spite of these passing influences, it’s amazing that the purpose of a website remains the same even from the early ages of the Internet – sharing the information. The revolutionary approach regarding the modalities of building a website adapted to any screen sizes, named by designers responsive design, didn’t change this purpose; therefore we are justified to believe that it won’t be changed in the near future as well.
The websites’ purpose remains unchanged even if the design layouts are merely adjusting. Under these circumstances, it is normal for designers to try to build timeless websites – the ones that aren’t at risk of becoming out-of-date regardless of the trends. Unfortunately, the Internet is evolving very fast and it automatically determined a design evolution. A website built ten years ago that was considered impressive is totally ignored today, since nobody will pay attention to it. The thing is that a website should not become unfashionable and unusable in a year or two. Regarding these numbers, it seems that some websites may have quite a short lifespan, but one should not see this as a general rule, since it is only an approximation. At the same time, one should know that it’s okay to judge the value of a design by how long it will last among the preferences of users.
Across time we tried to identify a magical combination for our websites in order to “survive” longer. We are still searching for the complete solution of a timeless website but we have managed to collect some hints that may conduct us to the “final victory” and here we present them to you. A clean layout seems to offer the best solution for a timeless website. Something like this assures a perfect balance between complexity and minimalism and it is the main reason of its success. Apparently, this in-between solution seems to be an easy task for a medium web designer, but the reality is different. A clean website is extremely difficult to realize. The main issue is to assure the perfect ratio of items: an over complicated structure is a common mistake of a beginner – one will add everything to convince the clients that he / she has worked a lot. A too minimalist layout lacks the usability and it could get quite frustrating for users. We offer you our perspective regarding the clean design but we are also waiting for your own ideas about this matter. It will be nice to hear from you, so please use the comment area to share with us your thoughts about website cleanliness!
Usually, when starting a new layout, it’s highly recommended to focus on four elements: shapes, images, typography and colors. We will provide a lot of examples of this pattern here to simplify your work.
A clean layout lets the user breath… Sometimes the white space is just as important as the content. As a consequence, the number and the complexity of used shapes must be minimal. A very interesting practice when designing clean layouts is to compare them with other types of websites. A minimalist website is based on the idea that “less is more”, a complex one is based on “more is better”, while a clean website on “nothing more, nothing less”! Definitely, this concept may help a designer.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but very few designers understand it could both raise and decrease the value of the web page. Altogether, a web designer shouldn’t be afraid of using images. Quality pictures are mandatory for every online presence and a clean layout isn’t an exception.
A good website must have a unique message even if it’s made up of many items – applying this idea to our situation means that a clean layout is a perfect match to a clean font. Any designer that is willing to create something like that must use only suitable fonts. And as far as this matter goes you have no excuse because the Internet is full of amazing clean fonts; you should just search for the best ones!
The proper color combination for a clean layout should be discrete and it should highlight the content. Usually, for the background the creator should choose a color that is easy to the eye, while the other shades should be used to emphasize the most important items of the layout (call to action buttons, navigational menu etc.).
The beauty of cleanliness is incontestable and irreplaceable, but a web designer has many other reasons to create clean layouts. If you are not aware of them, then you should check these ideas out and let us know if you agree with them.
A complicated website is associated to a less usable entity, while a minimalist one may not offer the user all the information he / she needs. Clean layouts have the major advantage of offering the users the perfect package of information they require. Moreover, a clean design is better for the user because he / she won’t spend much time searching for the necessary things, the fact that will surely make everyone happy!
Cleanliness is associated with high quality and this is a capital feature. A clean layout gives the feeling that the owner is reliable, correct and trusty. From a psychological perspective a user that is happy with the information he found on a website considers that the respective online presence is highly reliable. Distinctly, a user trusts only high quality websites. Anyway, the conclusion is that a clean layout stands better chances at gaining the trust of the viewers.
We hope that our conception about clean layouts will help you improve your manner of building websites. But, enough with the theory and get ready for some amazing clean website layouts that will certainly inspire you! Enjoy and let us know which one you liked best.