The Church of Minimalism
The minimalist mindset can be summed up in
one major commandment: thou shalt not waste.
Space, that is. And wasted space here refers
to screen real estate that is clunked up with
extraneous graphics or content. In that sense,
blank or open space can be utterly more useful
than it might otherwise seem. On the subject,
Psdtuts+ has touted web design principles that
include how spacing can positively impact the
way visitors read and navigate a site.
This school of thought relies heavily on
controlling visitor behavior, i.e. giving them
clear direction and facilitating their experience
on the site (Dropbox does this well). As visitors
efficiently navigate from page to page, page
views are necessarily going to increase, but
perhaps to the detriment of viewing time.
These sites awe
their visitors to
elicit a visceral
82 MAY/JUNE 2013
These sites leave
nothing to question
for visitors’ purpose
on the site.
The Divinity of Aesthetics
As web development technology has
improved, designers have had more freedom
to experiment with site layouts. The more
aesthetically minded sites that have popped
up in the past few years have expanded the
scope of visuals to browsers’ extremes and
reinvented visitors’ concepts of interaction on
the web. Some sites have infused the principles
of magazine advertising into a website (Asics’
stopatnever.com comes to mind).
The aesthetic perspective focuses on the
goal of being a spectacle, giving visitors a
compelling reason to experience the site’s
design. Such an approach benefits the unique
visitor metric tremendously. However, page
views can suffer, as aesthetic sites tend not too
be very expansive, and viewing time can be hit-or-miss, depending on whether a visitor prefers
the design or detests it.