Cluttered is probably the word that perfectly describes the current phase of tech and market evolution. From a consumer perspective, we have clutter in terms of the information we are exposed to, the products in the market, and more. From a business sense, clutter in the form of ideas and competition. There is so much information to process at any given point of time that the human mind has started to involuntarily crave simplicity. Or rather minimalism.
Away from all the over-exposure of facts, designs, products, and elements, what consumers need is minimalism. If you are into mobile app development, an entrepreneur looking to roll out an app that will stand the test of time, or a tech enthusiast exploring some mobile UI app design ideas, the one word that we are going to focus on today is this – minimalism.
Minimalism UI app design is something that is trending and gradually becoming a benchmark because of the ease of navigation and usability, clarity, and seamlessness it offers to users. At the same time, it’s also a buzzword that seems to attract many misconceptions.
That’s why we felt we had to break down everything you need to know about minimal app design and instill in you some clarity for your next app development project. So, here’s a detailed guide on mobile app design focusing on minimalism.
Let’s get started.
- 1 What Does Minimalism Mean In Mobile App Design?
- 2 What Are The Key Features Of Minimal App Design?
- 3 Benefits Of Minimal App Design
- 4 Factors To Consider While Developing Minimal Apps
- 5 3 Excellent Examples Of Minimal App Designs
- 6 Wrapping Up
What Does Minimalism Mean In Mobile App Design?
If you have been keeping an eye on UI/UX app design trends, you would probably come across the quote that tells you that less is the new more. Minimalism is exactly that. It is removing anything that stands between users and their intended actions with your app.
In mobile app design, minimalism is all about achieving optimum results or offering ultimate user experiences through the implementation of minimal elements. This means that all the unnecessary elements that you thought would deliver a better experience or add to the app design aesthetics would be removed from your design. When unnecessary elements are removed, the app automatically becomes more effective and impactful. Users tend to have clarity on what the app is about, what it does, what they should do on the app, how, and more.
This results in more app usage and retention in the longer run.
One of the common misconceptions around minimalism is that such apps hardly look convincing or aesthetically pleasing. However, minimalist apps are some of the most elegantly designed and beautiful apps you would find in the market. From their two-coloured schemes to simple layouts, they are just wholesome in the way they look apart from their functionalities as well.
To help you understand better what minimal app designing is, here are some key aspects.
What Are The Key Features Of Minimal App Design?
Minimal Apps Are Simple
One of the fundamentals of a minimal app design process is simplicity. Driven by competition or ambition, developers shouldn’t add anything and everything that they feel should be part of their apps. It is all about keeping elements and functionalities to a bare minimum – to an extent that they can get the job done. With that said, choosing what feature or design element stays and what goes out is one tedious task. The results are, however, worth it.
Minimal Apps Are Clear
The design of your app should reflect the purpose you define for it. If you want people to order food on your app, they should be able to without any hindrances. Adding features just for the sake of being trendy or competitive is deviating from the idea of developing minimal app designing.
Minimal Apps Have Functioning Elements
Any element that you see on a minimally-designed app has a purpose and function. You wouldn’t see a button or an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm present because it sounds or looks fancy.
Minimal App Elements Represent Visual Hierarchy
The order in which you see elements reflects their importance or hierarchy. This helps users seamlessly navigate from one module to another intuitively.
Minimal Apps Focus On What Users Feel
There is a stark difference between what users see and what they experience. Minimal app designing is all about the latter. They offer an experience that goes beyond how an app looks with its color schemes, jargon and flashy images.
Benefits Of Minimal App Design
There are tons of benefits consumers and app development companies get to experience by implementing a minimal design for their apps. Let’s explore some of them individually.
The cost associated with mobile app development, the hours spent on it, the team, tech stacks, infrastructure, and other factors are directly proportional to the number of elements and modules that would go into an app. Since minimal apps deploy very few features and functionalities, the surrounding factors are less, leading to reduced development, deployment, and maintenance expenses.
Precise Delivery Of Intent And Message
Too many elements either end up confusing users on what your app is all about or leaves them frustrated while trying to figure it out. On the other hand, minimal apps directly convey their intent and their message with very less elements. When elements are less, the content and colour schemes that go with them also get trimmed, leaving way for more purpose and satisfaction.
Want your users to use your app to apply for insurance? Do you want them to subscribe to your premium video streaming services? Or, do you want your target audience to find the right utility service providers through a single click? Whatever be your action, its call would project itself beautifully onto the app.
There are no complex cobwebs of features, pages, or functionalities but only neatly arranged experiences. This way, users get to navigate from one module to another seamlessly and get things done faster than they would otherwise.
By default, when unnecessary elements are removed, an app becomes automatically faster. This results in minimum to zero instances of app crashes. When the performance of an app is improved, the experience improves, ultimately increasing the shelf life of apps on users’ devices.
Makes Your Brand Look Premium
Having too many elements on your app only makes your vision look pretentious or overly ambitious. Real brands that work with a sense of purpose have clearly-defined visions and aspirations that reflect on their products as well. With minimal app design, you stand for a reason or a belief and that makes your app stand out from the crowd.
Factors To Consider While Developing Minimal Apps
Now that you are convinced on the impact and usefulness of minimal app designs, let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider before you go about developing a minimal app. This is because poorly conceived and developed minimal apps could prove lethal to your business and reputation. You don’t want your app to look like a high school project, do you?
That’s why these are fundamentals:
- Always work on implementing white spaces in your app. Though they were frowned upon until some time ago, businesses started to see a trend where white spaces between elements conveyed more than what their elements could. So, make good use of white spaces to remove clutter from your app design.
- Typography plays a crucial role in minimal app design. Use one or two combinations of fonts for your written content and scatter them around. When done right, they could help grab eyeballs and optimize attention retention.
- Color schemes are what define minimal app design. Depending on the type of color you choose and the number of it, your app either becomes impactful or annoying. Implement color psychology, study your target audience and market segment for trends and preferences, understand your business niche, brand tone, and image and develop more interesting combinations of two to three colors for your app design.
- Any visual element that you feel should be part of your app design should be neatly arranged or distributed. This should be in line with the usage of white spaces so the distribution looks planned and not random.
- Grid layouts are ideal for minimal app designs as they help place the elements in a sequence (visual hierarchy), offer an intuitive navigational experience and give users a precise idea of how they could go about performing a task.
- Icons are as important as typefaces you use for your app. There is a range of minimal icons available for usage, where more can be conveyed through them without the need for written content or description. Merely placing icons drives the message and purpose of a module or a button, making your app further clutter-free.
- Contrasting visual elements define the hierarchy associated with a module or navigational element. For instance, a low-priced subscription plan could be of a lighter color and a premium plan could be of a darker color, signifying the inclusion of more effective features and functionalities. Such subtle use of colors subliminally drives impact and a sense of understanding of modules. The alternate use of bright and dark colors will help you prioritize content, visuals and features of your app.
- When you implement all these but write sentences after sentences of copies and descriptions of your app modules, the purpose of developing a minimal app becomes futile. The content you choose to present should be minimal, precise and to the point as well. Make use of simple, actionable words, simpler sentences and stay away from jargon and complex words. Nobody is playing scrabble here.
3 Excellent Examples Of Minimal App Designs
AirBnB makes the job of finding accommodation neat and simple with its one-typeface and purpose-driven icon placements. The interface oozes purposes and aesthetics that are as delightful as some of the accommodation facilities you would find on the app.
It has always been a vision of Steve Jobs to offer clutter-free and simple products and services to customers. This vision has been turned into a legacy by Apple. This can be seen on Apple Music, where white spaces are strikingly evident and thumbnails in the form of grids dominate your screens.
Instagram probably showcases the most elegant use of white spaces. With minimal icons and an evident visual hierarchy, Instagram is one of the most beautifully designed minimal apps.
It’s quite ironic that the concept of minimal app design has so many factors and intricate details to look into. We are sure this post was nothing less than eye-opening. So, follow them, read up more about them and implement them on your projects. The differences would be evident in no time.