Minimalist Web Project

I am a big fan of minimalism in art and design. The Minimalist Web Project is an attempt to collect a list of sites designed with minimalism in mind. I'm a big fan of sites like those of agencies Method and Fourm. Simplicity lets content and functionality speak loudest I guess.

Joshua Kaufman has started an excellent discussion on the topic of minimalism vs. simplicity here on iaslash and on his blog. Nathan Shedroff's comments to Adam Greenfield about clarity over simplification are also interesting to read.

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Minimal Doesn't Always Mean Simple

I'm also a big fan of minimalism, but I take some resentment to the Minimalist Web Project advocating that minimalism implies simplicity, which isn't always true. Briefly, here's how they differ:

Simple interfaces are reduced (not minimized), understandable, and easy to use. In contrast, minimalist interfaces use a minimum of lines, shapes, sometimes color, and aren't necessarily easy to use.

I posted a longer entry on minimalism vs. simplicity on my weblog.


Absolutely agree with you Joshua -- especially with the notion that minimalism is reduction not simply simplicity. But it is reduction and simplicity of form, not of meaning. Reminds me of this quote by Antoine-Marie-Roger de Saint-Exupery, which I like to think of regarding design:

    La perfection est atteinte non quand il ne reste rien ajouter, mais quand il ne reste rien enlever.

    (You know you've achieved perfection in design, not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing more to take away.)

So minimalism, I think, is concerned on some level with simplicity in form, not in communication or meaning. It is that distillation of shape and form that allows the complexity of meaning to manifest. I like, for instance the scultpure of Donald Judd. The spaces and the landscape of form he creates out of simple shapes look simple on the surface, but his intention is to suggest much. I quickly found this reference to a work by Judd to illustrate. From that page:

    He is impatient with critics who claim that his works and those of other Minimal artists have no meaning. He claims he does not attempt to deliver his own political or social messages, but insists his goal is to focus on the space occupied and created by his objects--their purity of form. In the work Untitled Judd challenges the viewer to reconsider the concepts of boredom, monotony, and repetition.

Thanks for the link Michael

but unraveled is just the name of the domain that my personal website resides on. Officially, my weblog is titled Joshua Kaufman, but I usually just call it my weblog. You can just call it Joshua Kaufman's weblog or his weblog.


Done. Will for now on refer to your blog as such :) Hopefully my long term memory will hold that little bit of info as well.